Could you clarify this? Is the button a choke for starting the motor when cold?
Take5, Thanks for that EXTREMELY helpful post. As to your first question... yes, we ran the blower and know to do so before starting the engine. As for what button brought the engine back to life, we've been debating that since we got home. Initially she said it was the button just to the left of the blower called "Light." We've since learned that controls the compass light, so unless there's some sort of major short circuit, that wasn't it. There's also a push button ignition right next to the button that actually cranks the engine. My guess is that's what was in the off position. After the engine was started, it was bumped in. The engine kept running, but barely. It's all conjecture until I get back and try to recreate it.
My VHF is vintage 1982... like a rainbow in the dark, YEAAAAHHH.
After trying to hail the tow/barge/dredge thing and getting no response, I think it's possible my antenna or radio is crap. We did a radio check, but at like 200 yards. We monitored 16 and heard nothing for 5 hours.
Having heard your input, I think I'll seriously consider a new main unit with auxiliary handset. Nav wise, I want to go the tablet route but also like your idea of a GPS distress/man overboard function. Do you need one to have the other?
In my vast experience,
I really like the navionics smartphone app.. it's just too small on a pocket phone.