FLIR Voyager

Flir Voyager

FLIR has added active stabilization to its $74,999 Voyager camera, but what's truly noteworthy is its integrated use of dual thermal cameras. Each has only 320x240 pixels of resolution and lacks optical zoom—typical for thermal cams of this class, most of which are FLIR-built anyway—but one has a 20-degree

Managing the Waterway: Electronic Charts 2008

Managing The Waterway: Electronic Charts 2008

It may be an Intracoastal Waterway guide publisher, but the name Managing the Waterway doesn't do this company justice. Neither does the product title Electronic Charts 2008, even though this two-DVD set contains every single digital chart—more than 3,000—currently put out

Standard Horizon HX850S

Standard Horizon HX850S

Credit due: Uniden built the first handheld combination GPS/ VHF, but the Mystic was quite bulky and expensive and is now out of production. Standard Horizon's HX850S hopefully represents the first of a new, much more practical combo generation (at least Lowrance has another in the works). With a body about

Simrad NX40/45

Simrad NX40/45

Simrad is refreshing almost its entire product lineup in 2008. The major themes are the extended use of SimNet (a.k.a. NMEA 2000) and the "Simradization" of multifunction display technologies proven by other members of Navico's "family of brands." The $2,450 NX40 and $2,950 45 single-station MFDs closely resemble

Simrad AP 24 and AP 28

Simrad AP 28

Simrad's two new autopilot control heads, the AP 28 (above) and the smaller, knobless AP 24, may look like minor upgrades to the revered Simrad (Robertson) line, but there's a big change behind the scenes. Each head uses SimNet, a flavor of NMEA 2000, to communicate with one of two new SimNet-talking autopilot

Navionics Platinum+

Navionics Platinum+

As the ever-so-slight name change implies, "plus" is only an incremental change from the original multifaceted Platinum format, mainly offering improved resolution of the photo maps and panoramic port photos. But the improvement is major. One measure of how much more data is included in Platinum+ is that the

Standard Horizon CPV555

Standard Horizon CPV555

Combine a top-the-line VHF radio with a competent chartplotter/fishfinder, and you get Standard Horizon's unusual and under-appreciated CPV series, which began with a seven-inch display and now also comes in this jumbo 12-inch unit. Given its considerable size you may not save any helm space, but man, you

3D & G

The competition is fierce, and I'm not just talking about the grandiose debuts held simultaneously and almost chin-to-chin across a Fort Lauderdale boulevard the evening before the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show began. The two combatants (Furuno's new NavNet 3D and Raymarine's new G Series) both crave, and deserve, attention from the same sort of users—bigger-boat, bigger-budget

AmbientNAV Alpha

AmbientNAV Alpha

West Coast-based AmbientNav has introduced a new monitor line named Alpha, as in "alpha dog." This leader-of-the-pack boast is based on high-end specs like 170-degree viewing angles and 700:1 contrast ratios, not to mention an awesome rack of inputs. These monitors even have satellite-ready, HD-compatible TV

Where To?

The four units displayed in my test lab below—ranging from the diminutive 440 all the way up to the touch-screen 5212—are a good representation of the five multifunction series that Garmin rolled out this year. Actually there are some 20 new models within those series, depending on what's included in terms of charts and functions like sounder and XM weather/radio and how you count

Tiki Navigator Pro

Tiki Navigator is a particularly straightforward charting program with a clean, colorful interface. All sorts of help facilities, like those shown, are available but only show when you need them. The program just displays BSB raster charts, but that's the format NOAA makes available for free download (inexpensive DVD compilations are also available), and Tiki

Riding on Penobscot Pilot

Huge freighters and tankers may frighten us small boaters, but they're also fascinating. I mean, how do you maneuver and dock a single-screw mountain of steel that's optimized for running long, straight legs? The answer, of course, is "very, very carefully," and it also applies to the way the pilots who specialize in this demanding task get to or from their work. I know a lot more about all this,

Magellan Crossover

In some ways Magellan's Crossover fulfills the navigate-anywhere promise even better than the Lowrance iWay 600c reviewed here last month. Compact, tough, and battery-powered, it can guide you on foot as well as in your car or boat. In fact, this 8.5-ounce PND (Personal

