Home' Afloat : AFLOAT July 2016 Contents Take monthly with water July 2016 45
ON THE WATER
with David Lockwood
I’ve been travelling a bit lately and it does
broaden the mind. It also brings home the
point that the world isn’t a ver y big place
after all. In 33 hours, I returned from Sweden
to Sydney. That’s a long time in transit, but
you are travelling from one end of the world
to the next. Yet there’s a lot of commonality
in the way we go boating, our motives and
the challenges, no matter where you launch
A lack of time, the need for special skill
sets, environmental concerns and expense are
all issues facing global boatbuilders today.
So there is a push to make boating easier,
more seamless and car-like in its operation,
and there will be a time in our future when
‘uber’-like boat sharing is popular. It’s now
only a matter of time before electric hybrid
propulsion goes mainstream.
Meantime, boating is evolving thanks to
the rapid change brought about by electronics.
Recently, Garmin released the Nautix, a $600
personal micro-projector that clips onto your
sunnies and relays key data from your nav
screens to the corner of your field of vision
in your polarise lenses.
The hands-free in-view display has been
designed to enhance boaters’ situational
awareness while cruising, fishing and sailing.
Key navigational data including speed,
heading, water depth and temperature, wind
direction, engine rpm, and more is relayed
from your nav screens to your shades.
Cruising captains can hand over the
helm but maintain watch over boat speed,
heading and other information while looking
elsewhere; anglers can actively scan the water
for signs of fish or birds while seeing changes
in water temperature or depth on their sunnies;
while sailors can view advanced racing data,
including countdown timer, time to burn, and
start line information.
Confession: I’ve been given a Garmin
quatix3 personal-data watch to test. This
baby with bright blue band delivers valuable
fishing, cruising and sailing data to your
wrist, says Garmin. You can get speed, depth,
temperature, wind data and more streamed
to your smart marine ‘watch’ via compatible
onboard Garmin marine electronics.
Electronics are shaping the way we go boating today.
You can also control your Garmin action
camera, say, to start the shooting when you
hook a fish, and operate your Fusion stereo
from the wrist. There’s also a MOB key that lets
you drop a waypoint and start navigating back
to that point. You can receive tidal data and
set an anchor alarm, too. This interests me.
While I was wondering where I’d find the
time to drive this cool Garmin personal data
watch, I was invited to the Gold Coast for a
Simrad demo day.
Using something called Inside Genesis
and sonar logging, you can also capture your
own hydrographical data at sea, upload it to
a map-making centre, and create your own
private fishing maps with custom data and
detail. You can choose to make these maps
private or put them in the public domain where
the citizen cartography is collectively creating
seabed charts with hitherto unseen levels of
detail for other Simrad users.
The next trick was StructureScan 3D for
Lowrance and Simrad depth sounders using
a special seven-element transducer that
pings down and to the sides to create three-
dimensional interpretations of the seabed
We ran over the sand-pumping pipe in the
Gold Coast Seaway and you could see the fish
about to commit harakiri. For keen anglers,
the multi-beam transducer pinpoints exactly
where the fish are laying in relation to your
boat. Cast and catch.
Finally, there was a new Halo radar
operating on a 24in touchscreen – bigger
touchscreens are all the rage – and from
an old-school-radar operator’s viewpoint it
was mind-blowing. The pulse compression
technology is like broadband in that it fires off a
range of signals to increase the resulting target
identification, resolution and separation.
Ever y competitor in the yacht race dead
ahead showed up as a clear target despite
them being just metres apart. Today’s radar
is an absolute boon to safe navigation. Having
had my life saved by radar on more than one
occasion, I’d buy this Halo in a heartbeat. By
the way, I’m not aligned to any electronics
company like a lot of folk today.
Back in Sweden, Volvo Penta was showing
me its Easy Boating initiatives that include
joystick operation of pod drives while docking
and at speed, a Dynamic Positioning System
that offers GPS station-holding akin to an
invisible anchor, new levels of integration via
the Garmin-supplied Glass Cockpit system
that puts ever ything into one big dash-
mounted touchscreen, and a new e-Key that
starts your engines and switches on your boat’s
DC functions from up to 100m away.
I won’t mention that it was summer in
Sweden and there were local nymphs lying all
over the rocks with no clothes on, because the
Swedes are known for being comfortable in
their own skin. It’s no big deal. Besides, that’s
what you have an autopilot for. h
Halo radar showing target separation and
Citizen cartography allows you to gather
data as you go and create your own
seabed maps with greater fishing detail.
Navico’s StructureScan 3D showing the
sand piping tunnel across the Gold Coast
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