By all accounts, this is an off season for new electronics technology. Understand that with today/s pace of techno-advancement, “off” is totally relative. While some marine electronics companies either choose or must introduce new product later in the year at Fort Lauderdale or Miami, the National Marine Electronics Association’s annual convention is where most choose to debut their new stuff to their dealers, the press and by extension, you, the boating public! Here are some of the product highlights of this fascinating convention.
XM/WX SATELLITE WEATHER
I’ve saved more than one fishing trip with XM weather by being able to see that the lightning visible so nearby is rapidly moving away rather than toward me. Now, with the advent of Mobile Link, you can now see the same weather displays on your iPhone, iPad or mobile device of choice. Granted, you need to be within about 90 feet of the wireless transmitter to get the signal. But I figured out that if you have no chart plotter on your flats skiff or want the info available in your master stateroom of your 82-footer, this might be ideal. In fact, if you are on a tight budget, you could actually get Navionics iPhone navigation and cartography app for your phone to use as your chart plotter and add XM/WX weather app as an overlay and keep your entire marine electronics suite in your shorts pocket! The system consists of a receiver with an integrated GPS and a wireless router. Oh, and the receiver also handles XM radio! Suggested retail on the router, is $199. Add the antenna, receiver and so on, for $800. Go to wxworx.com/shop.
From the company that guides ever aircraft in North America and beyond comes Mapmedia 3D with 4D cartography customization. For use with Furuno’s Navnet 3D, you can pick your chart and save copies of that chart with differing levels or detail: One for fishing with hotspots, bathymetric info and surface temps, one 3D with satellite overlay. Baja, Mexico has always presented a cartography void for navigators and anglers. No more. Baja Directions offers fishing cartography and information for a host of Baja California Sur areas. In addition, similar detailed fishing charts are available for the Bahamas. Baja and Bahama chart packages start at $199. Visit Jeppeson.com.
FUSION 700 SERIES
Fusion, the last word in marine stereo, introduced the new 700 series with a color display screen, AM/FM, VHF receive, WX receive, satellite ready, iPod audio and video inputs, allowing you to channel your videos and audio from your iPod, iPhone or iPad to your chart plotter or any other screen. Fusion also sets up zone controls rather than faders, allowing you to operate in different spaces at different dynamics. In addition, the compact repeater control head 700 series is NMEA 2000 compliant, affording you the ability to control and display any and all onboard monitoring information via the compact remote control repeater. And the entire And rather than being repurposed from the automotive industry, Fusion’s./ system is designed from the outset to handle the incredibly abusive marine environment. Finally, a new app allows you to completely display and control all of the above from your iPhone, iPad or Droid via Wi-Fi. This truly represents a complete paradigm shift for the marine audio/visual category. Very cool! ! Base price on the 700 series starts at $499. Click on fusionelectronics.com.
Nobeltec debuts its Time Zero Trident navigation system with multiple cartography choices, real-time position representation, seamless, instantaneous chart redraws with no range limitations, radar, sounder and FLIR integration and satellite photo overlays that can be adjusted to fade more dramatically as you approach deeper water, making discernment of shallow reefs, shoals and structure much easier. It interfaces especially well with Furuno products. One interesting new feature lets you designate a particular radar or geographic target and then lock your FLIR camera onto that target. No matter what your vessel does, the camera automatically tracks your designated target. New customers can avail themselves of this entire system for $1,250. However, existing Nobeltec users can step over to Time Zero Trident for $700 via a customer-loyalty discount. Visit nobeltec.com for more information.