Every season I run several different boats. Each is different when it comes to the not so simple process of just powering up. Breakers in the panel, breakers under the steps, and the very common separate breaker/ switch for electronics like autopilot, in the dash. On some boats you almost need a pre- flight checklist just to power up.
During the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show I spent some time playing with Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit System. Susan Toman Bonivich, Dealer/OEM Sales Manager, was kind enough to give me an overview of the new demonstrator at the Volvo display. The system makes just powering up the boat far more simple and intuitive. As described by Marcia Kull, Vice President Marine Sales, Volvo Penta of the Americas, The Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit gives the boat operator a similar experience. The driver environment in cars is similar regardless of brand.” I think this will make jumping from boat to boat, and even that “sort of foggy recall” at each spring launch, a lot more like jumping in a car.
But the system does more than just simplify start up. You can customize the screens to have them your way. One area for critical engine information, one area for navigation, you can even customize screen for different situations. You can have a screen set up for open water cruising, one for entering a harbor, and one for docking mode that will include cameras. Have a co-captain or mate? They can personalize the screens to their personal preferences too.
The system fully integrates the user to Volvo Penta Electronic Vessel Control (EVC). This allows all the things that make boating easier like dynamic positioning, interceptors (trim tabs), navigation, alarm systems and autopilot are controlled and monitored through the Garmin touch displays. This makes everything simpler and convenient. Consider the layout and design of a new dash. Many new boats look like a garage sale of different brand equipment. Holes are drilled and cut in the dash for one brand trim tabs, another brand autopilot, screens for plotter and radar. This system simplifies all the engine gauges and navigation interface with the captain in a much simpler installation.
Just think about making your powering up process easier and more relaxed as well as the overall operation process making you boating experience more enjoyable. We are putting the Glass Cockpit Integrated Control and Monitoring System in our Grand Banks 50 Eastbay SX due early spring 2014 in the Great Lakes. We are looking forward to getting the boat and learning more hands on.