Fall Electronics Roundup 2014

Features the newest marine electronics, including VHF radios, cameras, displays, sonar and sidescan, charts and firmware and more.

October 15, 2014

Raymarine GS195 with Lighthouse ($15,000)

Glass displays are hot in big sport-fishers now, so Raymarine added a 19-incher to its GS series. It uses the new Lighthouse II interface, which offers sweet features like crisp, clear icon arrangement and full multitouch accessibility, including pinch-to-zoom. The best thing about this new display is that it functions without a black box interface, networking to other Lighthouse II-powered displays seamlessly. And it boasts digital HD video inputs for up to 10 IP network cameras. A digital HDMI output allows connections to remote monitors and even big screen TVs to keep the crew in the know.

Iris Icebridge Monitors ($2,500 – $8,000)

A leading manufacturer of security and infrared-imaging devices, Iris recently stepped into the marine-monitor market with its first series of Icebridge displays. Ranging from 8 inches to 24 inches with a minimal frame and hard buttons, these full multitouch-accessible devices come with an IP65 waterproof rating and a billet-aluminum chassis that’s anodized and powder coated. Glass bridge models range from 13 inches to 24 inches. Warranty service includes advance shipment of replacement monitors — a “Hot Swap,” they call it — that minimizes downtime.

Simrad BSM-3 ($2,199)

After its arrival on the market a couple years ago, CHIRP sonar quickly became the hottest thing in deepwater fishing. Simrad’s BSM-3 uses sturdy aluminum to house all the technology needed to send, receive and interpret returns from anything that resides in the water column. The unit is compatible with a wide cone-angle transducer for the broadest view below and is available with ultra-low, low, medium and high frequencies. This variety allows skippers to tune the unit to their style of fishing. It’s good to 10,000 feet and offers target separation so precise it almost allows anglers to count baitfish in a pod. The sounder comes NMEA 2000 network ready, and the special transducer connectors make it easy to install. Courtesy Simrad

Raymarine CP200 CHIRP SideVision ($609.99)

This new side-scanning sonar from Raymarine comes CHIRP-powered for uber clarity, and — of course — it looks down, too. Raymarine designed and built its own transducer with one of those features that nobody thought of but suddenly everybody wants: parallel cigar-shaped ceramics fit into a custom bracket that allow the installer to tune the heart of the ping to shallow or deepwater scanning.

Garmin GCV 10 SideVu ($600)

Garmin introduced its own CHIRP-powered side-scanning sonar with down-viewing capabilities. The GCV 10 SideVu’s black box interfaces with GPSMAP displays and many of Garmin’s more compact MFDs. It comes complete with a CHIRP transducer for excellent target separation in both DownVu and SideVu modes.

Raymarine CAM299IP ($700)

Call it a backup camera, an action camera or a security-monitoring system; whatever you call it, this cam is ready for all duties. It delivers crisp video or stills on your Lighthouse II series MFDs and switches to black and white at night, using 20 IR illuminators to give it a night-imaging range of 20 meters. The cameras can be 12-volt powered individually or over ethernet as a system.

Iris Nightrunner PTZ Camera System ($4,500)

A new option in thermal imaging adds safety and security to nighttime navigation. The Iris Nightrunner’s high-resolution imaging cuts through darkness and fog. You can remotely control the unit for pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ), and it’s extremely affordable. It’s NMEA 2000 networkable, as well.


Peace of mind in a box? We think so. Boatlink+ is a complete boat status-monitoring system that notifies you via cellphone or email when your boat moves, experiences high bilge water or loses DC or AC voltage. It sends alerts for intrusion if the cabin door opens, if the engine is started or if the security system is disarmed. Each notification is complete with GPS data, so if your boat is being moved against your wishes, locating it is easy. You won’t need any laptop software or even a smartphone app to know what’s going on with your boat.

Furuno Navpilot 711c ($3,695)

Furuno’s 711c color autopilot is designed to complement the sleek look of the NavNet TZtouch MFD while providing both a bright daylight-readable screen and a crisp but subdued night-navigation screen. You can also opt for a hydraulic power-assist system that reduces manual effort in steering and allows instant suspension of the autopilot input at the touch of the helm. To access these features, you’ll need the FAP7002 Processor ($1,525) and the FPS8 valve block ($950). Naturally, the system is controllable via the TZtouch multifunction display.

GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition ($400)

GoPro took its $500 million in revenue public in early July at $23 a share, and the stock has spent most of its time north of $40 since. The innovative Hero3+ Black features a Wi-Fi remote wristband controller. A variety of GoPro custom mounts, like the Sportsman mount (pictured below) allow easy high-definition action photography in rain, sleet and snow, as well as underwater and in the air. Auto Low Light Mode vastly improves shooting in less-than-optimal light. ProTune mode gives added control and improved detail and color in low light and other situations.

