Mercury VesselView 702 & Mercury VesselView 502

At the Miami boat show – Mercury launched the new generation of VesselView displays based on updated hardware from Simrad.

Mercury VesselView502

Mercury VesselView502 5 inch
Mercury VesselView 502 5 inch button-less Engine Management System

The Mercury VesselView502 (Mercury writes it with and without spacing) – seems to be based on the Simrad GO5 button-less touchscreen chartplotter. It has a 5″ multi-touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution (if Simrad GO5 specs are to be trusted 🙂 )

The VesselView502 can show data from up to 4 engines


I’m not quite certain about sounder capability. The VesselView502 says it is compatible with Broadband Sonar with Chirp and Downscan imaging. So maybe the VV502 has retained the sounder interface from the Simrad Go5 – and the Engine Interface is added. But more later when we find out.

Simrad GO5 xse
Simrad GO5 xse for comparison

The VesselView502 has built in 10 Hz GPS receiver, WiFi & Bluetooth & NMEA 2000 interface. The VesselView502 has the data-card slot on the back – so make certain you install in a way you can access the data-card for updates or for adding chartplotter maps.

Since the 502 does not have Simrad Ethernet interface – I doubt it will be compatible with Ethernet connected accessories like Radar or advanced Sonar boxes. But maybe the future will make that happen via WiFi despite the heavy data load.

The VesselView502 will be available (in the USA) in May 2016 – and SRP/retail price is not known yet.


Mercury VesselView702

Mercury VesselView 702
Mercury VesselView 702

The VesselView 702 is a 7″ Widescreen display – based on the Simrad NSS7m Evo2. With a screen resolution of 800 x 480 – you get same amount of pixels as the Simrad GO5 & VesselView 502. The display is of course multi-touch – but the VesselView 702 has buttons and rotary dial – just like the Simrad NSS7m Evo2. That does also mean the “mark” button for waypoints is missing compared to the bigger siblings in the Simrad NSS Evo2 family.

The VesselView 702 supports displaying data from up to 4 engines at the same time. It has two video inputs & a MicroSD data slot on the front. The 702 DOES have Ethernet interface so it can interface with Simrad devices via Ethernet like Radar and Sounder modules plus ability to share or get charts from other devices. So it is a full “NSS7m Evo2” plus Engine Managment interface. The 702 has built in 10 Hz GPS receiver but does not have WiFi built in. So Mercury is supplying the [IMHO] excellent Simrad GoFree WiFi module with it as a bundle.

Simrad NSS7 Evo2
Simrad NSS7 for comparison

The VesselView 702 (like the 502) does have NMEA 2000 interface and both are compatible with NMEA 2000 devices, incl. full support for AIS, Mastervolt C-Zone Digital power switching, Garmin Fusion Link & Simrad Sonic hub.

Software updates will be delivered via Navico / Simrad GoFree online store / platform – from which you can also purchase and update maps directly from the device screen – of course only if the device has Internet Connection.

The VesselView502 will be available (in the USA) in May 2016 – and SRP/retail price is not known yet.

I do hope they will continue with the VesselView 4 (The 4″ kind of “Instrument only” display as it does fill a need – and is a capable little bugger) – but lets see what the future will bring – or remove as it might be. But from now on there is no point in buying a VesselView7 that is for sure unless you have the “older” Simrad NSS devices on your boat. And even then….

All the pictures of new VesselView’s above are from Mercury. And I’m sorry but the quality is not great from the originals either.

Garmin Nautix-In-View sunglass mount display

The new Garmin Nautix-In-View display, mounts on your sunglasses and provides quick access to important data from your chartplotter.

The “Feather Weight” Nautix-In-View display is “Google Glass” for marine devices. It is a tiny screen that communicates wireless with your compatible chartplotter. So far compatible chart plotters are the Garmin GPSMAP 7400/7600/8400/8600 series

The devices is reasonably light weight (29.7g) but Garmin calls that Featherweight – I would hate to see that bird…. as a Peacock tail feather weighs in at around 0.75 – 1 1/2 grams. So it weighs the same as 20-30 peacock feathers.

Continue reading Garmin Nautix-In-View sunglass mount display

Mercury VesselView Link – screen-less VesselView!

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.

Continue reading Mercury VesselView Link – screen-less VesselView!

New Raymarine Forum

Just a short heads-up – Raymarine has announced they are moving from their old forum to a new forum platform.

New support forum from Raymarine
Raymarine’s new support forum

So from now on all pre-sales, installation, operation and troubleshooting support will be at the new forum.

The old forum closed on Feb 16th.


Lets hope the new forum will not have the Admins delete posts they do not like – like they did on the old forum (I had several posts deleted for asking “tough” questions)

Click for New Raymarine Forum

Simrad Precision-9 Compass and Heave sensor!

The latest “ball buster” product from Simrad is the new Simrad Precision-9 electronic compass.

It has not gotten very much attention – maybe because Simrad is downplaying the most important part of the product – it outputs Heave data – at a sensible price point (about 40% less of what the cheapest other Heave Sensors cost)

[update 19/02: Seems like Heave data won’t be in the initial release and mention of it has been removed from Simrad’s Website (see source link bottom of page). Heave will become available with a later software according to the trusted writers at TheHullTruth] Continue reading Simrad Precision-9 Compass and Heave sensor!

