In today’s world of rapidly evolving technology, the only element that’s consistent is change. While the pace of new marine electronics introductions might have slowed during the past two years in the wake of global supply-chain issues, development is accelerating again. This year, boating anglers will see a host of fresh electronic systems at boat shows, marine retailers and aboard new boats. Some of the coolest new products come in the form of a state-of-the-art radar series with highly sophisticated bird modes, upgraded electronic charts that help pinpoint productive bottom structure, new rescue beacons with built-in AIS for greater safety, compact domes that provide extended cellular connectivity while offshore fishing, and much more. Here are 10 marine electronics developments you’ll see in 2023.
ACR AIS Rescue Beacons
ACR Electronics has integrated automatic identification system (AIS) technology into its newest emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and personal locator beacon (PLB). The GlobalFix V5 EPIRB and ResQLink AIS PLB both incorporate AIS. The result is a combination of local location ability in the form of AIS with global location resources via the 406 MHz COSPAS-SARSAT distress signal to help ensure fast rescues and maximize the chance of survival.
They also offer ACR’s Return Link Service to confirm that a distress message has been received. In addition, the new beacons provide mobile phone connectivity with a free mobile app, an industry-first benefit thanks to the introduction of NFC (near-field communication) technology, enabling users to monitor their beacons and review self-test results.
The slim, lightweight beacons offer a 10-year battery life and include GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) positioning, a 406 MHz COSPAS-SARSAT distress signal with MEOSAR compatibility, a 121.5 MHz local homing signal and an infrared strobe.
The new ACR beacons start at $519.95 and $499.95 for the GlobalFix V5 EPIRB and ResQLink AIS PLB, respectively; acrartex.com.
C-Map App With Genesis Layer
C-Map’s digital marine cartography app for mobile devices now features Genesis, the brand’s crowdsourced mapping data.
“The addition of Genesis on the C-Map app is just another enhancement that allows users to get the best possible mapping information so they can fish better and know more about what lies beneath the waters,” says Max Cecchini, executive vice president for C-Map.
The Genesis layer adds more than 30,000 user-generated elements to C-Map charts, allowing boating anglers to view crowdsourced mapping data that has been reviewed and approved by C-Map engineers on both smartphones and MFDs.
User uploads to Genesis represent nearly 1 million hours on the water over the past five years, supplementing official charting data provided by government bathymetric agencies across the world.
Genesis is also available for charts used for Lowrance and Simrad MFDs. The basic app is free and includes an in-app premium subscription with purchases starting at $14.99; c-map.com.
Dometic Marine Gateway
The Dometic Marine Gateway provides boating anglers with advanced monitoring, control and security capabilities for their vessels. The versatile, compact gateway device connects with a mobile app for Android and Apple devices, and enables wireless monitoring and control of multiple devices and digital systems from anywhere in the world.
While aboard, a boater connects via Bluetooth. When away from the vessel, Wi-Fi or LTE cellular service delivers 24/7 connectivity. One of the biggest advantages lies in integration with Dometic’s DCM Digital Switching, providing control capabilities of onboard systems. It also provides security through a range of available sensors. A built-in GNSS GPS receiver offers accurate position data and lets boaters set up geofence protection for vessels. Low power draw makes it practical for use during extended storage, while an internal backup battery keeps the unit functioning if power is cut. $750 excluding cellular service fee; dometic.com.
Echonautics represents a new brand of transducers compatible with all major sonars and MFDs. Distributed through AvMap Satellite Navigation, the line offers a full range of high-performance transducers, including bronze and stainless-steel through-hulls, dual-frequency transom mountsand more.
One of the most notable in the new Echonautics line is the BT87H1kW, a 1,000-watt high-frequency-chirp bronze flush-mount through-hull that minimizes drag and provides superior high-speed performance. The 130 to 210 kHz frequency band and narrow 8- to 13-degree beam width make this transducer excellent for pinpointing fish on reefs, wrecks and other structure at depths down to 1,000 feet. This model is available in zero-degree, 12-degree and 18-degree tilted-element versions to accommodate different mounting locations on V-hulls. $1,299; avmap.us.
Furuno FR-10 and FR-12 Radar Displays
With the new FR-10 and FR-12 stand-alone color LCD radar displays, Furuno has taken a step back to the future, and here’s why. Until now, you needed one of Furuno’s NavNet TZtouch MFDs to run the brand’s popular DRS NXT radar systems. But some boating anglers prefer a dedicated radar display, and that’s what these new screens provide.
The 10.4-inch FR-10 and 12.1-inch FR-12 radars are engineered for compatibility with DRS NXT solid-state Doppler radar models, but are also versatile enough to use with the traditional Furuno X-Band magnetron radar systems.
