Boating has come a long way over the years, particularly with the rise of electronic gadgets on board. Gps, fishfinders, and radars are just a few examples of the modern electronics that have become nearly essential for boaters today.
However, the challenges posed by the often-harsh marine environment have led manufacturers to make these important devices waterproof. But how do manufacturers accomplish this?
First, it’s important to understand that “waterproof” is not the same as “water-resistant.” Water-resistant devices can handle some exposure to water, but not prolonged exposure or being submerged. Waterproofing, on the other hand, means that the device can withstand being submerged for a certain period of time without damage.
The three main techniques for waterproofing electronics are:
1. Encapsulation: This entails covering the device in a waterproof casing. This is a popular method for waterproofing electronics, particularly when it is important to maintain the device’s physical structure. The device is typically coated in a layer of silicone or another waterproof material before being encased in a hard shell. Encapsulation is especially useful for waterproofing connectors and switches.
2. Gasketing: Similar to encapsulation, gasketing uses a protective cover to keep water out. However, instead of a hard shell, gasketing uses gaskets, which allow for more flexibility in the casing. A good example of gasketing can be seen in the waterproofing of smartphone cases. Most of these cases use a combination of hard and soft materials to make sure that the device is completely protected from water.
3. Coating: A more invasive technique for sealing electronics, coatings use a protective sealant to prevent water from entering the device. Coatings are often used for circuit boards and other internal components within electronics. Applying a thin layer of epoxy or conformal coating to the device’s circuitry will protect it from moisture and other environmental factors.
Regardless of the technique used, it is important to ensure that the waterproofing of your electronic devices meets the necessary safety standards. Your safety on the water depends upon the performance of your equipment, so investing in well-made, waterproof electronics is crucial.
There are a variety of techniques used to waterproof electronics in boats. From encapsulation to gasketing and coating, each method offers unique benefits for different applications. When selecting devices for your craft, take time to understand the waterproofing techniques used and make sure that the devices meet the necessary safety standards before you take them onboard.