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Monthly Archive: February 2016

7

Solid state radar #1: long ranges and deep thoughts

MIBS_2016_mostly_DeLorme_radar_demo_tracks_cPanbo.jpgWhile we’ve barely begun 2016, the state of recreational marine radar is entirely different than it was in 2015. The simultaneous introductions of Furuno and Garmin solid state Doppler radars in Miami was a stunning coincidence, but the bigger picture is that all four major brands have now embraced solid state technology and a major transition is underway. During the show I spoke with a lot of product managers as we checked out their particular new radar underway, and my (partial) track map above (in two scales) may help readers to better understand the screenshots I brought home...

4

Hobie/Lowrance fishing “kayak” & Simrad TripIntel

Lowrance_Ready_Hobie_Pro_Angler_14_BenE_cPanbo.jpgAfter four marine events (and three round trips to Florida) in five weeks, I’ve toured or ridden a lot of nice boats or at least interestingly equipped ones. But some solo time on a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 during the Navico writer’s event at Hawk’s Cay easily stands out. I think the design is only filed in Hobie’s kayak section because “fishing kayaks” have evolved so fast a better category name hasn’t emerged yet, and that thought doesn’t include the unusual Mirage pedal-to-fin propulsion. Whatever you call it, this is a cool boat, and not just for fishing (though it must be a blast to play a big one from that low throne)…

20

Furuno NXT & Garmin Fantom, Doppler marine radar is here!

Furuno_NXT_and_Garmin_Fantom_solid_state_Dobbler_radars_aPanbo.JPGExclamation marks, curse words…honestly I’m trying to hold myself back. Furuno and Garmin are both announcing new solid state radars here at the Miami Boat Show. So after many years of Navico trailblazing what is arguably a better way of doing radar, and with Raymarine Quantum just recently announced, suddenly all four major brands offer some form of solid state. That would be big news by itself, but the Furuno NXT radome and the Garmin Fantom open array also both justifiably proclaim a first in bringing valuable Dobbler radar enhancement to our boating world because neither apparently knew what the other was about to do. Can I get a HOLY MACKEREL!?!…

9

FLIR Ocean Scout TK, a $599 handheld true thermal marine camera!

FLIR_Ocean_Scout_TK_aPanbo.JPGNew this morning and shipping soon is the FLIR Ocean Scout TK thermal camera. It looks a lot like the existing and beautifully made Ocean Scout series, except that it is about two thirds the size and half the weight. What’s really small, though, is the $599 retail price, which is almost one quarter what even the bottom-of-the-series OS 320 model costs. Now it’s true that the TK will become the lowest resolution Ocean Scout camera with the least range, but there’s a lot more to true thermal vision than resolution and range…

1

Lowrance & Simrad StructureScan 3D, hello interferometry

Lowrance_Simrad_StructureScan_3D_kit_cPanbo.jpgWhen I wrote about the StructureScan 3D announcement last July, I recall feeling a dite skeptical. Sure, the screenshots suggested that new users could more easily understand the 3D presentation of the sidescan data, but I wondered if they wouldn’t go back to the apparently more detailed 2D presentation once they got a handle on it. But I was wrong. On-water demos have taught me that SS3D is much more than a visual gimmick. The 3D view can be really useful, especially for fishing, even though the new 3D transducer also produces the best 2D StructureScan imagery yet, plus there’s some interesting and potentially valuable science going on behind the screens…

22

SL Fridge Optimizer, smart new product from a new company

Arvid n Annika of_Stainless_Lobster cPanbo.jpgHere are Arvid and Annika Elias as they showed me a prototype of their very first marine electronics product in the press room of last fall’s Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. I was quite impressed and am now pleased to report that the Stainless Lobster Fridge Optimizer is official and shipping. If you’d like better monitoring and control of your boat’s electric refrigeration system, and/or automated defrosting (fridge only, not freezer), and/or improved battery time at anchor, read on…