Check These Out at the 2016 Miami Boat Show

If you’re already in South Florida, or headed that way for this weekend, you probably know that The 2016 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show® has moved from the Miami Beach Convention Center to Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. And now that the dog days of the 2008 recession have more or less faded, there is lots of innovation to explore in recreational boating. So stop by the show and take a look at some cool new boats and gear. Some of my top pics for the show:


Navico, the world’s largest manufacturer of marine electronics, announced several new technology developments that will integrate some key industry systems monitoring capabilities into the company’s equipment.  The company announced it would partner with Naviop, an international leader in monitoring and control systems for yachts and luxury megayachts, to develop state-of-the-art solutions for displaying and managing sophisticated yacht systems. The effort will bring Naviop’s monitoring technology into the broader marketplace for production and high-volume boat building.

Naviop Monitor

Navico also announced that, in partnership with Mercury®, the full line of Simrad® GO, NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 multifunction displays will soon receive a new software upgrade that adds powerful functionality with the recently introduced Mercury VesselView® Link module, providing boaters with fully integrated Mercury engine data combined with their chartplotter, sounder or radar display. Leif Ottosson, Navico CEO, said, “Working together with Mercury, we are able to offer boaters a simplified approach to data management. Now information from radar, sonar, gauges, engine controls, and more, can all be viewed on one screen, minimizing distractions for captains and simplifying the boating experience.”

Navico’s Lowrance® brand announced the release of the Lowrance Precision-9 Compass, which delivers heading and rate-of-turn information with an enhanced level of accuracy to Lowrance Outboard Pilot™, Broadband Radar™ and navigational systems over an NMEA 2000® connection.

Lowrance Precision-9 Compass

The Precision-9 Compass incorporates a sophisticated solid-state sensor array measuring motion on nine separate axes. Data from all nine axes is used to calculate the most accurate heading and rate-of-turn information possible, avoiding common limitations of conventional fluxgate electronic compasses. Once the compass is calibrated, it delivers heading accuracy of ±2 degrees, with a pitch and roll range of ±45 degrees. Lowrance said the compass should be available this month in the U.S. and Canada at a suggested retail price of $645USD.

BRP – Rotax and Evinrude

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) announced that its Rotax Intelligent Shift and Throttle (iST) system was recognized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) with an Innovation Award in the Jet Boat category at the beginning of this year’s show. BRP says the game-changing iST option for Rotax jet propulsion systems brings electronic control to formerly mechanical functions. Now available on nearly all Scarab jet boat models and Chaparral Vortex models, iST allows boaters to optimize low-speed maneuverability in a variety of environmental conditions.

BRP’s Evinrude brand has a very high profile at this year’s show, with some eye-watering demos available with the E-TEC G2 models on several boats at the dock. BRP has also announced that they have approved the use of biobutanol fuel blends in Evinrude engines, and will be offering test rides to show the compatibility. Demonstrations will be held at the Miami International Boat Show for media and consumers at on a Key West 239 equipped with an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300HP engine, at Slip #120. Even if you don’t think you will have access to these new bio fuels in the near future, you definitely want to experience a 300HP E-TEC G2. That’s all I’m saying.


GOST® (Global Ocean Security Technologies), celebrating its 10th year as a world leader in marine security, tracking, monitoring and video surveillance systems, is highlighting its newest marine products at the Miami show this year at Booth: C368, in the C Tent. You can see the new GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM, with its hardwired interface unit that allows it to be integrated with hardwired sensors you may already have aboard your boat. If you’re just getting started on the search for a serious security system, look at the GOST NT Evolution 2.0 security and tracking system. The pinnacle of marine security solutions, the NT Evolution 2.0 marine-grade, wireless security, monitoring and tracking system provides battery backed-up global arm/disarm and relay control via satellite from anywhere in the world. It is designed to defend oceangoing vessels and any other asset that requires a ruggedized, water resistant security, monitoring and tracking system. Easy to install, the wireless sensors can be monitored and the system can be controlled remotely, no matter where the vessel is located globally, with the exception of the most extreme polar latitudes.

GOST Nav Tracker

And finally, see if they’ll show you their new GOST Tracker App, which allows boat owners to link to vessel data from a corresponding Nav-Tracker device and other GOST tracking systems via a smartphone or tablet with an easy-to-use, secure interface. The intuitive application allows users to log in with the same username and password used to access their account on the GOST website. Users can remotely monitor and control Nav-Tracker devices installed on any number of vessels, while fleet managers can view multiple fleets of vessels, as their needs require.

As far as boats go, we’ll get back to you after the show with a roundup of the best of the new boats. There is some really cool stuff going on now with boat builders. While most companies got hit hard by the recession — and some did not survive — others are making a real comeback, including some names we thought might be gone for good.  I’ll mention just one here, and ironically, they don’t have their new vessel at Miami, in this case the Yachts Miami Beach 2016 show (formerly the Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show) on Collins Ave. But I know they’re at the Cocktail Barge and they’re talking about the new Bertram 35.  Yes, the Moppie is coming back! The first hulls are under construction at the Lyman-Morse Shipyard in Thomaston, Maine, and Bertram execs will be in Miami Beach to share some more details about the new boat. Check out the details at Bertram’s website.

Copyright © 2016 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Boats, Electronics, Engines, Marine Electronics

Torqeedo Launches Next Generation of Tiller-Control Electric Motors

Torqeedo Cruise 4.0T Electric Outboard System

Torqeedo Cruise 4.0T Electric Outboard System

Torqeedo, which I’ve talked about a lot here on OceanLines, has launched the next generation of its tiller-controlled electric outboard motors.  The company says the new Cruise 2.0T and 4.0T are “stronger, faster, more robust and more efficient.

