Boating - - ELECTRONICS - ASK KEN ON­LINE For more ex­clu­sive elec­tron­ics con­tent, visit boat­ing­

Com­mu­ni­cate and nav­i­gate like a spy. For ex­am­ple, voice scram­blers are op­tional with some mod­els of VHF ra­dios, in­clud­ing hand­held porta­bles. These can be in­stalled and used when talk­ing on the air with fish­ing bud­dies.

With prac­ti­cal ranges of 1 to 6 miles, FRS (Fam­ily Ra­dio Ser­vice) and GMRS (Gen­eral Mo­bile Ra­dio Ser­vice) are in­ex­pen­sive (less than $50 to $120). These can be used to com­mu­ni­cate in semipri­vacy, and some sets have voice-scram­bling abil­ity.

Garmin’s InReach por­ta­ble ra­dios ($400 to $450 plus sub­scrip­tion) let you send and re­ceive text mes­sages in pri­vacy with other InReach de­vices and mo­bile phones. Mo­bile phones can also prove use­ful when fish­ing within cell cov­er­age.

Also, don’t ad­ver­tise your lo­ca­tion. Did you know that you can turn off your AIS broad­casts that show your po­si­tion yet at the same time still re­ceive AIS data from other ves­sels? Ask your dealer or in­staller how to in­stall a switch to si­lence your AIS’s trans­mit­ter.

—Ken En­glert

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