The lat­est com­po­nents and sys­tems for nav­i­ga­tion, safety, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and more


The lat­est com­po­nents and sys­tems for nav­i­ga­tion, safety, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and more

Ihave loved elec­tron­ics ever since Lowrance/Ea­gle in­tro­duced its first hand­held GPS, with about a hun­dred but­tons on it, back in 1995. Be­fore that, I took a ce­les­tial nav­i­ga­tion course with a long­time buddy and his dad in 1988; we were plan­ning to sail to Spain but never man­aged to pull it off. I al­ways saw GPS as ce­les­tial, but with satel­lites in­stead of pho­ton bombs in the sky. And it’s in­cred­i­ble to see how far the marine elec­tron­ics in­dus­try has ad­vanced. To­day’s mul­ti­func­tion dis­plays are big­ger, the pro­ces­sors are faster by a light-year and the func­tion­al­ity is more in­tu­itive and prac­ti­cal than ever be­fore. Sonar sys­tems are on the verge of pro­vid­ing eyes-in-the-wa­ter clar­ity that just stuns the senses. Radar, too, is step­ping away from tra­di­tional norms, as dig­i­tal radar is pro­vid­ing longer range and su­pe­rior res­o­lu­tion, along with re­li­able bird-find­ing auto set­tings. Here are four elec­tron­ics pack­ages built from the most pop­u­lar brands’ top-shelf equip­ment. So whether you’re up­dat­ing the gear on an older boat or build­ing a new one from scratch, feel free to dream a lit­tle.


Garmin might hold the largest mar­ket share in avi­a­tion elec­tron­ics, and a sim­i­lar share in the highly com­pet­i­tive marine nav­i­ga­tion elec­tron­ics mar­ket. To stay rel­e­vant in the avi­a­tion busi­ness, you must bring the most re­li­able prod­ucts pos­si­ble to the mar­ket­place; Garmin ap­plies that ethos to its marine seg­ment too. ON THE BRIDGE In the Garmin dream suite, a pair of 24-inch GPSMap 8624s of­fers the abil­ity to dis­play six dif­fer­ent sys­tems on each dis­play si­mul­ta­ne­ously in sep­a­rate panes for op­ti­mum sit­u­a­tional aware­ness. BlueChart G2 chart­ing gives in­cred­i­ble de­tail to their map­ping dis­plays, and the sys­tem al­lows ac­cu­rate radar over­lay. In ad­di­tion, we like the BlueChart G2’s abil­ity to cre­ate custom sonar charts by record­ing sound­ings and dis­play­ing them on the chart. Arm the cap­tain with one GRID arm­chair re­mote, and down­load the Garmin Ac­tiveCap­tain app to pro­vide wire­less chart-plot­ter con­trol via smart­phones for the crew. With the quatix 5 smart­watch, you can also mon­i­tor speed, depth, en­gine tem­per­a­ture, change course on the au­topi­lot and more from your wrist. SA­LON, TUNA TOWER AND COCK­PIT Choose two 12-inch 7612xsv dis­plays and put one each in the tuna tower and in the cock­pit. For the sa­lon, feed the 8624’s HDMI out­put to your flat-panel tele­vi­sion, turn­ing it into a big-screen chart plot­ter; con­trol what you see on it with the Ac­tiveCap­tain app. INTO THE DEPTHS Garmin is all busi­ness in the sonar de­part­ment. First, the GSD 26 chirp sonar mod­ule al­lows the user to dis­play two dis­tinct sonar trans­duc­ers. Us­ing an R599LM for low and medium fre­quency and an R599LH for high fre­quency, the cap­tain can sweep the wa­ter col­umn from the sur­face to depths of up to 10,000 feet. The GSD 26 al­lows custom tun­ing of the fre­quen­cies to look at one sin­gle fre­quency or a range ide­ally suited to the species pur­sued. COM­MU­NI­CA­TIONS The VHF 315 marine ra­dio is a black-box sys­tem, in­clud­ing a re­mote speaker and a GHS 11 wired hand­set. Add a hand­set in the tuna tower and one in the sa­lon and cock­pit for 360-de­gree com­mu­ni­ca­tions from ship to ship, ship to shore and crew to cap­tain. An AIS 800 au­to­matic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem mod­ule trans­mits and ex­changes ves­sel data with all other AIS-equipped ves­sels in range, greatly re­duc­ing mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion and in­creas­ing safety. EYES EV­ERY­WHERE The fi­nal key: Use Garmin’s Virb Ul­tra 30 Wi-Fi POV cam­eras to keep an eye on the en­gine room, sa­lon or cock­pit from the helm. The cam­eras also al­low the cap­tain to watch any po­ten­tial blind spots while dock­ing or ma­neu­ver­ing in close quar­ters. Raymarine ex­panded its two-year-old Axiom se­ries with the new Axiom XL touch-screen dis­play for glass bridge in­stal­la­tions. Sizes range from 15.6 inches to 24 inches. Re­dun­dancy is bliss, and larger is al­ways bet­ter, so fit the most and largest screens pos­si­ble into the space avail­able. The Axiom XL wa­ter­proof

dis­plays fea­ture pro­pri­etary glass screens and in-plane switch­ing for re­spon­sive touch con­trol and wider view­ing an­gles.

