Are you ready to have the time of your life this summer? Of course you are! We here at Houseboat magazine searched high and low for products for your must-have list. Here are our top picks for safety, ease of use and for fun that you and your family are sure to enjoy!
Dockmate Wireless Docking System
Dockmate offers an unparalleled number of accessories and, consequently, offers an unprecedented amount of customization for users. With an entire selection of remotes and compatible engines, thrusters, anchors, and horns, any houseboat user can easily operate the boat’s controls from anywhere on board with an extension that fits in your pocket and has an enhanced range of 150 feet and a one-year battery life. The remote offers visual and audible confirmation to the user on the receiver’s status. Each Dockmate system includes a rugged wireless, handheld transmitter with an easy-grip rubber finish, lanyard and wireless charger.
“Ideal for houseboats,” Dockmate U.S. Spokesperson Brian Sheehan says. “Dockmate offers plug-and-play connectivity with common engine and thrusters controls to our wireless remote control system that allows the boater to remain in complete control of a boat’s movement while away from the helm, where visibility is oftentimes very limited. This product relieves the stress from typical docking maneuvers in tight quarters and it opens up the possibility of docking a houseboat single handedly if ever necessary.”
Also included is a plug-and-play receiver which is compatible with most brands of engines and thrusters. The Dockmate wireless remotes can either mimic a compatible accessory’s response time and feel or be customized to meet the specific needs and preferences of individual boaters. Installers can make adjustments to the throttle to meet challenging docking conditions such as high winds or strong currents using the remote’s included software. The Dockmate’s wireless remote control system (starting at around $6,800) is available in four models: Single, Twin, Twist 3-axis joystick with proportional control and Twist IPS for POD drives. (www.dockmate.us)
FUSION ARX Wireless Remote Control
The FUSION ARX70 remote control is new, easy to install, and will give its users freedom to control their FUSION ANT-enabled marine entertainment system from anywhere on the houseboat. The ARX70’s compact, low-profile design as well as the IPX7 water-resistant design allows it to be conveniently installed without cutting holes, running wires, or using tools. Simply place, pair and play. FUSION’s multi-zone technology within its stereos allows users to create multiple independent audio zones, on the same vessel.
“Small but mighty,” FUSION Entertainment Managing Director Chris Bair states. “The new FUSION ARX70 wireless remote is extremely versatile, cost effective and makes listening to your favorite entertainment more convenient than ever before.”
The ARX70 remote is waterproof, can interface with compatible FUSION stereos, and act as a media controller for a single zone at one time, with the ability to cycle through all independent audio zones for global control. Multiple ARX70 remotes can be installed across the boat with one or more in each zone giving more control options on board than ever before. Available in white or black with a retail price of $59.99, these remotes will be a game-changer in any FUSION ANT-enabled system. (www.fusionentertainment.com)
GOST Security Cameras
Ensuring the safety of yourself and your belongings is money well spent. Luckily, Global Ocean Security Technologies (GOST) has added the GOST Mini Ball and Mini Dome to their GOST security camera lineup to bring you and your houseboat peace of mind. The new high-definition GOST Mini Ball 1080P measures to a compact 2.4 inches in diameter and features a two-mega pixel resolution.
“Our cameras, “GOST Chief Technology Officer Krian Kane says, “and complementary live streaming video and storage systems have been responsible for hundreds of captured photos and videos used to document on board events, provide awareness of a vessel’s status and solve major police investigations. It’s the perfect way to protect your houseboat.”
