It’s Time for a Safety Checkup!

It’s Time for a Safety Checkup!

Spring is a great time to review your boat’s emergency equipment. Take a look below for some handy safety gear lists!

Keep in mind that each boater’s needs might be different, and when in doubt, always err on the side of safety. In addition to these items, always make sure to have all required Coast Guard safety items onboard, such as fire extinguishers, suitable life jackets and flares, and make sure they are in good working order and kept up to date.

Inshore Skiff or Bay Boat:

1) ACR RapidDitch Express Ditch Bag – Keeps all safety gear and emergency supplies (water packs, Chapstick, first aid, noisemaking devices) organized and ready for action.

2) Standard Horizon HX890 Emergency VHF with built– in GPS– Radio communication is one of the first things you may lose if your boat’s batteries are compromised. This radio is waterproof, floats, and even has a strobe that activates automatically in water. Rescue often comes from other nearby boaters and fishermen, so the value of radio communication can’t be overstated. This DSC radio can fire off one-button distress calls that alert all nearby DSC-equipped vessels to your emergency and position. In additional to the built-in rechargeable battery, this radio also includes a Alkaline battery tray that allows it to operate on standard AAA batteries — a great backup.

3) One ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon This personal device broadcasts a 406mHz satellite distress signal to the Coast Guard and a separate homing signal to Search & Rescue agencies. It lets someone know you’re in trouble and helps them find you in the water..

4) ACR 3964 C-Strobe H2O Water Activated Personal Distress LED Strobe is designed to attach to PFDs to improve visibility to rescuers during darkness and inclement weather.

Offshore Center Console or Walkaround:

#1, #2, and a #3, #4 and #5 for each passenger onboard.

5) Cat II ACR Global Fix Pro EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) This manually deployed device alerts Coast Guard and local Search & Rescue agencies to your emergency and GPS position using satellites and Earth stations.

6) Garmin GPSMAP 79sc Handheld GPSLike fixed mount VHF radios, onboard GPS is also likely to go out in a boat filling with water. This floating, waterproof GPS will help you relay your position to nearby vessel coming to your aid. It’s also a great backup in case your boat experiences a non-emergency failure of your primary navigation system.

7) Garmin inReach Mini Marine Bundle about the size of the palm of your hand, this device can notify family friends and the GEOS monitoring system of emergencies. Or you can just report in to friends and contacts that you’re OK.

8) Viking RescYou Coastal six-man liferaft (optional but a good idea)This sturdy raft is designed for use where rescue can be expected within 24 hours. It fits easily into a valise or deck/rail-mounted fiberglass container , yet offers an auto-inflating canopy, automatic strobe and interior lights, stabilizing ballast bags and coastal emergency pack.

Offshore Sportfishing Yacht:

#1, #2, a #3, #4 for each passenger onboard, #7, #8

9) ACR 3971.4 Firefly PRO Waterbug LED Strobethis light easily fits inside an inflatable life jacket or pocket and activates automatically in the water. This SOLAS-approved strobe provides an ultra bright light.

10) Cat I ACR Global Fix iPro EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) This EPIRB is designed to mount on the vessel and float free and activate automatically if the vessel sinks or capsizes. Auto-deploy EPIRBS like this have helped speed rescue to thousands of boaters around the world.

11) Viking RescYou Pro 8 Person LiferaftIf you travel long distances offshore, you should have a life raft designed for the purpose, regardless of its capacity. This heavy-duty raft stores in a valise or canister, yet is designed to handle up to 8 passengers in rough offshore conditions. Features include a self-righting design, double-inflatable floor to prevent hypothermia, ballast system, inflatable boarding ramp, and automatic interior/strobe lighting.

As always, our sales team is available M-F 9am-5pm ET to help you. We welcome you to call us for help putting together a safety package for your boat!

Update Your Garmin Software and Gain Access to New Features!

Q2 2022, April 2022 Garmin Software Update Now Available!

Garmin is constantly working to improve their existing product line through the release of periodic software updates. These updates allow for the support of new accessories, provide new menu features and more.

