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Garmin buys Nexus, Simrad IS40, plus Raymarine i40, i50 & i60


The boat show season begins with a bang, at least in terms of Instruments. Who knew that Garmin would buy Nexus Marine? And what does it mean for the extensive lines of Nexus racing and cruising instruments? I have no idea, but it is a good excuse to publish that odd screen shot above. It’s from a fascinating video purportedly showing the America’s Cup ETNZ team calibrating wind instruments for their AC72 in a unique fashion. And while that’s an Airmar ultrasonic weather station being used as the reference (I presume) those are three cleverly-designed Nexus wireless nWind sensors whirling away on the streets of San Francisco…

Nexus has been through a lot of ownership change over recent years, as I noted in 2006 at METS and at MIBS 2010 (note photo at bottom!). Will Garmin use Nexus tech to get into the racing world, or perhaps reemphasize the gear that many cruisers value, or what?

It’s no surprise that Simrad is introducing an IS40 version of the B&G Triton instrument display introduced here one year ago as well as an OP10 version of the nifty Triton autopilot control pad. What Kees Verruijt reported at Yacht Electronics, though, is that the software in the displays is slightly different and may get more so as Triton becomes more a B&G high-end tool and the IS40 more cruiser friendly (and purportedly less expensive, though “suggested retail” for the IS40 is $599). Note, for instance, that the IS40 won’t show the graphic True wind with Apparent, though otherwise the screen below is exactly like the Triton’s (which, oddly, is not exactly like the wind graphic shown in that introductory pr shot). At any rate, after putting first hands on the Triton set in June, I’ve finally got them properly installed on Gizmo and plan to put about 400 miles on them next week. I will report on performance…

Simrad IS40 courtesy Yacht Electronics.jpg

As for Raymarine’s new i40, i50, and i60 instrument displays, stay tuned!  I only heard a glimmer about them yesterday and don’t know beans yet (though a West Marine bezel entry suggests the latter two are the same size as the i70). But the official news is supposed to drop today, and if you’re at the Newport or Southhampton boat shows, you could check them out and report in (please).

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

12 Responses

  1. chris says:

    Yes , just back from the Southampton boat show and Raymarine have launched a new i40, i50 & i60. I did not look into the spec’s but there cracking to look at.
    Keeping to the same looks as the I70 but with the keypad area is a rubber which feels great to touch.
    The i40 has had a make over and just looks amazing, a great entry product into the raymarine brand.
    Seeing all there new products lined up was very impressive and looked leaps ahead of the competition .
    Well done Ray!

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I just learned (thanks, Dan!) that Discount Marine (in France) has the new Raymarine i40, i50, and i60 series up:

  3. Rob Powell says:

    I think you will find that ETNZ is using true Kiwi ingenuity in the carpark at Westhaven Marina in Auckland. They are currently still working out the kinks in foiling a 72ft catamaran on 1 rudder and 1 daggerboard at the ETNZ base on Hasley St, Auckland. Don’t you love the speed bump ‘wave’ at the end.

  4. It’s live on the Raymarine.com website now

  5. SheltieJim says:

    The new instruments look more “modern” because they have the overall look-and-feel of the i70/p70/c/e series. Other than that, the i40 appears to be little more than a new-look-and-feel version of the ST40, and the i50/i60 appear to be the same for ST60+. In fact, on Raymarine’s site, two of the i50 instruments are actually labelled “ST60+” — see http://www.raymarine.com/view/?id=5125
    The only new functionality I could find is the use of SeatalkNG instead of Seatalk(1). It’s possible that the current draw is reduced, but I didn’t go to the ST60+ pages to compare.
    Nothing wrong with any of this…just an observation. It does mean that I’m not especially tempted to go out and replace my ST50’s with i50’s, though.

  6. charlie says:

    I see that the IS40 display and the OP10 autopilot controler are both on the Simrad websight under autopilots. Also notice that both have Devicenet connecters although it looks like IS40 has Devicenet to Simnet 90 connecters.

  7. SheltieJim says:

    Ben, I meant to mention that I got a small shock when I first read your headline. Taken literally, it means that Garmin bought:
    * Nexus
    * The Simrad IS40 product
    * The Raymarine i40, i50, and i60 products
    Of course, the article was clear, but perhaps semicolons would be preferable in future?

  8. Edward says:

    I hope that Garmin don’t end up undoing the good work Nexus have done!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Help. Panbo entry needed. Bad addiction to Good blog. No workaround. Help

  10. Wolfgang says:

    Nexus is able to output NMEA183, but also supports their own FDX protocol, which seems is understood by several third-party software packages like Expedition. With the aim to include the high-speed data into my custom made data hub, I have been contacting Nexus several times in order to obtain further information on the protocol. Emails remain unanswered, and I was not able to get to them by phone either.
    Perhaps the Panbo community can help me out with to things.
    1. Is anybody aware whether Nexus is willing to share the FDX specification (even provided a contract/NDA has to be signed).
    2. What about Nexus support/responsiveness? It’s quite a requirement when doing a substantial investment. Is there a better way to reach out to them? Or might they just have decided to ignore my intimate request?

  11. M says:

    Any success on rettreiving the FDX spec?
    I have also tried to contact garmin without success.

  12. Wolfgang says:

    I decided not to follow up and went with B and G. The Triton equipment spills out NMEA 2000 nicely, which you can easily read. If you want to scale up, Hercules gives real time access with an open protocol, Albeit at a price point. No reason to waste money and time with a company that does not answer several emails to protect their franchise in last-generation displays. At the same time a pity, as sensors and the system itself are superb. I assume they at some point will go N2k with garminized displays. Then we will see…

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