If your boat does not have a radar system and if you venture out long enough to get caught in darkness, or in weather like fog or rain, a radar system is a very important safety investment. If you have radar, but it is an older system, consider upgrading to the new technologies. The performance improvements are simply amazing.
Garmin GPSMAP 8000 MFD and GPSMAP 8500 Black Box Series Integrates the Look and Feel of a Glass Helm
Garmin International recently announced the GPSMAP 8000 Glass Helm series, their newest flagship series of multi-function devices. Introducing a true glass helm appearance into the boating industry, the GPSMAP 8000 Glass Helm series boasts powerful new features and a revamped user-interface with a streamlined design that can make any helm look custom-built. Offering an 8-inch SVGA, 12-inch and 15-inch XGA multi-touch, pinch-to-zoom multi-function display, the GPSMAP 8000 MFD series boasts a lower profile than previous multi-function models.
Lowrance Elite-4 Compact Navigation Instruments
Lowrance, a part of the Navico family of brands, has introduced a new line of very compact navigation instruments with the latest features and functions but specifically designed for smaller cockpits where space for mounting is at a premium. These stand-alone units combine the best of Lowrance’s innovative Down-Scanning sonar and fish-finding features, the same hi-tech features as found on their larger systems. Built into these small cases with a surface mount these high-performance fish finders are easily adaptable to any small runabout, fishing skiff or dinghy. They are available widely at prices starting at about $200.
Navionics has greatly improved the resolution of its electronic charting of underwater landforms with new high-definition data that draws true bottom contour lines. Created by integrating existing hydrographic data with sonar logs received from the extensive Navionics user community, these new SonarCharts provide up-to-date detail with a level of accuracy not previously available. This new software is compatible with Platinum+ cartography packages for iPad and iPhone at retail prices of $5.00 and $10.00 respectively.
New VHF Radio Offers AIS and GPS Functions
Probably the very first piece of electronic equipment that a boater should get, if they are going out on a large body of water, is a VHF Radio.
The Coast Guard monitors VHF, so do many police forces and a wide range of other boaters; private citizens also monitor VHF Channel 16. Most marinas have a radio on in their office, too. The VHF is a vital piece of safety equipment and next to life jackets, the best thing to have in the event of a breakdown or a problem. So, it makes perfect sense that the time-honoured and proven VHF radio should see its capabilities expand as new technologies come out.
A very stable compass with a memory ring to help you maintain your course, the Model 85 Regatta is suitable for both power and sail vessels. Flush mounted with a flat bottom plate, this compass maintains a small footprint and eliminates the needs for large cutout holes when mounting.