Summertime means long days out on the water, exploring Florida’s spectacular coastline. Whether outfitting the decks with the latest accessories or upgrading to the newest gadgets, we look at some of this season’s must-have items to ensure a smooth trip at sea.
by Katherine Ferrara Johnson
Phone Case and LifeJacket
Water and gadgets do not mix, especially if your mobile phone is your only link to vital course and weather information. You can protect the phone from spray or accidental dunking with LifeProof’s frē waterproof phone case for iPhone5. If your phone goes overboard, keep it afloat with the LifeProof LifeJacket. The molded, closed-cell foam fits snuggly around the waterproof case and provides an extra layer of shock protection for your phone. The LifeJacket comes in bright orange, so it’s easy to spot.
$79.99 for case
$39.99 for LifeJacket
Moisture Barrier Mattress Foundation
Florida’s high humidity and afternoon downpours can leave moisture on interior cabins due to temperature fluctuations. This custom moisture barrier mattress foundation is outfitted with 3/4″ spun polymer bonded to a breathable fabric. The foundation is cut to fit the mattress size and shape, keeping it off the floor and allows air to circulate and remain moisture-free.
$100-$160, depending on mattress size.
This real-time, all-seeing sonar from Garmin is a big hit with fishermen. The Panoptix Sonar features a multi-beam, phased-array transducer, and a continually refreshing display to show what’s swimming around the boat. You can see the bait cast into the water, watch as your reel it in and chase the fish with the lure. Additional options include LiveVu Forward; RealVu 3D for a 3-D model of the bottom.
B&G Vulcan 7 Multi-Touch
The B&G Vulcan is a 7-inch chartplotter built specifically for sailors. The exclusive SailSteer technology allows boaters to view all key sailing data on one handy screen. The technology displays sailing instruments and sensors as well as boat speed, wind data, heading, tide, wind shift sectors and laylines. Vulcan 7 has built-in WiFi to connect to the Internet, or you can mirror your V7 on your smartphone or tablet and view and control (tablet only) the chartplotter from virtually anywhere on your boat.
Pelican ProGear 45QW Elite Wheeled Cooler
Stow away your food and drinks in Pelican ProGear’s popular 45QW Elite Wheeled Cooler. Equipped with 8” heavy-duty wheels and an extended pull handle, this adventure-friendly cooler is perfect for long days on the water for fishing, boating, or hanging at the beach. Made with 2” polyurethane foam core to ensure extreme ice retention, the cooler also features a built-in bottle opener, lid-integrated fish scale, and holds up to 45 U.S. liquid quarts.