Lowrance has introduced a new line-up of compact, dual-frequency fishfinders with DownScan Imaging (DSI) and sonar/chartplotter options.
Ideally suited for use in kayaks and small open boats, the Mark-4 and Elite-4 series feature bright, LED-backlit, 8.9cm displays that Lowrance says provide exceptional visibility at wider viewing angles, as well as readability in all conditions, including direct sunlight.
The Mark-4 (greyscale) and Elite-4 (colour) ranges comprise six models: the Mark-4 fishfinder/chartplotter; Elite-4x dual-frequency fishfinder; Elite-4x DSI fishfinder; Elite-4m chartplotter; Elite-4 fishfinder/chartplotter and Elite-4 DSI fishfinder/chartplotter.
All Mark-4 and Elite-4 models feature a simplified user interface with a start-up wizard to optimise performance for specific user needs, while the backlit-enhanced keypad provides fast, one-handed control of the menus.
The slimline design allows the units to be flush-mounted or bracket-mounted for tilt-swivel operation, and each model features a quick-release latch for easy removal. Fully waterproof to IPx7 standard, all models are also covered by a one-year limited warranty.
With prices starting from $349 for the Mark-4, the series will be available early in 2012.
Further information: www.lowrance.com.au
Mercury says its Spitfire propeller’s unique blade design makes it the ultimate performance four-blade aluminium propeller.
Using features borrowed from Mercury’s Fury and Enertia props, Mercury claims it provides incredible holding in turns and eye-watering acceleration.
With high rake angles, a large blade area and reduced diameter, the Spitfire has the same top-speed as the Black Max, but with 25 per cent quicker acceleration, according to the manufacturer.
Originally created for boaters with mid-range (40-60hp) outboards, Mercury says it now intends to spread the Spitfire prop technology across the 75-125hp and 25-30hp range engines.
Burke Marine footwear
Burke Marine has released its latest model in marine footwear, the D-MESH Aquatic Sneaker.
Burke says the D-MESH is a light-weight casual shoe to suit any water-based activity. Made using a Nylon mesh and Lycra upper, combined with a flexible PVC sole, it says this shoe is super lightweight, extremely comfortable and, above all, quick draining and fast drying.
Suitable for paddlers, sailors, fishing or just general beach/rock hopping, the D-MESH uses an elastic lacing system that allows for quick and easy donning and provides the necessary protection and extreme grip required in a wet environment.
Offered in a carbon/white trim, the unisex shoe is available in sizes 36 to 46 and is priced at $24.99.
For stockists: www.burkemarine.com.au
Broadband 4G Radar
Navico has released its new Broadband 4G Radar, which, it says, is available across its Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G brands.
According to Navico, its latest FMCW radar boasts a 36nm range, unmatched resolution and clutter reduction to deliver a crystal-clear image, low emissions, InstantOn technology and low power consumption, along with simple installation and ease of use.
Features include Beam Sharpening, a technology that significantly improves the azimuth resolution; Target Separation Control which allows users to adjust the levels of target separation according to their needs; and the ability to present dual-range radar returns from a single scanner, combined with the benefits of greater high-speed operation.
Dual-range radar is possible when Broadband 4G is combined with, for example, the Simrad NSE. Displaying dual range radar combinations from a single scanner, boaters also benefit from revolution speeds up to 48rpm. It can display dual range from 60m (200ft) to 36nm in a single dome – offering the benefit of monitoring a buoy at close quarters, while simultaneously keeping track of coastal projections 36nm away, says Navico.
Broadband 4G dual-range radar operation also allows up to ten MARPA targets in each split radar screen with independent controls, for a total of 20 tracked targets. Pre-defined ‘offshore’ and ‘harbour’ modes provide hands-off operation on all ranges without the need for special knowledge or radar tuning, according to the manufacturer.
Further information: www.navico.com
Kinetic Technology International (KTI), a Melbourne-based designer and manufacturer of EPIRBs, says it has achieved a world first with the approval of the Safety Alert SA1G EPIRB with GPS and a ten-year battery.
KTI claims it is the first company in the world to gain approval for EPIRBs with a ten-year battery replacement interval. This approval applies to both its standard Safety Alert SA1 EPIRB and the SA1G EPIRB, which has a 66-channel GPS receiver. Both EPIRBs also transmit simultaneously on the homing frequency of 121.5MHz and include an in-built strobe light for night detection.
