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Raymarine News

The Boat Show is always a good place to get a first look at the new gear that has hit the market, and electronics is always changing quickly. Two years ago when we were outfitting our Southerly 42 it seemed we had such an advanced system! But these last two years has seen a big advance in technology, especially with Radar and chartplotters.

This year at Southampton I got a tour of the new Raymarine “Hybrid-Touch” chartplotters. I have always liked the idea of a touch screen for the obvious convenience, but been leery of using one on a boat with saltwater and spray around. The conductivity of saltwater drips or spray on the screen would make the touch screen think you were touching it. A great idea for an enclosed bridge of a large yacht but not practical for outdoor helm stations.

Raymarine has solved the problem with a very clever mix of the two technologies, hence the hybrid. It looks like the former “C” series plotters with buttons for all functions, BUT it also has a touch interface that can do the same functions. You can switch back and forth between the two seamlessly, press a button then touch the screen. Very neat! But for safety and usability in spray or rough conditions you can deactivate the touch screen.

Check out the demo on their website!


Radar is the other big breakthrough. In the last couple of years radar technology has advanced dramatically. “Digital” and “Hi-Definition” are not just marketing slogans. Advances in technology has allowed the brains of the radar to be moved up into the scanner itself, and for it to be much smarter about sending out and receiving the pulses radar uses to see the world. The new Digital radar means the whole radar function is done up in the scanner, then the final image is sent down by a thin ethernet cable instead of the thick bundle of signal cables of last year’s radars (those cables were as thick as a thumb!).

- much improved definition of targets
- smart scanner automatically adapts to surrounding targets
- better detection of weak targets such as rain so should be able to detect a ship within rain
- saves weight and difficulty with cabling

We are very keen to get out on the water and try these new technologies! I will report back!!
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