JVC Adixxion ($300)

The Adixxion offers extreme features. It automatically shoots photos while recording video, and rolling-shutter cancellation corrects Jell-O distortion, which is common in some cams. We like the clear viewfinder and the ¼ x 20 thread built-in tripod mount. A 1.5-inch viewfinder LCD is daylight bright.

Sony Action Cam AS100V ($279)

Only Sony can boast a Carl Zeiss lens in its weatherproof action cam. Nobody makes better glass. The Exmor R imaging chip offers extreme image clarity in auto mode in low light. Stereo-sound recording is another bonus. Custom mounts are available from Sony, but the included ¼ x 20-thread tripod mount opens unlimited mounting options from accessory makers. An internal GPS tags video with speed, location and altitude data for on-screen playback.

Garmin Virb Elite ($350)

This waterproof (to 30 feet) action cam offers an internal GPS and accelerometer to tag video with data for on-screen display. The bright LCD makes framing and aiming the cam easy in full sunlight. Where were you when you wired that bill?

ICOM M506 N2K (from $450)

This powerful, clear VHF is equipped with a built-in AIS for quick acquisition of traffic targets to enhance safety. It comes with Class D DSC for safety and ICOM’s Last Call playback, so you can replay the last received call for clearer understanding when transmissions are garbled. Choose front or rear mic and AIS connections.

Standard Horizon GX 2200 ($400)

This fixed-mount, AIS-equipped VHF is available in white or black. It features an integrated 66-channel WAAS GPS antenna. With Class D DSC built in and local traffic’s MMSI radio numbers displayed on screen, skippers can directly contact approaching vessels.

Simrad Insight Genesis Community Sourced Social Mapping

Now that you have all that sophisticated CHIRP and StructureScan sonar on your boat, you have better bottom contours than NOAA has. Wouldn’t you like to put that data on your own GPS charts? That’s what Insight Genesis does and the basic service does it beautifully — for free. You can choose between a free or premium subscription ($99). Free is pretty good, allowing you to record sonar and track data, upload it to the Insight Genesis server and then download new charts with your custom sonar and StructureScan data overlaid.


Navionics+ charting has expanded its partnerships with virtually all of the major navigation-gear makers, including B&G, Garmin, Humminbird, Lowrance, Raymarine and Simrad. Navionics’ web-based cloud server, Freshest Data, accepts your sonar recordings and incorporates them into the most detailed charts, based not only on your data but that of all the server’s users. The service is free for one year with purchase of Navionics+ and Platinum charts.

Raymarine LightHouse II v11.xx

This firmware update, released in late July, brings additional features across the entire multifunction-display portfolio, including the aSeries, cSeries, eSeries and gS Series. The firmware update streamlines the operating system and adds enhancements to the CP300 and CP450 sounders.

Navionics Boating Mobile App

Navionics issued an update that enhances Plotter Sync to make wireless-chart updates possible on most of Raymarine’s MFDs updated with Lighthouse II v11.xx firmware. With an iPhone or iPad, Raymarine owners can upload sonar logs to the Freshest Data server, then automatically download the amended charts to the plotter. Once done, bottom soundings offering vague depth references are updated with your sonar data, which gives incredible bottom-contour detail.

C-Map Max-N+ ($119 to $199)

C-Map embeds global dynamic tides and currents in its charts to give rate of flow. Direction of flow is indicated graphically with red arrows on charts. The C-Marine Port database is also included, giving skippers contact information and service hours right at their fingertips. MAX-N+ is $119 for local use and Max-N+ Wide is $199 for nationwide coastal use; both are compatible with Simrad NSO evo2. You’ll need a free firmware update to Simrad NSS RTM2.

Humminbird AutoChart Pro ($249)

Humminbird continues to expand its Onix series MFDs, and we’re hoping to see an expansion into the 20-inch glass-cockpit range that marlin anglers seek, especially after seeing their AutoChart Pro’s compatibility with Onix systems. With the SD card update to your system, you can immediately update resident charts with sonar and side-scan data while you fish. It lets you keep your secret spots secret while giving you top-notch detail in contours. In addition, you can chart hard- and soft-bottom areas based on sonar returns. You don’t need to subscribe or pay any added fees, and you don’t need Wi-Fi or a PC to update your charts.

Features the newest marine electronics, including VHF radios, cameras, displays, sonar and sidescan, charts and firmware and more.


More Marine Electronics