Furuno — We’re excited to invite you to join us for our very first LIVE Webinar, specifically designed for boaters looking to add the most powerful MFD series to their helm. In this webinar, we’ll highlight the key features and extensive capabilities of the all-new NavNet TZtouch3 series.
The webinar platform provides the perfect setting to showcase our latest products in an environment that is engaging and informative, while following social distancing guidelines. This webinar will be held on Friday, May 29th at 9:00AM PDT.
We’ll not only provide you with a comprehensive overview of the TZtouch3 MFDs and new sensors, like high-power NXT Radars, “Deep Impact” CHIRP Amplifier, and the amazing SCX Satellite Compasses, but you’ll also experience a LIVE demonstration of the tremendously simplified and lightning-fast user interface that makes TZtouch3 the easi est to use MFD on the market! Furuno’s Senior Product Manager,
Eric Kunz, will be your Power Trip Tour Guide, answering any questions you may have along the way. Register today to reserve your spot and we’ll look forward to seeing you on the 29th!
Furuno USA, Inc.
By Elliott Stark
There was a time, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, that 50-knot sportfishers, 42-foot center consoles that run 75-knots and can dock themselves, and machines that eliminate seasickness sounded like the stuff of science fiction. As futuristic, and magical, as all of these things may have appeared in 2005, I’ll be damned if they’re all not on full display in 2020. In the world of boats, quite a bit of advancement has taken place in a relatively short amount of time.
In many ways, the boats of today are defined by these rapid technological advances. No longer are vessels comprised of individual components that perform independently of another—each focusing only on its singular role.
These days boats are interconnected systems that communicate with one another. Not only can these systems “talk” to one another, many of them are linked to satellites and possess the plenty of bandwidth and can display data as clearly as a plasma television.
Given all of the tools and the incredible amenity included in the package that is the modern boat, it would seem like an act of extreme arrogance to wonder where boats are headed next.
Questions like, “How much more could you want?” give way to the reality that things will continue to progress and refine. What follows is our best prognostication as to what the next ten years or so holds for the sportfishing and center console market.
To help provide context for this look into the future, we have queried experts across an array of fields.
The large center console market lies in many ways at the cutting edge of modern boating innovation. It is also a segment of the market that is exploding. A large reason for the proliferation of large center console vessels in the past dozen or so years can be found in the advancement of the outboard motor.
“What you see now, in terms of the proliferation of larger boats was due largely to the horsepower gains in outboard engines. The 350 hp in 2008 was revolutionary—these engines gave boat builders so much more room in the boat, when compared to (inboard) stern drives. Now you’re seeing boats that are bigger and bigger and bigger,” explains David Meeler New Product Introduction Manager at Yamaha.
“What we’re seeing now is generation two of that. The XTO offers a greatly improved charging system that provides lots of amperage at low power. This lends itself to the addiction to electronics that the market is seeing. In the future, we’ll see lots more integration and more connectivity,” he says, describing Yamaha’s latest generation of outboard—the XTO.
These higher horsepower engines are even more influential to the development of the center console market than are innovations in the inboard diesel space to the sportfisher segment of the market. As center consoles generally do not include generators (though these days some of them include most anything you can think of), the higher horsepower engines not only propel ever-larger boats, but provide the power necessary to run the many systems that modern boats employ.
Innovations in motor design not only focus on power, but on increased production (and efficient allocation) of free amperage—the electricity needed to make everything else run.
“The XTO puts out the vast majority of its amperage at low rpm. It produces 72 amps per engine— which is multiplied in a multiple engine configuration. Fifty-seven of those amps are produced at idle—which was more than the F350 produced at wide open throttle,” Meeler says. “The engines employ a magnetic system that converts power produced by the engines. It routes the amount of power needed to the engines and the remainder is sent to applications.”
“The technology today provides the ability to produce a smart system. It’s no longer just about propulsion, but rather motors are part of the boat—integration,” Meeler describes. The positioning and location systems that can dock a boat and keep it in position provide perhaps the most direct reflection of integration and emphasis on system as opposed to singular components.
The number of ways to control the engines and the precision to which engines (and their applications) can be used to maneuver the modern boat is nothing short of miraculous. If you believe this definition to be an exaggeration, go ask an old-timer…you know the man who has been fishing in his two-stroke, tiller-drive john boat for the past 50 years—the guy who shoots more ducks and catches more speckled trout than anyone you know.
Take this gentleman onto a boat equipped with Helm Master and put it through its paces—a 360 turn with a joystick and the like—then try to claim it’s not amazing.
