Also at Miami, Northstar demonstrated how the powerful soft-key interface on its 6100i multifunction displays (MFDs) can now enable users to easily mix and view all the real-time and forecast weather elements available from Sirius Satellite Radio. For instance, that overlay key can rotate through six customizable data mix presets, each neatly represented in the little window by icons. The receiver and antenna is $990, plus you’ll need a Sirius subscription, which runs $30 to $99 per month. Northstar does not yet support Sirius audio, but there is an audio port on the receiver, and Raymarine, which debuted Sirius Weather on the E-Series last year, just showed how well the audio can be done on a MFD with its new C-Series Sirius receiver.
Furuno also introduced Sirius Weather for its NavNet vx2 MFDs, and XM Weather, which runs on Garmin MFDs and PC-based systems like Maptech’s i3, added several new data elements, including species-specific fish-finding icons, to its satellite service. As if all that is not enough for inquisitive boaters to sort out, also announced during the Miami show were the proposed merger of XM and Sirius and the purchase of Northstar by Navico, the marine electronics conglomerate that already owns Simrad and Lowrance. The times they are a-changing!
This article originally appeared in the May 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.