Imagine a world without our current maritime system. So many of the world’s imports and exports are transported by our international waterway. Without our advanced maritime structure we wouldn’t be enjoying all of our amazing cellphones, tv’s, and other gadgets that, many of which, are imported from countries across the world.

While maritime transportation is something all of us are indirectly exposed to on a daily basis, many of us overlook and under-appreciate our dependence on it. Since May recognizes “Maritime Day,” why don’t we take a look at a few amazing maritime inventions.

1. Clean and Quiet Outboard Engines

clean and quiet outboard engines

Well, it seems that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has done something remarkable for us and to the maritime industry. Why? If it weren’t for government regulations ordering folks within the shipping industry to invest in some clean and quite outboard engines, we’d still have those messy oil-burners on the back of our vessels.

Although Ole Evinrude developed the first outboard engine and marketed it successfully, the Frenchman – Gustave Trove was the one who patented the first removable transom-mounted boat motor powered by electricity. So interesting to see one man’s invention evolve so greatly that it influences entire government agencies.

2. Bladder Tanks and Wake Plates

Some of the most useful inventions in the maritime world include bladder tanks and wake plates. Bladder tanks and wake plates resulted in new models of boats, which lead to a new sport – wakeboarding. What? Yes, you’re right! These tanks and plates inadvertently created a different kind of boating experience.

3. Joystick Directional Controls

Thanks to Volvo-Penta, modernized joystick controls exist. Although joystick controls were already utilized even before the introduction of IPS pod drives, IPS was the first wide-spread application that is quite similar to contemporary recreational powerboats. But now, joystick controls are both accessible for stern drive and outboard boats.

4. GPS

With the majority of the earth being covered in water, if you go out too far into the ocean it can be scary. Once you’re past the horizon and lose any physical references it can mean bad news. Luckily, GPS systems help keep water navigation safe.

5. Electricity

Yes. Where would we be without our control over the power grid? AC/DC power has allowed humans to harness power to, well, power just about anything. This includes boats and all of the gadgets within them; including GPS and the satellites they connect to.