Torqeedo says the motors have a new, innovative display on the tiller, which shows information regarding battery charge status, remaining range, speed over ground and input power.  A 4AWG  plug-and-go cable set, including fuse and main switch should make the motors more comfortable to use.

Some of the specs:

    • Operating on 48V with 8-9.9 hp, the 4.0T motor only weighs 40 lbs.
    • The smaller Cruise 2.0T operates at 24V with 5-6 hp and weighs 39 lbs.
    • Both models are offered in short and long shaft versions.
    • Torqeedo’s new Cruise 2.0T is priced at $3,299, while the Cruise 4.0T is $3,799.

I think Torqeedo has provided one of the two best technology paths for future tender and small-boat propulsion. Most cruising powerboats have plenty of excess electrical generation capacity and keeping some Torqeedo batteries fully charged for the tender shouldn’t pose any kind of real challenge. The benefit is clean, reliable and efficient propulsion. I’ve always wished someone (Evinrude, are you listening?) would develop a new-generation diesel outboard, but I may opt instead for a Torqeedo electric.

Copyright © 2012 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Engines, Technology

New Series: “The Wish List”

Ed. Note — If you’ve been boating for any length of time you’ve no doubt begun to accumulate some fairly specific ideas about the best way to do something aboard a boat, or the right way something should be designed or built, or perhaps even the way a service should be provided.  We’re not immune from that syndrome just because we’re journalists, although we do try to keep it under control when reporting news.  Periodically though, even journalists have to vent a little bit and we thought this new series would be a good chance for us here at OceanLines to share with you our personal “wish lists” for all things boating-related.  But here’s the deal; we will if you will.  We’d like to hear from you about the boats, products, services and technology that YOU think should be “standard.”  Leave us your own wish list items in the comments and we’ll collate them into a story so everyone can see them.

I flipped a coin and decided that (however it landed) I would go first (editor’s privilege).  So here is the first one from my personal wish list.  I have too many to bore you with in just one posting here so I’ll split them up and we’ll call it “a series.”  Remember, I need YOUR comments and wish lists.  There’s nothing like unsolicited product input to turn the heads of the product development people out there…


Universal Fuel It’s time we standardized on one all-purpose marine fuel, just like the U.S. Navy did in recent years. 

If you own a diesel passagemaker, you already know what a pain it is to have to manage that nasty gasoline for the outboard on the dinghy.  You’ve already got lots of diesel aboard — sometimes thousands of gallons of it — a nice stable, relatively safe fuel.  It has a high flash point (>125°F); won’t burn in open air at anything less than 494°F or so, and these types of fuels are becoming easier to make in “bio-form” from sustainable resources; like algae.   For reference, gasolines have a higher autoignition point but a MUCH lower flash point; typically around -45°F, and flowing gasoline can easily be ignited from self-generated static electricity.

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington receives JP-5 fuel while underway.  Photo:

U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington receives JP-5 fuel while underway. Photo: Specialist Seaman Christopher S. Harte

In the case of the U.S. Navy, they standardized on another kerosene-based fuel, JP-5 and even got BRP-owned Evinrude to make an E-TEC 2-stroke outboard, the MFE (Multi-Fuel Engine) that would run on it.  Actually, that outboard will run on almost anything, at least for a short time.  As one Evinrude representative put it to me, “if people are shooting at you, we don’t want you worrying about what’s in the fuel tank.”  The Evinrude is also submergible, which suits special forces units, like the Navy SEALs, perfectly.  The Evinrude MFE is available to consumers through Evinrude dealers.  The MFE will run on kerosene, aviation fuels (JP-4, JP-5, JP-8, Jet-A and Jet-B), and standard gasoline. These fuels are available from commercial sources worldwide. The engine’s fuel selection can be changed with the simple flip of a switch, without compromising performance.

A Maritime Engineering Group Vision Diesel Outboard

A Maritime Engineering Group Vision Diesel Outboard

Another possibility is the Maritime Engineering Group’s Vision line of turbo diesel outboards.  It seems to be still in development, and the initial units are probably too big for use as tender/dinghy motors, but it might be a start.  You can see their work on the MEG website.

Yanmar used to make a series of diesel outboards, but they have not been available for several years now.  They were known as the D-series outboards, and probably the most popular was a 36 HP outboard, shown in the picture below.

Yanmar D-Series Diesel Outboard

Yanmar D-Series Diesel Outboard

The standardization on JP-5, which was driven by the requirement for the Navy’s aircraft carriers to carry mllions of gallons of it for use in jet aircraft, allows that service to simplify its logistics and safety procedures.  Saved a lot of money, too.  In fact, the entire Defense Department has a standardized fuels initiative that will have all services using a limited number of fuels by next year.

So let’s press our own marine propulsion manufacturers to agree on a standardized fuel; preferably a 100% biofuel, produced sustainably (not from petroleum), and get to work on designing and building engines in all power and weight classes to use it.  Modern diesels can be powerful, lightweight and virtually pollution-free using state-of-the-art filtering and catalyst technology.  With a standard fuel, we can simplify marine fuel logistics down the entire chain; from refinery to fuel dock to fuel tanks aboard our boats.  We’ll have a single, safer, environmentally responsible fuel and life will be simpler. Oh yeah; did I forget to mention that insurance rates for boaters and marinas would go down, too?


Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Industry News, Technology