Proceedings Of The Marine

SUM 2015

Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.

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Page 27 of 70

25 Summer 2015 Proceedings The pace of change affecting recreational boating accelerates every season. Some of the change is good, some of it hurts. Advancements such as new marine electronic technologies help improve the boating experience. Yet, adverse economic and political factors place burdens on boat owners and hin- der the number of new boat owners entering the market. How will these and other factors infuence recreational boat- ing in the next 10 to 20 years? While no one knows for sure, we're peering from the bridge into the mist on the horizon, and here's what we can make out. Marine Electronics In many respects, the future of marine electronics is here, but components are scattered in bits and bytes. Micropro- cessor-driven engines and navigation gear coupled with electronic switching and controls have just begun to emerge, and we've barely sounded their limits. For example, Google is already testing "smart cars," using common technology in an uncommonly integrated way. Already sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles, targeted to appeal to consumers, sport the ability to function auton- omously on pre-programmed coordinates, fying a route, shooting video, and returning to base without additional user input. Sophisticated digital marine sonar, radar, autopi- lots, and programmable GPS navigators make "smart boats" just as probable. Also, two industry leaders created "danger zones" on elec- tronic charts, enabling their GPS chart plotters to emit a warning if the vessel is entering shallow water. Others have incorporated miniaturized GPS, accelerometers, and head- ing sensors into new autopilot systems. These electronics boast smaller control modules, simplifed installation, and better capabilities than previous autopilots. Does that sound new? Actually, electric troll- ing motors, designed for freshwater fishermen, have used sonar and GPS input to navigate weed lines or bottom contours for years. The foundations were being poured while we weren't paying attention. New integrated GPS and joystick controllers now Recreational Boating A glimpse into the future. by Mr. Kevin fAlvey Editor in Chief BOATING Magazine Mr. JiM hendriCKS Editor BOATING Magazine Mr. pete MCdonAld Editor BOATING Magazine Mr. rAndy vAnCe Editor BOATING Magazine Stakeholders' Perspective GPS/chartplotters are as common as compasses aboard recreational craft and are increasingly inte- grated with steering and engine controls. All photos courtesy of Mr. Kevin Falvey. Can "smart boats" be far off? Today, glass helms with multifunction displays offer touch screen control and monitoring.

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