Garmin GPSMAP 8400 / 8600 series Chartplotter released

Garmin has just announced their new ranges  – Garmin GPSMAP 8400 series and GPSMAP 8600 series. Available in 17″, 22″ and 24″ display sizes – we all need bigger boats

Garmin GPSMAP 8400 Series in 6 way Split
Garmin GPSMAP 8400 Series in 6 way Split

They all have IPS (in-plane-switching) screens with multi touch and have “glass helm” look. Screens are WUXGA (1920×1200) for the 17″ and 24″and FHD (1920×1080)  for the 22″ – and can be flush or flat mounted. Garmin also says they have higher speed processors – actually they say the processors are the fastest in the entire range of Garmin GPSMAP chart-plotters.

Continue reading Garmin GPSMAP 8400 / 8600 series Chartplotter released

New VesselView 4 and VesselView 7 software v3.0

Finally 🙂 it seems like Mercury has started publishing software updates for VesselView 4 and VesselView 7 – the Mercury

VesselView 7 and VesselView 4 Software v3.0 available
VesselView 4 and VesselView 7 software update available

Engine “Computer”.

We had not noticed before but suddenly it was available. It has a lot of updates. And Mercury is promising updates approximately twice a YEAR 🙂 going forward

But the new and updated features are:

Continue reading New VesselView 4 and VesselView 7 software v3.0

Simrad NSS Evo2 v2.0-5.1 firmware released with new features

The latest Simrad NSS Evo2 firmware v2.0 has been released.  It supports Chirp and DownScan at the same time, ForwardScan and more ways to customize Navigation page data. There are also new Internet features available where you can download/show maps online, upload structure scan data direct from chart plotter and download Insight Genesis created maps. It is ready for download and is recommended for all owners of Evo2 devices.

Simrad NSS Evo2
Simrad NSS Evo2 Firmware update v2.0-5.1
  • Update – February 2015
    • Higher Medium CHIRP ping speed for clearer image and faster/smoother scrolling
    • Support for simultaneous use of CHIRP and DownScan™ sonar imaging 
    • Support for ForwardScan™ forward-looking sonar 
    • Navigation page data items are now user-customisable 
    • Navigation page information bars for time & distance to destination, time & distance to next waypoint
    • Various system stability and performance improvements
  • GoFree™ Wireless
    • Access the online GoFree™ Shop to browse cartography and software available for your NSS evo2 multifunction display.
    • Purchase and download from the GoFree™ Shop directly to your NSS evo2 display’s memory card for immediate use on the water.
    • Receive automatic notifications when software updates are available, download and install updates without leaving your boat.
    • Upload your sonar logs directly to our Insight Genesis cloud software, and create detailed depth-contour maps of your favourite coastal and inland fishing spots for free.
    • Download your own Insight Genesis maps, and the community-created Social Maps, direct to your chartplotter for use on the water (Premium Insight Genesis subscribers only).
    • All GoFree™ wireless capabilities requires the optional WIFI-1 module. Online functions including the GoFree™ Shop, software updates, and Insight Genesis require a wireless internet connection.

The NSO Evo2 also got updated to V3 and has many of the features listed above.

Click here to download: Simrad NSS Evo2 Firmware Download

For more info you can also read here: NSS Evo2 and NSO new firmware

New Raymarine Sonar Boxes – CP570 – CP470 – CP370

Raymarine has announced their new Raymarine CP570, Raymarine CP470 and Raymarine CP370 sonar boxes.  The new sonar boxes will be available during March 2015.

The Raymarine CP570 is a new pro Chirp Sonar.  It features intelligent CHIRP signal processing which allows the CP570 to see through dense schools of bait-fish, target game fish with exceptional clarity and show thermoclines.  The sonar has better (smarter) automatic sensitivity controls with “intelligent” noise filtering. The filtering reduce water column noise and enhances target separation.  It has two fully independent sonar channels that deliver faster target identification and up to 4 kW of combined output power. Retail price is set around $1,999.

The Raymarine CP470 Chirp sonar has the same signal processing benefits  of the CP570 – and is value priced @ $1,199 and has 2 kW of total output power.

Raymarine CP370 is the latest “Digital” Sounder from Raymarine. It features some of the same automatic signal processing as the CP470 and CP570 and has up to 1,000 watt of output power.  Retail price is around $699

Cradlepoint Routers – No longer recommended

Cradlepoint – NOT recommended!

For a long time we have recommended Cradlepoint Routers. Cradlepoint is one of the pioneers for M2M (Machine 2 Machine), load balanced router, routers with fallback from for example WAN to 3G/4G networks – which is great on boats. In the harbour you are on Wi-Fi – and once you leave – the router automatically switches to 3G/4G or LTE. And when you come back – internet is restored to using your harbour Wi-Fi. Great concept.

On our test boat we have a Cradlepoint MBR 1400 router. Mostly it is a great router – but it has some issues with connecting to a range of access points via Wi-Fi as WAN. We also have (actually .. – had) a few MBR1400’s setup between our offices and homes.

So we tried a couple of months ago to report the issue – here is a basic shortened paraphrased transcript….

Continue reading Cradlepoint Routers – No longer recommended