To ensure that marine vessels continue to operate at their best, they need to receive proper maintenance with each seasonal change. Each season presents challenges for boat owners; summer can bring heat and humidity, while winter can bring snow, ice, and low temperatures that frequently fall below zero. Cleaning the interior and exterior of the boat, examining for damage, and maintaining marine electronics are all part of preparing your boat for these changes.
Cleaning Marine Electronics for Storage
Cleaning your boat’s rugged electronics is the first step in preparing for short-term or long-term storage. Conventional cleaning products like glass cleaners, harsh soaps, chemical cleaners, and paper towels should not be used as they can damage display coatings.
A solution of bottled water or distilled water (50%), rubbing alcohol (50%), and a microfiber towel should ensure that your electronics are cleaned properly. Don’t forget to turn off all electronics before cleaning.
What else should you avoid when cleaning your rugged marine electronics?
- Avoid using any pressure jet or hose, even if your electronics are water resistant.
- Avoid wiping the screen with a dry towel; this can lead to scratches.
- Do not use vinegar or commercial cleaners as a cleaning agent.
Preparing for Spring and Summer – Boating Season
The boating season typically runs from Spring to late Summer – early Fall; fishing enthusiasts and yachters should prepare their vessels for the season ahead to ensure all electronics, engines, and systems are working as they should.
Your checklist should include:
- Checking the exterior of the boat for any cracks or blisters.
- Inspect the engine and check the oil and filter.
- Replace windshield wipers if needed.
- Inspect antennas, and ensure they are correctly mounted.
- Ensure all electronics are running correctly; this includes GPS, camera systems, chart plotters, computers, and other marine electronics.
- Wipe down display screens to remove any dust or debris from storage.
- Check for any damaged or corroded cables or wires, and replace them if needed.
- Reconnect your battery if you disconnected it during the winter, and check for any corrosion.
- Update software and data for your electronic charts and maps.
- Organize fishing routes.
Preparing for Fall and Winter
During boating season, your boat and electronics like chart plotters, cameras, and trackballs get heavy usage. They are also subjected to numerous environmental factors like sand and salt water. In the Fall and Winter, many fishing enthusiasts store their vessels until the boating season returns.
However, before you can store your boat, it is essential to clean, inspect, and prepare your vessel to avoid surprises in the Spring.
- Clean your marine electronics to remove any salt water residue.
- Disconnect batteries. Placing silica packets near wiring can help absorb moisture.
- Draining water from the engine can prevent damage in case of expansion due to freezing temperatures.
- Don’t forget to fill your tank with gas; empty gas tanks can lead to condensation and corrosion. Adding a fuel stabilizer will help prevent buildup.
- A waterproof cover will help protect your boat from the elements – snow, rain, and debris.
- Boat wrap can provide another layer of protection from rain and snow; when shrink wrapping your boat, be careful of the antennas and radars.
Storing marine electronics for the winter
If you have any marine electronics that can be easily removed, such as those that have been bracket-mounted, remove them and store them at home over the winter, especially if you live in a cold climate.
If you can’t remove your electronics or decide to leave them on board, make sure to back up any information like waypoints and routes.
Featured Rugged Marine Electronics
A little bit of planning and preparation will keep your electronics in their best condition, saving you time and money and allowing you more time on the water to enjoy your boat. That said, it’s essential to know that all electronics are not created equal. Quality marine grade electronics are designed for long-term durability using components and housings that withstand a high tolerance for water, dust, debris, extreme cold, and heat.
Seatronx offers superior rugged electronics with outstanding quality and performance for the most demanding environments using verified and tested technology.
- Ability to operate and store at a wide temperature ranges
- IP-rated technology keeps dust and water from damaging electronics
Commercial Marine Display Series – Ruggedized dependability is required in extreme environments. With the IND commercial marine display, you have complete control over the source selection, dimming, and controls. On 19′′ or 24′′ displays, a heavy-duty mount bracket and AC DC control are standard. Check out the datasheet for more information.
VSRT Series – wide operating temperatures
The Seatronx V-Series is quite simply the most incredible marine display available today. Designed to perfection from the inside and out, the Seatronx V-Series Display features superior picture quality with a clean, sleek design that’ll make even the toughest critic notice. Check out the datasheet for more information.
100% sealed IP68 waterproof sunlight readable screens.
Seatronx’s eXTreme (XT) Series is a ruggedized IP68 all-weatherproof series of displays designed for harsh and demanding environments where extreme protection is critical. Check out the datasheet for more information.
SEA-750L ROUTER – designed to withstand storage temperatures of -20~70°C (-4~158°F)
The MBA-400 Antenna is a 7-cable antenna with 4x LTE, 2x Wi-Fi, and 1x GNSS. With 7 elements, the MBA-400 Antenna. The SEA-750L is a 3G/4G dual-band wireless router widely used for smart mobile and IoT deployments. With a built-in interchangeable mini PCIe cellular 3G/4G data module to support different operators, it can be used worldwide. Check out the datasheet for more information.
SurfVision HD+ – water resistant and can operate in extreme temperatures.
The NEW SURFVISION HD+ powered by Seatronx and Hilton Sat2Nav is the ideal Fishing Camera system, Fishing Mapping center, and Vessel Security system in a tiny DC-powered system. Ideal for both weekend enthusiasts and professional fishermen. Check out the datasheet for more information.
Compact IP68 trackball with scroll wheel – Operating temperature : 0°C to +60°C,
Storage temperature : -25°C to +80°C
The MTSX38 “Scroll&Roll” trackball is the world’s first waterproof trackball with an integrated IP68 scroll wheel. Easy scrolling & rolling throughout your applications, even in the harshest environments. It’s equipped with a watertight 38 mm laser trackball. Check out the datasheet for more information.