Electronics + Helm
The helm is on the top side of the deck of your boat, and it is the console where you spend most of your time while you are driving. Included in the helm are the instruments for your boat. Here you will find the dials and switches used to control the different features on your boat.
All boats will be different with a different setup for the instruments and features. More and more frequently, the instruments are actually built into the electronics. The 12 inch SIMRAD, for example, has the Yamaha instruments panel built into the console. With this technology, you can configure the panel, run reports, and see data that was not available to you in the days of the old analog instruments.
Equally important is the area of the helm where you find the dials and switches for your various pumps. These control the freshwater washdown, raw water washdown pumps, livewell pump, and others. This area usually includes controls for the lighting on your boat.
The boat contains navigation and anchor lights on the helm. The navigation lights display green and red lights at the front of the boat to alert other boats on the water of your attitude and position. The anchor light is a white light that is positioned at the highest point of your boat if you are at anchor in the dark to help another boat see you as they approach. The helm is the brain of your boat where you control everything on your boat.
The U.S Coast Guard requires all boats to have a horn on board. Many boats now come with this feature built into the helm. If your boat does not include this feature, you will need to bring a horn to keep on board during use. On your helm, you also have a VHF radio, which is a safety feature you need on your saltwater style boat in case you have trouble while on the water. The boat’s helm features also include trim tab controls and, of course, the steering wheel. The helm is the brain center where you control everything on your boat.
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