Cost: $2,000 and up
Certain devices make us realize that we’re living in the future. There may be a distinct lack of jetpacks around, but other Buck Rogers-style items have come into their own.
Take electronic monitoring systems, which we discussed extensively in our June issue (see “Customizable Monitoring”). With one of these on your boat, you can turn on and off every light, check your bilges, activate your radar, initiate a fuel transfer, and do just about any other conceivable task that runs on either your A.C. or D.C. circuits. These systems are new; they’ve only begun showing up on new boats, but they are the wave of the future. Different manufacturers such as Krill (pictured) allow for varying levels of customization.
Installing an electronic monitoring system is not a do-it-yourself project. The installation of the unit requires the services of a professional and wiring and fitting all the necessary sensors isn’t something most of us would want to do on our own. But when the pro gets all the mindboggling complexity sorted out, you’re left with one of the simplest-to-operate setups you can imagine: a streamlined, clear interface that is customized to your boat.
On some higher-end systems, you don’t have to rely on interface panels that are fixed to the boat. From the click of your smartphone, you can perform all the tasks noted above working through the Wifi system on your vessel. And there’s even talk of making these systems accessible over your cellphone’s network, so you’ll be able to do things like check security cameras, know if a bilge pump isn’t working, or see if a light was left on using your smartphone as your display screen from hundreds of miles away. How’s that for a device that can once and for all eliminate worrying about the condition of your boat?
Cost: $299 and up
If you regularly boat in places that are hot with a capital “h,” exterior misters are a great option, which is why they’re so common on high-end sportfishing boats. Much like the versions you see in the produce section of your grocery store, the nautical models are based on the theory of evaporative cooling. Just splice a connector into your onboard water source and liquid will be routed to a series of nozzles, which you can attach to your hardtop or cockpit overhang. The resulting mist is expelled at a rate of around one gallon per hour, so the system shouldn’t materially affect your boat’s water capacity. And because the droplets released by the nozzles are so tiny, they instantly evaporate, which cools the surrounding air by some 20 or 30 degrees. Best of all, depending on where you want to place your misters, installation can be totally DIY. Companies like Misters Unlimited and Boat Misters (right) offer a variety of options—from models that clip right on to your bimini (below left) to stainless steel, “no tools” versions that be installed above a favorite sunpad. Prices begin around $299 for smaller, biminifriendly models.
This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.