“There is the joystick for low-speed operation. Then there are the fishing applications: fish point, stay point, and drift point—the feature that can keep the stern positioned into the drift. There are convenience features that are designed to help customers get more out of the boat that they’ve just bought,” Meeler says. “Thinking about it, sometimes reminds me of that old sign I saw in a bait shop sometimes. ‘Remember when your fishfinder was your grandpa?’”
The Electronics of the Future
If there were a single piece of “the future is here, now” technology, there’s a pretty strong argument that it could be the 8L Omnidirectional sonar from Furuno. This piece of equipment has turned the fishing world on its head by introducing a sonar that scans in 360-degrees every half of a second to provide a nearly real-time representation of what is going on beneath the water.
Given that Furuno has a pretty good handle on where things sit now, it stands to reason that Matt Wood, National Sales Manager for Furuno USA might be a pretty good source to speak with about where things are heading next.
“It’s 20 years since the introduction of the Furuno NavNet vol. 1. NavNet introduced ethernet networking—a multifunction GPS, chartplotter and fishfinder on the same device. We will continue to see that kind of development—a selection of appropriately large MFDs (multi-function displays), with large screens that are easy to install across an array of boat sizes and styles,” Wood says. “The black box style processor is still valid. It’s a lot more straight forward to have a display that doesn’t change, but rather to change the black box behind the scenes instead of changing the dash and control mechanisms.”
From a big picture perspective, Wood sees much of the interface on the boats of the future having a very familiar feel. “We’ll continue to see the man/machine interface borrowed and refined from the office—the mouse and keyboard, etc., or the industrial space. We’ll also see streamlined installations, and improvements in the quality of installations and decrease in the price of installation,” he explains. “It reminds of that from the guy in the US patent office in the 1800s—’Everything than can be invented has been invented.’ We know that that’s not the case…”
When considering what comes next, Wood is thoughtful in describing the impact of the recent, rapid advances in technology.
“When it comes to conventional navigation, we haven’t reached the limit but for the most part we have everything that a boat owner/operator needs. Now we will make it easier and improved—smaller, portable, remote-controlled. Look for things like theft proofing, security applications and vessel monitoring. Look for the general application of things from the home or office to boats.”
“The grail for the future is the desire for a fixed, forward looker for navigation. It would be a fixed mechanism without using a hoist, a transducer that looks forward and down at the same time to provide a real-time, three-dimensional view of what is ahead of the boat. That’s a long-standing body of work that we’ve been involved with for a long time,” Wood concludes.
Integration and Telematics
Dave Dunn is Garmin’s Director of Sales and Marketing. He is also a tournament fisherman and a man bitten by the urge to chase billfish. It is this combination, along with an eye for what works on boats, that makes Dave a great resource for projecting the future. Dave introduces a new and exciting word that will likely continue to make boating even more easy and exciting: telematics (remote monitoring and control through phones or other devices).
“The biggest thing now is the integration of technology. You can soon expect the same integration on a boat as you can with your car and home and phone. This integration makes it possible to use equipment from different companies—control your Lumitech lighting with your Garmin devices,” Dunn says. “One particularly hot topic that you’ll see more of in the future is remote monitoring. Telematics will be a big concept—using your phone to remotely monitor the boat.”
In terms of big picture prognosis, Dunn sees innovation and technology being applied for specific considerations. “Our goal will continue to be making it easier for people on the water and to make the boating experience simpler and more robust. Look for the trend of larger screens with multiple functions to continue.”
The larger and more capable screens are far from solely cosmetic. The past year or so has witnessed incredible increases in cartography and underwater mapping. “New MFDs have more processing power and can computer larger amounts of data. This has allowed the use of more high-resolution relief shading. NOAA (the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has vast amounts of data that we can now access.”
“There is a trickle down of technology which all stems from phones, laptops and tablets. Ultimately the technology makes its way to MFDs,” Dunn says. “Garmin is a large company but we’re small compared to the Apples and Samsungs of the world. Marine electronics will continue to benefit from advances in technology. The future is exciting, especially when you think about Moore’s Law… that technology doubles every 18 months or so.”
“The biggest thing for us is to keep up with expectations. We’re already looking at products for 2025—there’s so much testing and proofing,” Dunn says. “If you were to speculate about what is coming next for boats, look at trends with cars and the home. Garmin has the advantage of being involved in the aviation and outdoor markets, so often times we can identify trends before they make it to the marine space.”
