We live in an electronic world. Like or not, that world carries over to our boats. I actually love the electronic part of boating, and so I am aching to see the new wiz-bang wonders rolled out at the 2017 Miami International Boat Show this week (February 16-20).
My schedule’s pretty full of meetings with companies such as Furuno, Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance, Raymarine, Simrad and others. I also have an idea of some product that I’ll be seeing. Here’s a sneak peek.
Furuno’s 4.01 software upgrade brings 20 enhancements to its NavNet TZtouch2 MFDs, including faster performance and new functions such as CZone digital switching, radar echo trails, fuel management data, and the NavNet Remote app for tablets and smartphones. The 4.01 update also improves on Furuno’s edge-swipe touch-screen system for accessing menus and operations, making it easier to use in rough seas. The software also lets you display position data in Loran-C TDs so you can re-visit some lost fishing spots. Free; furunousa.com
Garmin has updated its line of GPSMAP chart plotter/combo units with the new GPSMAP 7×2/9×2 touchscreen chartplotters and GPSMAP 10×2/12×2 keyed chartplotters. These new plotters are available with and without built-in sonar. The compact GPSMAP 7×2/9×2 feature 7- and 9-inch sunlight-readable touchscreens. The 10-inch GPSMAP 10x2xsv and the 12-inch GPSMAP 12xsv boast sunlight-readable screens with a keypad/rotary dial controls. $799.99 to $2999.99; garmin.com
The new Solix series from Humminbird features the largest displays – 12- and 15-inch touch-screens – in the history of the brand. These MFDs include Mega Imaging sonar, CHIRP sonar and AutoChart Live instant mapping. The Cross Touch interface allows for both touch-screen and keypad operation. The Mega Imaging includes ultra-high frequency down and side-scanning sonar for super-sharp returns. The series includes Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to network with i-Pilot Link via Minn Kota trolling motor. Prices range from $2,399 for the Solix 12 to $3,499 for the Solix 15 Mega SI; humminbird.com
Lowrance’s new generation of HDS multifunction displays – the HDS Carbon series – feature dual-core processors, SolarMAX HD touch-screens, StructureScan and dual-channel CHIRP sonar in 7-, 9- and 12-inch models. The SolarMAX HD display’s in-plane switching technology offers improved clarity and sharpness and wider range of viewing angles. The new units feature built-in C-Map Insight cartography, support Navionics SonarChart Live and can be networked with a range of Lowrance Broadband radar, Outboard Pilot and other systems. $2,099 to $3,399; lowrance.com
Raymarine’s new Axiom touch-screen MFDs – available in 7-, 9- and 12-inch models – features quad-core processors thar are 50 percent faster than previous displays. “Real-Vision 3D” sonar includes CHIRP DownVision, SideVision and fish targeting using a single transducer. You can also run 50/200 kHz sonar with separate transducer. MFDs are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, and will network with all current Raymarine accessories and MFDs. Prices range from $599.99 for the 7-inch chart only model to $3,199.99 for the full-featured Axiom RV 12-inch MFD; raymarine.com.
The new Simrad NSS evo3 multi-function displays includes 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch models with SolarMAX HD touch-screens. Utilizing in-plane switching display technology, the screens offer enhanced viewability when viewed from the side and/or with polarized sunglasses. A built-in dual-channel chirp enables wide angle and deep view sonar images from the same transducer (with a dual channel CHIRP sonar transducer installed on the boat), or from multiple installed transducers. The NSS evo3 MFDs are fully networkable with all current Simrad systems including the solid-state 4G and Halo radar systems. $1,299 to $5,499, simrad-yachting.com