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The boat show season starts with one of the biggest—the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (Oct. 26 to 30, 2022). It’s a great place to check out all kinds of boats and gear, including the latest in marine electronics. Most of these concentrated the marine electronics tent at the Bahia Mar venue, but there are also marine electronics retailers in other tents at Bahia Mar. No matter where you look, you’ll discover some of the coolest high-tech items for navigation, fishing, onboard entertainment, security, communications, and more. Here’s a selection that you must see at FLIBS.
Simrad NSX Series Displays
Check out Simrad’s NSX multifunction displays (MFDs) at FLIBS. They feature a new Android operating system enabling additional functionality, easier integrations and support for a wide range of apps. Boaters can utilize NSX with Active Imaging sonar, chirp sonar, SideScan, DownScan and FishReveal. Available in 7-, 9- and 12-inch touch-screen sizes, the MFDs offers high-resolution bathymetry. NSX also includes a Setup Wizard that makes it easier to include displays of engine and tank parameters, optimize the autopilot, calibrate the radar and more. Boaters can edit NSX displays with a simple drag-and-drop system. Starting at $1,049; simrad-yachting.com.
Furuno Chirp Side-Scan
FLIBS is the perfect place to play around with new Furuno’s new Chirp Side-Scan sonar, now available on the Furuno NavNet TZTouch3 TZT12F, TZT16F and TZT19F MFDs. This technology scans both port and starboard, allowing boaters to see the shape of bottom structure in high definition and easily target fish. It operates on a lower frequency spectrum than comparable side-scan systems, enable it to reach out 750 feet or more off each side of the vessel. A software update to version 3.0 and one of three compatible transducer options (thru-hull, paired, and transom mount) enables Furuno’s Chip Side-Scan. A compatible Furuno side-scan thru-hull transducer retails for $739.95 at The GPS Store.
Garmin LiveScope XR
Well worth a look at FLIBS is Garmin’s new LiveScope XR designed to deliver real-time images of fish and structure up to 500 feet in front of or below the boat—over 200 percent more range than the leading competitive live-imaging systems. Designed to be mounted on a trolling motor, the LiveScope XR transducer can be quickly adjusted for three type of views. Turn the transducer forward for a live look in front of the boat; point it down to see directly beneath the boat; or turn it sideways for a perspective mode. The LiveScope XR System includes a compact GLS 10 black box with a LiveScope XR LV6 transducer, along with a trolling motor barrel and shaft mounting kit, perspective mount bracket and a simple plug-and-play Garmin Marine Network connector for easy integration with a compatible Garmin chartplotter. $2,999.99; garmin.com
SiOnyx Nightwave D1
Don’t miss the opportunity to see the SiOnyx Nightwave D1. This affordable, compact fixed-mount camera requires only faint starlight to help boaters see low-lying hazards such as timber or lobster-pot buoys in the water as far out as 150 yards. With a 40-degree field of view, Nightwave covers a wide swath over the waters ahead. Measuring five inches in diameter and six inches tall and weighing just under two pounds, the IP67-waterproof-rated Nightwave camera is designed to mount on hardtop in either top-up or top-down configurations. It also has a ¼-inch 20-thread receiver for using the camera with a Ram mount. It features an analog video cable connection that plugs into an MFD. The camera also offers Wi-Fi video streaming to mobile devices using the SiOnyx Nightwave app. $1,495; sionyx.com
Si-Tex Polaris Charts
While at FLIBS, ask about the new Polaris charts featuring content-rich vector cartography developed exclusively for the Si-Tex NavPro multifunction displays. Covering the entire United States, the chart now come bundled with the NavPro 900C/F (starting at $1,099) and 1200C/F (starting $2,299) at no additional cost. The units combine chart plotting, built-in CHIRP sonar, Wi-Fi radar capability, and hybrid displays for touch screen or button control. Charts are also available on micro-SD cards. $125; si-tex.com
ResQLink Return Link Service
The ACR booth at FLIBS is always worth a visit, and while you’re there, ask about the new Return Link Service for the popular 406 MHz ResQLink Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs). The RLS provides a clear confirmation message and reassurance for US boaters that the international satellite system, Cospas-Sarsat, has received the distress message and GPS location. The ResQLink View RLS comfirms via its digital display screen, while the ResQLink 410 RLS has a confirmation light. $449.95 and $429.95, respectively; acrartex.com
Xantrex Xplore Chargers
If you’re looking for a versatile battery charger, check out the Xplore battery charger from Xantrex at FLIBS. It can charge all types of marine lead-acid—including flooded cell, AGM and gel—and lithium batteries at the same time. It provides 12 volts DC on the output side, with output amps selectable between 5 and 40, and can handle up to six battery banks at once. Built-in NMEA-2000 connectivity lets you use an MFD for configuration and monitoring. The 13-pound unit measures 16.26 inches tall by 12.34 inches wide by 6.5 inches deep. $1,359.99; xantrex.com
The Latest in Marine Tech – Powered by Best Marine Electronics & Technology
For an interactive look at the latest marine technology, check out the Best Marine Electronics and Technology Story Stream. Here are some of the Story Stream’s featured products that you can also see at the boat show. –Chris Woodward
Everglades Rotating Helm Seat
We first wrote about the rotating helm seat designed by Everglades Boats when that company debuted its 235cc this past year. But Everglades has now delivered a larger, more feature-rich version for its new 285cc.
