The Tracphone F77 from KVH Industries provides fast communications via a satellite network. Doubling data-transfer speeds to 128 kbps, the F77 is a speedy connection for voice, fax and Internet and can use the Velocity Accelerator software from KVH to reach broadband speeds approximating residential DSL service. The Tracphone F77 sells for $24,000 with a variety of monthly service options. KVH Industries; (888) 584-4163; www.kvh.com.
Sonar So Far
The Platinum forward-looking sonar (FLS) from EchoPilot Marine Electronics uses a large transflective color LCD – visible in bright sunlight – to display sonar images of objects up to 650 feet ahead. Color indicates the strength of the return signal to show seabed composition. Available with a wireless link between transducer and display, the Platinum FLS is NMEA compatible, can display GPS data and sells for $2,700. EchoPilot Marine Electronics; 011 44 (0) 1425 476211; www.echopilot.com.
At less than ten inches tall and just over three inches wide, Simrad’s SA50 is one of the smallest search and rescue transponders (SART) on the market. Activation is a breeze: Just pull the pin, and when the unit is hit by a vessel’s radar, it emits 12 pulses that are displayed on the screen. The pulses appear as unique “blips” to help rescuers zero in on the stranded mariners. The SA50 is designed to work in conjunction with an EPIRB and sells for $975. Simrad U.S.A.; (425) 778-8821; www.simrad.com.