Power Up the Tender Helm

Electronics with big-boat functionality have come to yacht tenders.

Electronics with big-boat functionality have come to yacht tenders—here are three one-screen solutions to meet all small-boat helm needs.

With high technology, it seems to be the same old story: smaller, brighter, faster, better, cheaper—if you had told me three years ago that I’d be accessing Facebook from my smartphone I’d have said: “Smart what? Face who?” The integration of all functions into single display units means a helm can do it all in very little space.

Go Wide
The C140W from Raymarine (www.raymarine.com) takes the familiar movie-screen aspect ratio and puts all of helm functions on one screen, with single, big-picture images or split into handy usable quadrants. With an intuitive proprietary UniControl pad, the C140W can put chart plotting, depth sounding, weather data, and even radar imagery on its sunlight-viewable optically bonded display. The unit is compatible with digital fishfinder and radar peripherals, and has an internal GPS.

High Flyer
The Lowrance HDS 10 (www.lowrance.com) uses a 10-inch SolarMAX PLUS display for detail (HDS stands for High-Def System, after all) in bright sunlight—helpful when running without a Bimini or T-top. The screen also works well for taking the tender back to the boat late night—it dims to zero for night vision. Soft keys and the proprietary FlyWheel dial make navigation simple, and the HDS is ready to go with a built-in broadband sounder and WAAS-enabled GPS. It's also networkable with NMEA 2000, so the tender can get the same loving care as the mothership.

Map and More
The Garmin GPSMap 700 series (www.garmin.com) comes preloaded with a digital worldwide basemap as well as detailed offshore maps for U.S. coastal areas—including the Bahamas. A 7-inch color display offers low-level dimming for night navigation and an intuitive touchscreen interface, all in a waterproof package. Other features include a built-in GPS receiver, smart cable management, and compatibility with satellite weather and NMEA 2000 networking. And it's ready to upgrade with radar.