New Electronics 2015

A new crop of marine electronics improves GPS, communications and fishing.

Humminbird Marine Boat Electronics 2015
Humminbird Helix
The Helix series from ­Humminbird includes five models with varying ­functions and 5-inch 480-by-800 pixel high-definition color screens. The top-of-the-line Helix5 SI-GPS features side imaging, down imaging, conventional 500W sonar, GPS and a chart plotter with a host of electronic carto-graphy options, including LakeMaster and Navionics Gold/Hot Maps, via the micro SD-card slot. It has a built-in Contour XD map and is compatible with Humminbird’s AutoChart and AutoChart Pro. The SI reads up to 100 feet on either side of the boat, while the sonar reads down to 1,500 feet. This new model stores up to 2,750 waypoints. $199 to $499; humminbird.com
FLIR Marine Boat Electronics 2015
FLIR Thermal Monitor
The compact, waterproof FLIR AX8 is designed for permanent mounting to provide simultaneous temperature and visual monitoring of systems and compartments below deck, such as the engine room. Two lenses – a thermal sensor and digital camera – provide streaming video to a ­monitor or multifunction display. The sensitive thermal imager detects excessive temperatures such as an overheating turbo or an overloaded fuse. You can also combine the thermal and visible-light images for a sharper image and greater ­context. Smaller than a mobile phone, it installs in the tightest ­compartments. $999; flir.com
Garmin Marine Boat Electronics 2015
Garmin GPSMAP 7400/7600 Multi-Function Displays
Available in sonar and non-sonar versions, the new GPSMAP 7400 and 7600 series of multifunction displays (MFDs) boast 7-, 8-, 10- and 12-inch displays and built-in 10 Hz GPS. Each offers pinch-to-zoom touchscreen capabilities, and can integrate functions such as digital switching, weather, radar, and thermal and IP cameras. The GPSMAP 7400xsv and 7600xsv series feature sonar, including traditional HD-ID sonar, 1 kW CHIRP sonar, and CHIRP DownVü and SideVü. Every GPSMAP 7400 model has a worldwide basemap series. BlueChart g2 coastal maps are preloaded to the GPSMAP 7600 MFDs. Sonar ­models start at $1,699.99, non-­sonar at $1,499.99; garmin.com
Furuno Marine Boat Electronics 2015
Furuno Wireless Radar
Furuno’s DRS-4W 1st Watch Wireless Radar combines a compact 12½-pound 4 kW radome with an iOS mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. It uses a free app to display radar returns on up to two devices at once. A small antenna on the bottom of the dome transmits the wireless radar signal to your mobile device. A simple Apple interface lets you change range from .125 to 24 nm. With the iPad, you can also read target bearing and distance. You do need to wire 12-volt power to the dome, which draws less than 2 amps. $1,695; furunousa.com
Raymarine Marine Boat Electronics 2015
Raymarine CHIRP Sidevision
Raymarine’s CP200 CHIRP SideVision Sonar module employs the CPT-200 transom-mount transducer to present three preset transducer angles to optimize shallow, medium or deepwater ­situations. Using two independent sonar channels and advanced signal processing, the CP200 delivers highly detailed returns, reminiscent of an ultrasound. Integration with a Raymarine Lighthouse II multifunction display is simple, allowing you to read bottom and fish as far as 600 feet on either side of the boat. $609.99; raymarine.com
Fusion Marine Boat Electronics 2015
Fusion Black Box System
The MS-BB300 black box sound system from Fusion offers ­Bluetooth ­connectivity with Apple iOS and Android/­Windows media players, as well as USB/AUX ­connection options. It also offers Fusion-Link plug-and-play ­compatibility with NMEA 2000-­enabled multifunction ­displays to control the ­Fusion True-Marine audio ­system. The ­MS-BB300 also includes a MS-NRX200i wired remote control with a large LCD and rotary encoder. The system provides three independent audio zones with both separate and gang volume control. The MS-BB300 also ­features an AM/FM/Sirius XM-ready tuner. $479; fusionelectronics.com
Standard Horizon HX870
The floating, waterproof HX870, new from ­Standard Horizon, includes a 66-channel GPS r­eceiver allowing the radio to ­transmit a DSC distress call with your vessel’s position or navigate to a waypoint. It also has an oversize ­2.3-inch diagonal dot-matrix LCD and intuitive menu system. DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint and route navigation and DSC distress calls require just a few simple steps. It stores up to 200 waypoints and 20 routes for navigating via the radio’s unique compass page. Other advanced features include a water-activated SOS strobe light and weather alert. Supplied with a 1800 mAh Li-ion battery, 110VAC and 12VDC chargers. $249.99; standardhorizon.com
Shakespeare's HDTV Antennas Marine Boat Electronics 2015
Shakespeare's HDTV Antennas
Shakespeare’s new line of SeaWatch TV antennas deliver over-the-air digital high-definition TV reception aboard just about any boat. The three permanent-mount models –– the ultra-compact 3004 with a 4-inch dome and the saucer-shaped 3015 and 3019 (15- and 19-inch diameters) –– are threaded to accept common 1-inch antenna mounts and include 20 feet of low-loss RG-59 coaxial cable, F-connectors, and a 30 dB low-noise amplifier with AC and DC power supplies. When paired with an optional two-way band separator ­between the antenna and the amplifier, these antennas also receive AM/FM radio signals. A full line of mounts and extension masts are available to fine-tune the installation specifically to your boat. $161.95 (3004), $170.95 (3015), $244.95 (3019);shakespeare-marine.com
ICOM VHF Radio Marine Boat Electronics 2015
ICOM VHF
The new fixed-mount M324, M324G and M424G VHF radios feature built-in Class-D DSC and an integrated GPS (on G models). The soft-key assignments and directional keypad allow you to quickly navigate settings and radio functions. For better readability and nighttime operation, the dot-matrix displays are backlit. The M324 and M324G feature amber screens, while the M424G emits a white ­backlight. With the G models, you can view current position/time and access GPS waypoints. The M424G features public ­address, foghorn and active noise canceling. All three are rated IPX7 ­submersible. Available in black or white. $199.99 (M324), $259.99 (M324G), $399.99 (M424G);icomamerica.com
SIMRAD HD Radar Marine Boat Electronics 2015
SIMRAD HD Radar
The new Advanced high-­definition digital radar from Simrad features leading-edge signal processing and high-­performance open-array ­scanners. The lineup includes 4- and 6-foot, 10 kW open arrays and a 7-foot, 25kW open array – all with ­long-life magnetrons and brushless motors for durability. Features include auto tune, gain and sea-clutter adjustments, auto harbor and offshore modes, and relative motion, allowing you to discern moving targets from stationary ones. They readily network with a high-speed heading sensor to enable chart/radar overlays. Starting at $6,199; simrad-yachting.com
Airmar CHIRP Transducers Marine Boat Electronics 2015
Airmar CHIRP Transducers
The new single-band CHIRP transducers from Airmar, designed to accommodate the growing number of single-band CHIRP sonars such as the ­Simrad NSS evo2 series, offer boating anglers compact tranducers at lower cost than a multiband CHIRP ’ducer. Two of the new 1,000-watt models – the transom-mount TM185HW and through-hull B285HW – offer high-frequency operation and a 25-degree beamwidth for broader coverage. The series includes seven models in transom mount, flush through-hull and through-hull with fairing blocks. Price TBD; airmartechnology.com