Technology continues to change boating in countless ways, making it possible to enjoy heightened safety and effectiveness on the water. Helm displays are an essential tool when it comes to successful navigation and handling, and new developments by Navico mark significant improvements in multifunctional helm displays. Their new design is sleek, easy to use, and is about to pop up on luxury yachts every where you look.
The creativity of engineers and designers continues to create new technologies across many industries. Those that find their way into the maritime sector usually result in a simpler and safer boating environment.
The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) is an independent consensus-based body of industry experts who are tasked to develop standards that “protect the safety of the boating public,” and also, as noted by some industry reps, to make boating easier, which draws more people into the boating lifestyle. These two new electronic systems are perfect examples of how innovation can improve the overall boating experience.
Visitors to the Miami International Boat show may have noticed a streamlined helm display on quite a few new boats being introduced at the show. That’s because Navico, the parent company of Lowrance, Simrad, B&G, and C-MAP, has launched its new Information Display. Branded as a new category of marine technology, the Simrad Information Display introduces a new manner of integration and marks the first significant evolution of the multifunctional display.
The bonded-glass display has a sleek design that houses a powerful integration hub with a new, configurable graphic interface to simplify monitoring and control of onboard systems. The system is currently installed by the boat manufacturer during the build process and features pre-defined contextual modes that display all relevant data pertinent to the boat’s current operating situation such as showing the most relevant controls and alarms together on a full-page audio screen when at anchor.
In Cruise mode, only the critical data is shown on the display and allows the captain to see the necessary information while underway and not have to sort through a clutter of helm instruments to find what matters. When engaged in the Water Sports mode, the driver can keep an eye on a water skier by integrating a rear-view camera display on the screen along with the most relevant charts, and the process of system checks before you leave the dock in the Prepare Mode is easier with digital switches and level indicators.
Custom modes are also easily configured by the builder not only to accentuate the utility of an individual vessel but also to complement an owner’s requirements, such as off-shore sportfishing, passage making or just heading out for a leisurely day on the water.
One of the most stressful maneuvers for those at the helm is docking, but with Raymarine’s new DockSense assisted docking technology, slipping in alongside between two boats becomes routine. The DockSense system uses FLIR machine vision stereo camera technology and video analytics combined with a central processing module, the DockSense App running on Raymarine’s Axiom navigation display and an advanced joystick piloting system to create a Virtual Bumper zone around the vessel and assist boat owners in tight-quarters docking.