The glass bridge sys­tem adds an­other el­e­ment by pro­vid­ing on-screen en­gineper­for­mance data. It re­quires an HS-5 net­work switch and ECI 100 en­gine in­ter­face to make it work, but once you do, you’ll never go back to ana­log gauges. Re­mote con­trol also gives arm­chair com­fort and com­plete man­age­ment of the Axiom sys­tem with­out the user hav­ing to lean for­ward to touch the glass. IN THE SA­LON To keep the crew in­formed, run an HDMI cable to dis­play the Axiom XL on a high­def­i­ni­tion tele­vi­sion in the sa­lon, and use the RayCon­trol app for ei­ther Ap­ple or An­droid de­vices. This gives you a bigscreen nav dis­play in the sa­lon, com­plete with deck cam­eras plus FLIR ther­mal imag­ing, if you go that route. COCK­PIT AND TUNA TOWER To keep the cock­pit and tuna tower in tune with the sur­round­ings, add the Axiom Pro 16 dis­play in each sta­tion. They of­fer built-in tac­tile but­tons — some­thing the cap­tain will ap­pre­ci­ate in the tower and mates with fishy hands will like in the cock­pit. LIGHTHOUSE 3 AIR SER­VICES Raymarine’s Lighthouse 3 in­ter­face not only grants users ul­ti­mate con­trol of nav­i­ga­tion, sonar, radar and au­topi­lot sys­tems, it adds many handy apps, in­clud­ing Net­flix, Spo­tify, Theyr, LED light func­tions for some brands, con­trols for Sea­keeper gy­rosta­bi­liza­tion and dig­i­tal switch­ing. Now, un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle con­trols are also in­te­grated into Lighthouse 3 so you can launch, steer and re­trieve DJI Mavic air­frames. BE­NEATH THE WAVES The CP570 chirp sonar’s two fully in­de­pen­dent chan­nels de­liver faster tar­get iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and up to 4 kW of com­bined out­put power. Cou­ple it with Air­mar’s R509 low-medium chirp trans­ducer, and op­er­ate the CP570 on two trans­ceiver chan­nels. The Lighthouse 3 sys­tem al­lows the cap­tain to se­lect and dis­play mul­ti­ple sonar fre­quen­cies si­mul­ta­ne­ously to get the look you want with amaz­ing de­tail in thou­sands of feet of wa­ter. EYES ABOVE THE WA­TER The Mag­num high-per­for­mance radar is avail­able in 4 or 12 kW power out­put op­tions, and with ei­ther a 4-foot or

6-foot open-ar­ray op­tion. It of­fers a max­i­mum range up to 96 nau­ti­cal miles for 12 kW mod­els — ideal for bluewater ves­sels — and up to 72 nau­ti­cal miles for 4 kW mod­els. Snap on Bird Mode and in­stantly de­tect in-range birds and eas­ily dis­tin­guish them from scat­ter. Add the FLIR M625CS ther­mal night-vi­sion cam­era sys­tem with gy­rosta­bi­liza­tion; it can de­tect and zoom in on float­ing de­bris that radar will never spot, and its IR imag­ing is part­nered with a low-light op­ti­cal cam­era for in­cred­i­ble de­tail in min­i­mal light­ing. SUR­VEIL­LANCE In­stall the CAM 220 bul­let and CAM 200 eye­ball cam­eras to keep an eye on the cock­pit, sa­lon and other ar­eas. A FLIR AX8 cam­era in the en­gine room al­lows the cap­tain to mon­i­tor en­gines for hot spots or other tem­per­a­ture anom­alies that could sig­nal trou­ble ahead. VHF AND AIS Go with the Ray260 mod­u­lar VHF ra­dio with re­mote trans­ceiver, speaker and hand­set for ship-to-ship com­mu­ni­ca­tions; it is avail­able with an in­te­grated AIS re­ceiver. The Ray90 and Ray91 VHF ra­dios also sup­port the op­tional sec­ond-sta­tion RayMic hand­set or the new wire­less re­motes for un­lim­ited lo­ca­tions. This gives you full-func­tion VHF and in­ter­com ca­pa­bil­ity from any lo­ca­tion on board. NO HANDS The Evo­lu­tion EV400 au­topi­lot is that mate you don’t have to feed. Its sys­tem is sup­ported by a nine-axis gy­rosta­bi­lizer, which of­fers bet­ter head­ing con­trol than a skilled and alert cap­tain. EN­TER­TAIN ME The Axiom XL sys­tem sup­ports Sir­iusXM satel­lite ra­dio and XM weather over­lay. For en­ter­tain­ment, Raymarine net­works best with Rock­ford Fos­gate sys­tems, a brand with which it has a spe­cial part­ner­ship. For tele­vi­sion, Raymarine’s 60STV an­tenna and a Dish Net­work mul­ti­satel­lite in­ter­face mul­ti­switch of­fer ac­cess to Dish’s broad net­work of en­ter­tain­ment in port or at sea.


