Boat Systems Upgrades stretch your boating budget while improving your comfort, confidence and convenience
At Marine Special Products Group, we’ve coined a term for the collection of symptoms one displays after an extended period away from boating: Amarinus Extremus. Unchecked, it can become serious but there is a simple remedy: envisioning yourself and your family on your boat!
What better way to think about your boat than to consider one of our favorite topics: marine system upgrades. Our team has amassed decades of knowledge and expertise in helping boaters conceive, design and then implement upgrades to their marine sanitation, boat heat or AC and marine electronics systems which enhance their overall boating comfort, confidence and convenience. Following are some ideas for you to ruminate on so as to stave off that dreaded Amarinus Extremus.
Marine sanitation – most boaters and their crews complain about the state of their marine sanitation systems and with good reason: they tend to stink and rectifying matters can be a dirty job. However, we’ve been working with heads, holding tanks and marine plumbing for years. Here are a few system upgrade ideas that can turn your head into a source of pride and joy (or at least usable without a gas mask).
Hose Maintenance – often times, the odors you experience within your head system emanate from aging, failing or misconnected hoses. This is the first place we look when trying to run down odor sources. Hoses should be designed specifically for effluent (we often see fuel hoses in sanitation systems!) and have the longest permeation warranty available. The type we most recommend is made from EPDM synthetic rubber which lasts the longest and remains resistant to odor permeation. Connections are another critical element; too often we see hoses installed over pipe nipples or ground-down PVC as opposed to system-appropriate pipe-to-hose adapters.
Tank level sensors – many salty captains “just know when their tanks are full”; they can tell from a knuckle-rap to the tank top. There are more accurate methods which can spell the difference between a comfortable cross-Sound sail and an environmental or legal disaster. There are several options for measuring tank levels, ranging from simple internal float gauge to sophisticated ultrasonic capacitance or sonar internal probes. There are also various sensors designed to be mounted on the tank’s exterior with remote readouts for ease and convenience.
VacuFlush Systems – the ultimate upgrade; this marine sanitation system uses stored vacuum energy to clear the bowl instantly and propel waste into the holding tank. The result is no odor, no clogs, low power draw and exceptionally low water consumption in this fresh water-based system (about one pint per flush). We’ve found that once a boat owner makes the leap to a vacuum-based sanitation system, there is no going back.
Boat heating and AC – when underway, cabin temperatures are rarely of utmost concern for captain and crew. However, at anchor, on a ball or in the marina – being comfortable becomes important any time of the year. There are upgrades you can consider to provide better control of your boat temperature, air quality and extend your season with pleasant, summer-like temperatures below deck even during the colder months.
Marine-specific heating systems – the weather at sea changes more quickly than just about anywhere else. It can also be a punishing. This is why you need a responsive system built for a dynamic and demanding environment. We can install innovative, high-quality air and water heating systems that create comfort on board. Different applications and uses require different solutions; we have a number of options available.
- Air heaters quickly deliver warm air throughout the boat via a duct system. They are very compact and easy to retrofit.
- Water systems are best for an even distribution of warmth, similar to the systems in many homes. They can also be connected to domestic boilers and A/C chillers to provide complete climate control solutions.
Cabin control upgrades – replacing difficult to operate cabin controls and displays provides much easier operation and control of your air conditioning or heating systems. Additional features are frequently available, including humidity control, dimmable displays, enhanced blower and temperature control.
Duct cleaning and air filtration – do you sense a musty or stale odor upon opening your boat during your weekend visits? Sure, it becomes bearable once the boat is open but the contaminants are still there. Having your ducts cleaned is one way to eliminate the foul air, installing a Breath Easy in-duct air purifier is another. We have experience with both approaches.
Quieter, more efficient AC – self-contained boat air conditioning with remarkable innovations in system design now provide much quieter and more efficient operation. Vibration-isolation mounts on smaller footprint systems deliver significantly quieter, virtually vibration-free performance. Rust-free, molded composite drain pans have three drains for quicker removal of condensate water. Enclosed blower motors eliminate overhang for reduced depth, enhanced performance and much quieter operation.
Marine electronics – the unwavering forward march of technology is especially pronounced in the realm of boat electronics. Smartphone, tablet and app integration, gee-whiz developments in radar and sounders and improvements to satellite TV, phone and internet all provide opportunities for boaters to enhance their overall experience.
Smartphone or tablet integration – most major marine electronics providers, like Furuno, Garmin, Lowrance, Raymarine and Simrad, have developed product integration for smartphones or tablets. These integrations allow boaters greater flexibility and utility in remote monitoring, remote systems control and off-boat system interaction, including trip planning. Factor in some of the apps that are available, providing everything from navigation support to anchor-drag alarms to 2-stroke fuel ratio calculations, and you will soon discover how essential your iDevice is to a better boating experience.
Satellite TV/phone/internet – while the connectivity of satellite phone and internet provides communication and navigation utility; the entertainment value of satellite TV can take the dull out of doldrums. And it no longer has to cost $20 grand to get it up and running. If you have satellite TV at home, you can take a mobile receiver to your boat and, with the right antenna and electrical hookup, be watching Gilligan’s Island far from any island.
Improved fish-finding ability – if you’re an angler, there is one upgrade which is essential if you want to keep up with the Joneses: Garmin’s Panoptix sounder. Featuring neon colors and a dramatically undulating seafloor, the phased-array technology in this system had previously been an option only for military and commercial usage. It allows anglers to see ahead and around their boat and marks fish clusters suspended at precise depths.
These are just a few of the boat systems upgrades you can consider to keep your mind on the briny. Contact us here at Marine Special Products Group to discuss your needs and hear our thoughts and recommendations. Also, keep in mind that during these cold winter months when Amarinus Extremus is at its height, we’re also very keen to fill our days thinking about (and working on!) boats so we’re ready to deal. Ask us about our off-season rates.