The Miami International Boat Show is a hotbed of new product introductions — and that includes new marine electronics for boating anglers. Check out seven of the hot new products I got to see and use at the 2017 show.
Lowrance Offers a Wider View
I stood amazed by the new Lowrance HDS Carbon series of multifunction displays. These feature high-performance dual-core processors, dual channel Chirp and network dual sounder. The HDS Carbon series includes 7-, 9- and 12-inch models. The clarity and wide field of view offered by the new multi-touch SolarMAX™ HD screens is outstanding, thanks to in-plane switching technology. Look for some more big news from Lowrance in the next few weeks.
Dual-Channel CHIRP from Simrad
I got to run the new Simrad NSS evo3 series, which includes 7-, 9-, 12- and 16-inch models with an updated, easy-to-use interface with TouchSensible touchscreen, keypad and rotary-control knob, making the units easier to operate when the boat is in motion. The NSS evo3 units also feature SolarMAX™ HD screens with in-plane switching technology for a wider view and greater clarity, dual channel Chirp, glass-helm design and refined user interface.
Night Safety Innovation from FLIR
FLIR Systems demonstrated two new compact additions to its popular M-Series marine thermal cameras for recreational boating, the FLIR M100 and M200, which work with the new Raymarine Axiom series of multifunction displays. The M100 (tilt only) and M200 (pan and tilt) thermal cameras provide enhanced awareness while fishing, sailing or cruising at night, including an innovative system call Clear Cruise that alerts you to possible hazards with both audible and visual alarms. It is very impressive.
Raymarine Debuts RealVision 3D
I was stunned by the versatility of Raymarine’s new Axiom multifunction displays, which include built-in RealVision 3D sonar powered by the Raymarine Lighthouse 3 operating system. Remarkably, you need only one transducer (available in through-hull and transom-mount versions) to access the 350 kHz the CHIRP DownVision, SideVision and fish targeting. The touch-screen MFDs — available in 7-, 9- and 12-inch models — features quad-core processors that are 50 percent faster than previous displays.
Doppler Dome Radar from Garmin
I saw the GMR Fantom 18- and 24-inch solid-state dome radars in action. Both use Doppler technology to detect targets in different colors as they move toward or away from you. The pulse compression technology provides high resolution to enhance detection and identification of targets, as well as excellent performance at ranges as close as 20 feet. The models also use Pulse Expansion to maximizes target size to differentiate real targets from noise.
Quantum Leap for Standard Horizon
Two new fixed-mount Quantum VHF radios — both with GPS and NMEA 2000 compatibility — have emerged from Standard Horizon. The GX6000 also features an integrated AIS receiver, while the GX6500 features a Class B AIS transponder (with send and receive functions). Both feature an oversize rotary channel knob, easy-to-operate menu, 25-watt dual-zone PA/Loud Hailer with pre-programmed fog signals and listen back, voice scramblers, and integrated voice recorder to play back two minutes of reception.
Furuno Leaps into 3D Sonar
I checked out Furuno’s new DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar, which operates on 165 kHz using a phased array transducer (available in through-hull and transom-mount versions) with eight elements. The 120-degree beam angle allows you to see a three-dimensional image of the seabed and fish — not only out 650 feet to each side of the boat, but also 1,000 feet directly under the hull. You can split the sonar into three separate 40-degree beams and also look for fish offshore in open water. The DFF3D connects to Furuno’s NavNet TZtouch/TZtouch2 multifunction display.