More and more consumers and investing in recreational boating, and the numbers are telling: boat statistics show that in 2014, approximately 87.3 million Americans participated in recreational boating in 2014, compared to 67.5 million in 2000. Furthermore, Trade News Today, a daily trade publication in the marine industry, found that boat sales were up 5% in 2016 compared to the previous year. This marks a consistent fire trend that shows no signs of slowing down.
The Boating Craze
There’s a misconception in the boating industry that boating recreationally is a hobby reserved for the rich, but studies have found this to be more a myth. Rich resources like Boat Planet help connect boaters with boating professionals that can help make important purchasing decisions, making boating a more attainable goal than ever.
While higher-income households can certainly afford boats on the luxury end, boating is still much more accessible than people believe. According to The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), 72% of Americans that own boats that have household incomes of less than $100,000. And for those that can afford to purchase a boat of their own, there’s always the opportunity to rent or charter.
Regardless of your income, boating offers adventure unlike many other hobbies and sports. And with a thriving economy, it may be time to take your water experience to the next level. We’ve compiled a list of the best on-water technology to enhance your boating adventure:
1) Aquabotics 8GB Hydroview Underwater Vehicle
Think of this device as an underwater drone. This submissive underwater vehicle allows users to see what’s happening beneath the blue surface, and its Wi-Fi capabilities make it possible to control the device and stream video from its HD camera in real-time. The Aquabotics Hydroview has many use cases, on both the professional and leisure side.
For example, within the water storage tank industry, it’s being used to inspect underwater coatings. From a leisure standpoint, the possibilities are endless. Use it discover underwater sea life, from animals to sea-floor treasures. It also collects data about the water, such as temperature, and is ideal for choosing prime fishing areas.
2) The Barbecue Dining Boat
If you care less about products and more about experiences, The Barbecue Dining Boat is one that definitely delivers. The 24-foot wide fully-equipped barbecue boat holds up to 10 people. The center holds a steel charcoal grill and each place setting has a recessed plate holder, three beverage holders, and a silverware tray. For ultra hot or rainy days, it has a retractable nylon umbrella that covers the span of the boat, and a storage compartments for all your cooking supplies.
3) EasyBreath Mask
One of the best boating activities is jumping in the water and seeing what lies beneath. While we previously explained how the Hydroview can achieve this at greater depths, sometimes there’s marine life you just need to see for yourself. The Easybreath Mask proves that not all snorkels are created equal. This is a full-face snorkeling mask that allows wearers to breathe as naturally underwater as they would on land.
Using valves, chambers, and tubes, it separates inhales from exhales, and because the snorkel portion is positioned above the head (rather than on the side), it juts out higher than most snorkels. Its innovative “dry top stop water system” prevents water from coming in if the head becomes too submerged, merely stopping air flow rather than siphoning water into the mouth.
4) iGills SE-35 Smart Diving System
Going for an underwater dive or a simple scuba trip? If you don’t want to carry around a bulky underwater camera (or are on budget), the iGills SE-35 Smart Diving System turns your smartphone device into a high-tech waterproof piece of tech. It has multiple diving modes and displays statistics about your dive, including ascent rate indication, low time and depth alarms, nitrogen loading tracking over multiple dives, altitude compensation, and several others.
You can navigate to other screens once you’ve put the system together, which allows you to record and perform your usual smartphone functions. It also delivers a content rich diving log that shows records of all previous dives and links to photos and videos you took during that particular dive.
5) Glow to Go
Deep Glow Technologies’ Glow to Go tube is the ideal fishing companion. At 12 volts, this tube features 240 internal green LEDs and plugs directly into a standard lighter receptacle. It can attract marine life from far-off distances, making night fishing a much better and more streamlined experienced. Of course, a well-lit tube also has recreational uses outside of the water and can be used for camping and gathering around for on deck entertainment.
6) Seal 8 Marine Tablet
For those that like their entertainment on board, but would rather not risk getting their tech water-damaged, the Seal 8 Marine Tablet is perfect for you. It has a rugged marinized LED touch-screen with GPS capabilities that work even when WiFi isn’t available. It’s designed to float in the event of an accidental overboard occurence, and can withstand the most extreme temperatures and shocks. It comes equipped with an intuitive Android interface, front and back camera, a fingerprint reader, micro USB & HDMI ports, headphones, and barcode scanner.