Furuno in­tro­duced the first touch­screen MFD more than six years ago and changed the na­ture of nav­i­ga­tion equip­ment from that day for­ward.

The TZT2BB is a pow­er­ful black box for Furuno’s NavNet TZ­touch2 MFD that sup­ports net­worked radars, fish find­ers, multi­beam sonar, in­stru­ments and other sen­sors. Let’s put at least two 24-inch dis­plays at the helm.

The TZT2BB is pre-loaded with raster, vec­tor and fish­ing charts for the en­tire Western Hemi­sphere in a na­tive 3D for­mat, as well as free satel­lite pho­tog­ra­phy for the en­tire United States. A sin­gle TZT2BB can also drive an ex­ter­nal key­board to con­trol the en­tire sys­tem. An ad­di­tional con­trol op­tion, the MCU004, which fea­tures a ro­tary knob/joy­stick con­trol with eight ded­i­cated but­tons, is mounted near the cap­tain’s chair, giv­ing the skip­per to­tal con­trol over the net­work from this sin­gle compact de­vice. Use an HDMI out­put to the sa­lon tele­vi­sion so it pulls dou­ble-duty as an ad­di­tional dis­play. RA­DIO ME For com­mu­ni­ca­tions, the bridge has an FM4800 VHF. It in­cludes a GPS re­ceiver pro­vid­ing po­si­tion re­dun­dancy, and also a hailer, AIS re­ceiver and in­ter­com func­tion. Its Lis­ten Back fea­ture is not to be un­der­es­ti­mated. Af­ter ac­ti­vat­ing the hailer to speak to the an­glers in the cock­pit or mates on the bow, the hailer speaker can act as a sound-gath­er­ing mi­cro­phone to let the crew re­ply, giv­ing them a hands-free way to re­spond. TUNA TOWER AND COCK­PIT The tuna tower will sport a net­worked TZTL12F, a 12.1-inch NavNet TZT2 dis­play ca­pa­ble of con­trol­ling any­thing con­nected to the net­work, in­clud­ing radar, au­topi­lot and fish finder. A sec­ond-sta­tion hand­set gives us ac­cess to the func­tion­al­ity of the FM4800 VHF at the helm. GOOD HUNT­ING Sonar is for hunt­ing, and Furuno sug­gests three dif­fer­ent types. The first two are the DFF1-UHD TruE­cho chirp fish finder and the DFF3D multi­beam sonar. The DFF1-UHD sweeps across 90 fre­quen­cies with each pulse, de­liv­er­ing more en­ergy on tar­get to dis­play fish and struc­ture with un­par­al­leled clar­ity and res­o­lu­tion. The DFF3D sonar takes wide-beam sound­ing to un­prece­dented lev­els, show­ing fish and struc­ture across a 120-de­gree port-tostar­board arc. Mul­ti­ple dis­play modes let the cap­tain show mul­ti­ple sonar de­vices si­mul­ta­ne­ously. Both of these sounder op­tions uti­lize a sin­gle trans­ducer. Add Furuno’s CSH8LMK2 full-cir­cle scan­ning sonar to see fish dis­tri­bu­tion and seabed con­di­tions 360 de­grees around the boat, in­stan­ta­neously. Its full-cir­cle scan­ning speed is about half a sec­ond at 1,000-foot depth. And now you know why we want three big dis­plays on the bridge. HANDS-FREE The brand-new NavPilot 300 au­topi­lot de­liv­ers pre­cise steer­ing con­trol. The 4.1-inch color LCD is a cos­metic match to our Furuno helm, and with the new hand­held ges­ture con­troller, the skip­per can sim­ply “point and shoot” in any di­rec­tion around the ves­sel to set a new course. THE LONG, STA­BLE VIEW Furuno’s DRS25AX X-class radar gives us over-the-hori­zon ca­pa­bil­ity. This 25 kW radar fea­tures 96-nau­ti­cal-mile range plus im­proved short-range tar­get de­tec­tion, an all-new low-noise mo­tor and much lighter gear­box, and all-new op­er­at­ing fea­tures, such as Fast Tar­get Track­ing and Bird Mode. The SC33 satel­lite com­pass pro­vides highly ac­cu­rate po­si­tion and at­ti­tude in­for­ma­tion, sta­bi­liz­ing our nav­i­ga­tion, radar over­lay and sonar dis­plays.


