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Furuno released NavNet vx2, the next generation of their award- winning integrated navigation system, expanding the systems Ethernet capabilities to offer more options for connecting multiple displays and personal computers.

Originally introduced in 2001, NavNet presents chart plotter, radar, and fish finder information on single or multiple 7-inch or 10.4-inch VGA displays in nearly limitless configurations. NavNet vx2 is also offered as a black box, feeding information to any display such as Furuno's new ultra-bright 12- and 15-inch LCD monitors.

Thanks to a new partnership with MaxSea navigation software, a standard Ethernet connection to any PC can not only share information with NavNet vx2, but completely control all functions such as radar range, gain, rain clutter, sea clutter, and allows preplanning a voyage at home and then transferring the information to the NavNet once aboard.

Boaters who don't need radar or multiple displays will appreciate Furuno's new GP7000F/NT, which incorporates many features of NavNet's chart plotter and fish finder into a single 7-inch ultra-bright LCD display.

Furuno extended the factory warranty coverage on their entire product line to two years parts and labor.

Spotlight On...
MasterCraft's New X-80
At 28'3" with over 9' of beam, you might not think of this as a competition ready action craft, but hold on to your hat because the X-80 is ready to thrill.

Raymarine's New E-Series
Raymarine's new E-Series multifunction navigation displays -- E80 and E120 -- show off their new high-speed networking and ultra bright color displays by adding the ability to display video from up to four sources, such as engine room cameras, infrared night-vision equipment, trolled "fish-cams", and even satellite television or DVD players. The all-new SeaTalkhs Network transfers information at up to 100 megabits per second-ten times faster than the previous SeaTalkhs protocol- which allows near limitless information sharing between displays. Any 8.4-inch E80 or 12.1 inch E120 display can instantly alternate as a full-function chartplotter, radar, fish finder, video monitor, or even engine instrument display.

Raymarine added two wireless autopilot controllers to its product line: the S100 autopilot remote, and SmartController remote. The SmartController remote also acts as a repeater for speed, depth, wind, and other SeaTalkhs compatible inputs. Existing Raymarine autopilots can be upgraded by adding at least one base station and remote. Raymarine's new SmartPilot S1000 for hydraulically steered boats up to 25 feet, uses the S100 remote with no hard-wired control head. In all applications, the system warns the skipper and returns the autopilot to standby if the remote control moves outside of range of a base unit (32 feet). Multiple bases and /or multiple remotes are possible for increased flexibility. Raymarine also added "steer-by-wire" ability to its autopilots to accommodate the new Volvo IPS drive, which only has an electrical connection between the helm and steerable drive unit.


Simrad's AP16 and AP25 Autopilots to be Compatible with Mercury's Verado 4-Stroke and Volvo Penta's IPS System
Simrad enhanced their AP16 and AP25 series autopilots to be compatible with Mercury's Verado 4-stroke outboards and Volvo Penta's new IPS system. An installation kit for Mercury owners includes all necessary parts and hydraulic fittings and a special bracket to mount the rudder feedback unit to the outboard, while a new Simrad computer module allows the company's autopilots to communicate directly with Volvo's IPS system, which utilizes completely electronic "steer-by-wire" steering commands eliminating the rudder feedback unit and hydraulic pump found in most autopilot installations. Simrad's AP16 and AP25 autopilots include the ability to integrate with a boat's bow thruster to hold a specified heading even while the boat is drifting. 


Standard Horizon's Phantom PS1000 and PS2000 Black Box VHF Radios
With the popularity of RAM microphones, which control a VHF radio from a remote location, many boat owners are mounting VHFs below decks or inside a center console to save valuable dash space. Recognizing this, Standard Communications introduced the Phantom PS1000 and PS2000 black box VHF radios. Standard's RAM+ microphone controls all functions of the Phantom series radios, including power and Digital Select Calling (DSC) features such as sending an automated distress message along with the vessel's position, or "polling" other DSC equipped radios to show their position on a chart plotter. While the PS1000 only connects to one RAM microphone, the PS2000 can connect to two and offers special intercom features between microphones. The PS2000 also incorporates a 30-watt hailer with fog signals.

