Viewing Pleasure

Garmin's GPSMAP 3210, handheld Simrad HT53 VHF, Shakespeare's Galaxy SRA-40 satellite radio antenna

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Wire(less) Man
Anglers are similar to search-and-rescue personnel-both often climb aboard in less-than-ideal conditions. And rugged, versatile equipment is not a luxury for either, it's a must. The handheld Simrad HT53 VHF ($682) answers the call, with a submersible, drop-proof casing. A durable, chrome-plated brass connector interfaces with a wired microphone or even a headset for extreme hands-free communication on 70 channels. Multiple channel-watch modes and easy operation simplify communications aboard, even when an angler's hands are full. Simrad; (425) 778-8821; www.simradusa.com

Viewing Pleasure

Big screens should bring plenty of data to the helm-that real estate is too valuable for anything less. So Garmin's GPSMAP 3210 ($2,667) puts chart plotting on a bright, 10.4-inch display, complete with pre-loaded U.S. coastal marine maps derived from the company's BlueChart g2 cartography. But this waterproof unit can also function as the interactive face of the Garmin Marine Network, hooking up with the add-ons to show radar and sounder functions as well as XM WX Satellite Weather. Quick redraw rates and flexible soft keys make the 3210 easy to use, while the 3-D "mariner's-eye view" provides an intuitive angle that simplifies chart reading. Garmin; (800) 800-1020; www.garmin.com

Serious Radio

More than just music, sports and high-profile radio personalities like Howard Stern, Martha Stewart and, well, Richard Simmons, Sirius Satellite Radio now transmits marine-weather data that is displayed right on the charts of enabled navigation plotters. Problem is, with just one antenna, you'll lose Richard Simmons if you want to update the weather. Shakespeare's Galaxy SRA-40 satellite radio antenna ($110) will catch the other signal with its low-profile dome, which is made of UV-stabilized plastic for marine duty. It comes with a template that shows where to place the antenna for optimal reception, even when the weather kicks up. Shakespeare; (803) 227-1590; www.shakespeare-marine.com