Today’s marine electronics offer significant benefits over their stand-alone counterparts that were once common just a few years ago. By networking several pieces of equipment through multifunction displays, the user can experience a very significant increase in functionality.
For example, having the radar feed overlaid on the chart plotter will show real-world conditions in terms of weather, other vessels and more, right on the chart. By integrating the sounder, individual returns such as bait and billfish can be instantly saved as waypoints on the plotter; to easily navigate to those points, use an integrated autopilot.
The MFDs themselves can be used to operate additional gear, including audio, and they can serve as displays for video feeds from cameras placed aboard to monitor the engine room, or the action in the cockpit, for example.