If you’re preparing for a long journey in your boat or just a quick trip around the harbour, it’s always wise to give your boat electronics a regular checkup. Here are some tips to perform a basic boat electronics inspection.
Ensure your GPS is accurate by verifying it at well-known locations. Carry out distance and directional checks to previously identified points. Bring up the GPS status page on your device – this shows a strong and accurate signal. It also keeps an eye on the amount of satellites your device is receiving, a good gauge of how well it is performing.
Depth and Fish Finder
Confirm the normal functioning of your depth instrument by examining shallow- and deepwater readings in known places. Take note of bottom contours, formation, and fish presence. Ensure that the transducer surface is free from any marine growth build-up.
Perform radio checks on-air. National and international organizations are in place to lend aid to ships in need of assistance. Adhering to radio protocols and procedures helps ensure that these systems function efficiently.
Ensure that your autopilot is always on course, adhering to your steering commands and GPS waypoint instructions. Monitor the heading reading of your pilot and compare it to the GPS readings during the journey. If you notice a discrepancy, you can easily calibrate your autopilot by following the procedure described in the owner’s manual or online.
Check the clarity and detail of short and long-range radar targets. As you leave the marina or anchorage, take a look at the shoreline – does it look as sharp as ever? Point your boat at a buoy or other object and observe if it appears right in front of you or off to the side. If it seems to be off, consult your manual on how to tweak the radar’s orientation.
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