Sport Fishing - - DREAM HELMS -

While Simrad works with a va­ri­ety of boat­builders, most I talked to about 25- to 28-foot builds sug­gested they of­fer a lim­ited pack­age, al­low­ing deal­ers to pro­vide ex­tra pe­riph­er­als. So Simrad tour­na­ment cap­tain Mark Maus sug­gested an op­ti­mal helm.

“This is for the hard­core fish­er­man who likes to find birds at a dis­tance in search of bait pods,” he says. “The s5100 will al­low the B275LH trans­ducer to show fish in the water col­umn to great depths, and never lose bot­tom lock at 2,000 feet while run­ning in good con­di­tions. High­lights in­clude the NSS evo3 in the 12-inch size, which should fit 25- to 28-foot boats, 10 kW radar for bird spot­ting, 3D Struc­tureS­can with side-scan sonar to lo­cate the bait and struc­ture, and an AIS trans­mit­ter for safety. This would be my dream setup on a boat of that size.” Two NSS evo3 12-inch dis­plays (GPS, sounder, Wi-Fi, HDMI out, In­sight charts), space per­mit­ting S5100 chirp sonar mod­ule Struc­tureS­can 3D mod­ule with through-hull low/high chirp trans­ducer Air­mar B275LH-W (low/high wide) through-hull trans­ducer TXL-10S-4 10 kW 4-foot open-ar­ray HD dig­i­tal radar AP44 VRF au­topi­lot NAIS-500 RS35 VHF ra­dio with AIS Track Wi-Fi kit (se­cu­rity and track­ing sys­tem) Son­icHub2 ma­rine au­dio WM-3 Sir­ius/XM mod­ule GS25 an­tenna with built-in rate com­pass

SeaVee — like many of the boat­builders in­cluded here — ac­com­mo­dates sev­eral ma­jor elec­tron­ics brands, in­clud­ing Simrad. “By the time they get to us, well into 90 per­cent of cus­tomers have a pretty good knowl­edge base,” says John Ca­ballero, SeaVee mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, “which trans­lates into what they want in their boats.”

To build a Simrad dream helm for the SeaVee 390Z, the com­pany talks through the cus­tomer’s needs for fish­ing and nav­i­ga­tion, and gauges how much re­dun­dancy he or she might want. The most pop­u­lar sys­tems be­gin with twin 16-inch NSS evo3 dis­plays. That setup leaves room at the helm for other de­vices and con­trols, Ca­ballero says.

The NSS evo3 units of­fer mul­ti­touch touch­screen and key­pad con­trols, and they net­work with Simrad’s s5100 chirp sonar mod­ule, which of­fers three fully in­de­pen­dent sonar chan­nels to run three chirp fre­quency ranges. SeaVee gen­er­ally in­stalls a 1 kW Air­mar B275LH-W, although it will glass in trans­duc­ers up to 3 kW, based on cus­tomer de­sires.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of our boats have a radar sys­tem. I like the Halo-4 for over­all per­for­mance. It uses very low power,” says Ca­ballero.

The most pop­u­lar VHF ra­dio in­stalled at the fac­tory is the ICOM M506 with an ex­ter­nal speaker. Simrad elec­tron­ics also dis­play Mer­cury en­gine in­for­ma­tion us­ing the Mer­cury Ves­selView Link dig­i­tal in­ter­face.

Ca­ballero is a be­liever in the SeaS­tar Op­ti­mus elec­tronic power-steer­ing sys­tems. Add in a joy­stick with head­ing con­trol for elec­tronic an­chor­ing and au­topi­lot func­tions.

One other ease-of-use piece of equip­ment SeaVee of­ten rec­om­mends is the re­mote key­pad (OP50) for the Simrad units. With the key­pad mounted near the wheel, the cap­tain can merely drop one hand to ad­just plot­ter gain or range while run­ning.

Other pop­u­lar pe­riph­er­als in­clude a JL Me­dia Mas­ter con­trol head for au­dio that in­ter­faces with the evo3s, a Sir­ius/ XM weather mod­ule, a Glob­al­star Sat-Fi unit, and FLIR cam­eras such as the M200.

“In the early days, you had gaps in func­tion­al­ity or clunky op­er­a­tion; those days are over,” Ca­ballero says. “These ma­chines are adapt­able. They have ad­vanced soft­ware. You can op­ti­mize this equip­ment, and set up for what­ever sce­nar­ios you’re in, such as trolling or bot­tom­fish­ing. You get great per­for­mance through­out the en­tire water col­umn.”

Above: A Simrad RS35 fixed-mount VHF with AIS for a 25- to 28-foot build. Be­low: SeaVee cus­tom­izes its elec­tron­ics in­stal­la­tions, of­ten set­ting them into a black panel re­cessed be­hind a clear, pro­tec­tive screen that can be closed dur­ing rough or stormy...

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