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Omnisense Ulysses

NMEA Boater Blog

Sonar pushes the limits, part 2

A few years back advancements in marine radar took center stage for boaters, led by the application of Doppler technology to increase situational awareness by tagging nearby vessels that pose a risk. Sonar, too, has also come on strong with innovations allowing greater reach, flexibility and target display. Below is Part 2 of an article we started last week that appeared initially in Marine Electronics Journal. If you missed Part 1, click HERE.

By Zuzana Prochazka

What’s driving advancements?
Along the lines of rising customer demand are shifting dash expectations. Smaller boats want big-boy systems in the ever-growing "vessel creep” where compact boats are loaded with mind-blowing technology. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see sophisticated systems like Furuno’s DFF-3D multibeam sonar find their way down the food chain sooner rather than later.

Also, miniaturization has made it possible for a technology transfer to trickle down from commercial fishing and/or military systems. "The trick is taking something that’s built for large ships and huge budgets and scaling it down into something that will a) still be an amazing technology for a recreational user, b) fit into their budget and c) fit on their boat,” says Navico’s Jeremiah Clark.

Raymarine’s Jim McGowan adds, "Some commercial transducers are so big they actually change the draft of the vessel, so making them smaller and cheaper is a real challenge, but if we can offer 75% of the capabilities at 25% of the cost, that’s a great tradeoff.”

Finally, as we all know, a boat is a combination of complex systems and the development and accessibility of complementary technologies like gyrostabilization have enabled improved sonar. "Electronic beam stabilization is a part of what’s made sonar better, but overall boat stabilization is important too,” says Furuno’s Matt Wood. "Now boats down to 30 feet can get a Seakeeper and that’s a game changer for sonar.”

Recently, advances in all kinds of boat systems have come together to push sonar farther and faster than either cartography or radar. "I think that we have had more new sonar technology innovations in the past 10 years than we had in the previous decades of recreational sonar combined,” says Clark.

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Auckland, New Zealand – Vesper Marine, a leading manufacturer of innovative marine electronics, announced today new features for existing and new Cortex owners with the upcoming release of an automatic software update – version 1.5.

Designed to be future-proof, Cortex is built on a feature-rich and extremely powerful platform that will grow with new capabilities. Software updates are installed via the Cortex Onboard app and the latest version includes Directional Voice Alerts, Boat Network, Auto Orientation and an easy-to-use Setup Walkthrough.

Furuno Brings Unique, Game-Changing Features to TZtouch3 with FREE Software Upgrade!

Camas, WA - Furuno is excited to announce a major software update for their flagship Multi Function Display (MFD) line, NavNet TZtouch3. Version 2.01 software is now available for free for all NavNet TZtouch3 MFDs, adding new functionality and enhancing existing features. Among the host of new functionality version 2.01 software brings to the MFDs are some ground-breaking new features, including the amazing PBG (Personal Bathymetric Generator) functionality for creating your own shaded relief maps of the seafloor with the DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar.

C-MAP Launches New High-Resolution Range of Chart Cards

Egersund, Norway – C-MAP®, a leader in digital marine cartography and cloud-based mapping, announced today the launch of new high-detail C-MAP DISCOVER and C-MAP REVEAL charts for Lowrance®, Simrad® and B&G® chartplotters.

The DISCOVER and REVEAL charts include new features like Custom Depth Shading, Shaded Relief for inland waters, subscription-free Easy Routing and more. The charts replace Insight PRO, Lake Insight HD, Precision Contour HD, MAX-N and MAX-N+ charts in the C-MAP line-up, greatly simplifying its chart portfolio.