2016 Miami International Boat Show: Must-See New Electronics

The Miami International Boat Show (Feb. 11-15) highlights the latest in marine electronics, and this year the advancements are astonishing.

If you want to stay on top of the latest in marine electronics, look no further than the 2016 Miami International Boat Show, set for February 11 to 15 at the Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key. If you can’t make it to this South Florida Show, check out our daily coverage on social media and at boatingmag.com. There are a lot of new advancements this year, especially when it comes to radar. Here’s what you can expect to see.

Furuno NXT Doppler Radar
Furuno NXT Doppler Radar
Booth C260 Furuno’s new DRS4D-NXT dome radar uses solid-state Doppler technology to automatically change a target’s color depending on its threat level. With a feature called Target Analyzer, anything stationary or moving away from the boat is green. Targets moving toward your boat at 2 knots or more become red. “With the radar’s ARPA (automatic radar plotting aid) on, the red targets also get an echo trail, and an audible alarm is sounded,” says Eric Kunz, senior product manager for Furuno USA. “There’s no need to set an acquisition zone; the ARPA automatically shows the vector, closest point of approach and time to closest point of approach.” Another feature called RezBoost Furuno enhanced the definition of targets by sharpening the beam width to 2 degrees, creating return images that are as sharp as those of an open-array antenna. Furuno’s new DRS4D-NXT dome radar also combines short- and long-range target detection, with the ability to see targets as close as 20 feet away and as far as 48 nautical miles. Furuno has yet to announce a price for the new radar.
Furuno
Garmin Fantom Series Doppler Radar
Garmin Fantom Series Doppler Radar
Booth C480 The 2016 Miami International Boat Show will see the introduction of not just one, but two Doppler radar systems. The Doppler feature in Garmin’s new solid-state Fantom open-array radar series is called MotionScope. Doppler works by measuring the dynamic frequency shift of radar returns. Think of the differences in the sound from a siren on a fire truck speeding toward you, then away. The Fantom processor senses those differences to highlight approaching targets in red, making it easier to identify and track objects that could pose a risk. Available in 4- and 6-foot open-array antenna models, the Fantom series uses pulse compression to gives you the best of both long- and short-range target detection. It offers the ability to see well-defined targets as close as 20 feet, while also offering excellent long-range performance. You can view two range scales at once, allowing you monitor targets of immediate concern close to the boat, while also keeping an eye on distant returns, including weather cells. MSRP starts at $6,999.99.
Garmin
Lowrance Elite Ti Series
Lowrance Elite Ti Series
In Water 447-453 The new Lowrance Elite-5 and Elite-7 Ti touchscreen fishfinder/chartplotters combine performance and value. Both models feature touch-screens operation, CHIRP sonar, StructureScan HD and DownScan Imaging. These 5- or 7-inch-screen models also have built-in GPS antennas and detailed U.S. base map showing detailed coastal contours to 1,000 feet. A wide of chart upgrades are available. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi lets you connect wirelessly to accessories such as a Power-Pole and the GoFree Controller App to display and operate functions for an iPad or Android tablet. $599 and $799, respectively; lowrance.com
Lowrance
Raymarine Quantum CHIRP Wireless Radar
Raymarine Quantum CHIRP Wireless Radar
Booth C362 Though mostly associated with sonar, CHIRP is actually the acronym for Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse. As the name implies, the technology started with radar, and now, with new Quantum CHIRP Wireless Radar from Raymarine, it has come full circle. Quantum is the only radar featuring a solid-state pulse-compressed radome, according to Raymarine. Exclusive ATX technology place up to 10 times more energy on targets, but uses a fraction of the power required by conventional radars, the company claims. This results in better target separation at greater distances with less screen clutter. With a maximum range of 24 miles, it can also detect targets as close as 18 feet from the boat. The technology rejects interference from other radars, ensuring noise-free images in congested waters, Raymarine says. Amazingly, the radome connects wirelessly to Raymarine MFDs running the latest LightHouse II operating software system, eliminating the need for bulky, hard-to-route cabling. At 12 pounds, the 21.3-inch diameter radome weighs 50 percent less than comparably sized domes with conventional magnetron technology. MSRP is $1,599.99, flir.com
Raymarine
Simrad TotalScan Transducer
Simrad TotalScan Transducer
In-Water 447-453 There was a time when you needed a separate transducer for each new type of sonar technology, be it CHIRP or scanning sounders. Those days are disappearing quickly, thanks to developments such as the new TotalScan transducer from Navico. TotalScan combines CHIRP, side-scanning StructureScan HD and down-looking DownScan imaging sonar capabilities into one compact, affordable transom-mount transducer. It is compatible with multifunction displays from Simrad, including the NSS and NSO evo2 multifunction displays, as well as displays from Lowrance such as the HDS Gen3. Navico is the parent company of both Lowrance and Simrad. With all three sonar capabilities in one transducer, boaters can view fish with greater definition and less interference with CHIRP sonar, plus see photo-like images of structure elements such as wrecks and reefs on both sides of the boat with StructureScan HD. You can see photo-like images directly beneath your boat with the DownScan sonar technology. Unlike some other CHIRP sonar transducers, TotalScan is relatively inexpensive. MSRP is $299.
Simrad