Raymarine A-Series

Raymarine has radically redesigned its A-Series of small plotters and plotter/fishfinders, adding AIS tracking, internal “high-sensitivity” GPS receivers, Sirius Satellite Weather and Audio capability, and many of the interface improvements seen in the recent V4 software update to the C- and E-Series. The units will come with Navionics Gold cartography built

Cobra MR F300 BT

Cobra MR F300 BT

The short-range Bluetooth wireless standard, commonly used for cellphone headsets, is now usefully making its way onto boats. So while Cobra’s new MR F300 BT may look quite like a VHF speaker mic, in fact it’s designed for making cell calls possible in a noisy and potentially wet environment. It has noise-cancelling

Early Adopter

Mark, Natalia, and Alexis Levey enjoying Camden, Maine, from the flying bridge of Alexis.

Capt. Mark Levey is my kind of guy. When he took ownership of a new Azimut 55 in early 2007, he immediately had the factory-installed electronics replaced with the just-introduced Simrad Glass

Callpod Dragon V2

Callpod's Dragon V2 headsets

When does an everyday Bluetooth cellphone headset become a desirable boating accessory? When a pair of them can also provide a captain and mate hands-free intercom capabilities up to 300 feet apart. The powerful transceivers in Callpod’s $100 Dragon V2 headsets are also purported to double or triple

Standard BH-2

How about a wireless Bluetooth headset designed expressly for marine VHF? Standard Horizon’s BH-2 works with either the company’s new HX760S handheld or as an add-on to certain of its Quantum fixed VHF radios. It can be used in either push-to-talk or completely hands-free voice-activated modes (with two VOX sensitivity levels selectable). The HX760S—which floats

Yanmar Smart Check

Yanmar Smart Check

Unfortunately you'll need Yanmar electronic engines like the BY, LY3, and SY Series (so far) plus at least one Raymarine E-120 to even consider plunking down $795 for the Smart Check software package that will debut this fall. But once you realize all that it will do,

FloScan FloNet

FloScan FloNet

Hats off to FloScan for developing FloNet, one of the most NMEA 2000-friendly products I've tested. Rather than trying to grab some of the precious space at your helm with a

Know the Flow

These gauges are using twin FloScan interfaces and GPS to calculate nm/gal and more.

Oil! I won't belabor the pain felt at fuel docks this season, but I sure am glad to report that electronics and engine manufacturers are working hard so that we can get the most boating from every

Bushnell ONIX 400

Bushnell ONIX 400

Bushnell's Onix 400 mapping GPS is designed primarily for hikers, but I'm not the only boater to notice its ability to deliver both XM Satellite Weather and Radio in a form portable enough to also go on the water, in the car, etc. Unfortunately the weather data it displays is a limited subset of what's available

Shine Micro RadarPlus AIS-BX

Shine Micro RadarPlus AIS-BX

It's been almost 18 months since the U.S. Coast Guard approved a variety of yacht-size Class B AIS transponders, and the FCC still hasn't added its blessing! I'll spare you further ranting, but understand that we may have to wait for a new administration before we can use this valuable safety tool.

Raymarine DSM 400

Raymarine DSM 400

Raymarine's powerhouse DSM 400 black-box fishfinder weighs 27 pounds, contains four independent digital sonar transceivers, and can pump up to 3 kW of ping power on 28, 38, or 50 kHz and two on 185 or 200 kHz. All of which makes it particularly adept at handling some of the high-end Airmar transducer features

How's Your "Q"?

Airmar product manager Mark Reedenaur is showing off the company's floating test lab.

"Come on, Mark, can't you just tell me which is the best fishfinder?!?" I couldn't help making that plea when I realized what a fantastic floating fishfinder lab we were headed out to sea in. Before launching the 24-footer into the Piscataqua

Lowrance Broadband Sounder

Lowrance Broadband Sounder

owrance has not lost its innovative scrappiness under Navico ownership. In fact it was the latter's CEO, Jens-Thomas Pietralla, who dubbed the new Broadband Sounder a "disruptive technology." Now, confusingly, this $799 black-box fishfinder, which networks to all current Lowrance displays, is not

Furuno SC-30 Satellite Compass

Furuno SC-30 Satellite Compass

Furuno's new SC-30 can sense a boat's sea motion (pitch, roll, and heave) and relationship to Earth—i.e. position, heading, COG, SOG, and ROT (rate of turn). And it feels all that with astonishing accuracy and speed, as I witnessed at least in part (see "


Autotether wireless lanyard

My 14-foot outboard catamaran Gizmo is quick and low-sided, and I have almost fallen out of her; yet I rarely clip on the engine kill-switch tether because it's too cumbersome. I admit stupidity on this score—no letters, please—but also delight that Autotether has come along to save

Time Zero, Live

MaxSea's Iker and Brice Pryzo demo the Time Zero software they developed with Furuno.

"You must see it on water, where the technology and boat come together as one; it's so real!" exclaimed Brice Pryzo, his long arms flailing to overcome his strong French accent and mime the magnificence of his Time Zero navigation software. We

KEP Marine Monitors

KEP Marine Monitors

KEP Marine is likely one of the largest and most accomplished marine electronics companies you've probably never heard of, though you may have marveled at one of its super-bright monitors with a more familiar brand name on it. KEP also directly markets its own line of In-Sight displays ranging from 12-inch to

Instruments, the New Generation

Do you like the time on your wrist expressed with traditional hands or in digital form? Or has your cellphone display supplanted wrist watches altogether? In a world of ever-increasing man-machine interfaces (MMI), we get some choices and thus develop our own preferred MMI styles. Yes, even a portable timepiece is a machine, likely the first you ever interfaced with, and if thinking of one as

Alpine Marine Stereo

Alpine Marine iDA-X100M Marine Digital Media Receiver

Renowned car audio innovator Alpine Electronics also has a new iPod-friendly marine stereo for your consideration. In fact, the company claims a special relationship with Apple as part of the reason why the iDA-X100M Marine Digital Media Receiver sports a "super fast" USB iPod

Raymarine E Series V4

Raymarine E Series V4 Multifunction Navigation Display Software

It was pure luck that my April column on maintenance ("Servicing the Circuitry") illustrated how easy it is to update a Raymarine E-Series; then along came V4, a free firmware upgrade

Hanging on the Telephone

Companies like Iridium and Globalstar utilize only Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites.

By last fall my brother Chip and I were ready to toss our satphone into the water and make it a marlin teaser. For the last year we'd managed to get just one phone call out on our Globalstar handset, and like the many users who've encountered

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