Software updates are available from Garmin free of charge via, through the ActiveCaptain app on your compatible smartphone, or through the purchase of a pre-programmed software update card shipped from The GPS Store, Inc. Shop the preprogrammed update for Garmin GPSMAP series here. Shop the preprogrammed update for Garmin ECHOMAP series here.

View the list of highlights from the April 2022 software update below, followed by the feature compatibility list.

Chartplotter Voice Control- Use select spoken voice commands to change pages, query the local tide information, ask for the fuel level, control music and more! The Garmin Voice Control Bundle required and sold separately. Click here to shop the Garmin Voice Control Bundle. A compatible headset or speaker is also required and sold separately. Support for additional headsets including AirPods will be added in the June software update.

Power-Pole Anchor Integration- Now control (stow and deploy) your Power-Pole anchor from your compatible display. (C-Monster Gateway from Power-Pole required, sold separately.)

OnDeck System Remote N2K Switching- The Garmin OnDeck Hub now allows for NMEA 2000 and digital switches to be controlled remotely via the ActiveCaptain app.

ActiveCaptain Auto Updates- Never forget a software update again! Enable auto downloads in your account for the app to automatically detect and update your software silently in the background of your app. The April 2022 update also provides new progress indicators on the boat apps page to let users know the progress of the download.

Enable Background File Transfers- ActiveCaptain will now allow file transfers to continue in the background while the app is minimized. This feature is supported by Android and iOS devices.

Garmin User Interface- Allows users to make quick adjustments to a wide range of items without having to change screens.

Mercury Cruise Control- A new overlay bar will appear when the user is connected to a Mercury gateway that supports the Mercury Cruise feature. This will keep your engines at a target RPM that the user sets.

Sailing Features- Adds polar data fields on GNX120/130 and wearables.

Get Outdoors with Garmin inReach Satellite Communicators

Get Outdoors with Garmin inReach Satellite Communicators

As the temperatures rise and the days get longer, you may begin exploring the outdoors. Hiking, fishing and camping are some of the most memorable parts of Spring and Summer. There are several products on the market that help to make sure your time is as carefree as possible. Garmin’s line of inReach satellite communicators provides peace of mind at a reasonable price. No longer limit your travels to areas where you receive good cell service. The inReach satellite communicators allow you to send and receive text messages, trigger SOS and allow friends and family to view your coordinates all with the 100% Iridium global network.

What is inReach technology?

Using the Iridium network with 100% global coverage, you can send and receive text messages with any cell phone number or email address. You may also share your coordinates with friends and family if you desire. In an emergency situation, you may trigger an SOS in order to get help. Garmin inReach technology is built-in to a wide range of Garmin handhelds which all have additional unique features. Additional features may include marine mapping, topo maps, sensors and more.

Who receives my SOS Distress Call:

The Garmin IERCC is a leader in emergency response coordination services and is staffed 24/7/365. All inReach satellite subscriptions include unlimited interactive SOS signals to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center via the 100% global Iridium satellite network. Once your SOS is triggered, your GPS coordinates will be sent to the Garmin IERCC and they will communicate with emergency services or others to provide assistance. The Garmin IERCC is able to stay in touch with you until assistance arrives, or until you no longer require assistance.

How can I see data about my recent trip?

All Garmin inReach devices come with free access to the Garmin Explore website where you can plan your next trip, review coordinates from past trips and link your social media accounts.

Can I view weather forecasts directly on my device?

Optional inReach weather forecasts can provide weather forecasts directly on your inReach device when paired with the Earthmate app.

Can I share my location with friends and family?

If you choose, you can turn the tracking function on to allow friends and family to see your location on their computers or smartphone using the MapShare portal. If you prefer to keep your location private, simply keep this feature turned off.

Subscription Plans

A Garmin inReach subscription plan is required and can be selected through the Garmin Explore website. Freedom (month-to-month), or Annual (1-year contract) plans are available. Read more about InReach plans here.

Which inReach product is right for me?

The handy comparison chart below may help in selecting the right inReach product for your needs. Don’t forget that our sales team has specialized knowledge in our product lines and know the right questions to ask to get you paired with the right unit. Feel free to give us a call toll free at 1-800-477-2611 (M-F, 9am-5pm ET) or email