What good is all the fancy electronics you spent a fortune on, if they don't work? Sometimes, as is often the case in many things in life, simple is the solution. Continuing on the previous blog, here's a continuation on tips for keeping your equipment functioning.
Pull the plug! Just like your computer, when your GPS/chart plotter, fish finder, radar or other gear locks up or fails to respond to the controls, sometimes disconnecting the power cable or switching off the set’s circuit breaker and reapplying power can restore normal operation.
In extreme cases, when all else fails, you can perform a “master reset.” Follow the instructions in the owner’s manual for the unit. Be advised that this is a last-resort procedure. A master reset can also delete all your waypoints, routes and custom settings.
Quick tip: Regularly back up your waypoints and other entered data on a blank data card (refer to the unit’s owner’s manual for instructions on how to back up your waypoint list and other valuable data).
Be sure you know the location of every fuse for every electronics instrument you have. And keep an adequate supply of each fuse size on board.
Consider installing a second VHF radio and GPS/chart plotter. With a modest investment you can have independent redundancy for these essential instruments.
Keep a handheld VHF and GPS as part of your electronics lineup. Basic models are very affordable, serve as portable second stations and stand ready to go with you if you ever have to leave your boat in an emergency.
The bonus is that the radio and GPS are already connected internally, so the set’s DSC emergency button is ready for use as soon as you obtain, register and enter your personal Mobile Maritime Service Identity (MMSI) number These sets are waterproof and floatable and will operate even in the event you find yourself in the water.
Always keep fresh batteries for every portable device you carry on board. And, if you don’t already have one, install a 12-volt cigarette lighter outlet to charge all of your handheld devices that have rechargeable batteries.