Why you should have GPS Navigation on your Boat

Mariners have navigated the waterways of the world for centuries without the use of GPS navigation. However, since its invention, GPS navigation systems have made boating much safer and more efficient. Here are some valid reasons to have a GPS on your boat, whether you're strictly a pleasure-cruiser, a fisherman, or boating is your livelihood.

1. GPS navigation is safer. When you have a GPS aboard your boat, you can mark important locations (waypoints) and navigate back to them no matter where you are. This comes in handy on lakes like Lake Michigan where fog and poor weather roll in quickly and visibility is poor. On larger bodies of water where it's easy to get turned around, GPS can safely guide you in the right direction, even if you get lost.

2. It's easy for others to find you in an emergency. Since GPS uses orbiting satellites to pinpoint your location in latitude and longitude, should you get stranded on the lake or ocean, you are able to convey your exact location within just a few feet so rescue can find you easily. This is an invaluable feature should your boat experience engine failure or you begin taking on water and need help quickly.

3.  GPS can act as a security device. Theft is a problem in marinas where boats stay in the water for months at a time. If your boat is equipped with a GPS navigation system, it might have a feature that allows you to track its whereabouts and alert you via text or phone call if the boat moves from its dock without your knowledge. Just like a home security system, this feature must be armed and disarmed each time you leave the boat or return for a trip out of the harbor.

While boaters have safely navigated bodies of water without GPS in the past, there's no denying it has become a very important tool today. There are several different models to choose from including handheld, portable devices and permanent, hard-installed versions, so there's something for every boater's needs.