Giving a technological generation the tools they need to catch more fish
February 24, 2016
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There is more electronic power in your smartphone than was used to put a man on the moon. In fact, in your pocket is as much power as an F-16’s targeting capabilities. And in the past five years, electronics-makers have implanted that technology into your battlewagon with surgical precision. Unless you’re staying on the forepeak of this frontier, you’re probably not in a tournament-winning boat.
Dipping your toe in these next pages won’t even ripple the surface of the revolution in communications, navigation and entertainment electronics. But it will lead to the tide that is going to take you to more and bigger billfish every time you stretch for an upgrade.Courtesy Viking Yachts
Breitling Rescue Watch
First, it’s a Breitling: a very cool-looking and rugged timepiece of jewelry quality. Its quartz timekeeping brain is powered separately from a rechargeable battery to power its internal PLB. Transmitting on both 121.5 MHz at 30 mW for close-in final-position fixes and at 406 MHz at 3.5 watts for satellite-location communication, the PLB can keep transmitting for 18 hours down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Unique because: Well, because it can save your carcass if you are lost at sea — or anywhere else on the globe — via Cospas-Sarsat emergency communications and rescue.
breitling.com; $16,475Courtesy Breitling
Jeppesen C-Map HRB
Now users of Furuno 3D, TZtouch and TZtouch2 MFDs can enjoy the benefit of high-resolution bathymetry charts, essential for successful fishing expeditions. Ledges, humps and holes for both offshore and inshore fishermen are displayed in the highest detail. Unique because: Furuno is one of the top choices among commercial, charter and tournament captains.
jeppesen.com ; $100Courtesy Jeppesen
This infrared camera gives real-time views of heat-critical areas of your vessel like the engine room, displaying hot spots clearly in bright detail. The camera records its thermal images via its internal high-resolution 640p imaging chip and transfers it to an onboard multifunction display. Unique because: It displays a two-layer image of standard video over the thermal image. FLIR calls this feature MSX, and it clearly distinguishes the detail needed to diagnose a heat problem remotely on your MFD.
flir.com ; $1,199.99Courtesy FLIR
Iris Night Pilot IR Cam
Spot vessels up to one and a quarter miles away and individuals two-thirds of a mile away with this 320-by-240 resolution thermal-core camera. The quiet gyrostabilized camera maintains an accurate horizon, even in rough seas. Unique because: The camera is internally heated for use in extreme temperatures. It’s also sleek and compact for handsome installations.
boat-cameras.com ; $4,895Courtesy Iris
The new app gives both Android and iOS users a Bluetooth wireless remote control for their Fusion MS-UD650, MS-AV650, MS-UD750 and MS-AV750 audio systems. Wi-Fi is not required to choose tunes, adjust volume or turn the device on or off. Unique because: It’s free and adds an entirely new level of convenience for Fusion audio-equipment owners. iTunes or Google Play; FreeCourtesy Fusion
Furuno DRS4D-NXT UHD Radar
This 24-inch solid-state radome can transmit a 25-watt beam equivalent to a 4-kW radome. Its beam can be tuned to a high-resolution 2 degrees for ultimate detail. Tap a target to determine its speed and heading to find out if it’s heading toward or away from your position. It interfaces with NavNet TZtouch and TZtouch2 devices. Unique because: It displays approaching targets in red, with stationary or targets moving away in green for easy navigation and increased awareness on the water.
Intellian i5 Antennas
Satellite TV is now available to boaters around the U.S. coasts, Alaska, Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico in a new compact satellite antenna dome. The latest Intellian i-Series domes boast a quiet motor to maintain optimum orientation toward the satellites without disturbing the crew. Unique because: It’s the first satellite TV antenna dome suitable for vessels as small as 20 feet in length.
intelliantech.com ; $5,995Courtesy Intellian
This phone hooks up quickly and provides crisp, clear sound with over 9 kbs of data-transfer speeds. Quickly program the phone book from recent calls or with direct input. The phone also holds its charge for months. Unique because: It’s free from Exit Wireless with the purchase of a $780 service plan for 1,200 minutes. You also get a local number, Pelican case and 12-volt charger as part of the package.
