The latest navigation technology: new equipment for your boat


The Yachting Monthly team examines the latest boating technologies and their usefulness for the cruising navigator

The latest navigation technology: new equipment for your boat

New navigation technology: Orca Co-Pilot navigation system

For anyone who has struggled to use multifunction displays (MFDs), Orca’s co-pilot claims to have “reinvented maritime navigation” with a system that combines accurate charts, live weather forecasts, intuitive alerts and a automatic route search at the push of a button.

It supports wireless internet connectivity and so, while you have an active cellular connection, updates maps and synchronizes routes between devices without using SD cards or other complicated methods.

When offshore and without connectivity, the system is still functional with pre-downloaded data.

The question that inspired Norwegian marine technology start-up Orca was: “Why do more than 70% of boaters with a dedicated marine navigation system also believe they need mobile apps when planning and are sailing at sea? What kind of value did these mobile apps bring that MFDs couldn’t? “

Orca’s co-pilot aims to prevent sailors from relying on mobile apps to supplement their chartplotter, forcing attention to move between multiple screens and systems instead of focusing on the environment.

The Orca Core integrates with your boat via the industry standard NMEA 2000 protocol and works either on the Orca display – a 10.1 inch Full HD display visible outside and a stand with integrated charging – or on the user’s own tablet.

Prices start from € 449 for the Orca mobile kit, which contains the Orca core and a one-year subscription to the app.

The Orca Display Kit (€ 1,499) includes all of the above, plus the charging stand and screen.

Subsequently, a subscription to cloud services costs € 120 per year, and gives access to: continuous map updates; advanced weather forecasting and monitoring services; cloud-based automatic routing; multi-device synchronization and trip analysis with information on fuel consumption and early warnings in the event of abnormal engine behavior.

Price: From £ 428

Get the Orca co-pilot at Orca

New navigation technology: B&G App Mobile Navigation

New navigation technology: B&G App Mobile Navigation

The free downloadable B&G app gives all users the ability to view detailed up-to-date C-MAP nautical charts, add waypoints, personal routes and tracks, the latest marine weather conditions and add customization.

A ‘premium’ subscription service costs £ 48.99 per year and includes GPS tracking and full navigation; global offline maps; five-day weather forecast; high resolution bathymetry; custom depth shading; Automatic Identification System (AIS); shaded relief graphics and a view of the “traffic” of other app users.

For owners of B&G plotters, the B&G app can be used on board as an extension of your screen using the mirroring and monitoring function.

It is available through the Apple Store for iOS and Google Play for Android.

The app can also be used to view past sailing trips or races, get the latest software updates, product news, manuals and practical tips specific to your registered devices.

Subscription: £ 48.99

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New navigation technology: Inmarsat Elera Narrowband Network

Inmarsat Elera narrowband network

Inmarsat unveiled ELERA, a global narrowband network that is expected to rapidly evolve the Internet of Things (IoT) – things with embedded computing devices that allow them to send and receive data.

Described as an important development of Inmarsat’s market-leading L-band satellite network – L-band is one of the primary operating ranges used by applications such as radar, GPS, telecommunications, radio and radio. aircraft surveillance – ELERA is ‘important’ for mariners as it will provide global reach and greater resilience, which means mariners can always be connected wherever they are; making it easier to stay in touch with friends and family, access weather reports and navigation maps, as well as business-critical emails and applications, and most importantly, safety communications of life.

It will incorporate new innovations ranging from faster speeds, up to 1.7 Mbps, to the smallest low-cost terminal for ELERA users; provide the framework for satcom IoT at scale, with support for cloud-based management.

Inmarsat is launching two new satellites to enhance the ELERA network – with the first launch scheduled for later this year.

The L-band capacity of each I-6 satellite will be much higher than that of previous generations of Inmarsat spacecraft, delivering 50% more capacity per beam, meaning customers can rely on much more data to carry. in the same geographic area, in addition to unlimited bundle routing flexibility.

Price: POA

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