GPS Navigation   

When you're out on the water on your boat,  whether your on ocean or even on larger in-land lakes, having GPS Navigation on board is essential to staying on course and out of trouble.   Today's GPS chartplotters are easy to use and if can help get to where your going.


GPS Navigation Equipment 

find out what GPS Equipment you need, how to use it and where to get it ...

Radar Systems - Key Points

First important point about boat radar systems is the antenna. The size of the antenna directly relates to the picture quality you'll see on your screen.   Even a small increase in antenna size can make a significant increase in picture quality.  So,  get the largest and longest antenna you can.

Second key point about boat radar systems is the output power.   Radar systems output power is defined in terms of killowatts which is the strength of the signal your system is putting out.  The higher the strength of the signal the better the detail in the picture you receive.  In addition,  the stronger the signal power, the better you will see objects further away.  So, make sure to get the highest output power you can.

Third key pont is for boat radar systems is beam width.  Beam width has to do with the level of detail in the picture.  The finer the beam width the more detailed your picture will be.  You want to choose a system with a relatively narrow beam width, but not too narrow.  If you're on the water and your boat is rocking,  you may miss an object if your beam width is too narrow.  This is a judgment call, but somewhere in the middle is probably your best choice.

Some last key points on radar systems, and some of these are common sense,  the larger the screen size the better.  I'm sure most everyone can agree and the latest digital systems are much better than the older analog ones.  So,  if you're in the market for a radar system for your pontoon boat,  digital like everything else is preferred.





Which GPS Navigation System is the Best For Lake Boating?


There are a number of portable GPS systems that can be used for lake boating these days. However, some of these might just be average while the others may give you the best possible value for your money.

There is a huge difference between using GPS navigation on land and in water. So, what may work on land may not be that effective in water.

Here are some of the important qualities that are required in a portable GPS system for lake boating:

  1. Your GPS system should be able to utilize a minimum of 12 out of the 24 satellites to give you precise results regarding your position.
  2. The screen on the GPS should be bigger (at least 7") which allows you to see without squinting. Moreover, you need a bigger screen to make out the difference between a fish and rock, which is at the bottom of the lake.
  3. Your GPS system should also be able to tell you the amount of water below the boat.
  4. It's a good idea to have a GPS system which has a lot of different alarms to warn you of different aspects like the depth of the water, low battery, temperature change, water temperature, way point, proximity indicator.
  5. It should also have modes like sunlight and nigh watch, which aid in retracing your steps in the dark.
  6. If you are looking for some fishing, then your GPS can also tell you about the weather changes. All you need to do is to just subscribe to a weather channel.

These are some of the basic things which need to be there in your portable handheld GPS in order to make it ideal for lake boating.


Where to find GPS Navigation Equipment




 How To Choose A GPS Navigation System

Choosing a GPS navigation device can be a daunting process especially if you have never used a GPS device. GPS devices can get you from point A to point B with almost no thinking, just enter a starting address and a destination then let your GPS unit talk and visually guide you. Its that simple. Before you just run out and pick up any GPS Navigation System there are a few features or aspects you need think about. 1. Accurate Navigation is the most important part of your GPS device. All GPS devices will tell you they are extremely accurate, this isnt always true. Online User groups are great way to find out how accurate a GPS device is because most groups give unbiased advice. 2. Your GPS unit should be easy to use. Go to your local electronics store and test several devices. Make sure the interface is easy for you to operate. Lower priced GPS units have a bare bones interface that can sometimes be clunky and slow. 3. Long Battery Life. Trust me here, the longer the battery life the better. Getting a GPS unit with long battery life can really increase the price tag but its worth it, especially if you are not near your car charger. Most GPS Units have an additional charging port on the side to plug in another device such as a cell phone. Bigger batteries also mean less clutter in the car because you wont need to pull out that charger. My last point on getting a better battery is that you can load your routes with having to be plugged into an external power source. 4. Named Streets. Youre going to pay more for this, but its worth it if you are in an unfamiliar city. So, instead of your gps device saying turn right it may say turn right on Big St. 5. Real-time traffic stats. Most GPS devices will ask you how you want to get to a location (either shortest or quickest route) but very few consider if there is traffic on the chosen route. Real-time traffic stats are usually reserved for the most expensive GPS devices. If youre rich, then this feature is for you. 6. Consider the GPS size and weight. When you go to your electronics store make sure you can pick up the GPS unit to feel its weight. Also, screen size is very important if you have trouble seeing because your GPS device may be mounted a foot or two from your eyes. 7. Screen and audio clarity. Make sure you can see everything clearly on your GPS device especially in direct light and in the dark. Most GPS devices feature night illumination controls which really help for all you night drivers. The audio should be crisp, clear and very easy to understand. If you like to listen to the radio while using GPS navigation make sure your GPS unit has a load speaker (or good audio out). By: Mary Bush

You can also find a large selection of Marine Electronics, Fish Finders and GPS Navigation Systems at Bass Pro Shops


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