In addition to the benefits of Doppler Target Analyzer with the NXT radar, the new displays also feature a Risk Visualizer that provides a graphic representation of potential collision hazards.
The displays feature bright color (non-touchscreen) LCDs and ergonomic key panels designed for simple operation. $2,800 for the FR-10; $4,800 for the FR-12; furunousa.com.
Garmin Navionics+ Marine Cartography
Garmin’s GPSMap series MFDs will now offer built-in Garmin Navionics+ all-in-one cartography with US coastal mapping, inland charts, new Auto Guidance+ technology and more. A vibrant new color palette provides greater detail for more intuitive navigation, wherever you roam.
With up to 5,000 daily updates, the charts combine millions of contributions from private and public surveyors, crowdsourced data and more to provide the latest insights.
The Auto Guidance+ technology offers faster route calculations and improved routing detail to create suggested routes to destinations. The cartography will be preloaded in the Garmin GPSMap 7×3/9×3/
12×3 series, GPSMap 1042xsv/ 1242xsv, and the GPSMap 8600 series. Boaters with existing BlueChart g3 coastal charts and compatible GPSMap units can easily upgrade to the Garmin Navionics+ cartography.
For more advanced features, boating anglers can also upgrade to premium Garmin Navionics Vision+ that includes the addition of relief shading, sonar imagery, unique 3D views, satellite imagery and aerial photography. To learn more, visit garmin.com/marine.
Humminbird Mega Live Hand Control
The new Humminbird Mega Live hand control lets anglers aim the Mega Live Imaging sonar transducer any direction and does away with the need for a trolling-motor mount. The GeigerTec billet-aluminum adjustable mount and 50-inch long shaft is ideal for bay boats, hybrids and smaller offshore boats. The mount can be installed on an elevated bow deck or a Cannon mounting track.
The articulating upper portion makes it easy to deploy, retract and securely stow. The system comes with a Mega Live imaging transducer, adjustable mounting arm, shaft and handle, Ethernet cable, power cable and mounting hardware. Mega Live sonar is compatible with all Humminbird Apex and Solix MFDs, as well as the Helix 8-12 G3N Mega. $2,049.99; humminbird.com.
Maretron WSO200 Weather Station
Maretron’s new WSO200 is a marine ultrasonic weather station that accurately measures wind speed and direction, air temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity, windchill factor, heat index and dew points.
Maretron’s WSO200 calculates wind measurements using six ultrasonic sensors in a delta configuration, with no moving parts to wear out. With an IP67 waterproof rating to withstand the elements, the compact WSO200 sensor mounts on a standard marine pole mount on a hardtop or other elevated position.
The unit is NMEA 2000-certified, which allows for display on an MFD using N2KView software.
A panel of judges at the National Marine Electronics Association conference in 2022 named the WSO200 Best New Product. $595; maretron.com.
Simrad Halo 2000 and 3000 Radars
The new Halo 2000 and 3000 open-array, pulse-compression radar systems from Simrad feature higher power, greater detection ranges and improved software. The result is a variety of innovative new functions, including Bird+ Mode, ZoneTrack and Dangerous Target Alerts.
The Halo 2000 (available with 3-, 4- and 6-foot rotating antenna arrays) offers 50 watts of power, ensuring visibility out to 72 nautical miles, while the Halo 3000 (available with 4- and 6-foot rotating antenna arrays) pumps out 130 watts of power and provides visibility out to 96 nautical miles. That power is combined with world-class beam sharpening for enhanced target separation.
Both systems are compatible with Simrad’s latest MFDs. Anglers will appreciate the Halo 3000’s Bird+ Mode, which calibrates the radar to focus its 130 watts to find flocks of seabirds. It can show birds, which often lead to fish, at distances up to 8 nautical miles away. That kind of bird detection is on par with the performance of a 25 kW magnetron radar.
The innovative ZoneTrack and Danger Target Alerts features provide critical information and warnings to help avoid collisions. The 2000 starts at $6,399, and the 3000 starts at $8,499; simrad-yachting.com.
Read Next: The Latest Developments in Marine Radar
Wave WiFi Freedom LTE-A Dome
Make that meeting without missing the bite. The Freedom LTE-A marine dome is a dual-band MIMO Wi-Fi transceiver with a built-in SIM slot that provides global connectivity through LTE-A cellular networks.
Everything is housed in the compact Freedom LTE-A dome, which uses a stainless-steel standard female-thread mount for easy installation. A single removable Ethernet cable supports 12-volt DC power-over-Ethernet and data transfer.
When connected to Wave WiFi’s wireless routers, marine network controllers or access points, the Freedom LTE-A dome supports multiple onboard devices.
The user-friendly system includes a web-based interface. There is no software to install. $2,895; wavewifi.com.