Franson GpsGate 2.5

GpsGate started as a simple utility that let GPS data coming into a PC or PDA serial port work with many programs simultaneously. The latest $30 version extends the concept to things like Bluetooth and Internet, often simplifying their use in the process—and lets groups share their locations on the Web. Members can see where his/her buddies are at

McMurdo SmartFind

Similar to ACR’s ResQFix PLB, McMurdo has introduced a GEPIRB (GPS-equipped Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) that's smaller yet supposedly performs better. The $849, 1.5-pound SmartFind Plus accomplishes this largely by using LEDs for its strobe, which

The Road to the Future

GPS technology has been the major force in bringing marine route planning into the 21st century. The Navstar GPS satellite network that made its way to us after the 1986 Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) was a godsend: CRADA brought commercially viable, federalized positioning technology to the private sector, and we boaters benefitted with the chartplotters that grace our

Garmin 5000 Series

Just as the flagship 4000 series covered in the February issue was enjoying its U.S. debut at the Miami International Boat Show, Garmin upped the ante by showing prototypes of its even newer flagship 5000 series. The four models—eight- and 12-inch units, each with a choice of built-in chart portfolios—are very similar to the 4000 series except they’re almost completely

Murphy HelmView

F.W. Murphy has added chartplotting ability to its 6.4-inch VGA HelmView display—just add a NMEA 2000 GPS sensor to its network, and slip a Navionics SD chart card into the slot—but its prime function is monitoring engine and other system data. Besides N2K, it has two other CANbus ports able to interface with the J1979 protocol that are even more

Si-Tex ColorMax 15

The $3,179 ColorMax 15 offers good multifunction display (MFD) for the money. The 15-inch, 1024x768-pixel screen is bright and sharp, rendering full-screen video as well as any MFD I’ve tested. The unit also has VGA out for a repeater and no fewer than five NMEA 0183 ports for AIS, GPS, autopilot, etc. The ColorMax 15 also supports every feature in the C-Map Max

Northstar M121

I first knew the 12-inch Northstar M121 MFD as the Navman 8120. Now it not only has joined the Northstar family (upper right in group photo) but has gained a new little brother, the 8.4-inch M84, and brought along some 27 various Explorer smaller boat cousins. The latter are all based on Navman designs, only with black buttons and in some cases upgrades like

POI'd Off

This C-Map POI data is the best available, but it's still full of errors.

It's my good fortune that I get to spend many a fine summer's day hanging around beautiful, bustling Camden Harbor, Maine. Often I'm fooling with some new charting wonder because that's my job, and often I'm also scanning locally busy VHF channels because I'm


Garmin chose the huge Marine Electronics Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam to preview an entirely refreshed marine line that will roll out during the first half of 2007, and I wasn’t the only bowled-over observer. We saw 20-something new products all boasting a sleek, new casing design as well as an intriguing new interface platform. For example, the latest

TR-1 Gladiator YTS Autopilot

With its YTS model, Nautamatic is finally offering a conventional control head for its unconventional yet well-proven autopilot technology. In fact, the three buttons and dual-function knob (steering or course setting) are about as simple as it gets and a welcome contrast to its original ten-button wired remote. You still get the remote and its unique facilities

Raymarine G190

A Lauderdale line that rings true: "19-inch is the new 15-inch." We want bigger displays, and bezels are getting thin enough that we can have bigger in almost the same helm space. Raymarine's elegant G190 monitor is a good example, featuring nine video inputs with direct-access keys and flexible PiP (picture-in-picture) ability. Its front side is waterproof and,

FLIR Navigator

While BMW's optional Night Vision is winning raves for its ability to help drivers see obstacles beyond their headlights, I'd argue that the same thermal technology is even more valuable for negotiating a pitch-black channel or recovering a person overboard. So isn't it nifty that BMW's 70,000 cameras-a-year order is why manufacturer FLIR can now offer marinized

Nobeltec Admiral 9

The full name for this high-end $1,200 PC navigation package, Jeppesen Marine's Nobeltec Admiral 9.0, has become a mouthful—and its $490 little brother, Jep...tec Visual Navigator Suite (VNS) 9, even worse—but I dare say that the similarly long list of "choice" new features, and especially new Plus Pack options, will be much appreciated. The left

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