Yet another quiet Simrad product release with so far no press releases.
Simrad and Mercury has announced the VesselView Link. The VesselView Link is a screen-less VesselView, enabling full VesselView functions on Simrad NSS Evo2, NSO Evo2 and GO models of chart plotters.
With VesselView Link (or VesselLink as the representative calls it in the video below) – you get a really nice integrated VesselView experience – and the major new thing is you can “Window” it as you want on your Simrad Chartplotter.
You can still “remote operate” your engines like set auto pilot modes, cruise speed and launch control like on the original VesselView 4 and 7 – but with the “headless” design you can now keep you glass helm looking great without a separate 4 or 7 inch extra display.
Mercury VesselView Link Intro Video
So what is a VesselView?
It it Mercury’s (and Simrad’s) Mercury Engine Interface and Control Unit. It interfaces Mercury engines to NMEA 2000 systems and on the VesselView 4 and 7 units – you get advanced engine controls for things like “Smart Tow / Launch Control”, “Cruise Control”, “Engine ECO settings” and “Trolling Mode”
The First Gen VesselView was a really nice but slow non-touch display. That model is only called “VesselView”. It is VERY old by now but was ahead of the competitors when launched.
The 2nd Generation VesselView 4 and VesselView 7 units was based on Simrad NSS7 (not the Evo2). The VesselView 4 was a basic 4″ “Instrument Only” and the VesselView 7 was a almost full Simrad NSS7m (Without Sounder) – but with both Simrad NSS software and VesselView software.
So in the beginning (more on that in a later post) you could use the VesselView 7 as an engine instrument only. But IF you had a Simrad or Lowrance recent chartplotter – or a Mercury “Enabling” GPS antenna ($$$$) – you could enable all the Simrad functions in the VesselView 7 so the VesselView 7 became a full featured 7″ chart-plotter with engine interface – so a 2nd or 3rd multi-function display on your boat. But..
If you had upgraded to the new nice Simrad NSS Evo2’s – the Mercury VesselView 7 looked slightly out of place with a tad older design. That was a shame for such a new product. So now we have the Mercury (Simrad) VesselView Link 🙂 so you can keep the helm looking top notch.
As you can see on the picture here – from my last boat – the design is slightly different between NSS Evo2 and VesselView 7. I upgraded the boat from the Original VesselView to 2 x NSS Evo2 12″ and the 7″ VesselViews with 2 x Simrad IS40 displays.
So I think VesselView Link is a great idea. One could hope for a future where other companies (Raymarine, Furuno, Garmin) can interface with the data as well. The VesselView Link WILL output standard NMEA 2000 data related to engine’s and batteries – but unless you have a Simrad (and maybe Lowrance/B&G chartplotter) you won’t (yet) get it to work. If you do not have Simrad plotters then you are better off buying either a VesselView unit with a screen – or a Mercury NMEA 2000 Gateway. But the integration between Simrad and Mercury is absolutely top class.
It is worth to note that there are 2 models of the VesselView Link. One for Single Engine Installations and one for Multi Engine installations. So be careful when ordering!
The Mercury VesselView Link will be available in the Summer (June) 2016 and a required software update for Simrad NSS/NSO Evo2’s and Simrad GO will launch when the VesselView Link becomes available.
My only and biggest hope is that Simrad & Mercury figures out how to make these devices easier to install for DYI’ers as “high end” Mercury support technicians are hard to find – especially when I lived in the Middle East. So for people with Zeus/Axius Mercury Installations – prepare yourself for getting a “master installer” out to plug it in – even though you can do it yourself in about 30 minutes. But we can hope Mercury Lawyers will loosen up a bit so not every change requires a Mercury $$ Master.
So far no pricing available….
Other News – New 2016 Mercury VesselView 702 & VesselView 502