Transducers that See Underwater (and into the Future)
The AIRMAR Technology Corporation makes the transducers that make it possible for many of your favorite fishfinders and bottom machines to work. While you’ll likely never see an AIRMAR product on the console, there’s a better chance than not that your boat has an AIRMAR product or two—and you’re better off for it. Given the integral role of AIRMAR’s transducers to the boating industry, an article about the future that did not include their perspective would be incomplete. Thankfully Craig Cushman, AIRMAR’s Director of Marketing was there for us.
Cushman sees many of the same trends ahead in the marine electronics space.
“In regards to the forward-looking transducer, it’s not a matter of if it can be done, it’s how. The main question is how to affix it to the vessel. We’ve been working with a company called Far Sounder out of Rhode Island. They offer the Argos System,” Cushman says. “We have been a provider of forward lookers to the cruise ship industry and large commuter vessels. We are bringing the technology down. Far Sounder introduced the Argos 350 for vessels in the 50 to 100 foot range.”
“Most of these boats are of the trawler configuration, their hulls are more conducive to affixing the transducers. For the sportfish market, it’s difficult to transfix the forward lookers to the hull, given their shape. AIRMAR provides the technology to companies to make this happen. Right now it’s a matter of waiting for vessels to be designed to enable that ability.”
AIRMAR is also hard at work on the trends of technology scaling from other sectors. “At the big picture level, there are a number of technologies at the high end—in the commercial fishing space that the recreational fishing market would love to have. Right now they are very expensive and we have to bring the price down. We are considering new technologies and looking for ways to do that. CHIRP was a similar process—it was in the commercial fishing sector for years before it was price appropriate for the recreational fishing market,” Cushman says. “The Far Sounder is along the same lines.”
Viking Yachts: Predicting the Future and Guiding its Course
Given the size and influence of Viking Yachts, the company casts a large footprint over the boating industry. With this scale comes not only intimate familiarity with where things sit now, but also the ability to actively influence how the future unfolds. There is perhaps no person with more singular influence on the trajectory of the sportfishing boat market than Viking CEO Pat Healey.
“The last ten years have been awesome. A while back some writers asked me what was next. The answer then was big boats, mezzanines, Seakeepers and the like. There has been so much innovation and component development in the last ten years—you can control boat systems from your phone or I-pad, you can steer your boat from a watch. It’s incredible.”
“In doing all of this, we’ve incorporated all kinds of complexity to make the systems work. All of that takes a lot of engineering,” Healey explains. “Taking all of these systems and integrating simplicity is the next step. In the last ten years we’ve added complexity, next we’ll look at simplicity.”
Along with rapid advancement in boat systems, the last ten years have witnessed evolution in material technology and applications used in manufacturing boats. Healey sees the next ten years as an evening out period within this realm, too. “We’ve seen advancement in materials as well—carbon fiber and infusion. It was ten years ago that hull infusion started. The next ten years will bring affordability to these systems and processes. It will bring the price down.”
As prices for materials and input processes decrease, it will not only affect the purchase price of the boat. “Harnessing the cost of systems and materials will harness the insurance costs as well,” Healey explains. “Our focus is on building what we build now—building it better, making it more simple and more economically.”
Healey’s prognosis is borne out by product trends generally—those that occur across markets beyond the sportfishing space. As new technologies emerge they cost quite a bit when they are new. After their introduction to the market, successive generations of the product are not only more refined than the first generation, but also increasingly economical through time.
These price adjustments can result from standardization of manufacturing techniques, decreases in product cost through bulk purchases of materials, or introduction of similar products that cost less. Such cycles of technology gains leading to price adjustments through time occur in such things as smart phones, computers, televisions, cars and boats.
As for the next horizons for boats themselves, Healey looks to alternation propulsion systems.
“We will likely have hybrid propulsion systems in the next five or so years, probably. The day where the main engines get you in and out and the rest of the day you operate on electric motors (while trolling). Under this scenario, instead of putting 750 or 1,000 hours a year on your mains, you might put 200 on the main and 800 on electric motors. How about that?”
“Over five years, that would mean 1,000 hours on your main engines and 4,500 on the electrics. Electric engines have no real shelf life, they run and run,” Healey says. “That’s the thing I see coming. There’s already some of it happening in Europe, some on lakes. It started on motor yachts in Europe.”
Electric motors for boats face similar issues as those in cars—among them the length and weight of batteries. “There are some problems with the variable speed generators right now. We are working with different diesel manufacturers and will be at the leading edge of its development. It’s basically the Tesla model, which is not new news.”
