Sunday, June 19, 2005

Boating Goes Hi-Tech on Father's Day

Boating goes hi-tech for Father's Day Reported by: Michael O'Mara POSTED: Sunday, June 19, 2005 12:03:40 PM UPDATED: Sunday, June 19, 2005 3:34:55 PM CLEVELAND -- When you were growing up, if your dad took you fishing, your thermos was probably the best example of high tech gear on your boat. Video: Hi-tech equipment on boats That sure isn’t the case anymore. Computer technology has moved onboard dad’s boat in a big way. A word of warning, with Father’s Day Sunday, you may have to take dad shopping today. George Bockelman has been trolling the waters of Lake Erie for the last forty years. But these days when he casts off the dock lines and heads out from the marina, he joins a growing number of boaters and fisherman who have gone high tech. Bockelman’s 26-foot Sea Ray has the new RayMarine E Series with monitors, GPS, chart plotter, a radar display and highly readable fish finder-depth sounder, all bundled into one easy to read machine. All that data is available on one screen or separate pages. He also even has a camera attached to a downrigger so he can watch the fish hit his lure. “It’s definitely peace of mind when you get out there with this stuff and knowing that you can just press a couple buttons and on your way back in and you’re going to make it with no problem,” said Bockelman, fisherman. But before heading for the boat, the smart sailor will check the Channel 3 website for the latest weather and radar. But now, there’s also new wave of gear that can provide weather data even when you’re miles away in the middle of Lake Erie or the middle of the ocean. Garmin has teamed up with XM Radio and now offers satellite weather maps with their top end chart plotters. Imagine being able to see that the storm has passed you by because you’re looking at National Weather Service radar while you’re on your boat. The Weather Channel Marine has this product available for laptops and all you need, the antenna and the decoder box. From national weather maps to current storm tracking, it’s all there 24-7 at the dock or in the middle of the lake. The products have so much more to offer now and it’s not just for the big boats or the freighters. Meanwhile, George Bockelman is heading out for another run at the walleye on Lake Erie. With all that high tech gear, you can understand why his boat is named Euphoria. All that new gear won’t necessarily make your dad a better fisherman. But it will help keep him a whole lot safer while he’s out there. And isn’t that what’s really important?

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