Prize products from across the pond

Every year in mid-November the Dutch gather the tribe from around the world that makes, sells and services boating equipment. It’s called METS, short for Marine Equipment Trade Show and takes place at a sprawling event complex in Amsterdam. As its name implies, the show is open only to people who work in the marine business---and that's unfortunate.

I was there last week, and like other visits I’ve made to the show, it didn’t disappoint. If you’re into boating you’d have a great time walking aisle after aisle in a dozen huge halls looking at an amazing array of products—from hybrid motors and high-tech sailing gear to helmsman’s seats and better-than-space-age fully interfaced electronic dashboards. Oh yeah, you can also sit down with any number of builders to talk megayachts.

In many ways, the equipment is similar to what you find at major boat shows in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Seattle or several other cities in the US, but at METS you can stroll through British, Korean, Turkish, Italian, Greek or Canadian pavilions—or a half-dozen others and talk, mostly in English, to companies that sell boating products that you’ve probably never seen before.

Take the winner of the DAME Award’s Marine Electronics and Marine-Related Software category—a smart power distribution panel from a Slovenian company named Simarine. The DAME Award focuses on design as well as functionality, innovation and cost and awards prizes in seven categories. In the case of the Nereide power panel, the judges liked its simple appearance and its safety-oriented dual digital and analog operation.

Or how about the Servoprop, which won the Machinery, Propulsion, Mechanical and Electrical Systems and Fittings category?

  Built by Finnish company Oceanvolt, the electric sailboat motor overcomes a problem with this type of motor with conventional feathering props, namely that they can’t generate power under sail. Servoprop has a variable pitch control that improves performance while also being able to generate 1 kW of energy at 6-8 knots.

Britain’s Scanstrut took the Deck Equipment, Sails and Rigging category and also the Overall Winner prize with its RS Venture Connect Conversion Kit. It’s a plug-and-play kit containing  a battery, powered mainsheet winch and joystick control that in 30 minutes turns a conventional RS Venture dinghy into one suitable for sailors with disabilities.

In addition to hardware and software from Europe and Asia, there were also familiar electronics that we’ve seen at boat shows closer to home. One is CrewWatcher, a very simple app-based man overboard device that sends alarms to portable devices, which won the Lifesaving and Safety Equipment category. In water an activated beacon sounds the alarm within three seconds, causing the tablet or phone to vibrate and flash and provide information about where and when the person went overboard as well as a visual guide back to the location.

Two others garnered Special Mentions in the Electronics and Software category—FLIR’s M232 thermal imaging camera and Digital Yacht’s Nomad portable Class B AIS transponder. The judges liked the night vision camera’s small size and lower price compared to other pan, tilt and zoom thermal imagers. As for the AIS device, they pointed to its widespread potential utilizing USB and wireless interfaces.

McMurdo took home a Special Mention in the Lifesaving and Safety category with its SmartFind G8 AIS EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon). The G8 includes 406MHz, 121.5MHz, AIS and GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems—think GPS) to reduce search and rescue time.

And if all that doesn’t ring your bell, how about an inflatable vehicle with fin-like lugs on its large tractor wheels to move through extremely wet conditions?


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Page 2 of 2 ( 10 comments)

Islander Sailboat Info:(12/4/2015 9:49:32 AM) "Great post!! This is the missing introduction I've been looking for. Thank you for taking a complicated subject and making it very easy to understand." 11:16:16 PM) "Excellent posting! thanks a lot for sharing this information.
Lee:(7/27/2015 10:54:13 PM) "Just a note about the Sailor 6222 - it has no facility to output DSC messages, for example to a chart plotter. This was confirmed with the local Thrane rep."
Jack S/V Azure Te`:(5/5/2015 10:16:45 PM) "Thanks, helpful stuff. I'm reviewing the wiring on my sailboat. I found the power cord on the R/M RL80CRC+ has a drain(shield)wire , (+) and (-). The drain was connected to the same return as the (-), RayMarine states ,"if the vessel does not have a RF system connect the drain wire to the batts negative terminal" w/o further explanation, but I do have a RF grounding 2" copper strip attached to the SSB, Antenna tuner and external plate, so I believe the drain for the plotter should be connected to the copper strip - no ?"
Jordan:(3/19/2015 7:34:17 PM) "I've heard about Humminbird 898C HD SI from . It has a cheaper price than the rest of the fish finder and it also has a transducer already. What about you? What do you prefer from all those fish finders?"
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