Bonnier Award for Best Electronics 2022

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Six flagship products were awarded.
Best Marine Electronics

Welcome to the second annual Best Elex Awards, which recognize outstanding marine electronics products that have been reviewed and approved by the editorial team behind four leading marine media titles: Boating, yachting, cruising world and Saltwater sportsman. For two months, nominees were evaluated by our team of seven judges, including editors and e-editors from the aforementioned brands. In the end, six products stand out. And the winners are:

  • Editors Choice: Raymarine Cyclone
  • High tech : Garmin SurroundView
  • Best Integrated System: Raymarine Yacht Sense
  • The most innovative for sailing: Balmar battery monitoring
  • The most innovative for power: Yamaha Battery Management System
  • Best Entertainment: Garmin Apollo

Editor’s Choice: Raymarine Cyclone

Raymarine Cyclone
Raymarine Cyclone
Courtesy of Raymarine

What the judges said: “While the open array catches your eye first, the Raymarine Cyclone radar backs up its sleek design with a high level of functionality that includes excellent target definition, high power, Doppler target tracking, advanced dual range capability , a very efficient bird mode , a high rpm setting and more.

Next-level design and the ability to withstand the toughest conditions stood out to the judges as the key features of Raymarine’s Cyclone. This series of radars sports a radical look that resembles an airplane wing, a relatively thin array design made possible through the use of dielectric radar technology. But there is much more to point out. Advanced post-processing removes sea and rain clutter and reproduces graphic-like radar images. Anglers should appreciate the improved bird mode, which is surprisingly effective since Cyclone is a chirp pulse compression solid-state radar versus a high-powered magnetron. The Cyclone is also suitable for a wider range of vessels due to its size. The smallest version – a 3-foot open bay – is just 13.2 inches tall and weighs 51 pounds. Due to the Cyclone’s low profile, it can operate in wind speeds of up to 100 knots, compared to 70 knots for competitors, which is significant for 70 mph offshore boats. Cyclone is also available in 4 or 6 foot arrays and with a 55 watt (equivalent to 6 kW magnetron) or 110 watt (equivalent to 12 kW) plinth. The network rotates at variable speeds from 6 to 60 rpm; at its fastest, radar gives captains immediate awareness of their surroundings. The Cyclones also feature tri-color Doppler technology, a 96-mile range, and RangeFusion, which combines short- and long-range pulses into a single image. Prices range from $6,999.99 to $9,749.99.

State-of-the-art technology: Garmin Surround View

Garmin Panoramic View
Garmin Panoramic View
Courtesy of Garmin

What the judges said: “Surround View allows the captain more confidence when docking, even if there is no second crew member (and, perhaps, even if there is) to observe the blind distance between the swim platform and the bulkhead or between the anchor chute and the boat moored just ahead.”

Mooring can be a harrowing experience, but Garmin’s Surround Camera System minimizes that anxiety and boosts boaters’ confidence. The jury agreed that this product is a game-changer when it comes to giving captains a clear view of their surroundings in busy marinas and ports. One look at Surround View’s 360-degree bird’s-eye imaging shows you the innovation. The judges applauded Garmin for taking docking awareness to a new level. How does he do this? The system uses six flush-mounted 1080p cameras mounted fore, aft and amidships port and starboard. Surround View then creates a fully stitched overhead image with real-time 360-degree video and streams it directly to compatible Garmin chartplotters or multifunction displays. Captains can view one or two cameras simultaneously with the bird’s-eye view, and even zoom in and pan with individual camera views. Surround View also provides a number of augmented reality features, including a visual bumper and distance markers. Available as an OEM option on new boats only.

Best Integrated System: Raymarine YachtSense

Raymarine Yacht Sense
Raymarine Yacht Sense
Courtesy of Raymarine

What the judges said: “Raymarine has developed a system of electrically operated Legos, if you will, that allows builders to leap into the digital switching era using off-the-shelf modules that can be expanded if required.”

