Holiday Gadget List 2019

Tech Talk – December 2019 – Holiday Gadget List (A Complete PDF is available on the right-hand side of your screen)

BlueSea 8110 Mini Clamp Multimeter (AC/DC)    We strongly encourage all boat owners to have a good multimeter onboard.  The one we recommend for recreational boaters is the BlueSea 8110 Mini Clamp Multimeter.  It has a large digital display and a data hold button to lock in the reading value if you are in an awkward space and can’t see the screen. It includes the typical wire leads; however, the clamp allows you to measure both AC and DC in the wire without disturbing the circuits or contacting live terminals.  If you already have a multimeter onboard, confirm the options available and double-check that it has a DC amp range of at least 300 to 400 amps.   MSRP is $225.00  

Xantrex EchoCharge  Battery Combiners (aka ACR’s, VSRs) are designed to put two battery banks in parallel (i.e., connected together) automatically when there is a charging voltage and separately when there is no charging voltage. This means you will always charge both batteries, but you cannot drain your starter battery with loads from your house battery, i.e., lights or a downrigger.  The directional 15 amp Echocharge is perfect for sharing a charging voltage on one battery to another battery. We commonly use this device to recharge a generator battery or engine battery from a house battery.  MSRP is $200.00
Scan Strut Rokk Wireless Smartphone Charger    This is the world’s first 12V/24V wireless waterproof Qi-certified charger.  Qi means “vital energy” and is a global standard like Bluetooth, NFC, USB, and WiFi.  It means that all devices with the Qi logo are compatible with all chargers with the Qi logo.  The ROKK wireless charger is designed for the outdoor environment and can be installed as a flush mount, surface mount, or even hidden from view.  Perfect for the helm, chart table, or even in the stateroom on your bedside table.  MSRP is $120.00
Raymarine Element Series    Raymarine Element HyperVision CHIRP Sonar/GPS is great for the avid fisher, delivering the sharpest view of the water below your boat. Element’s HV 1.2 megahertz sonar technology increases the resolution of DownVision, SideVision, and RealVision 3D allowing you to see structures, vegetation, and fish with amazing life-like clarity. The Element line offers a low cost, 7” version with buttons (no touch screen), which is perfect for smaller boats with charts and a sounder starting at $820.

Furuno DSR4W Wireless Radar     If you aren't ready for a full radar installation or are considering changing boats, the Furuno 1st Watch Wireless Radar might be an option.  You mount the antenna, plug in the power cord and download the app.  It is easy to use and can be accessed by two iOS devices simultaneously. However, be aware that DSR4W cannot be integrated to a chartplotter.  MSRP $ 1,499

Simrad New HALO Radars     Simrad Halo Radar uses solid-state pulse compression technology for superior target resolution up to 72 nautical miles and as close as 6 meters (much closer than traditional pulse radar).  Targets are extremely clear and identifiable.  The Halo also includes dual-range operation allowing your radar to function as two arrays in ones, giving near and distant views of weather cells, boats, and aids to navigation.   MSRP $ 3,600
 FLIR M300 Thermal Cameras   FLIR technology, typically used by military and first responders, is now available for recreational boaters. The new M300 thermal, or multispectral imaging camera, uses enhanced stabilization technology to set a new standard for safe navigation.  These cameras use heat rather than visible light to make low-light, nighttime, and glaring light situations safer.    MSRP $ 11,500

Em-trak B100 AIS Class B Transceiver   The Em-trak B100 AIS Tranceiver Class B transmits and receives all AIS messages in real-time and also comes with stealth mode functionality allowing you to transmit on/off.  It is NMEA 2000 and 0183 compatible and comes with an SD card slot for data logging.  It is the perfect solution for boaters looking to install an AIS transceiver that connects to any MFD.   MSRP $ 570

Espar Airtronic D2 12V Diesel Heating System  A compact and economical two-outlet do-it-yourself heater system, perfect for boats up to 9 meters. These air heaters work independently of the engine.  The Airtronic D2 offers optimized fuel efficiency, a range of operation modes and unsurpassed safety standards.  MSRP $ 2,600
 KVH TracVision TV3 Satellite TV System  This small, powerful marine satellite TV system has a compact 37 cm antenna and a device-friendly user interface. It has advanced inertial-based stabilization search for fast satellite acquisition and supports Ku-band services (Bell TV) and is HDTV compatible.  MSRP $ 4,800

Blue Sea ST Blade Water-Resistant Fuse Block    The BSS 5056 provides water-resistant circuit protection for ATO/ATC fuses and circuit breakers in a compact footprint.  The single side design allows for wire entry from one side to maximize space and works with a wide range of wire sizes.  It includes a spare fuse and fastener storage in the cover.
Blue Sea ATO/ATC Style Low Profile Circuit Breakers    Now you can use a resettable circuit breaker instead of a fuse.  Available in 5A to 30A, the Blue Sea 70XX series is a drop-in replacement for ATO and ATC blade style fuses, allowing you to reset the circuit breaker instead of replacing the fuse manually.  The manual push-button reset complies with ABYC circuit protection requirements.

Stocking Stuffers

Proud Grill Smart Lighter  The Smartignition™ Rechargeable Lighter uses an electric arc to ignite barbecues and campfires. It charges with the included USB cord and gets up to 300 lights per charge. Butane free, flameless, no smell and windproof. This heavy-duty lighter has a long flexible neck and a safety dual switch trigger lock system.  MSRP is $ 20.00    

ACR POB OLAS Tag    This wearable crew tracker detects a break in its virtual tether to the tag within 8 seconds of a tag going missing.  Your cell phone(s) then sounds an alarm and records the lat and long.  Perfect for boating alone, it will send an SMS to your emergency contact.  You can track up to 6 tags with one smart device.  MSRP is $ 110.00 
Aqua Signal Rechargeable Handheld Spotlight    I recently tried this at the Western Marine tradeshow, and it is really bright and super light-weight.  It has a 350 lumens light output and up to a 350-meter beam distance.  It comes with AC & DC charging adaptors and has a 6 hour run time depending on the mode.  There are five modes, high/low/SOS/red rear flashing/off-pivoting along with a collapsible stand for hands-free use.  MSRP is $ 120.00
Hydra Multi-Connection Marine Battery Terminal    Great for dinghies or smaller boats with one battery.  Available in 3-terminal and 5-terminal configurations.  It allows you to easily manage individual connections at the battery, complete with colour-coded wing nuts.  MSRP is $ 30.00

About the author: Jeff Cote is the owner of Pacific Yacht Systems, a full service shop delivering marine electrical and navigation solutions for recreational boats. Visit their website and blog for info and articles on marine electrical systems, projects and more: