4. Custom-Fit Displays
Several electronics manufacturers offer “black box” multifunction devices without a display, such as Furuno’s MFDBB. This allows flexibility for selecting a suitable-size monitor for the helm space available. Suitable 12-volt, daylight-viewable monitor displays are available from a number of specialized suppliers including ComNav Marine (comnavmarine.com), Green Marine (greenmarinemonitors.com), KEP Marine (kepmarine.com), Nauticomp Inc. (nauticomp.com), VEI (vei-systems.com) and others.
5. Virtual Reality
Interfacing your electronics allows information from one instrument to be shared with other equipment. Many fish finders can also display position and waypoint information remotely when connected to a GPS/chart plotter. Multifunction digital displays like the Furuno RD33, Raymarine i70 and Simrad IS20 can all display a wide range of analog, digital and graphical data on compact 4-inch screens. Newer NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) 2000 interface standards can tie into the engines of a growing number of manufacturers and graphically depict a variety of simulated engine gauges right on the nav screen, sparing vital dash space.
The Si-Tex SP-70 autopilot saves helm space because it places the entire control and display unit in the palm of your hand. This umbilically connected hand remote can be hung to the side when not in use. The Raymarine S1000 autopilot does the same thing wirelessly. Its remote controller can even be worn around the neck.