Whether your boat hits the waves year-round or only during the summer months, tech can help make the most of your time on the water.
Geek Squad Autotech leads Alex Perez in Florida City, Florida, and Blake Jacobsen in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, install marine gadgets in all types of boats, albeit for very different waters. They’ve worked on everything from cruisers and fishing boats to jet skis and catamarans.
We turned to them to learn more about the latest boat tech.
For many, a great day on the water isn’t complete without some great tunes — and you don’t need a spiffy new boat to get them. There are a lot of audio options available.
Standard marine radios have amplifiers built into the radio. But those standard radios can only power up to four speakers, so you need an amplifier to expand beyond that.
An amplifier gives cleaner power when you’re on the lake, so you can hear your music above the noise of the engine and wind. There are also subwoofers that are mostly dedicated to playing the bass, like in your home theater system.
“And when you’re wakeboarding, water skiing or tubing on the lakes, tower speakers can be installed to carry sound outward, so riders trailing behind boats can hear the music, too,” Blake said.
Alex, whose store is located just 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, talks to lots of boaters who are looking for Bluetooth capabilities to play music from a distance. That’s especially true for Floridians meeting friends and family at the sandbar or boaters hanging out on docks away from their boats.
For those who venture into deeper waters, chart plotters and GPS systems can be crucial for navigation above and below the water’s surface to calculate water depths, locate hidden islands and even navigate reefs.
“Here in the Florida Keys, the depths of the water near shore or sandbars vary widely. You could be in water ranging from 1-foot to 15-feet deep,” Alex said. “Chart plotters are basically water maps, so you can locate exactly where those sandbars or grounds are from your boat.”
Additionally, fish finders use sonar to help locate the catch of the day. And spotlights can be mounted to boats or wired in with speakers to add to your moonlight cruises.
To learn more about tech for your boat, stop by your local Best Buy store or visit BestBuy.com.