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...