Given the NX series and other new gear noted above, plus the big-yacht Glass Bridge GB60 system introduced last year, the networked, blackbox GB40 neatly fills the remaining hole in Simrad's lineup. Again, the wheel was retooled, not reinvented. The GB40 is based on the Northstar 8000i, a fast, PC-based system similar to the new Raymarine G Series and Furuno NavNet 3D discussed here last month. The GB40/G/3D comparison is especially true, as Simrad dropped the 8000i's touch screen in favor of the OP30 controller shown and added SimNet. Like those systems, the sensors supported include high-definition radar, high-performance fishfinders, satellite weather, and cameras (besides most anything NMEA 2000), all linked via Ethernet. The GB40 also includes networked AV entertainment, even a matching DVD/CD player. A system costs $6,995 with a ten-inch bonded display, $9,995 with a 15-inch, and $10,995 with a 19-inch, and each has a hard disk loaded with a Jeppesen C-Map Max Pro world portfolio, unlockable by region. It will be interesting to see how this cartography, so far rarely seen, compares to the G and 3D offerings and how the OP30 compares to the 8000i's touch interface.
This article originally appeared in the March 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.