A boat is a big investment, and you want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth with quality products. We even recommend going to a dealer and viewing monitor products hands on to really get a good sense of the display. Hence, in this help video, we give you six criteria to consider for marine displays before making that purchase. Watch the full video, or you can read the quick points below to get the “spark notes” version.

1. Heat Test

Before arriving at the dealers, ask them to power on the monitor so it has time to run and warm up. Then, when you arrive, place the palm of your hand directly on the monitor. If it’s more than just slightly warm to the touch, that’s a problem. Heat and electronics work against each other and a hot monitor could mean problems in the long haul.

2. Mounting

Check the mounting hardware to ensure there’s enough clearance for the case in the console. Unfortunately, many overlook this step and end up paying more in the end for a carpenter or electronics installer to make costly modifications.

3. Viewing Angle

You can use a free app on your smartphone to measure the angle of your console, and then when at the dealers tilt the monitor to that same degree and see if the display reads well at that viewing angle.

4. Reflections

Check reflections by turning the monitor off and tilting it towards the ceiling to get the overhead lights reflections on the front glass. A muted and dim reflection will still be readable but a bright and shiny refection might make reading important data difficult.

5. Signals

With the controls in front of you, you’ll be able to make sure the display is user-friendly, and functions such as signal switching and brightness adjustment are easy and intuitive.

6. Sunglasses

Marine monitors have a polarizing film just like your sunglasses do, however, if the polarizing patterns don’t match up, the display (even when on and working properly) will appear black. So, bring your sunglasses with you to ensure you won’t have any conflicts.

If you want to skip ahead in the video to one of the specific points, click the time stamp next to the criteria you want to hear in the video description on YouTube.