Sailing is the ultimate way to get away from it all. Out in your boat, you can relax, disconnect, and enjoy nature and the open water. While it may seem counter-intuitive, there are some amazing technological advancements that will help you get there. Using new tech gadgets designed for sailing can make your trip easier, safer and more fun. Check these out:
DigiMed also won a 2015 Pittman Award and is one tech gadget that could literally be a lifesaver. The DigiMed kit is a tablet and camera system that will connect an injured crew member in a remote location to medical experts at George Washington University’s Maritime Medical Access program.
Granted, the iPad is not a new sailing innovation, but it can be when used in combination with some of the latest navigation apps. With apps like iNavX and Garmin BlueChart mobile, many sailors are relying on their smartphones and tablets for navigation. Explore the plethora of other sailing apps like MarineCast or Marine Weather for weather or AyeTides or Tides & Currents for tides to make your tablet into an even more powerful sailing gadget.
Ocean Signal rescueMe MOB 1
If you fall overboard, this is the gadget you want on hand. This MOB (or Man OverBoard device) sends an AIS signal to vessels in a five-mile range to alert rescue teams when activated. The MOB 1 is 30 percent smaller than other MOBs, is designed to clip to an inflatable life vest and will activate when the vest is inflated.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having to deal with a lost wallet while you’re exploring the world. LifeLock Wallet is a digital app that keeps track of all your credit cards, your ID and other important documents all in a secure cloud, available right from your smartphone. Having a hard copy of your cards is never a bad idea, but it sure is nice to have a backup plan if your wallet is lost, stolen, or if it accidentally ends up overboard.
Icom M25 Handheld Radio
If you or a crew member take excursions during your trip, the Icom M25 is a good light-weight VHF radio to bring along for communication. Not only is this radio waterproof, but it will flash a red LED light if dropped into the water.
Goal Zero Guardian
If you don’t already have a permanent solar panel set up, you can start small with the Goal Zero. The Goal Zero is a collapsible solar panel that is easy to store on a small boat. These solar panels will allow you to maintain charge while you are disconnected from shore power.
While not an electronic gadget, this inflatable kayak is still a pretty cool addition to any sailing trip. The K1 from Feathercraft folds up small enough to fit into a backpack to be easily stored until you are ready to explore off boat, yet is sturdy enough for long excursions.
Garmin Quatix Watch
A 2014 Pittman Award winner, Practical Sailor called the Quatix “not your ordinary sailing watch.” Among other features, the waterproof watch includes a sensitive GPS, a three-axis compass, altimeter/barometer, temperature sensor and wireless capabilities. You can connect your Quatix with other Garmin devices and use the watch as a MOB or to control autopilot, as well as a host of other functions.