Luxury on the Sea

April 2014
Written By: 
Harold Rohrback

Try these new devices and make your boating experience more pleasurable

Mention the words boat and luxury item in the same sentence and you’re likely to get the same response I got from Bob Wornom at the Bass Pro Shop Marine Center—“Aren’t they the same thing?” Well, yes and no.
Anyone who owns a boat and has felt that life-long calling from Mother Ocean knows that NOT owning a boat isn’t an option. So, luxury items have been created to make life just a little easier for the fisherman and the pleasure boater who feel more comfortable behind the wheel of their boat than the wheel of their car.

Along the Grand Strand we find an assortment of vessels from 18-foot center consoles to 50-foot cruisers and everything in between, all just yearning for that little something extra.

When boaters think of life preservers, or Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs), comfort does not immediately come to mind. Most of us think of the standard orange “Mae West” design, which is very bulky and extremely uncomfortable.

The new generation of life preservers offers luxury, comfort and added security. Stearns, Inc. has long been a leader in quality floatation devices, and they have produced the Ultra 4000 Automatic Inflatable PFD. This is an extremely thin and lightweight vest, making it comfortable to wear at all times. You’ll forget you have it on unless you hit the water, where it will automatically inflate upon contact with H2O. It comes in black or orange with high visibility reflective tape and an attached emergency whistle. The vest has a retail price of $329.99 and can be purchased at any West Marine location.

Jason Poe is the General Manager for the marina at Grande Dunes, so he has seen his share of luxury on the water. But there is one new item that turns his head—remote control for docking. This technology allows the operator to control the vessel from anywhere on the boat with precision control and safety. You can now maneuver the boat into the slip while tying the lines instead of having to run back and forth from the helm trying to keep the vessel steady.

It looks similar to a standard TV remote control and operates the engines, bow/stern thrusters and anchor. The devices are now an option on new boats or can be purchased and installed after-market by most local marine service centers. Depending on brand, the controllers can cost up to $6,000.

For the inshore fisherman, one of the least favorite jobs on the boat is throwing and pulling the anchor. To the great delight of boaters over the age of 50, the Power-Pole was invented. This is a device that can be operated by a console switch or remote control and mounts easily on the transom of the boat. With just the press of a button, the aerodynamic spike slides down into the water and securely anchors the boat in up to 10 feet of water. The Power-Pole Signature Series runs around $1,899.99 and can be purchased at Bass Pro Shop.

Whatever your boating preference, these new devices are increasing the “pleasure” in pleasure boating.


Photograph courtesy of JL Marine Systems Inc.