exitwireless.com ; $549 (phone only)Courtesy Globalstar
Raymarine Quantum eS12 Plus Radar
Now CHIRP technology is available in a radome designed to give highly detailed target separation and paint targets as close as 18 feet while giving excellent long-range returns for navigators. Onboard processing blocks rain, sea clutter and other radar interference automatically. Its compact size and weight — just 12 pounds — make it easy to mount. Unique because: Quantum wirelessly connects to your MFD, making it a breeze to install.
raymarine.com ; $1,599Courtesy Raymarine
Rockford Fosgate PMX 8DH and PMX 8BB (hideaway) four-zone stereo head
Bluetooth connectivity with album-art support allows any smartphone to control this media center, while the head is hidden safely away from the outdoor elements. The 5-inch display is bright and clear, allowing the graphic user interface to be clearly visible in full sun. It is SiriusXM-ready and also boasts wired remote capability for multistation controls. Unique because: It is Pandora-capable for music streaming, and you can boost its power with the PM400X4 amp ($399) for the most effect!
rockfordfosgate.com ; PMX-8DH $299; PMX-8BB $399Courtesy Rockford Fosgate
KVH TracPhone V3-IP
Worldwide connectivity on the water is invaluable to traveling anglers. This device gives access to voice and data communications nearly anywhere on the globe. The dome is a compact 14½ inches in diameter, and the system offers speeds as fast as 2 MBps. Data plans begin at $49 per month. Unique because: The myKVH web portal helps users conserve data fees by giving usage updates via smartphones or Internet.
KVH.com ; $16,995Courtesy KVH
SunBrite TV 4670HD Outdoor TV
SunBrite specially constructs their HD TVs to resist the effects of salt-air corrosion and water thanks to protected circuitry, weatherproof components and watertight cable connections. Pricier, but still more economical, you can avoid having to deconstruct custom cabinetry and woodworking due to circuit failure in a standard TV. Unique because: SunBrite TVs are designed with salt environments in mind and are perfect for applications on sport-fishing boats.
sunbritetv.com ; $2,895Courtesy SunBrite TV
If you own a Simrad NSS Evo2 or NSO Evo2 display, they just got better, thanks to the new TripIntel firmware update. The interface is simpler and more responsive than fuel-burn calculators, making it easier for your device to dynamically calculate and display the fuel-burn rate and range. In return, this helps you tune your ride to the highest fuel-economy level. Unique because: It’s a completely new capability for your current Simrad display, and it’s totally free.
simrad-yachting.com ; FreeCourtesy Simrad
GOST Global Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM
GOST Global boasts a sophisticated vessel and security monitoring service with Wi-Fi and satellite connectivity for worldwide service. This new Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM easily connects to hard-wired devices like entry sensors or bilge-water monitors to generate an audible and strobe alarm. Unique because: As part of the satellite system, the Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM is completely accessible via Wi-Fi on a computer or smartphone for activation, reactivation or resetting.
gostglobal.com ; $2,999Courtesy GOST Global
Si-Tex Vector Compact
Forget the bulky and temperamental fluxgate compass. This compact unit has two GPS antennas and a clock to give accurate position, heading and bearing fixes to 2 degrees RMS even when stationary. Unique because: It supports most international GPS and supplemental systems required for worldwide travel.
si-tex.com; $999Courtesy Si-Tex
Garmin Quatix 3
Ten years of wearable experience went into Garmin’s first boater-specific smartwatch capable of doing all the general call, email and text functions of a smartphone interface, plus NMEA 2000 data downloads from onboard navigation equipment. Its sunlight-bright display allows for outdoor use, and the design is resistant to saltwater corrosion to withstand many days on the water. Unique because: Quatix 3 can monitor engines, navigation, set and navigate to a man-overboard point with a dedicated hot key, report current local tides, and control Fusion audio equipment.
garmin.com ; $599Courtesy Garmin
Vesper Marine XB-6000 AIS
With a fast 5-Hz GPS update rate, it keeps skippers better apprised of bearing and closing speed of approaching targets or obstacles in the vessel’s path. Connection points are low profile, giving a streamlined installation. It’s fully waterproof with a built-in GPS antenna. Unique because: It boasts the first NMEA 2000 gateway, converting navigation instrument data so it can be viewed on a PC or Mac.
vespermarine.com ; $595Courtesy Vesper Marine