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Lifestyle : Boat Show 2011
1HERSA1 S018 BLAKEHURST MARINA 739 Princes Highway Blakehurst | 9546 3003 | Floating Marina - Berths Now Available Sales • Charter • Management • Docking systems www.imageyachting.com.au (02) 9546 6459 0405 042 177 • 0405 311 445 Absolute Waterfront Dining Arrive by boat - Complimentary Mooring Weddings and functions Fully licensed restaurant www.shipwrightsrestaurant.com 9547 0666 ■ Fully Renovated 90ft Slipway ■ ■ Shipwright services ■ Re-Sprays ■ ■ Antifouling ■ Detailing ■ ■ Bow thruster installations ■ Free pick up service from Sydney Harbour to Port Hacking ■ 9547 3727 ■ email@example.com ■ Whiz-bang gadgetry is changing the way we take to the water. David Lockwood discovers the cool new electronic toys to making sailing even smoother. BELLS AND WHISTLES Light relief . . . Icom's flashing and floating hand-held VHF radio. All in one . . . the GME fish finder will have you in the right spot to catch your fill. Like the pros . . . the Furuno bottom- discrimination sounder. Anglers win out . . . an electronic chart shows bottom contours in 3D, making navigation a breeze. Big player . . . Simrad touchscreen equipment. I t wasn't long ago that we relied on the stars and a sextant to navigate, used the hairs on the back of our neck to gauge wind direction and strength and called into action a crew of a dozen or more hands to set sail. Nowadays, satellites, smart electronics, notebooks and apps, electric winches and self- steering aids are shaping the way we go sailing. This is not a bad thing, mind you, with much of the guesswork consigned to history and fewer crew needed on deck. So it is at the Sydney International Boat Show. Besides the dazzling array of luxury launches and hot new yachts, the event showcases all the latest cool kit, bright sparks and wizardry of the boating world. As a sign of the times, there are new mounting brackets and waterproof floating cases for iPads and more affordable applications to aid navigation. Stand-alone electronics offer new ways of seeing things and greater levels of imbedded information. Among the big players, Simrad has a new series of touchscreen multi-function electronics; Icom has a cool flashing and floating hand-held VHF radio; Furuno has a bottom-discrimination depth sounder, previously the preserve of professionals tailing the wiliest fish. Indeed, anglers are probably the biggest beneficiaries of the latest electronics and electronic charts, which now include bottom contours in 3D. You will also find the latest electronic catch logs to record when the fish bite best and just about everyone is offering faster gear, thanks to the advent of digital processing. Those on a tight budget can shop among the range of all-in-one navigation and fish-finder units, such as the latest GME kit. Meanwhile, boat builders are increasingly turning to CAN-bus electronic monitoring systems to manage their craft, power-saving LED lighting and trick AV systems in every cabin. Satellite communications are becoming more affordable, too. Then there are the docking remotes that let you stroll the decks while berthing your boat and the latest propulsion systems from Volvo Penta and Cummins with articulating pod drives and joystick. Suddenly, driving a big boat has become child's play. Best of all, prices have come down to earth on almost everything electronic. But if the latest whiz- bang gadgetry doesn't float your boat, grab bargain fishing tackle, a discount tube or tow toy and the latest smart boating clothing selling for a song -- or sea shanty -- at the show. 18 July 23- 24, 2011 smh.com.au SPECIAL REPORT
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