The 2017 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (Nov. 1-5) is one of the best places on Earth for boating anglers to learn about all the latest marine electronics, as well as boats, engines and gear.
Here are some of hottest new items, systems and software you’ll find the in the huge electronics tent, at exhibiting electronics dealers and elsewhere at the show.
Airmar Adjustable In-Hull Transducers
Airmar now has five in-hull chirp transducers with housings that let you easily adjust the angle at which the transducer sits to accommodate the V-angle of the boat hull, including the two newest: the 600-watt P75M and 300-watt P95M. The P75M offers a chirp frequency range of 80 to 130 kHz and a 16- to 24-degree beam width for readings to 900 feet. The 300-watt P95M transmits on a chirp range 95 to 155 kHz with a 17- to 26-degree beam width for readings to 600 feet.
Price: Starting at $299
Website: airmartechnology.com. Ask one of the many marine electronics dealers about these new transducers.
Furuno New Open-Array Doppler Radar
Furuno’s new DRS6A-NXT open-array series is available with three solid-state scanners, measuring 40.8, 49.4 and 70.7 inches. Doppler technology identifies approaching targets in red and safe targets in green. The Fast Target Tracking and Auto Target Acquire features monitor returns with a target vector and echo trail. The RezBoost beam sharpening feature increases resolution. Bird Mode identifies distant bird activity that leads to find schools of feeding fish.
Price: $5,400 for the DRS6A-NXT module, plus the antenna
Garmin Qautix 5 Marine GPS Watch
Garmin’s next-generation quatix 5 marine GPS smartwatch now offers remote autopilot control when paired with a Garmin GHC 20 autopilot control unit, as well as the ability to mark waypoints on a Garmin multifunction display from anywhere on the boat. The quatix 5 also streams NMEA 2000 data from onboard Garmin electronics to give users access to important sensor information concerning speed, depth, temperature and wind. It provides tide data via a smartphone, controls a Fusion onboard sound system and has an anchor alarm.
Price: Starting at $599.99
Humminbird’s Solid-State Chirp Radar
Humminbird light HB2124 chirp radar features solid-state pulse compression technology for clear radar returns in both long and short range modes. It registesr targets out as far as 24 nautical miles, yet detects objects as close as 18 feet away from the boat with outstanding target separation. The 12.3-pound, 21-inch-diameter radar dome networks with select Humminbird Helix and all Onix MFDs. Power consumption is 17 watts in transmit mode.
Icom M605 VHF with Color Display
Icom’s newest fixed-mount VHF transceiver, M605, features a color display for optimal viewing under any lighting condition. A large 4.3-inch color TFT LCD display provides nearly a 180-degree viewing along with high-resolution characters. The night mode screen provides comfortable operation in the dark. The M605 lets you set up the radio with as many as three stations using the main unit and two remote CommandMics. The NMEA-2000-compatible M605 includes a GPS receiver and is also available with an integrated AIS receiver.
Price: Starting at $799.99
Vision Multi-Media Marine Tablet
Power Pole, the same company as makes the versatile shallow-water anchoring arms, has introduced the Vision multi-media marine tablet. The seven-inch touch-screen allows for control of multiple boat accessories, including the Power Pole. Running on an Android platform with NMEA 2000 compatibility, Vision can connect to the internet through Wi-Fi or a personal hotspot to support thousands of Android apps. Built-in mapping lets you see and track your position using satellite images. The display is easy to read in full daylight, even with polarized sunglasses. There are three mounting options – flush-, gimbal- and Ram-mount.
Website: power-pole.com. See this new product at one of the many marine electronics dealers at the show.
Raymarine’s Versatile New Operating System
Raymarine’s new LightHouse 3 software upgrades Raymarine’s eS- and gS-Series MFDs, and lets eS and gS models integrate with the new Axiom and Axiom Pro MFDs. Axiom’s RealVision 3D sonar is accessible on the older models, and conversely, any sonar capabilities in those MFDs will be visible and controllable from Axiom. The visuals are new and fresh, and the layout of the features and controls intuitive. Those familiar with LightHouse 2 can master LightHouse 3 in a matter of minutes.
Simrad GO12 XSE and GO7 XSR Displays
Simrad’s GO12 XSE and GO7 XSR multi-touch chartplotters features a restyled, glass-helm designs, and are compartible with Simrad radar systems, including the Broadband 3G/4G and Halo radar. Super-bright displays and an easy-to-use interface boast pinch-to-zoom, or tap-and-drag to pan smoothly across charts. The GO12 XSE and GO7 XSR also feature internal GPS receivers, StructureScan HD and chirp sonar. These models integrate with SonicHub2, SiriusXM weather/radio and much more.
Price: GO7 XSR (7-inch screen) starts at $649, GO12 XSE (12-inch screen) $2,149
Standard Horizon HX210 Floating Handheld VHF Radio
Standard Horizon’s affordable HX210 handheld VHF radio maintains communication in case your main VHF fails. For emergencies, the HX210 floats, has a water-activated strobe light and offers an IPX7 submersible waterproof rating (one meter for 30 minutes). It also boasts a high-resolution dot-matrix LCD display, selectable output power (6-, 2.5- and 1-watt), a high-capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery, and has NOAA weather radio service. $129.99, standardhorizon.com.