Look­ing at the lat­est de­buts from NMEA

Passage Maker - - Contents - Ron Parker

Roundup of the Lat­est Tech

Ev­ery year the Na­tional Marine Elec­tron­ics As­so­ci­a­tion (NMEA) holds a con­fer­ence where man­u­fac­tur­ers, deal­ers, distrib­u­tors, in­stall­ers, and the me­dia get to­gether to see what is new. In ad­di­tion to the dis­plays there are sem­i­nars for in­stall­ers and demon­stra­tion boats from ma­jor man­u­fac­tur­ers like Garmin, FU­RUNO, Ray­ma­rine/FLIR, and Nav­ico (Sim­rad and Lowrance). Be­cause of the im­por­tance of elec­tron­ics to cruis­ers we re­viewed some in­ter­est­ing new prod­ucts.

While the lat­est fishfinder might not seem a top pri­or­ity on a cruis­ing boat, ad­vances in sonar tech­nol­ogy have given these units ca­pa­bil­i­ties that are im­por­tant for pas­sage­mak­ing. For­ward and side scan­ning fea­tures and graphic 3D im­agery that paint de­tailed pic­tures of bot­tom to­pog­ra­phy are now of­fered by all the lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers. Multibeam trans­duc­ers show amaz­ing de­tail, al­low­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of sub­merged ob­jects and show­ing bot­tom con­tours that help you find ideal an­chor­ing spots and, of course, find fish. Most cruis­ers have at least one mul­ti­func­tion dis­play (MFD) at the helm. Now, with a com­pat­i­ble sys­tem, ac­cess­ing ad­vanced sonar is just a mat­ter of plug­ging in a black box mod­ule or con­nect­ing a so­phis­ti­cated trans­ducer.

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