In addition, Standard has two new submersible handheld VHF radios: the HX270S and HX370S. Both radios feature large LCD displays, several scanning functions, and NOAA weather alert. While the standard equipment 12-volt and 110-volt chargers drop-in charging cradle and nickel-metal-hydride battery provide plenty of power, the radios also come with a battery tray for common AA Alkaline batteries, perfect for abandon ship bags or unforeseen emergencies. The two radios are nearly identical except that the HX370S can be fitted with an optional external microphone / speaker and voice scrambler.


Two New Radars from Garmin
Garmin expanded their Garmin Marine Network with two radars, the 2kW, 24-mile GMR 20 and 4kW, 36-mile GMR 40. Both units simply plug into Garmin GPSMAP 3006C or 3010C color displays to integrate chart plotter, radar, sonar, and even XM satellite weather information in one multifunction display, allowing single-screen, split-screen, or radar and weather overlay directly on the chart. Both radars can be equipped with Mini Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (MARPA) collision avoidance capability, which will display bearing, course, speed, and closest point of approach for up to ten radar targets. 


McMurdo Introduces VHF Radio for Recreational and Commercial Mariners
Known among recreational boaters for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBS), Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs), and for their Pains Wessex line of signaling flares, Florida-based McMurdo recently introduced a VHF radio intended for both recreational and commercial mariners. The waterproof F1 DSC (Digital Select Calling) radio features full capability. Every DSC radio is assigned a specific identification code, allowing other DSC equipped vessels to silently hail one specific radio and then switch to a designated channel for normal voice communications. DSC also allows electronic "position polling" of other DSC-equipped boats, displaying the vessel's position on a chart plotter and can automatically broadcast distress messages including ship's position, time and date, and vessel identification number. The F1 DSC includes a 10-key numeric keypad and an optional telephone-style handset or conventional microphone. 

Furuno Releases NavNet vx2

Navman's New Pilot 3380 Autopilot 

Although not available until later this spring, Navman previewed their new Pilot 3380 autopilot featuring a color screen, which is an industry first according to the company. Adding color to the 3.8 inch transflective daylight viewable display allows more prominent notification of upcoming course changes, steering and heading information, potential navigation problems, and engine alarms when connected to SmartCraft fuel and engine management systems on MerCruiser engines or Mercury Outboards. Other features include an intuitive keypad layout and rotary control dial and dedicated dodge and turning keys.


Uniden Expands Their Line of Fixed-Mounted Radios
Uniden's new UM625c ES and UM525 VHF radios expand the company's line of fixed-mounted radios. The UM625c ES features a 2.2 inch color display, while the UM525 includes a 3 inch monochrome display. The new radios, which should be available to consumers in April, are submersible and offer full feature Digital Select Calling (DSC) capability including electronic distress message and position polling. Both units receive NOAA weather alerts and function as hailers with pre-programmed fog signals. The UM625c ES can accept two hailer horns, the UM525 only one.

Both radios use GPS data to determine proper fog signal patterns and recommend channel bands for the specific area, and both can be fitted with up to four Uniden WHAM full-function wireless remote microphones. 

ACR Releases 2 new Personal Locator Beacons: AquaFix I and AquaFix I/O

Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs,) especially miniature 406 MHz EPIRBS with half the battery life and without a locator strobe light, are popular among campers, hikers, hunters and boaters. Because they are much smaller than EPIRBS, PLBs can be worn on a life jacket, harness, or even a belt pouch, providing valuable satellite distress capability to the individual, not just the vessel. ACR, a long-time leader in electronic safety gear, just released two new PLBs. The AquaFix I uses a GPS interconnect cable to broadcast exact latitude and longitude along with a distress signal, whereas the Aquafix I/O includes an integrated GPS. As all EPIRBs and PLBs do, both units broadcast a unique electronic identification number which is registered to an individual user (or vessel in the case of EPIRBs). EPIRBS and PLBs broadcast a 121.5 MHz homing frequency and ACR markets a hand held homing receiver, perfect for locating a person lost overboard when equipped with a PLB.

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