Having a speedometer on your boat can be useful for a number of different reasons. While obviously not being as important as the one in your vehicle, there are some waterways that have a speed limit. Having a speedometer can also mean that you can more accurately predict how long a journey will take.

Making the right measurement with the best boat speedometer then is important, but there are many on the market and there is also a crucial choice between getting a manual model or a GPS one.

Here we explain the choices and have looked through the boat speedometer reviews to come up a buying guide, so you can make sure you’re buying the best marine speedometer possible.

How To Choose The Best Boat Speedometer – Buying Guide


Manual Speedometer

Manual speedometers aren’t as popular as they once were but they are still able to give you an accurate reading. They work by reading the air pressure acting against it which picks up the water as the boat is moving and it can judge the speed due to the pressure of the water acting on it changing as the boat increases in speed.

There is naturally an element of fallibility with this as is there was a loose pipe or the system was clogged then it might not be able to give you an accurate reading. Manual speedometers are still a good option and will measure your speed through the water rather than the speed through the air.

GPS Speedometer

A GPS speedometer works in a totally different way as it works off the satellites that are miles above our head. It constantly takes readings from those satellites and will continually recalculate your position. When it does it will be able to work out the distance in between those two points and the speed it took to get between them.

It does this so quickly and so constantly that you are able to get an accurate reading every time. A speedometer will have a digital display and that display often will be able to show you other pieces of information as well such as the total miles covered as well as having a trip calculator. It will also be able to switch between readings depending on your preference.


Q: GPS or Manual Boat Speedometers?


The answer to this question can depend on a number of different factors such as the type of console that you have and what is already on it. If you have a pre-cut spot then it might be possible that a manual speedometer would be the best fit inside it. A manual speedometer also gives you more of a traditional reading as it will measure your speed through the water.

This might cause issues though as your speed through the water might not be the actual distance that you are traveling. For example, if you are sailing into a tide that is travelling at 5 miles per hour and you are going 30 miles per hour through the water then you would actually be travelling at 25mph as the speed of the tide would have to be taken into account, as this would be the same effect as trying to run up an escalator.

That is an extreme example of tide speed but it shows how a manual speedometer can be affected. For that reason a modern day GPS speedometer would generally be preferred by most as this would give you an accurate speed reading as well as showing other displays as well. As it uses satellites to judge your distance, it can give you a more accurate display. There is, of course, also the option of having both.

Q: What Is A Boat Speedometer?


A speedometer is a general term for any device which is going to be able to record your speed. As we’ve discussed, this can be done in a number of ways but it will be able to show your speed in whichever display that you need it to and with a high degree of accuracy. Judging speed on a boat can sometimes be challenging as you have the difference between airspeed and water speed as well as the difference between miles and nautical miles.

Q: Why Do I Need A Boat Speedometer?


It’s always useful to know your speed for a number of different reasons including the fact that a lot of people are simply curious about it. There also places though such as lakes where you will be speed limited and not allowed to travel at a certain pace and therefore knowing your speed is important.

Knowing your speed also helps in being able to judge how much power you are taking from the engine and also being able to judge your estimated arrival time if you’re making a journey. There are numerous reasons why it can be useful to know your speed, so knowing that it is accurate is also important as well.

Globo Surf Overview

Having a speedometer is one of the standard gauges that everyone would come to expect when it comes to a boat. Having a digital speed gauge will mean that you can accurately get a reading of your speed on an easy to read display and getting a manual boat speedometer is a more simple method but one that will still be able to give you an accurate reading.

Having a water speedometer is a great thing to have on your console along with other equipment such as a marine stereo of a marine GPS system.  Being able to sail a boat is a great feeling and having all this information available only enriches the experience.

When you get to your destination you can then set down your anchor and forget about your speed and enjoy your day, whether that is firing up your grill or simply relaxing and casting out a line to see if you can make a catch. Once you’ve finished you can get back to the wheel and keep an eye on you’re the speedometer.

Whether that speedometer is manual or GPS can often come down to your personal preference as the speed reading on a boat doesn’t have to be as accurate as the one that you might have in your car. If you want accuracy though, then it’s probably best to get a GPS device. Investing in a complete digital speedometer kit will be able to give you a number of accurate readings.

Hopefully now you have a clear picture of the difference between a manual speedometer and a speedometer which relies on a GPS signal. It’s not a critical choice and you could well just pick the speedometer that you like the look of the most, regardless of which type it is.

Whatever option you go for, however, they are easy to install and you’ll be able to check that speed reading on your boat whether you’re trying to get to a specific destination or just heading out into the sea to enjoy a day of fishing.

More Boat Reviews:

Globo Surf Boat Speedometers Review

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Rated 5/5 based on 1 customer reviews
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Very nice selection of products. I am using your guide to find the best one for my boat.

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Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!