The GOST Mini Dome PTZ 1080P starts at $499 and includes all-new pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) features. Other features include a 4x optical zoom lens as well as a high performance sensor. This PTZ camera measures to 4.8 inches in diameter, making it one of the most compact PTZ cameras on the market. The attractive white housing surrounding these cameras will also complement any houseboat design. Along with being water-resistant and tamper-proof, the entire GOST lineup are all 1080P, including the GOST Xtreme Mini Dome 1080P and the GOST Mini Dome LED 1080P. State-of-the-art LED technology provides GOST cameras day and night function with clear images. An on-screen display menu will also allow the user to adjust camera settings with their mobile device using the GOST Watch HD XVR app. (www.gostglobal.com)
The daily hose-down can be a chore, but the HoseCoil PRO series is here to help. With the same self-coiling function as the Standard Series, PRO lines add a 30 percent flow increase. The 4.75-inch diameter coil and recently incorporated dual strain relief allow more ease for handling and reduced kinking on the end of the hose.
“The improved flow rate,” Ocean Equipment President and Owner Rob Walsh explained, “of the larger diameter HoseCoil PRO matches the output of other high flow rate pumps on the market, but with the quality and durability HoseCoil is known for.”
All HoseCoil products, including the PRO series, are made with high-performance polyether material made to withstand UV and saltwater exposure. And the three-quarter-inch hose fitting is a popular garden style made with fine brass alloy. The HoseCoil PRO series is available in 15-foot ($29.99), 20-foot ($39.99) and 25-foot ($49.99) lengths. (www.hosecoil.com)
One of the hottest products for houseboaters everywhere are the latest water-mats. Whether you’re interest is floating or being towed around, the float from iFloats is up for anything. You won’t need to worry about the product’s durability either. iFloat has developed a proprietary High Tensile Strength .012 Rip-Stop Core for the center of their floats; making them the only company to do so and also making their floats completely towable.
“Our competition,” iFloats Founder and CEO Sean McDonald said, “makes disposable floats while our float was engineered to last.”
The product also includes stainless steel D-Rings on either side of the float to make sure the rings won’t pull out, as well as a bungee tether and stainless steel hooks to secure the float to a dock, anchor or boat. Mats are available in lengths ranging from 10 to a whopping 100 feet. Now that’s a lot of summer fun!
The iSki accessory is also available to be used in conjunction with the iFloats, which “make the iFloat the only towable float up to 100 feet long on the market today,” according to McDonald. These floats are available in three color combinations: pink and blue, red and yellow and red, white and blue.
Plus there is no need to roll it up when moving from one place to another. You can simply tow or ski iFloats with your boat or PWC to your next location with the iSki accessory. iFloat prices range from $350 to $3,835 depending on the length. (www.ifloats.com)
Harman Kappa Speaker
High-performance sound is the expectation for any consumer in today’s market. Look no further than the Infinity by Harman Kappa 8-inch three-way speaker. It’s engineered acoustics bring a new flavor to the marine world. On a typical houseboat, most speakers including your mid- to high-frequencies, are beneath ear level. With this design, it’s easy to lose a lot of the sound. This is why most car engines will place their high- to mid-frequency speakers above the dash and closer to ear level and keep the bass speakers on the lower part of the car door – allowing a richer sound. Well why not do the same thing with marine audio?
This was the goal Infinity by Harman had in mind when they engineered this product. This speaker has a unique 3.5-inch mid-tweeter that can be removed and relocated at ear level on your houseboat – keeping the bass low, mid- to high-frequencies high, and giving you a full auditory experience. A replica pod can then fill the 3.5-inch space in the 8-inch speaker and return it to the original look. In addition to the acoustics, the speaker is equipped with two forms of RGB lighting, a center mount, and a built-in perimeter light ring. Infinity by Kappa Three Way 8-inch speakers retail for $399.95 per pair. (www.prospecelectronics.com)
KICKER KMFC Towers
Housed in marine-grade weatherproof cans, these oversized 8-inch full-range coaxial speakers will rock just about anyone’s boat! The injection-molded polypropylene speaker cones are UV-treated and matched with Santropene surrounds for excellent sound quality and durability in salt and freshwater. These cans are loaded with a powerful 8-inch midrange drivers as well as titanium tweeter, which will ensure the highs and lows of your tunes are crisp.
