New Center Console Features A Glass Bridge

Chris-Craft and Simrad break new ground.

Marine Electronics and The Glass Helm: A Simrad NSO evo 2 system like this one can be seen aboard the new Chris-Craft Catalina 34.

The “glass bridge,” if you don’t already know, is a term that means your helm panel consists of a screen or screens on which your boat’s ships systems status, engine information and navigation data are all available in a seamless, integrated way. Glass helms do away with the hodgepodge of screens, gauges and bracket-mounted displays that are typical aboard many small craft. Glass helms are typically installed aboard large yachts.

But at the 2014 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, you can see one of the first glass helm installations aboard a Chris-Craft Catalina 34. The new boat will boast dual Simrad NSO evo2 multi-touch, glass bridge navigation systems. Powered by triple Mercury® Verado® outboard engines, the boat will include digital switching and Mercury VesselView® integration that delivers over 30 engine parameters, as well as view and control of features such as Smart Tow®, eco control and cruise control.

You can see this new Chris-Craft and its innovative marine electronics at Bahia Mar Marina, GH Dock 12-16.

As a result of joint efforts between several companies involved in the project, the flat-mount dash of the new Catalina 34 will employ 16-inch, multi-touch Simrad NSO evo2 displays at the helm station to control all systems. The vessel will also include Simrad GoFreeTM wireless connectivity, SonarHubTM sonar, satellite weather and the RS35 VHF with HS35 remote handheld.

Takeaway: I wouldn't be without my marine electronics, but because it requires no power or signal or networking to operate, I still consider my compass a premier piece of navigation equipment.