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Planning a trip to the big Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show? While you’ll find lots of boats and motors, you’ll also be able to check out some hottest new marine electronics, not at company booths, but on boats and at retailers exhibiting at the show. Here are some items you must see while at Fort Lauderdale.
ACR Bivy Stick
If you’ve always wanted to communicate from the boat by satellite, check out the waterproof Bivy Stick from ACR at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. It wirelessly turns your cell phone into a satellite communication device using the popular Iridium satellite network. It features include two-way text messaging, an SOS button to contact the Bivy Global Rescue Center, location sharing, one-touch check-in with a contact, and detailed weather reports. You can also activate the SOS feature through the Bivy app. Measuring 4.47 inches long by 1.85 inches wide by 0.83 inches deep, the Bivy Stick provides you with a dedicated phone number and email so that others also can reach you. It is available with a wide variety of mounting options, as well as a portable and lightweight solar panel for the rechargeable in case electrical power goes out. $299.99, plus a satellite service plan starting at as little as $14.99/month; acrartex.com.
Furuno FCV600 and FCV800
Be sure stop by Furuno’s booth and see its two newest fishfinders—the 5.7-inch FCV600 and 8.4-inch FCV800. Both can drive either a chirp or a dual-frequency continuous-wave transducer, allowing fishermen to configure each unit to suit their needs. In fact, the FCV-800 features dual transducer ports, allowing for the simultaneous use of chirp and continuous-wave channels. Both come in a sleek, with rubber keys and a robust rotary knob controller. The soft-touch keys are inclined at the top and bottom, making them easy to press. Features include such as Furuno’s Accu-Fish fish size assessment tool and Bottom Discrimination that displays the bottom type. Two new color palettes—sunlight and yellow—improve visibility in daylight. Furuno’s RezBoost signal processing technology can improve resolution and target separation using conventional narrowband transducers. Prices not available at press time; furunousa.com.
Garmin GPSMAP 9000 SERIES
Don’t miss Garmin’s new GPSMAP 9000 chartplotter series—available with 19-, 22-, 24- or 27-inch touchscreen displays—boast stunning 4K resolution with edge-to-edge clarity, and are powered by a processor that’s seven-times faster than previous generations. They also feature the new Garmin BlueNet gigabit network for comprehensive, high-speed connectivity throughout the boat with sensors and other networked devices. Each new MFD can be flat or flush mounted, and offer in-plane switching (IPS) touchscreen displays that can be seen from all viewing angles, even with polarized sunglasses. The GPSMAP 9219, 9222, 9224 and 9227 come preloaded with Garmin Navionics+ mapping that includes Auto Guidance+ technology for faster and more detailed route calculations. Starting at $9,999.99; garmin.com/marine.
Icom IC-M510BB Black-Box VHF
Don’t miss the new IC-M510BB, which represents the latest in VHF technology from Icom America. All operations including DSC, can be made from the CommandMic, allowing the VHF radio unit can be installed out-of-sight place and as far 60 feet from the CommandMic. Up to three of the CommandMics can be connected to the IC-M510BB, which allows it to double as an onboard intercom system on large boats. NMEA 2000 networking capabilities provide plug-and-play data communication with other electronics such as an MFDs. The radio can also share GNSS (GPS) position, AIS, and DSC calls with other onboard equipment. The unit has a last-call voice recording function that automatically saves up to two minutes of a recent incoming call. A built-in 15-watt amplifier increases the audio output to an external hailer speaker, and there’s built-in hailer function that also sounds foghorn patterns. $799.95; icomamerica.com.
Lowrance HDS Pro
While you at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, stop by the Navico booth and check out the new Lowrance HDS Pro series of MFDs. Available in 9-, and all-new 10-, 12- and 16-inch high-resolution displays, the new HDS Pro MFDs from Lowrance feature built-in ActiveTarget Live Sonar and ultra-high-definition Active Imaging HD sonar, as well as chart plotting. HDS Pro MFDs also lie at the heart of the Lowrance Ultimate Fishing System, offering full networking that includes trolling motors, autopilots, engines, radar, communications, and Power-Pole shallow-water anchors. Starting at $2,199; lowrance.com.
Courtesy Minn Kota
Minn Kota Quest Brushless Trolling Motors
Minn Kota’s new brushless electric trolling motors for salt, as well as fresh water, rank as must-see items at the Fort Lauderdale Show. The brand’s Quest brushless technology is now incorporated into popular saltwater bow-mount trolling motor names such as the Riptide Terrova, as well as the new Riptide Instinct. Each Quest series motor offers dual voltage, including 24 volts/90 pounds of thrust, and 36 volts/115 pounds of thrust. Shaft length choices will include 87 inches and a new 100-inch shaft-length. Offering greater efficiency versus brushed motors, the new Minn Kota will incorporate real-time battery monitoring with a “time until empty” indicator and prompt anglers to switch to Eco mode when the battery reserves drop to 20 percent to extend fishing time even further. Minn Kota’s built-in i-Pilot and i-Pilot Link GPS technology will enable popular functionality such as Spot-Lock, as well as a new Drift Mode that works like a virtual drift sock to slow the boat’s drift and keep presentations in the strike zone longer. All of the new bow-mount motors will be One-Boat Network compatible to network with and control via a Humminbird multifunction display. $6,099.99 (for a 100-inch Riptide Instinct); minnkota.johnsonoutdoors.com.