Simple. Easy. Redundancy. Scalable and Customizable: All judges called Raymarine’s YachtSense digital switching system a remarkably sensible approach to cleanly managing vessel systems such as lighting, pumps, windlasses, entertainment systems, generators and power. air conditioner. Every YachtSense system starts with master and power modules; additional multi-channel signal modules can be added as needed, like color-coded Legos. In addition, YachtSense offers electrical redundancy. The master module includes an integrated keypad for manual control, as well as an LCD display for system diagnostics. And maybe even better: YachtSense offers a scalable and customizable design that is suitable for boats as small as 35 feet. Captains monitor and control YachtSense with a Raymarine Axiom touchscreen multifunction display. The price varies depending on the number of systems integrated and the extent of the installation.

Most Innovative for Sailing: Balmar SG230/235 Battery Monitor

Balmar battery monitoring
Balmar battery monitoring
Courtesy of Balmar

What the judges said:Balmar’s SC230/235 battery monitors give boaters meaningful insight into the real-time health and state of charge of their battery banks from a variety of dedicated or wireless displays.

The fact that captains can access battery information with Balmar’s monitors using an app on a smartphone creates tremendous appeal for sailors who don’t always want to use a chart plotter to check their power supply. The judges also appreciated the products’ ability to monitor lithium batteries, which is unique on the market. But don’t think of this as just a sailboat victory; motor yachtsmen also appreciate the SG230 and SG235. With NMEA 2000 networking capability, the monitors can transmit accurate internal deep-cycle bank information, such as state-of-charge and voltage, to any multifunction display. Over time, these smart monitors actually learn from the batteries, allowing the SG230/235 to examine a larger parameter called health status. Captains can then see how their battery bank is aging over time. The SG230 comes with a color screen and costs $329; the SG235, without a display, costs $239.

The most innovative for power: Yamaha Battery Management System

Yamaha Battery Management System
Yamaha Battery Management System
Courtesy of Yamaha

What the judges said: “Yamaha’s new battery management system simplifies rigging, saves money, reduces weight and makes servicing boats with multiple outboards easier, proving once again that less is more.”

Yes, the judges noted a theme throughout this year’s new products: a focus on making life easier for everyone, from boater to builder. Yamaha even has a philosophy related to this trend called CommandBlue, designed to provide products that are easier to use and create greater satisfaction and confidence on the water. The judges felt that Yamaha’s battery management system was up to par. The most impressive feature they noted was the system’s ability to start up to five outboard motors with just two starter batteries (without the system, each engine would need a starter battery). The BMS continuously monitors and charges all batteries, but prioritizes starter batteries, ensuring their availability. Boaters can then add more household batteries to power their ever-growing list of accessories. Captains can also turn the batteries on or off from up to 15 feet away using a key fob or they can use a console-mounted switch. The estimated retail price of the system is $2,200. Note that BMS is only compatible with Yamaha digital electronic control outboards on vessels that use Yamaha’s Helm Master EX.

Read more : More marine electronics

Entertainment at its best: Fusion Apollo series amplifiers

Fusion Apollo Series Amplifiers
Fusion Apollo Series Amplifiers
Courtesy of Fusion Entertainment

What the judges said: “More impressive than a moonshot, Apollo amps make installing and configuring marine audio amplifiers a breeze.”

Most amplifiers must be tuned manually, often by a dealer or technician, in order for them to produce clear, quality sound. But Fusion’s new Apollo Series amplifiers eliminate all that. The judges felt that the setting-free feature was groundbreaking. Here’s how it works: Captains connect wirelessly to their mobile device and open the Fusion-Link app. There they select the appropriate audio profile for their vessel. The amps, enclosed in white powder-coated aluminum enclosures, pair exclusively with Fusion Digital Signal Processing compatible stereos. They feature 150W RMS per channel and a high power mode, and are available in 1, 4, 6 and 8 channel options. Prices range from $179.99 to $949.99.

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