Just how will these alternative propulsion systems function on a boat? “Electric motors are basically power packs that go into the coupler between the mains and the transmission. You can use them either instead of your mains or like a nitro boost type deal to provide a boost of top-end speed.”
It sounds like the boats of 2030 will be awesome.
Do you have any comments or questions for us? We’d love to hear from you.
The Omni Sonar from Furuno has done nothing short of revolutionized sportfishing. Each year, Omni-equipped boats cash millions of dollars in checks from the biggest tournaments in the world. In this exclusive video Dock Talk, Furuno USA’s Matt Wood provides a complete and thorough breakdown of the capabilities of the Omni Sonar system, including tips on getting dialed in and what the installation looks like and all that the system can do. Don’t miss this…
Camas, WA – Furuno USA has announced a software update for NavNet TZtouch2 that enables use of the popular CMOR seafloor maps. CMOR’s high-resolution, shaded-relief bathymetric bottom images help navigators identify suitable locations for fishing and diving, overlaid on top of NavNet’s conventional vector, raster, or fishing charts. CMOR’s high-resolution coverage for NavNet TZtouch2 Multi-Function Displays currently includes parts of the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and southern portions of the East Coast, and additional areas will be available in the coming weeks.
The ability to overlay CMOR maps on the chart type of the customer’s choosing is a unique feature of NavNet TZtouch2. For current TZtouch2 owners, the maps properly formatted for use in TZtouch2 MFD’s are available for download from the Furuno web site at www.FurunoUSA.com, along with the software update and instructions for updating the NavNet TZtouch2 system. For customers new to TZtouch2, all new TZtouch2 MFD’s will now ship with a 256GB Micro SD card that includes all of the CMOR maps available, in addition to the system’s pre-loaded raster and vector charts that include most of the western hemisphere. Customers can unlock the CMOR charts at the time of purchase, or at any time thereafter.
For more information on CMOR maps, visit their website at www.cmormapping.com. To learn more about NavNet TZtouch2, or the complete line of Furuno Marine Electronics, see your local Furuno dealer or contact: Furuno U.S.A., 4400 N.W. Pacific Rim Blvd., Camas, WA 98607. Phone: (360) 834-9300
This column first appeared in our June 2019 Issue Volume 18 Edition 4 of InTheBite The Professionals’ Sportfishing Magazine.
by Captain Scott “Fraz” Murie
A lot has changed since I got into the business of fishing. Electronics have become the most important tool you can have on board your boat. When considering all of the abilities of modern electronics, I sometimes think of back “in the day” – if we had a Loran and a Raytheon 735A fathometer, and a booster on our CB radio, we had it going on.
The fathometer was a paper graph machine that scrolled and was marked by a stylus needle. The stylus drawing showed the contour of the bottom and any fish or bait as it scrolled. Actually, it was a pretty amazing machine at the time. Our Loran was operated using microwave towers that transmitted signals from shore, so your range was limited and bad weather decreased its accuracy. When we would take our boat to Mexico or the Bahamas, or other faraway places, you could forget it because our Loran was useless. It was all navigating by charts, parallel rules and dividers.
Today that’s all changed. You can take a boat anywhere now and never be out of touch. You can even see at night! Our satellite systems and technology are pinpoint accurate. That brings me to the latest and greatest game changing fish finder – the new Furuno Omni Scanner.
This is a full color scanner. It scans 360 degrees in 0.54 seconds. Think about that! That is almost two full 360-degree scans per second. This scanner is a game changer when it comes to finding fish, bait, or structure. With this tool fishermen can actually identify the species of fish under the boat. They are able to mark and track a single fish, enabling the anglers to present a bait directly to the targeted fish.
This scanner has become so popular here in the Northern Gulf that I know of at least a dozen boats that had them installed during the off season – previously only a hand full of boats had them. The sonar takes the guess work out of the question, “Is there any fish or bait or structure around the boat?” It reads out several hundred yards from the boat. For instance, you might be heading south but you see something on your sonar screen that is 300 yards to the west. So, you go over there and you get covered up. The point is, you would never have made the turn to the west without the sonar. It is truly a game changer as far as finding and tracking fish.
These scanners are expensive – with a typical price tag of between 100k and 150k depending on the installation. But if you are throwing down 20k, 40k or 60k a weekend in tournaments, it’s a no brainer. A lot of boats without the scanner are having second thoughts about betting against the sonar boats. You can’t hardly blame them. Also, there is nothing automatic about this machine. Like anything else, you have to learn how to use it. When using it properly you are constantly panning in and out, up and down – your head is literally in the sonar all the time. It takes a lot of time to get dialed in on this machine. But once you do get it dialed in, you won’t want to go fishing without it.
