Does the idea of being able to monitor your boat’s systems remotely via your smartphone or tablet sound interesting? How about one-button selection for all commonly used daytime electrical gear and another that would turn on all of the equipment used during nighttime operation — would that put a smile on your face? This functionality represents just several of the many capabilities available on a new generation of boats employing digital switching for their electrical systems.
No corner of the marine market has benefitted more from advancements in electronics than fishermen. The desire for better fishfinding technology has in many ways driven the rapid evolution of electronics for all boaters. Fifty-something anglers, such as myself, have witnessed a parade of “breakthroughs,” beginning with simple electronic flashers, then paper graphs, monochrome CRT echosounders, color CRTs and finally high-definition color LCDs.
The big boatbuilders — Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, Tiara, Pursuit and Viking, to name a few — rolled out some impressive new models. But smaller builders — such as MJM, Everglades and Regulator — also had a lot to offer. We shine the spotlight on boats from 22 to 92 feet with power ranging from 250 to 5,200 hp.
Let’s say you’re in the market for a used powerboat. It might be a center console, a dual console or a walkaround from the 1970s or ’80s. Many builders back then used plenty of wood to core the stringers and transoms of their boats, so you’ll want to find out if the cored material is wet, which compromises the structural integrity of the hull.
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