Simrad BR24 Broadband Radar receives NMEA Technology Award

Simrad’s BR24 Broadband Radar has been named the first recipient of a new, prestigious NMEA Technology Award by an independent panel of judges from Boating Writers International.

Established by the National Marine Electronics Association, the NMEA Technology Award was presented at the 2009 NMEA Convention & Expo held last week at the Sanibel Harbor Resort in Fort Myers, Florida. The event was attended by more than 400 representatives of leading marine electronics manufacturers, dealers, distributors, media, and others. The purpose of the new award is to recognize recently introduced products and single out the “best” based on a combination of innovative design, benefits to boaters, practicality and value.

Simrad’s BR24 Broadband Radar won in a field of 14 nominated products. “”We (judges) had expectations that innovation may have taken a back seat in the difficult economy of 2009,” said Ben Ellison, senior electronics editor for Bonnier Marine Group and editor of Panbo Marine Electronics blog. “Actually we found the opposite to be true. It was clear to the panel that manufacturers have kept the pedal down on innovation and new products.”

Ellison was joined on the Panel by Dean Travis Clarke, executive editor of Sport Fishing, Marlin, and Fly Fishing magazines and host of Sport Fishing TV; Chuck Husick, author, marine and aviation consultant, technical editor for Boat US magazine and contributor to the Marine Electronics Journal, Ocean Navigator, Soundings and other publications; and Zuzana Prochazka, technical editor for Latitudes & Attitudes magazine, contributing editor to Mad Mariner and editor of the marine gear blog, Talk of the Dock.

Judge Husick said that he felt that the Simrad BR24 Broadband Radar was a “game-changing product” with superior target definition, a lower power draw, rapid cold start, a small radome and extremely low radiation emissions that will bring superior, solid state-radar technology to more boaters at a manageable price.

Two honorable mentions were also granted, the first for the N2K Builder by Maretron, and the second for the Navionics Mobile iPhone application. Maretron’s N2K Builder is a free, flexible, downloadable software perfect for installers. The network editor is basically a CAD system for NMEA 2000 and it will help create better-designed and well-documented networks for new boats as well as used-boat retrofits.

The second Honorable Mention was granted to Navionics Mobile IPhone apps. This product is expected to have wide-ranging impact as anyone with an iPhone can now have a back-up to their onboard systems, said Clark. “The ability to take pictures of favorite locations and even provide instant feedback to Navionics via email on charting discrepancies makes this product completely unique and fun to use as well,” he said.

NMEA also named the recipients of the NMEA Product Awards that are voted on by NMEA member dealers, CMET (Certified Marine Electronics Technician) dealers, and technicians who repair and service marine electronics.

Recipient of the coveted award for Manufacturer of the Year — Support is Furuno USA. This award is given to the manufacturer who best demonstrates exceptional support for their marine products to dealers and end users.

NMEA Product Award Recipients in product categories include the following:

•Autopilot — Navico for the Simrad AP24 AP28 Series
•Fish Finding — Furuno USA for the Furuno FCV585 Digital Fish Finsder
•Radar — Furuno USA for the Furuno NavNet 3D DRS Ultra Hi-Def Radar Series
•Communication — ICOM American for the Icom M604 VHF
•Entertainment — KVH Industires for the KVH Trac Vision M1
•Navigation — Furuno USA for the Furuno NavNet 3D MFDl2 Multi-Function Display
•Marine Specialty — First place award to FLIR Systems for the Navigator II

Second place to Furuno USA for the Furuno SC30 Satellite Compass

Founded in 1957, the NMEA has led the way in establishing technical standards for data exchange in marine electronics, with the widely accepted NMEA 0183 data protocol, NMEA 2000® and certification standards for marine electronics technicians. NMEA standards and programs focus on insuring that the boating consumer is provided with reliable products and professional service. For more information, visit the NMEA website here. or call (410) 975-9425.

By Professional Mariner Staff