Marine Electronics Special - New Tech for 2020

Pacific Yachting Magazine -  2020 Electronics Issue

Furuno NavNet TZTouch 3 with the optional TZ iBoat App - The NavNet TZtouch3 offers three display options; the first is a 12" Hybrid Control TZT12F IPS multi-touch display with an integrated control panel, including Furuno’s intuitive RotoKey™ and dedicated physical buttons to complement NavNet TZtouch3's multi-touch controls. The 16" TZT16F and 19" TZT19F are sleek, all-glass, multi-touch IPS displays that deliver brilliant presentations from virtually any angle. All the models incorporate a powerful quad-core processor that takes NavNet's TimeZero technology to the next level, offering 4-way split-screen displays and lightning-fast response time.

Every TZtouch3 MFD includes a built-in 1kW, dual-channel TruEcho CHIRP™ Fish Finder, designed to operate across a wide range of frequencies utilizing a broadband transducer, to deliver significant advantages in signal clarity & target definition. The hallmark of the NavNet series has always been in its scalability. This allows boaters to customize the helm to incorporate radars, both built-in and optional black box Fish Finder selections, AIS, VHF, NavPilot Autopilots, Compasses, and multiple weather options.

Another very cool function is the PIN Code Security function which allows you to program a four-digit password to be entered upon start-up to protect your data against theft.  The TZ Cloud service allows you to back up and store your waypoints, routes, and event marks to the TimeZero cloud server, as well as synchronize and edit them on your MFDs, TimeZero PC software, and the TZ iBoat app for iPad.          

Em-Trak 900 with Built-In WiFi and Splitter - AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. AIS information includes the vessel name, call sign, vessel size, along with navigation data such as SOG and COG that can be displayed on your boat’s chartplotter. More and more boaters are now integrating AIS, using a black box, to their existing chartplotters.

Em-trak offers several options.  The standard power B920 (2W CSTDMA) or high transmit power B950 (5W SOTDMA) AIS Class B transceivers, with integrated GPS receiver and antenna.  Each transceiver is ruggedized, water and weatherproof (IPx6 and IPx7) and includes a bracket system for quick and secure installation.  Integrated VHF antenna splitter and WiFi/Bluetooth options are also available.

Flir M Series Next Generation - FLIR has been synonymous with premium maritime thermal night vision technologies for over 25 years. FLIR recently announced that the M-Series pan/tilt multi-sensor system design has been re-designed to offer additional functionality, improved performance, and enhanced situational awareness.  With up to 640x480 thermal imaging, FLIR’s new M-Series Next Generation cameras offer improved IR imaging capabilities, continuous e-zoom, and upgraded optics.

Dual payload models now feature an improved colour low-light visible camera with up to 36x zoom capabilities. The M-Series Next Generation cameras integrate seamlessly with modern navigation systems. Multifunction navigation displays from Raymarine, Garmin, Furuno, and Simrad can all display and control M-Series. Alternatively, any onboard screen or monitor with an analog video input can display M-Series thermal video. In addition to MFD control, the new M-Series can be remotely operated from FLIR’s family of Joystick Control Units, including the JCU1, JCU2, and the new compact JCU3.  Each of the six new models now feature gyro-stabilization, so the camera always delivers a steady picture, even in rough seas.  

Furuno SCX Series Satellite Compass - This is a game-changer for boaters.  The SCX Series utilizes four separate GNSS Antennas for the ultimate in responsiveness; the SCX-20 has set a new standard for reliable and accurate heading information for all of your marine electronics.Traditionally, a Satellite Compass calculates heading using one baseline between two antennas; the SCX-21 uses four antennas to calculate heading information using any one of the six baselines drawn between the four antennas. 

The SCX-21 enhances the performance of on-board equipment such as Radar, Fish Finders, Sonar, and Autopilots. Accurate heading information empowers your NAVpilot to keep a better course, saving time, fuel, and money on every voyage; meanwhile, precise pitch, roll, and heave information stabilizes the display for many Furuno Fish Finders and Sonars, allowing for an accurate presentation even in the roughest of seas.


New MPower Digital Switching Solutions from Maretron - Marine electrical wiring has not changed a great deal over the years.  Recently, we have seen the introduction of multiplexing or digital switching as a way of simplifying wiring and offering an entirely new level of ease and convenience for vessel monitoring and control. The new MPower Series by Maretron replaces standard mechanical circuit breakers with state-of-the-art digital power distribution.  Customers looking to achieve the power and convenience of advanced home automation for their boats will appreciate the seamless, reliable operation as well as simple and cost-effective installation.

