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Tools for Systems Integration

Put together an integrated helm and keep an eye on the world around, and beneath, the yacht.

September 18, 2009
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Helm Help

ScanStrut Deck Pods (starting at $450) are an ingenious way to mount electronics. The relatively small base requires little real estate, and yet can hide most any size cable. Plus, the base socket easily unlocks so you can tilt and turn the pod in any direction, which can be a big help in difficult light conditions. Deck Pods are also watertight, go together with tamper-proof fastenings, and come in a choice of high-gloss white or silver ABS plastic capped in UV-stable acrylic. The pods come in several sizes, and can be precut to fit many 8- to 15-inch displays. Scanstrut also introduced Helm and Mast Pods of similarly elegant design, and even came up with a tilt and turn pedestal attachment. Scanstrut, (800) 343-8294; **www.scanstrut.com**

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Off to the Side

In July, Lowrance impressively demonstrated StructureScan ($600), a fixed-transducer scanning sonar option for the same powerful HDS display series that I tested with Broadband Radar. This screenshot shows StructureScan’s side-scan view plus its novel down view, along with a regular sonar window, all imaging an abandoned wave-making machine at Walt Disney World. The main objective of StructureScan is to provide such high-resolution bottom detail for lake and near-coastal fishermen, a niche pioneered by Humminbird, but the technology may also have value for gunkholing cruisers, and hence may also evolve up the Navico brand ladder. Lowrance, (800) 324-1356; **www.lowrance.com**

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Go Wide

Garmin’s going big with four new open-array radar scanners, which begin with the 4-foot, 6 kW GMR 604 ($4,500) and add wattage and/or width up to the 6-foot, 12 kW GMR 1206 ($6,300). All feature “xHD” digital signal processing to draw the maximum resolution from their powerful magnetron pulses, as well as rotation speeds up to 48 rpm, especially useful on fast yachts. Once connected to a network of Garmin displays, these scanners also offer dual-range viewing and MARPA target tracking. Garmin, (800) 800-1020; **www.garmin.com**

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