Sim­rad’s NSO evo3 IPS dis­plays will be the back­bone for this sys­tem. These ul­tra­bright screens have in-plane switch­ing and an ar­range­ment of LCD pix­els that al­lows a greater view­ing an­gle so screens don’t black out when wear­ing po­lar­ized sun­glasses or when viewed from side an­gles. NSO evo3 dis­plays are avail­able in 16-, 19- and 24-inch screen sizes. When pos­si­ble, three dis­plays al­low for a clean, gauge-free bridge by run­ning en­gine data through a pane on one dis­play. Each NSO dis­play can be di­vided in up to six panes, giv­ing a broad sit­u­a­tional aware­ness of lo­ca­tion, depth, sur­round­ing traf­fic, en­gine func­tions and more. SA­LON, COCK­PIT AND TUNA TOWER In­stall one 24-inch NSO evo3 IPS in the sa­lon and we’ll add two more 12-inch dis­plays, one in the cock­pit for the crew and one next to the teaser reels for the cap­tain so he can keep an eye on lo­ca­tion, di­rec­tion and, if watch­ing a sonar pane, bait and fish be­low the sur­face. And we will tuck an­other NSO 12 up in the tuna tower, of course. DOWN BE­LOW A sin­gle black-box S5100 sonar of­fers three chan­nels of in­de­pen­dent sonar from three trans­duc­ers, all in one box. Chan­nel 1 will have an Air­mar B285HW 25-de­gree wide-beam 1 kW chirp sonar for ev­ery­day cruis­ing and nearshore fish­ing. Chan­nel 2 will have the medium in­put from the Air­mar PM411 ul­tra­w­ide trans­ducer; it is ideal for read­ing in very deep wa­ter, and great for sword­fish­ing and deep-drop­ping in the Ba­hamas. Chan­nel 3 will have the ul­tra­w­ide 40-de­gree beam from the PM411. The 40-de­gree view­ing an­gle helps cap­tains see each and ev­ery bill­fish in the spread. UP ABOVE Sim­rad of­fers two radars we’d like to see in­stalled on the ideal sport-fisher. The first is the Halo 4, a 4-foot-ar­ray 25-watt solid-state radar that can be switched on and warmed up in un­der 30 sec­onds. For close-range nav­i­ga­tion safety, we would go with a 4G radar with in­stant-on, high-res­o­lu­tion tar­get de­tec­tion, which al­lows it to pin­point very small tar­gets close by. AN EX­TRA CREWMEMBER Trolling pat­terns can be pro­grammed to keep the Sim­rad AP48 color dis­play au­topi­lot and NAC-3 pi­lot course com­puter on course and over fish. NMEA 2000 com­pat­i­bil­ity in­ter­faces with the MFD to of­fer full au­topi­lot con­trol, a very use­ful fea­ture to make quick, pre­cise steer­ing an­gle or route changes. AHOY THERE Com­plete the com­mu­ni­ca­tions pack­age with the Sim­rad RS90 VHF. Add hand­sets to the sa­lon, tuna tower and cock­pit for easy com­mu­ni­ca­tions. A V3100 Class B AIS trans­mits your ves­sel iden­tity, po­si­tion, bear­ing and speed, and re­ceives re­cip­ro­cal data from other ves­sels. Go stealth and switch off trans­mis­sion to keep your fish­ing ac­tiv­i­ties pri­vate. SATEL­LITE WEATHER AND SOUND Choose the WM-3 weather mod­ule to get Sir­ius weather alerts and satel­lite sea con­di­tions in near real-time. Sim­rad sys­tems are com­pat­i­ble with many NMEA 2000-com­pli­ant au­dio sys­tems, such as Fu­sion and JL Au­dio.

a d b e c f

a the cock­pit. [f] The FI70 dis­play can net­work with the en­gines to pro­vide the clean­est helm avail­able.

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