Available in 12-channel and 16-channel, Maretron’s new MPower Series offers programmable multi-channel DC electronic load modules in an innovative, scalable configuration. The CLMD12 is capable of switching up to 5, 10, or 12 Amps with a total current capacity of 75 Amps and the CLMD16 is capable of switching up to 12 or 25 Amps with a total current capacity of 125 Amps.

Both the CLMD12 and CLMD16 directly connect to the NMEA 2000® network, allowing breakers to be turned on and off from a Maretron DSM-Series display or any device running Maretron N2KView® (including Maretron’s TSM-Series multifunction displays and MBB-Series black boxes or smart phones/tablets running N2KView® software). Additionally, since the MPower Series support standard NMEA 2000® messages, it can be controlled by any NMEA 2000® device including popular MFDs from Garmin, Furuno and others.


Furuno NAVpilot-300 - A whole new way to steer your boat!  Furuno NavPilot 300 with Bluetooth controller is a low-cost pilot designed for outboard, sterndrive or inboard type vessels up to 15 meters. The Gesture Controller uses Bluetooth signals to steer your boat remotely from anywhere on the boat within 10 meters.  Just push, hold the button, point to the desired heading, and release to let the Autopilot redirect the boat.  (Not for sailboats with clutch drives.)


N2KView® Anchoring Module - Award-winning Technology from Maretron - Maretron’s new N2KView® Anchoring Module is the recipient of two prestigious innovation awards: the 2020 Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award and SAIL Magazine’s 2020 Pittman Innovation Award.

Until now, there was no system available to comprehensively monitor and guide you through setting and retrieving your anchor. Most systems with an ‘anchor watch alert’ assume that the anchor is dropped directly under the GPS, resulting in errors of 10-15m and false triggers. Maretron’s N2KView® Anchoring is the world’s first and only comprehensive solution to monitor and guide the process of setting and retrieving your anchor. Using N2KView® Vessel Monitoring software and data from the NMEA 2000® bus, N2KView® uses already available Depth, GPS, and Compass data from the NMEA 2000® bus. Before the anchor is dropped, N2KView® is calculating in real-time:

  • Suggested Anchor Rode–based on the current depth this is the minimum amount of rode you will need to deploy to ensure that your chosen Scope will be met at high tide.
  • Drag Radius & Swing Radius–at that rode and depth.
  • Possible Grounding–when the tide drops will you still have enough water under your boat?

The anchoring feature can be added by simply updating an existing version to the latest N2KView® software version (free of charge). N2KView® and the Anchoring is included in the software portion of the Maretron MBB300C black box and TSM Series displays.


Raymarine RealVision 3D Transducers - Available in a transom mount, through-hull, or through-hull pairs.  This 4-channel, Wide Spectrum CHIRP transducer comes with DownVision™, SideVision™, high-frequency CHIRP fish targeting and RealVision 3D™ sonar inside. The transducer has a built-in attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) that stabilizes the sonar imagery, automatically compensating for vessel motion. You’ll enjoy crystal-clear imagery in waves, swells and while maneuvering.

The low-profile design slips effortlessly through the water without causing drag or cavitation.  The different models are available in bronze, plastic, and stainless steel.   


Furuno NXT Series Radar - NXT radars are Solid-State Radars utilizing Doppler technology to ensure the safest navigation. The NXT series, including the recently introduced 100W DRS12ANXT and 200 W DRS25ANXT features Target Analyzer™, Fast Target Tracking™, and Auto Target Acquire function to offer optimal detection and sensitivity of hazardous objects. Green echoes are targets that stay stationary or are moving away from you, while red echoes are hazardous targets that are moving towards your vessel. Echoes dynamically change colors as targets approach, or get farther away from your boat.  When the “Rain mode” is on, rain echoes are shown in blue. This mode is particularly useful as it has the capability to detect targets masked by rain clutters.    


Garmin GPSMAP 8617 Multi-Function Display - The GPSMAP 8617 large-format multifunction display features a 17-inch full HD screen with touch control. Sunlight-readable, anti-glare display is easy to view and also includes an auto-dimming feature for use in low light or at night. The maximum glass design enables you to experience a beautifully powerful, completely networked helm at your fingertips.

The GPSMAP 8617 also includes presets for sonar, radar, cameras, media and digital switching, which can be independent or incorporated into SmartMode. With SmartMode control, you can quickly change all the screens at the helm in sync to a preset mode, for example, fishing, docking, night cruising, etc.  One-touch access allows you to switch all the monitors in sync from one mode to another without manually switching each monitor separately. Fully customizable layouts, data and gauges allow you to place the information you need at your fingertips.

About the author: Jeff Cote is the owner of Pacific Yacht Systems, a full service shop delivering marine electrical and navigation solutions for recreational boats. Visit their website and blog for info and articles on marine electrical systems, projects and more: