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All Geared Up

Accessory manufacturers have come up with a bounty of options to make your time on the water even more enjoyable.

The shows may have hit pause this year, but manufacturers have been busy, still rolling out their new products. We've found some great ones making their debut. Let's take a look.

Webasto Breeze

Webasto Breeze

Outdoor air conditioning is the height of luxury, but it's not just for hot weather. A reverse cycle function on the Webasto Breeze blows warm air when temperatures dip.

Offering 30,000 BTUs of fresh cooling air, Breeze by Webasto 2.0 is designed specifically to cool the cockpit of open boats. Available on many new Volvo Penta sterndrive-powered boats from Cobalt, Four Winns, and Nautique, it can be retrofitted to many MerCruiser and other sterndrive-powered boats. The compressor is driven by the engine instead of electricity, so no generator is required. Plus, you can extend the cruising season merely by flipping a switch so that the unit blows hot air instead of cold. Starts at $4,995 |

Veratron LinkUp

Veratron LinkUp

Veratron's range of sensors allows critical data to be displayed on a multifunction device.

When it comes to displaying systems info, many of us are stuck with analog gauges. But what if there was a way to easily view information on the MFD and free up dashboard real estate? Check out the Veratron LinkUp range of modules. Each module converts analog signals to NMEA2000 sentences allowing data to be read on any compatible MFD. While other similar systems require a somewhat convoluted setup via a PC, the Veratron range can be set up wirelessly with a free, simple-to-use smartphone app. Starts at $99 |

Veratron LinkUp Gateways

Mercury 1st Mate

A crewmember falling overboard is every skipper's nightmare. Mercury can put your mind at ease. The new 1st Mate Safety and Security System is three systems in one and compatible with all SmartCraft-capable engines. Thanks to the wearable fob, an alarm will sound and guide the skipper back to a person in the water. Second, if the person is not retrieved within a set time, a distress message is sent via a smartphone app giving the exact GPS coordinates to emergency contacts ashore. The icing on the cake is theft deterrent; the engines can only be started if they detect the wearable device or are unlocked via the 1st Mate app. $571.41 with additional fobs costing $120.95 |

Garmin quatix

Garmin quatix solar watches

Modern watches have become so smart that telling the time is almost a secondary function. The quatix 6x solar watch has a 1.4-inch display that will run for up to 24 days before it needs recharging — plenty of time for even the longest boating trips. What makes this watch unique is its ability to pair with Garmin electronics onboard and act as a mini repeater. The watch supports BlueChart g3 charts, so it can be used as a backup navigation tool. It can also be paired with an autopilot to control the boat from anywhere onboard. When you arrive at your destination, relax and pull up your favorite tunes: It can store 2,000 songs. Other functions include heart rate and blood/oxygen monitor, and, thanks to Garmin Pay, a contactless payment solution, it's easy to make purchases on the go with only the watch. $1,149.99 |

Garmin: Introducing the quatix 6 series

XLR8 Wake Shaper

XLR8 Wake Shaper

No wakeboat, no problem! An XLR8 turns almost any inboard-powered boat into a surfing machine.

Want to give wakesurfing a try but don't have a dedicated wakeboat? The XLR8 Wake Shaper from Tidal Wake fits almost any inboard or V-drive powered boat. (It's unsuitable for inboard/outboards and outboards due to the possibility of the rider contacting the props.) It attaches to the hull in seconds with a strong suction cup and can be moved or removed just as quickly. There's a safety lanyard for added security, plus it floats, so it should prove hard to lose. The Wake Shaper comes in three colors — red, black, blue — and comes with a handy storage bag. $199 |

Experience Tidal Wake XLR8


lifestyle gear


Mark Corke

Contributing Editor, BoatUS Magazine

A marine surveyor and holder of RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certification, BoatUS Magazine contributing editor Mark Corke is one of our DIY gurus, creating easy-to-follow how-to articles and videos. Mark has built five boats himself (both power and sail), has been an experienced editor at several top boating magazines (including former associate editor of BoatUS Magazine), worked for the BBC, written four DIY books, skippered two round-the-world yachts, and holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest there-and-back crossing of the English Channel — in a kayak! He and his wife have a Grand Banks 32.