Category: The Trade

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Garmin Buys Vesper, will the innovation continue?

t that Ben Ellison and I are big fans of Vesper Marine. As a small company out of New Zealand, Vesper has punched above its weight class by delivering numerous innovations. Well before getting involved in the marine electronics industry, I’ve been impressed by Vesper’s ability to deliver easy-to-use products that make boating safer and more relaxed. Vesper’s anchor alarm functionality (first covered on Panbo over a decade ago!) remains more capable than any MFD anchor alarm I’ve seen. So, it was a big surprise this morning to see that Garmin has bought Vesper. What will this mean for the scrappy little company and its track record of innovating?

3

Littelfuse acquires Carling Technologies, Maretron included: Business as usual?

Littelfuse — a large Chicago-based manufacturer of industrial technology — is acquiring Carling Technologies, and that makes me a bit nervous about the future of Carling’s marine brands. Will Octoplex, MPower, and especially all the (great) Maretron electronics on my boat continue to be developed and supported even though Littelfuse currently has only a minor marine market presence?

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FLIBS 2021 recap, a smaller show still packs a punch

The 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was the first major consumer show I’ve attended in nearly two years. Although the 2020 show took place in October of last year, I wasn’t there. I heard reports from colleagues of a dramatically smaller show with empty booths, smaller crowds, and very different energy. This year, the show was a little smaller than the last one I attended in 2019, but definitely felt like FLIBS. Although it was different, I think many of the differences result from the scarcity of available boats and components.

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IBEX Announces Winners of the 2021 Innovation Awards

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced today the winners of the IBEX Innovation Awards for the 30th Anniversary Show. The program was managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI). The judges selected 11 Innovation Award winners and three honorable mentions among dozens of entries submitted by marine trade companies. Awards were presented during the annual Industry Breakfast, Keynote, and Innovation Awards presentation…

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NMEA Names 2021 Product Award Winners

Twenty products garnered top honors in three separate award competitions at the 2021 NMEA Marine Electronics Conference & Expo, held last week at the Orlando Doubletree Universal Hotel in Florida. NMEA members cast their votes online in 18 categories for the Product of Excellence Awards while a panel of independent judges named winners in both the NMEA Technology Award and Best New Product contests…

10

Simrad is 75 years old, and doing fine

Simrad is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a marine electronics brand, and that’s a good excuse to look at old photos and reminisce about how far the technologies have evolved. Consider, for instance, the compact shortwave receiver above, nicknamed the “Sweetheart”. Though not actually a marine radio, it’s key to Simrad’s origin story. That’s because founder Willy Simonsen distinguished himself in the Norwegian resistance before starting his company after World War II, escaping to England where 50,000 of his Sweetheart designs were built and airdropped behind enemy lines so that resistance groups in Norway and other occupied nations could keep up with BBC news…