I believe strongly that bright, well-designed color screens can communicate information much better than the grayscale ones that we are generally used to seeing on the smaller devices around our helms. So if Raymarine's about-to-be-released ST70 instrument heads look anywhere near as crisp in real boat conditions as they do in this photo, well...wow! But a rich, high-resolution, 3.5-inch data display is not the only thing of note here. ST70s purportedly support a wide variety of multimanufacturer NMEA 2000 messages and often in usefully graphic ways, including the engine and weather types shown here. Plus they mark the introduction of SeaTalkNG (new generation), which is a rugged and slim plug 'n' play cabling system and an extension of N2K that permits these $830 displays—take note, those of you who already have Ray gear—to easily integrate with existing SeaTalk and SeaTalk2 instruments and sensors. There will also be an equally colorful and compatible ST70 autopilot head.
This article originally appeared in the October 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.