New Raymarine ST4000 Wheelpilot

Raymarine's ST4000 Plus Wheelpilot has a new compact, rugged wheeldrive unit.

The slim drive unit fits easily and neatly to the back of the steering wheel and the new ball race mechanism delivers more power and faster hardover time for tight course keeping control.

With its large and clear LCD display, the ST4000 Plus control unit can be mounted where it is easy to reach and see. The unit is designed for yachts up to 8,500kg displacement. It has a separate control unit with a fluxgate compass for accuracy and an optional remote control.

Enquiries: Oceantalk.

Tel: (02) 9981 9500.

Stylish Boat Shoes for Ladies

Dubarry has released a new boat show for ladies called Riviera. The stylish shoe features a non-marking, non-slip rubber deck sole with rust-proof eyelets and super soft Pittards leathers.

Fashioned like the tread of a tyre, this sole is also used on the Dubarry sea boots worn by competitors in the Volvo Round the World Race. The shoes, with their distinctive port and starboard flashes on either side of the heel, can also be worn on shore for that smart casual designer look. RRP $189.00 plus GST from leading marine stockists.

Enquiries: Burke Pty Ltd.
Tel: (02) 9638 4333.

Sunglasses with Interchangeable Lenses

It is not often that we come across sunglasses that are both stylish and practical. Very often fashionable sunglasses are not suitable for wearing on the water or those that are practical are anything but fashionable.

Bolle Australia has changed that with the introduction of the Bolle Turbulence and the first interchangeable polarised lens in a fixed frame.

In an industry first, the lenses can be changed from normal polarised to coloured lenses designed for cloudy or overcast conditions. Polarised lenses eliminate glare by selectively absorbing light travelling in every direction except the vertical plane. This eliminates glare off the water and makes it easier to see fish or to make out the outline of a reef or bombora.

The durable, lightweight frames wrap around to eliminate side glare and are available in silver and red as well as black. They come in a carry case with a snap clip to clip onto a belt, there are compartments for the extra pair of lenses and a cleaning cloth is provided. Bolle provided us with a pair to try out and we found them to be one of the best we have worn on the water.

Bolle Turbulence sunglasses are available from department and sunglass stores and retail for $249.95.

Enquiries: Tel: 1300 138 098 for your nearest stockist.

Budget Chartplotter for Tinnies

Seiwa has introduced a new 14cm mono LCD chartplotter designed specifically for use on tinnies and runabouts. Called the Barramundi it comes with a built-in 12-channel GPS antenna and a cigarette lighter 12 volt connection.

The Barramundi is the latest edition to the Seiwa range of GPS/chartplotters, it is compact, weatherproof, has a high-resolution screen and a quick disconnect bracket so that it can be easily installed or removed from the dash.

Enquiries: Coursemaster Autopilots,
Paul Garske or Ian Briggs.
Tel: (02) 9417 7097.
Fax: (02) 9417 7557.

Honda's Big 225hp V6

Honda Marine expects its new BF 225A, four-stroke to be released in Australia in January or February 2002. The new 225hp V6, 3.5-litre engine was first revealed at the Sydney Boat Show in July.

Honda has yet to release the weight of the engine, but it should be comparable with a two-stroke of the same class.

Honda also claims that the fuel economy will be 10 per cent better than a two-stroke DFI model and it will be the first outboard in its class to clear both the USA EPA 2006 and CARB 2008 regulations.

The engine sees the first marine application of Honda's VTEC (variable valve timing and lift electronic control) used in Honda's motor bikes and cars.

The engine has low noise, low vibration and the ability to troll for long periods at low rpm makes it suitable and attractive to professional and sports fishermen, commercial operators and larger boat applications.

Club Marine has scheduled a test of the engine and details should be available in our next issue.

Enquiries: Honda Marine.
Tel: (03) 9270 1111.

Baitfeeder Reels

Okuma's Epix series of baitfeeder reels are sure to interest anglers who want top quality tackle for bait fishing. The reels combine the many features of Okuma's Epix spinning reels with a baitfeeder facility that allows the reel to be set in free spool so that fish can sample the bait without feeling any resistance.

Hook-ups are easy - a turn of the handle or moving the baitfeeder lever brings down the gears and front drag into action and sets the hook. An additional drag at the rear of the reel allows slight pressure to be used to control bait drift in a strong current.

There are four models available in the Epix Baitfeeder series ranging from the EB-30, which holds 190m of 3kg line, up to the EB-80 holding 350m of 10kg.

Enquiries: Freetime Group Australia.
Tel: (02) 9793 2999.
Fax: (02) 9793 2799.

Handheld VHF

Simrad Marine Electronics has released the HT50 VHF handheld radio in Australia. The radio, which complies with GMDSS rules has been in use overseas for some time.

The HT50 has 54 international channels, plus 16 additional channels used for local requirements and commercial use. With dual and tri-watch, as well as all-channel scan and memory scan, it has five Watts of transmission power.

The casing and controls are completely sealed and under GMDSS rules the radio is sufficiently waterproof for use in a liferaft.

Enquiries: Quin Marine, Graham Mills. Tel: 1800 811 303.

New Generation PLB

Pains Wessex Australia has released a new generation of Personal Location Beacons - Fastfind and Fastfind Plus.

The handheld Fastfind is a standard 406MHz PLB with a 121.5MHz homing signal that provides an alert via polar orbiting satellites to give a Doppler location of around three-nautical miles accuracy within 90 minutes of activation.

The Fastfind Plus has a built-in GPS receiver combined with the 406MHz transmitter and a 121.5MHz homing signal. The unit transmits a signal to geo-stationary Cospas/Sarsat satellites, which forward the GPS position, accurate to within 150 metres anywhere in the world, in about three minutes. This makes the unit suitable for use on land as well as at sea.

Both the units have the same technology used in the Pains Wessex commercial EPIRBs.

Enquiries: Pains Wessex Australia, Mark Barker.
Tel: (03) 9885 0444.


Big Output Yanmar

The Yanmar 6CXM-GTE2, in-line six-cylinder 500hp engine is a big output engine for big blue water boats such as the Black Watch 40.

The Tweed Heads-based boatbuilder has installed the first pair of Yanmar 500s to come into the country in their new 40 foot game boat, which ironically was virtually shipped out of Australia to the United States almost as soon as it was launched.

Following sea trials Black Watch said that the high-speed lightweight Yanmar engines were well suited to the 40-foot hull.

This lightweight compact engine that stands 905mm high and 877mm wide, displaces 7,413 litres (452cu in) and features a new free-breathing four-valve per cylinder head, with a longer 130mm stroke to increase horsepower.

Yanmar engineers have put a lot of development work into the cylinder block that includes a high pressure fuel injection system that incorporates a boost compensated, distributor type fuel pump that eliminates black smoke on start up and when backing down on a fish.

With a dry weight of only 825kg the engine delivers 500hp (368kW) at 2900rpm, giving it one of the best power-to-weight ratios in its class. Figures run by Yanmar on the Black Watch achieved a top speed of 31 knots at 2800rpm and a fuel consumption of 96 litres per hour for each engine.

Dropping the revs down to 2500 saw a cruising speed of 25.2 knots and a low 51 litres per hour for each engine. The fuel rate dropped dramatically at 1,000rpm, and an idling speed of 7.6 knots to only 4.8 litres per hour for each.

Enquiries: Power Equipment, Mike Edwards. Tel: (03) 9764 0711. Fax: (03) 9764 0678.