Expert Take: Looking for Electronics
See it all now.
Electronics shopping is the excitement of the latest technology made real for some, a minefield of moving expectations for others. But make no mistake, the boat show is the electronics shopper’s best friend. There’s nowhere else one can see all the brands—repeat, all—without someone else’s filter getting in between.
“Visit all the manufacturers and get a little taste of the latest and greatest,” suggests Jim Bakatselos, CFO of Electronics Unlimited, a Ft. Lauderdale dealer and installer. “Then seek out an NMEA-certified dealer who’s going to tell you how to apply the electronics to how you use the boat.” Having your own sense of each brand’s offerings, its goals, and its plan to get there lets you think about them. After all, that installer isn’t going to be using the system, you are.
But that installer can guide you with his experience with other setups: “A lot of it has to do with what you plan on doing with your boat,” Bakatselos says. “Certain equipment will work better.” Many installers deal in multiple brands and they have seen what works.
Some installers add something else: National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) certification. Read the fine print when you buy—a certified installer may mean additional warranty protection.