Everglades says that the innovation follows a trend toward employing aft-facing mezzanine seats aboard sport-fishers so that mates can watch their spread of baits. To adapt that for smaller-cockpit center-console vessels, Everglades created a rotating helm seat that converts to mezzanine seating.
In its forward-facing position, the double helm seat offers the captain and crew flip-up bolsters and armrests. The aft side of the unit features a sculpted cushion that creates a leaning post. The leaning-post cushion folds down for tackle storage and a rigging area.
When mates want to sit and watch the lines—or when family wants to watch swimmers or snorkelers—the seating unit rotates. A foldout footrest helps make the perch even more comfortable. The helmsman still has a cushioned leaning post to use when needed.
The rotating mechanism is manual for simplicity, Everglades says. To swivel the seat, the captain pulls a spring-loaded stainless-steel latch on the centerline of the forward side of the seat. The platform rotates on an assembly of through-bolted stainless components with low-friction Delrin rings. The seat locks once it fully rotates. Two slide bolts fasten the seat into position.
Garmin inReach Mini 2 Marine Bundle
Garmin’s new inReach Mini 2 Marine Bundle features the latest version of the company’s popular satellite communication device paired with a boat-friendly mount and 12-volt power cable. The Mini 2 offers two-way text messaging, location tracking and weather updates, thanks to the Iridium satellite network. The unit can also trigger an interactive SOS message to the Garmin International Emergency Response Coordination Center.
The Mini 2 measures just 4 inches tall and 2 inches wide, weighing 3.5 ounces. It carries an IPX7 waterproof rating and can be paired wirelessly with onboard GPSMap plotters or a quatix 7 Series marine GPS smartwatch.
Battery life extends up to 14 days of continuous run time in default 10-minute tracking mode. In 30-minute tracking mode, the batteries will last up to 30 days. The Mini 2 can remain charged and ready when powered off for up to one year.
Pair Mini 2 with the Garmin Explore mobile app to map, track, sync, share adventures, send texts, review updated weather and download maps when in cellphone coverage areas. When out of range, mariners can use the location-sharing features to communicate with friends and family.
The bundle costs $449.99, and satellite subscription plans start at $11.95 a month.
Humphree, makers of marine stabilization and trim solutions, designed its new Lightning system for boats from 25 to 45 feet, powered by outboards, inboards, sterndrives or jets. The patented interceptor blades mount on either side of the transom. When they deploy vertically into the water, they create lift. Lightning’s blades extend 50 mm in half a second to stabilize small boats with short roll periods.
Lightning is available in a variety of packages that include auto trim, auto list, coordinated turn, and roll stabilization. Boaters can also purchase the optional integrated WRGB underwater lights with smartphone integration.
Available in two sizes adaptable to a variety of hull shapes, Lightning will be offered initially through boatbuilders. Packages and pricing information has not been released.
But Wait…There’s More!
There’s much more to see in marine electronics at FLIBS, including a number of new product introductions we can’t talk about. That’s because some brands want to keep lid on announcements until the first day of the show. Suffice to say, be sure to drop by the exhibits from companies like Simrad, JL Audio, Raymarine and others, and ask about new technology that they just unveiled at FLIBS.