Utilising the latest 406MHz technology, the Safety Alert EPIRBs have a ten-year manufacturer’s warranty, are COSPAS-SARSAT approved for use world-wide and have a transmit time in excess of 48 hours, according to KTI.
The Safety Alert SA1 and SA1G are approved for operation both in and out of water, which KTI says makes them the perfect safety all-rounder for outdoor pursuits.
Moving Propeller Alert
Mercury’s Moving Propeller Alert is a high-visibility safety system that it says helps swimmers recognise when an engine is running and when the propeller is in motion.
The Moving Propeller Alert’s moving lights indicate when the propeller is rotating, warning swimmers to stay away from the transom area. The device has six LEDs and is activated when the engine is started. The lights flash at startup and remain on while the engine is in neutral. When the engine is shifted into gear – forward or reverse – the LEDs flash in a rotation similar to the way a propeller rotates, signalling to anyone in the water that the propeller is turning.
Mercury says it features special optics, which allow it to be seen through an arc of almost 180 degrees. A sensor dims the device at night to ensure it’s not mistaken for a navigation light.
Because it works via the SmartCraft network, Mercury says the Moving Propeller Alert can be fitted to any boat rigged with a SmartCraft-compatible engine.
Fisherman’s Bucket List
Paul Worsteling, best known for his fishing exploits on his television show IFISH, drops a line into the ‘best fish to catch’ conversation with his latest book release: The Fisherman’s Bucket List – 50 fish to catch before your last cast.
In this elegantly presented hard-cover book, Worsteling profiles 50 top sportfish and describes them with a mix of anecdotes, interesting facts, information on related species, hot spots, fishing tips and cooking advice to provide readers with a taste of an encounter with each fish.
With beautiful hand-drawn illustrations of each species, the fish profiles are accompanied by field shots for that on-water experience. The geographical range of each fish is represented on a map, with hot-spot suggestions, plus there’s a details box for fishos to fill in as they catch each fish.
Of course, readers can enjoy personal anecdotes of Worsteling’s encounters and a ‘Paul’s Tip’ for each fish. The Fisherman’s Bucket List is priced at $39.99.
The launch and retrieval of trailer boats has always been a difficult proposition. Operator skill, badly designed and slippery ramps combined with the pressure cooker that can be a launching logjam all combine and can result in property damage and even personal injury.
Designed by pro abalone diver, inventor and engineer, Greg Staples, Boatcatch allows a quick, hassle-free and safe launch and retrieve, even when being operated solo. According to Staples, it can easily be fitted to a variety of hulls including fibreglass, alloy and even multi hull vessels by anyone with a bit of mechanical skill.
Manufactured from marine-grade stainless, the positive locking pin and eye bolt are the key operating parts of the Boatcatch. Staples claims the components are strong enough to hold even large hulls on a steep boat ramp without fear. The system is simple in its operation: at the top of the ramp the winch strap and safety chain are detached while the removable control line is clipped onto the Boatcatch handle and is passed up to the helm. The trailer is then reversed down, outboard leg lowered and started. The helmsman simply pulls the control cord and away you go – the driver of the car need not even get out.
On retrieval, the gate of the Boatcatch is left open and as the vessel is driven on, the large Boatcatch eye engages with the locking pin with a solid and reassuring clunk achieving a positive lock. The boat can then be pulled from the water and again the vehicle driver need not get their feet wet.
Boatcatch is available in two sizes for boats over or under six metres. For more information, go to: www.boatcatch.com
Shipmate Marine Directory, the Victorian boater’s essential guide, has announced the release of its free iPhone app.
With its new app, Shipmate says it conveniently provides all the information boaters might need on iPhones and iPads. The app provides boaters with a simple way to find the information they require and connect to a phone number or a website with a single touch of their screen.
And, it’s not only trades and services that are available. There’s also single-touch access to marine weather, synoptic charts, tides, wavebuoys and more. There’s even a Shipmate News section, allowing boaters to keep up-to-date with the latest marine news around Australia as well as information and contact details for yacht clubs, marinas, marine organisations and much more.
John Zammit of Shipmate says the directory has been primarily focused on Victoria, but is expanding to include details of marine trades and services Australia-wide to coincide with the release of the app. Both the app and the website are now able to filter listings within each category by individual state and new interstate listings are being added progressively