Phone. Keys. Wallet.
It’s the mental checklist that every man goes through when going anywhere. Leaving the house? Phone. Keys. Wallet. Walking out of the restaurant? Phone. Keys. Wallet. Getting out of your car? Phone. Keys. Wallet.
Stepping onto your boat? Phone. Keys. Wallet.
Except on a boat, you’re removing them from your pockets and tucking them away for safekeeping.
In the days of flip phones, it was common practice to keep a dry bag in the leaning post. At the beginning of the trip, valuables got sealed in the bag and stayed there until it was time to put the boat back on the trailer.
But separating yourself from your smartphone for the duration of a fishing trip? Not a chance. You have photos to shoot. Texts to send to buddy boats. Jealousy to inspire on Instagram. You have to keep an eye on the weather, check the tides, and watch the wind forecast. You might even use your phone in lieu of a chartplotter, tracking your location using a sophisticated mapping app, or to play music through your Bluetooth-connected sound system.
Like in every other aspect of our lives, our phones are becoming indispensable tools when boating, and the industry is taking notice.
“The trend in new boat builds is to accommodate the way boaters are using smartphones by incorporating it into design,” says Andrew Brown of Boat Outfitters, a company that fabricates accessories for a multitude of boat builders. “Boaters, and especially fishermen, want a dedicated place for their iPhone or Android device where it is safe and protected but still easily accessible.”
If you want to upgrade your boat with dedicated phone storage, one option is a dash-mount phone holder. Boat Outfitters offers a model that includes an integrated dual USB charger, fully wired and ready to connect to your boat’s electrical system. The 9″ tall x 4.75″ wide mount keeps your phone visible, secure, and charged when aboard your boat.
Another option, if you don’t want to dedicate the space on your dash, is a SeaSucker Vacuum Mount. Paired with a RAM X-Mount Mobile Phone Holder with a ball-and-socket joint, it can hold your smartphone at any angle for easy viewing at the helm.
“Aftermarket phone storage is a relatively new concept,” explains Brown. “It’s a trend that is growing quickly, because boaters are realizing that a smartphone can replace some specific equipment with just a selection of downloaded apps. If you’re a boater and you’ve already invested in a phone, all you need is a storage option onboard that keeps it safe, secure, and charged, and it becomes an integral part of your marine electronics.”