Steve Irby, founder and president of KICKER, said, “KICKER Marine Coaxials offer extended bass and the smoothest highs. It’s natural, accurate, uncolored sound made for the toughest climates.”
There’s more to these speakers than amazing audio though, KMFC speaker grills include mood-setting LEDs with 20 different colors that brighten, fade or strobe with a KICKER LED remote control. The KMFC8 flat-mount coaxial tower pair retail for $649.95 (www.kicker.com)
LilliPad Diving Board
Take fun to the next level with the LilliPad Diving Board. Installation is easy when you can connect the board right to your boat and dive right into somersaulting, back flips, jumps and more! The boards are built to last with heavy-walled aluminum extrusions, stainless steel hardware and urethane spring components. With a maximum weight of up to 250 pounds, both adults and children can enjoy the Diving Board.
The Board is equipped with an adjustable pin to strengthen the spring for heavier or lighter divers and don’t worry about it getting in the way when docking because the product is designed with a quick release pin so you can drop the diving board down when it’s not in use. LilliPad Marine also recently released a new textured foam option instead grip tape. The textured foam is available in a wide variety of colors and can be found on its website along with a few select dealers around the country. The retail price is $1,295 and up. (www.lillipadmarine.com)
Lumishore’s Smart Lighting
Whether you’re in the mood for relaxing or having a party, nothing controls the atmosphere of your houseboat more than your lighting. Lumishore, manufacturer of high performance LED lighting systems, is taking above water interior and exterior illumination to a new level with the introduction of its new Smart Lighting product line. Lumishore’s Smart Lighting LEDs that start at $400 are compatible with all marine 12- or 24-volt systems, and are built with cold- and warm-white, as well as red, green and blue LEDs. This allows the Lumishore system to create an abundance of hues and gives users the freedom to customize their lighting to a specific mood.
“Our Smart Lighting delivers by providing customers with the most features, an easy to use interface and a highly competitive price,” said Eifrion Evans, CEO of Lumishore.
The Lumishore interface panel offers users infinite lighting options as well as an easy-to-use color palette and a horizontal slide bar for lighting intensity. Other areas of customization on the panel include lighting control across multiple zones with optional presets, and pre-programmed lighting modes like strobe, sweep or cycle. Lumishore’s new range of Smart Lighting products can be controlled from a boat’s multi-function display or a user’s personal smart device. A range of Smart Drivers enable integration with third-party approved products including name boards and entertainment systems. At the heart of the innovative system is the compact Lumishore “black box” which is plug-and-pay compatible with a Lumishore display, or a Lumishore MFD partner’s device which include Garmin, Raymarine, Simrad, and B&G with others to follow. (www.lumishore.com)
Winegard's Wireless Antenna
Winegard Marine has an affordable, easy-to-use and versatile marine antenna that provides houseboaters with secure, simple and dependable Internet connectivity wherever they go. The American-made Winegard ConnecT WF-200M antenna combines a long-range high-performance Wi-Fi signal extender with built-in nationwide 4G LTE cellular. This means that users can enjoy uninterrupted coverage as they surf the web, stream entertainment and stay connected with friends and family on their houseboat.
The ConnecT WF-200M accesses and boosts available shore-side Wi-Fi signals for improved WI-FI access, signal strength and reliability. When on the move or out of range of Wi-Fi, a simple click allows the WF200M to keep houseboats connected using Winegard's nationwide 4G LTE coverage. The antenna costs $479; pay-as-you-go and monthly data plans are available starting at $20 for 1GB.
The WF-200M includes a mounting pedestal that allows for level installation on flat to 30-degree slopes; it can also be mounted using any 1-inch 14-thread extension pole. At 10.3 inches in diameter and weighing only three pounds, it is an ideal addition to many types of vessels. Winegard's "pay-as-you-go" ConnecT 4G LTE data program means there are no annual contracts, activation fees or monthly bills with the pre-loaded data plans ranging from 1GB to 20GB. (www.winegard.com)