Boat technology development never sits still, as increasing numbers of people take to the water for fun in vessels of all shapes and sizes year after year. Over the past 12 months, a number of intriguing tech features have made their way into the market to make boating safer, easier and more enjoyable by moving past the traditional expectations of pleasure craft features.
Here’s a snapshot of three innovative boat techs currently available.
Automatic Positioning Systems
Automatic positioning systems have become so advanced on some modern boats that you can think of them as virtual anchors. They can peg a watercraft to a specific location and keep it there without having to drop chain. By linking with a GPS satellite system, this boat technology can take over the helm and make all the adjustments necessary to maintain its current position, whether in the ocean or on a lake or river. It’s an amazing feature for divers, especially, who want to explore new areas but are wary of leaving their boat unattended.
Tired of working the throttle and the wheel like some kind of manic conductor every time you come back to port? Joystick steering centralizes the helm controls of modern watercraft in a single location that allows you to tilt and twist the controller to move the boat laterally in the water, when necessary. The ability to slide sideways into a berth under complete control is a welcome piece of boat technology, regardless of a ship’s size.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see in the dark without relying on radar? Boating at night requires an extra level of vigilance to ensure safety and smooth navigation. Portable thermal imaging cameras can fit in your hand and give you the night vision you need to avoid potential obstacles lying low in the water, where they can remain undetected by other types of boat technology. They also offer incredible assistance in the event that a passenger or crew member is knocked overboard at night, making it that much easier to locate them among the swells and render assistance.
Watercraft technology has evolved remarkably in recent years, making it safer and more accessible for boaters of all skill levels to get out on the water this summer.
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Photo courtesy of Morguefile.
Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.