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Awesome Boat Upgrades

Sometimes it's the little things that can make your boating life just that much more enjoyable.

Sirius XM Weather on a Screen

Whatever The Weather

There are lots of places to get weather info before heading out for a day on the water. But one of the most useful to boaters has to be from the SiriusXM Marine Weather. Because this is a satellite-based service, it works even in places where there's no VHF or cellphone coverage, so you'll never be left wondering what the weather is doing even when far offshore.

You'll need a special receiver that connects to your multifunction display and a subscription to SiriusXM Weather, but then you'll be able to overlay a plethora of information including lightning alerts, sea-surface temperature, buoy data, wave height, and wind speed on your electronic chart.

$12.99 – $54.99 per month depending on coverage area | SirusXM.com

SiriusXM offers BoatUS Members a free two-month trial | SirusXM.com/BoatUS

Tapplock Smart Lock

A Lock To Love

There's a lot of equipment on the average boat that's all too easy to steal — paddleboards, outboards, coolers, fishing gear — the list goes on. One of the easiest ways to prevent theft is to lock up your stuff. But keeping track of multiple keys or combinations is a pain. With a Tapplock One+ smartlock, however, you can unlock your stuff in a second with just the touch of your finger.

The smart fingerprint padlock is waterproof and boasts a 7mm reinforced stainless-steel shackle strengthened by double-layered lock design with anti-shim and anti-pry technologies. It will store up to 500 fingerprints.

The lock is rechargeable, and the manufacturer claims it will hold its charge for one year or up to 3,500 unlock sequences. Available in three finishes.

$99 | Tapplock.com

Lowrance Link-9 VHF Radio for Boat

Loud & Clear

A VHF radio is one of the best safety items you can have onboard. The Lowrance Link-9 allows you to communicate with marinas, bridges, and other boats; get weather information; and probably the most essential feature, send a distress message in an emergency. It also features an AIS receiver to monitor the speed and position of nearby vessels. The very cool and innovative man overboard (MOB) function drops a waypoint in the current location and provides distance and steering instructions back to a person in the water. The waypoint is also transmitted over NMEA2000 to the rest of the network.

Depending on the mounting location, the microphone can be attached to the front or rear of the unit, but add an extension cord (sold separately) and the microphone can be remotely mounted, saving cable clutter in some situations.

$499 | Lowrance.com

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lifestyle gear

Mark Corke

A marine surveyor, and holder of RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certification, Mark has built five boats himself — power and sail. He was senior editor of Sail magazine's hands-on "Boatworks" publication, 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.