Garmin GXM 51

Ranger Tugs, Cutwater Buyers Can Get Garmin Factory-Installed

Ranger Tugs 25SC Helm Featuring Garmin Electronics

Ranger Tugs 25SC Helm Featuring Garmin Electronics

Fluid Motion, the company that builds Ranger Tugs and the new Cutwater fast pilothouse boats said this week it has a deal with Garmin to provide that company’s marine electronics as factory-installed packages on both lines of boats.  Of course, if you don’t want Garmin gear, you can certainly order your boat without but I think there are some good reasons to consider going with the factory deal.

Garmin has been the up-and-comer in marine electronics over the past several years.  Interestingly, they’ve owned the general aviation  market for navigation and flight displays for many years and when they decided to get into marine electronics they brought some innovative stuff to the market, including the touchscreen.  In fact, here at OceanLines, we did a series on the hypothetical outfitting of a new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition with a full suite of electronics and the package Garmin submitted was, arguable, the most compelling of all the manufacturers.

The packages that Ranger Tugs and Cutwater will be offering may or may not be as cheap as you can buy and install on your own (okay, they probably won’t be…), but you’ll be getting a package fully tested in your boat and, hopefully, well integrated into the specific systems on your boat.

At next week’s Seattle Boat Show, for example, you will be able to see the brand new Cutwater 26 and 28 outfitted with Garmin’s GPSMAP 5212, along with the GMR 18HD radar, GSD 22 digital sonar, GXM 51 XM satellite weather/audio antenna and VHF 200 radio.  That’s a nice 12-inch touchscreen display, with a great radar, sounder and live weather overlay capability.  And that radio can be augmented with up to 3 wireless, full-function handsets, so you could put an extra one in the cockpit.

And on the subject of system integration, all boats in both lines, except for the Ranger Tugs 21EC, can accept the Garmin GHP 10 autopilot, which features what the company calls “Shadow Drive” technology that automatically disengages the autopilot if the helm is turned, a nice feature I wish I’d had on my Robertson AP.

On the Ranger Tugs line, there are also options for the GPSMAP5215, a 15-inch touchscreen, the GPSMAP 740 and the AIS 600.  If you do any extensive cruising in your Ranger Tug, an AIS unit is an important piece of safety gear.  Yes, I know, commercial craft are often filtering Class B AIS transponder traffic, but you can still see them and if you’re doing what you should be as far as watchstanding, that’s better than neither of you seeing each other.  Read the final word on this at Ben Ellison’s PANBO.

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Electronics, Powerboats, Technology