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Old 10-03-2015, 12:47 PM
katiesimmons katiesimmons is offline
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Lightbulb Student question about communication and navigation equipment

Hi everyone!

My name is Katie Simmons and I am in my fourth year of studying Industrial Design (product design) at Virginia Tech. I am working on a a concept for a device that is essentially a mash up of a handheld marine VHF radio and a nav. gps. I have some questions about regulations, current technologies you use, and about my current concept. The prompt for my project is to essentially design a connected product for future use, so technology and power capabilities don't have to be all here right now (I'm basically assuming technology will be smaller and batteries will be more powerful than they are now).

I know USSailing has a regulation that all nearshore vessels must have a watertight handheld VHF radio with gps capabilities. I was wondering if you knew if ocean-faring kayaks or any other small one-man vessels had to follow a similar rule? If so, what are you required to carry with you for communication/navigation?

What devices do you use for navigation and communication on the water? Do you have separate devices for both nav. and comm.? Roughly, how much did you invest in them/how much do you think it is reasonable to invest in these devices? If you've ever bought a "waterproof" radio or gps that turned out to be only water resistant, what was your experience with that? Have you ever had difficulty communicating with the other kayaks you're with or with other larger vessels while on the water?

What are your essential needs for communication and navigation on the water? What other kinds of devices do you take with you? Do they have screens, buttons, speakers? Are there any conditions that make these devices difficult to use?

Also does anyone have thoughts on the idea of a radio/navigational gps mash up? I know handheld vhf radios with gps capability already exist, but more than likely they only give you your coordinates. My concept has a pressure-sensitive screen with an interface that can toggle between the gps and radio controls with a physical talk button as well as volume buttons on the side of it. It slides into and is secured magnetically to a mount that you can fix to your boat in a variety of ways, so it can withstand breaking waves but you can also hit a release and easily grab it to use the radio. Otherwise it has all the functionality of a regular marine gps with MOB, waypoints, depth charts, as well as a function to see how other boats are tracking and to potentially receive/send proximity alerts.

Thoughts?

Again, I'm just a student and this is just a concept. I'm seeking answers to these questions, validation, comments, concerns, etc. Any responses would be a great help!

Thank you!
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:41 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Default Re: Student question about communication and navigation equipment

Katie, that is an interesting question.
The thing with kayaks - being "self-propelled" type of a vessel, they generally do not require registration. That may vary from state to state, but in general - unless they have a motor mounted, you do not have to register it... And you would not have any of those formal requirements to carry VHF radio, GPS, etc... While it's a great idea for safety - it is not a requirement.

But I'm really not sure.
I would suggest that you put your question up on some of the more active kayak fishing forums, and I'm sure you'll get some valuable input.

www.bigwatersedge.com
www.jaxkayakfishing.com


Hope this helps, good luck!
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:13 PM
katiesimmons katiesimmons is offline
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Default Re: Student question about communication and navigation equipment

@kayaker Thank you so much for your response! I'll check the other sites
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:36 AM
dano dano is offline
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Default Re: Student question about communication and navigation equipment

i could answer some of this. I would be very interested in some sort of device that i could load maps on. I agree w kayaker that we are not regulated to carry much of anything. Just a whistle and a pfd. And if out at nite we must have a light that can be seen by 360 degrees. Thats here in pennsylvania. I dont have much need for a radio during my multi day trips down the river. But a gps display that i could load all the water trail info would be great. I carry a drybox so waterproof isnt a huge issue. But if i knew where the rough water is. Where the campsites are. Where the boat launches are. That would be valueable info. And i may pay 300 for it.
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