DC-to-DC converters might not be the most exciting component you will find on a boat, but they play an important role in many modern power systems. Perhaps in part because of their lack of sex appeal, the selection and features of DC-to-DC converters have, until now, been limited. Fortunately, that seems to be changing. I’ll dig into a few other developments in the category later, but first, let’s take a look at what’s new from Victron.
Panbo News and Reviews
Recently, I participated in judging the NMMA’s Innovation Awards at IBEX. Participating in the awards affords me a sneak peek at new products and technology. This year’s IBEX was full of interesting and compelling new products. But, if I had to pick one product that I’m most excited about, VoltSafe’s managed shore power system is a strong contender. Let’s take a look at the system and why I’m excited about it.
IBEX 2023 is in the books and, at least from my perspective, the show was a roaring success. After multiple interruptions for a pandemic and then a hurricane, it was great to have a strong, well-attended show. Plus, after a few years with fewer entries into the Innovation Awards, for which I participated as a judge, this year’s awards were packed with interesting new products.
Last week, I helped judge the Technology and Best New Product awards at the National Marine Electronics Association’s (NMEA) annual conference. Furuno’s FCV-600 and FCV-800 standalone fish finders received the Best New Product award. I enjoy participating in these sorts of contests because of the opportunities I’m afforded to dive deeper into new products. The new FCVs are great examples of compelling new products I might otherwise have missed.
It’s been seven and a half years since Garmin unveiled its flagship GPSMap 8600 chart plotters and more than 10 years since the 8000 series was announced. The new GPSMap 9000 series represents quite a few firsts and appears designed to anchor the top of Garmin’s line for many years to come. Let’s take a look at the new chart plotter, networking technology, and accessories.
Raymarine and Avikus unveiled NeuBoat Dock, the first product to come out of Avikus and Raymarine’s partnership. NeuBoat Dock is a surround view system that enables the helmsperson to see 360 degrees around a boat up to 100 feet. The system will be demonstrated next week at the Cannes Yachting Festival and in early October at the International BoatBuilders’ Exposition in Tampa, FL. Raymarine and Avikus promise that this surround view product is just the first of quite a few announcements to come that will rapidly enable both awareness and autonomy capabilities.
As a regular reader of Panbo, long before I became involved, my favorite articles were the ones that introduced me to a new product or company. As the editor of Panbo, little excites me more than hearing from a new company and getting to introduce a product to my readers. Perhaps, for many readers, this review will serve as an introduction to LXNav and their SmartShunt WiFi and NMEA 2000-connected battery monitoring shunt. Join me for a review of the SmartShunt and a look at the rest of LXNav’s marine-focused offerings.
I’ve written a lot about Victron’s products. In fact, I’ve written enough that I sometimes fear my readers will see another Victron article and roll their eyes. But, yet again, I find myself with a compelling Victron product that I feel you should hear about. This time, it’s a battery charger. I realize you may not think of battery chargers as the most exciting piece of technology on your boat, but bear with me and read on to hear why I think you should be excited by this one.
Apps running on tablets and phones have come a long way from the first, relatively primitive charting apps that debuted shortly after the turn of the millennia. Not only have the existing apps gained big functionality, but we’ve also seen many new entries into the category. This entry will attempt to review the currently available apps and their capabilities.
Orca makes some pretty heady claims about their CoPilot navigation app and hardware. Their home page is dominated by the tagline, “The ultimate navigation experience” and promises “Better boating with Orca.” Those are bold statements, but Orca’s goals are indeed ambitious. Orca aims to deliver a smarter, more automated navigation experience by leveraging both their own and off-the-shelf hardware. So, how far along the path to delivering the ultimate navigation experience has Orca progressed so far? Let’s take a look.