Key Marine Electronics Parts for Offshore Boating

Offshore boating offers adventure and opportunities that near-shore boating simply cannot. Fishing, travel, and the simple thrill of the open seas are all available, but offshore boating also carries its share of risks and challenges. The lack of visual reference points, long distance navigation, and the unpredictability of the open ocean all make offshore boating far more difficult. Therefore, having modern electronics onboard is critical for a safe voyage.

Navigation is of course critical when out on the open seas, with nothing but water in every direction around your boat. Marine GPS systems, thankfully, are not reliant on landmarks; by triangulating with satellites in orbit overhead, a functioning GPS system is always able to locate your craft. Chartplotters take GPS data and combine it with databases of electronic navigation charts to help plan the boat’s course. While those two navigate the boat on the surface of the ocean, sounders help watch for what is below. Sounders project sonar pulses from the bottom of the boat’s hull, which bounce off the seafloor or objects on it, and return back to the sounder. Because it already knows how fast the sonic waves travel, the sounder can calculate the distance of objects from the boat’s hull based on how long it takes for the waves to return. This in turn allows the helmsman to know how deep the water actually is, as well as the location of rocks, coral reefs, wrecks, or other things they should be aware of.

Another critical electronic system is radar. Radar has a variety of uses, ranging from navigation and preventing collisions in poor-weather conditions, to spotting birds for fishing and monitoring weather systems. Radar systems on boats come in either dome or open array configurations. Dome, or closed arrays, are good for general navigation and are more compact than an open array. On the other hand, open arrays offer higher performance and are more accurate. Both types place additional structural requirements on a boat, however, as the radar has to be mounted as high up from the waterline as possible for better performance. This means that the boat must have a hard top strong enough to support the radar system’s weight, with different designs being able to support different amounts. Therefore, it is critical to know your boat’s structural limitations while shopping for a radar system.

Lastly is radio equipment. Marine radio systems broadcast in the VHF range of 156 to 174 Mhz. Modern VHF radios have not only transmit and receive capabilities but are also required to have a level of Digital Selective Calling (DSC), to allow a distress signal to be sent with a single button press. Along with summoning rescue services, marine radios are also necessary for communicating with harbors, bridges, and marinas.

At NSN Sourcing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the electronics parts for marine, civil boating, and defense industries. We’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7-365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at +1-720-923-2840.



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