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NMEA Boater Blog

Best vessel safety devices for 2020

Maintaining safety on your boat requires a diverse checklist. Responsibilities range from making sure all of the mechanical, electronics and electrical equipment are properly installed, wired and free from fuel leaks and potential shorts--to having working emergency devices close at hand such as EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons), PLBs (Personal Locator Beacons) and man-overboard alerts.

Our annual Best & Brightest Boating Electronics rollout includes some newcomers this year in the Vessel Monitoring Devices-Safety Equipment category. In compiling the list of products, we ask manufacturers to tell us which model in 19 categories of electronics they consider to be their best--not necessarily the most advanced or latest but the one than delivers the highest marks overall. That could be their most popular model or the one that has passed the test of time. Categories range from autopilots and radars to fishfinders and communications electronics. Click here to see last week’s rollout of multifunction vessel monitoring devices.

Raymarine DockSense Alert

Similar to the driver-assist capabilities of today’s modern automobiles, the Raymarine DockSense Alert system detects, displays, and alerts the captain to obstacles around the boat using FLIR machine vision camera technology and video analytics. The DockSense Alert system consists of an array of three DockSense stereo vision cameras and a central processor connected to a Raymarine Axiom display or network. DockSense Alert accurately measures distances to the dock, pilings and other moored vessels and provides real-time visual indicators along with a live camera view on Raymarine Axiom multifunction displays. The system also provides audible and visual feedback to alert the captain in real-time to the proximity of objects near the boat. DockSense Alert will be available as a factory-installed option on select 2021 Boston Whaler models in late 2020.

Digital Yacht GPS160

Man overboard (MOB) continues to be an increasing safety concern.  Knowing a pinpoint location of where the casualty went overboard is essential. The GPS160 MOB system connects to any engine-kill device or a dedicated MOB alarm switch.  When activated, it sends a synthesized AIS MOB message on the boat’s NMEA 2000 network to display the casualty’s location on chartplotters and other compatible devices.

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Unichip Marine selects Actisense as NMEA 2000 data partner

Unichip Marine are using their decades of experience in endurance motorsport engine tuning to help leisure boaters enjoy a safer, higher performance boating experience. In creating their Unichip Marine System, their team turned to the experts in NMEA data – Actisense – to help build their state-of-the-art engine control module.


SEVERNA PARK, MD—Manufacturers scored big at the 2020 National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) Business Meeting held on September 26, following the NMEA Virtual Education Week held last week. A total of 19 products received the top award, and the NMEA Manufacturer of the Year was named. "On behalf of the NMEA Board of Directors, staff, and membership, we congratulate all 2020 award winners,” said Mark Reedenauer, NMEA President & Executive Director.

"The member voting count exceeded our expectations. This certainly sends the message to the market that manufacturers have focused on producing top quality products for the boating public, even during a pandemic. NMEA members, installers, and manufacturers have surely kept their eye on the ball.”

Boaters benefit from peace of mind on land and sea with Garmin OnDeck Remote Connectivity Solution

OLATHE, Kan./Sept. 15, 2020/Business Wire – Garmin® International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), the world’s leading marine electronics manufacturer1, today announced its new OnDeck™ System, a remote monitoring and management solution that gives boaters 24/7 access to critical and timely information about their vessel2. When paired with the ActiveCaptain® app, OnDeck keeps users connected to their vessel by monitoring the boat’s battery status, bilge activity, door/hatch sensors, GPS location and more. For extra peace of mind, configurable notifications can even let the user know of changes that may threaten the boat, including if it has moved into or outside of a custom geofenced area. In addition to the GTB 10 OnDeck Hub, the system includes a door sensor, temperature sensor, shore power sensor and relay switch.