Technology is an amazing thing. You need it now days to stay in the game.
– That’s my two-minute warning. Fraz
The 23rd Annual Orange Beach Billfish Classic (OBBC), kicked off the 2019 Gulf Coast Tournament Season with 48 boats chasing Blue Marlin and more than a $1M in prize money.
Relentless Pursuit, a 95′ Jim Smith, caught the winning fish shortly after the fleet departed Orange Beach on Thursday, May 16th. “We didn’t have a chance to do any pre-fishing before the tournament,” said Captain Robbie Doggett. “But we hadn’t been on the troll all that long when we got the bite we needed. What a way to start the season!”
Angler Dennis Pasentine, Jr. brought the fish to the boat in less than two hours and the crew started heading for Orange Beach to weigh their fish early the next morning. The team celebrated both the 116″ fish that weighed 658.2 pounds and team owner Dennis Pasentine’s birthday before a nice early morning crowd at The Wharf. The Blue Marlin would still be atop the leaderboard when the scales closed on Saturday night.
No other fish were weighed on Friday, but Saturday night saw two more Blue Marlin come to scales. Double J, a 42′ Freeman, saw their fish measure 107″ and 399.4 pounds. Current Alabama State Record holder for Blue Marlin, Chris Ferrara on the 70′ Viking Reel Fire, claimed third place with his 376 pound Blue Marlin which measured 108″.
Mollie the 66′ G & S from Destin, won Catch and Release and will have their name added to the Johnny Johnson Memorial Trophy, by releasing three Blue Marlin. Reel Fire also placed in the Catch and Release category with a second place finish by releasing two Blue Marlin.
Born 2 Run, a 72′ Viking from Pensacola finished in third place in Catch and Release by also releasing two Blue Marlin.
One of the highlights of this year’s tournament was the weighing in of two giant Bluefin Tuna. Hot Rod, a 56′ Viking from Sasser, GA, brought their 107″ fish in early on Saturday night to the delight of the crowd as the scale read 735 pounds. That fish was bumped to second place as the final fish of the night brought huge roars from the fans in attendance and those watching online.
Crawgator, a 61′ Viking from Venice, LA, caught their 110″ Bluefin late on Saturday and just missed setting a new Alabama state record with an 825-pound giant tuna. Tireless, a 44′ Cabo from Orange Beach, finished third with a 172.4-pound Yellowfin Tuna.
CE, a 65′ Hatteras from Point Clear, AL won the Wahoo division with a 58.0-pound fish. Crawgator also placed in the Wahoo division with a second place fish that weighed 45.2 lbs. and Relentless Pursuit also placed in multiple categories with a third-place finish in Wahoo at 40.2 lbs.
It was good to again see big Dolphin coming to the scales as a new tournament year begins. Lucky Dog, a 57 Bayliss from Destin, took first place with a 46.2 lbs. Mahi-Mahi. Second place went to A Team, a 43′ Viking from Galveston, Texas and third place was won by Breathe Reel Deep, a 52 Ocean from Orange Beach. Both fish weighed an identical 36.6 lbs.
The Top Lady Angler was Katie Gonsoulin on Done Deal as she released two Blue Marlin.
Thirty-Six Blue Marlin and three White Marlin were released in the 2019 Orange Beach Billfish Classic.
Official 2019 Orange Beach Billfish Classic Results
1st- 658.2 lbs. Relentless Purist- Angler Dennis Pasentine
2nd- 399.4 lbs. Double J- Angler Greg Gaubert
3rd- 376 lbs. Reel Fire- Angler Nathan Neames
Catch and Release
2nd- Reel Fire
3rd- Born 2 Run
1st- 825.6 lbs. Crawgator- Angler Bill Butler
2nd- 735 lbs. Hot Rod – Angler Stewart Fickel
3rd- 172.4 lbs. Tireless – Angler Gregg Trenor
1st – 58 lbs. CE – Angler Scott Cooper
2nd- 45.2 lbs. Crawgator – Angler Bill Butler
3rd- 40.2 lbs. Relentless Pursuit- Angler Johnny Pasentine
1st- 46.2 lbs. Lucky Dog – Angler Jarrett Johnson
2nd- 36.6 lbs. A Team – Angler Robert Sanderson
3rd- 36.6 lbs. Breathe Reel Deep – JC Jacobs
Top Lady Angler
Katie Gonsoulin on the Done Deal