2018 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show: Must-See Marine Electronics

Amazing marine electronics are on display at this year's Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

If you're a boater, there are few places better to visit this week than the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (Oct. 31-Nov. 4). And there's a lot more to see than boats. Visit the Electronics tent at the Bahia Mar venue to check out some amazing new marine electronics. Here is my list of must-see new items at Fort Lauderdale.

FLIR/Raymarine ClearCruise AR

This the first augmented-reality system for boaters. FLIR/Raymarine ClearCruise AR integrates with the Raymarine CAM210 HD marine video cameras to detect objects on the water and then, using the new Raymarine AR200 video stabilization module, overlay symbols for those objects on the chart plotter of a Raymarine Axiom multi-function display. It also uses electronic chart information to identify objects appearing on the MFD video display. Text boxes pop up to describe the objects that correspond to chart content, AIS data and waypoints. The CAM210 HD sells for $699.99; the AR200 retails for $499.99, raymarine.com/clearcruise.Courtesy Raymarine

Furuno TZT2BB

Furuno's TZT2BB is a black-box version of the company's NavNet TZtouch2 multifunction system, and is also powerful enough to simultaneously drive two MFDs – such as Furuno 17-, 19- or 24-inch displays. It also supports full HD video input in HDMI format for connecting high-resolution cameras, sonar and entertainment systems. The TZT2BB comes with a built-in fish finder and is loaded with raster, vector and fishing charts for the western hemisphere. It's also compatible with C-Map and Navionics charts. It can be networked with virtually all current Furuno radar and sonar systems, as well as instruments and other sensors. Under $6,000, furunousa.comCourtesy Furuno

Fusion Apollo Series

Fusion's new Apollo marine audio entertainment series includes two source units – the top-of-the-line RA770 and the more compact SRX400. The RA770 features a one-piece glass touchscreen 4.3-inch displays, built-in Wi-Fi streaming, digital signal processing (DSP) technology and PartyBus audio-distribution capabilities. Users can tap the screen to pause and play, or swipe through a playlist to find their favorite song, and the display blends with modern glass helms The Apollo SRX400 offers a 2.7-inch display, Wi-Fi streaming, DSP and PartyBus. RA770, $649; SRX400, $349; fusionentertainment.comCourtesy Fusion

Garmin Panoptix LiveScope

Garmin's Panoptix LiveScope produces high resolution, easy-to-interpret images of structure, bait and fish swimming below and around the boat in real time. Winner of the Best of Show award at the 2018 ICAST fishing-industry show in July, LiveScope lets anglers can see images with such clarity that it's possible to identify a species as they swim by. The system relies on the GLS 10 black box with a LVS32 transducer that can mounted on the boat transom or on a trolling motor. LiveScope is compatible with a wide range of Garmin EchoMap and GPSMap displays. $1,499.99; garmin.comCourtesy Garmin

Icom M85 Handheld VHF

Icom's M85 is a little waterproof radio packed with lot of features, and that makes it a great gift boaters. It has all VF channels, plus 100 land mobile channels, as well as a built-in voice scrambler for private communications. The M85 is full of the features you need including an automated emergency alarm. $299.99, icom.comCourtesy Icom

Lowrance HDS Live

Lowrance has introduced HDS Live, featuring LiveSight, among other features. Place the optional LiveSight transducer in a bow-facing position to look sideways (wherever the boat points), or in a down-facing position look below the boat. Livesight images in real time, so you can see fish and bait move around within the sonar beam, which operates on a frequency of 240 kHz. When using LiveSight forward with the Lowrance Point-1 GPS antenna, an on-chart indicator shows the direction the transducer is pointed, allowing you to line up on a waypoint or pinpoint the structure you are trying to fish. Available in 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch display sizes, HDS Live ranges in price from $949 to $4,499. The LiveSight transducer is $999, lowrance.comCourtesy Lowrance


Nautic-On is a digital platform designed to improve the boat ownership experience through connectivity and service. Launched by marine giant, Brunswick Corp., the system can communicate a boat's location and vital systems data using an onboard hub and wireless sensors. Customers access the information using the Nautic-On app, giving them a remote view of the condition of their boat's key components and operating systems. It will alert the customer when systems are malfunctioning. It is available on new boat models, and can easily be retrofitted to existing boats. Equipment starts at $600, nautic-on.comCourtesy Nautic-On

Ocean Signal ATB 1

Ocean Signal’s new ATB 1 is a powerful Class B AIS transponder incorporating SOTDMA (Self Organised Time Division Multiple Access) technology for increased visibility and navigational safety. The SOTDMA technology ensures increased priority for position reports with no loss or delay of transmission. The unit’s 5-watt output power, compared to the standard 2W, allows the transmissions to reach further. With 99 acquisition channels and 33 tracking channels, the powerful internal multi-GPS receiver continuously updates vessel information, including position, speed, course and heading, for accurate global positioning. This device is so new that it has not yet been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained.Courtesy Ocean Signal

Simrad Halo24 Dome Radar

The new Simrad Halo24 radar places solid-state pulse compression technology in a compact, lightweight, low-profile radome for applications on a wide range boat sizes and styles. With a 60-rpm rotation at distances up to two nautical miles, Halo24 offers a fast refresh rate, a critical factor in limited visibility situations. The new 24-inch diameter dome offers up to a 48-nautical mile range, and will process multiple ranges. In addition, this radar features VelocityTrack Doppler technology instant visual feedback on the motion of radar targets. It color codes approaching vessels for greater situational awareness. The Halo24 will also be available in Simrad two sister brands – B&G (for the sailing market) and Lowrance. It will integrate with all current MFDs. $2,699, simrad-yachting.comCourtesy Simrad

Spot X

Spot X offers two-way message capabilities with a keyboard, GPS, social media linking and direct communication with emergency services in one portable, lightweight device. Using satellite communications, boating anglers can keep in touch with family and friends, or if necessary, rescue personnel. Spot X provides users with a unique, personal mobile number that allows either party to initiate conversations at any time. It features a 2.7-inch backlit display, rechargeable lithium battery, an IP67 waterproof rating and compass. It can also be loaded with waypoints for navigation purposes. $249, plus service fee; findmespot.comCourtesy Spot X

Standard Horizon HX40 Handheld VHF

The new HX40 handheld VHF from Standard Horizon features an ultra-compact, waterproof case and packs 6 watts of transmit power. You can select presets of your 10 favorite channels, and scan multiple channels using the easy to operate menu system. Boasting a three-year warranty, the HX40 offers NOAA weather channels with weather alert. It also has an FM broadcast radio receiver. $119.99, standardhorizon.comCourtesy Standard Horizon