NMEA new guy, Digital Yacht


The one-day product exhibit at the NMEA Conference is never long enough for me, and I hope the manufacturers I missed—often the ones I know the best—took no offense (you know where to find me!). I put particular focus on companies appearing at NMEA for the first time, like Digital Yacht above. This U.K. firm has been operating in Europe for some time, and is larger and more diversified than even its extensive Web site indicates. For instance, principal Nick Heyes seen above, and bigger here, is also a principal at Marine Electronic Services LTD. At any rate, Digital Yacht is not only setting up a U.S. distribution and service branch, but also introducing an interesting new navigation system called Touch…

Here’s what a Touch 15 will purportedly offer for about $5,000: the black box below containing an Intel Atom processor running embedded Windows XP plus 15 gigs (I think) of solid state memory loaded with the worldwide C-Map Max Pro cartography database; also in the box are a full Class B AIS transponder, a GPS, and a high power WiFi transceiver; a 15” pilothouse-style touchscreen monitor with waterproof high bright options; and finally, a version of Nobeltec VNS MAX Pro customized both for touch and voice interfaces (the latter via a small speaker/mic or a Bluetooth headset). Touch will also come with a keyboard and mouse, and the whole system will be easily upgraded or restored with a memory stick. The idea of the WiFi is to take advantage of Max Pro’s easy “Quick Synch” chart update ability, and to provide simple e-mail via Digital Yacht. ClearPoint Weather will also be built in, and radar scanners will be available. But if you want to surf the Web, you may need an optional router to share the WiFi; Touch is meant to feel more like a MFD than a PC. Heyes says the system should be ready to ship in January, which may also be how long it will take to sort out Class B AIS issues.

Digital Yacht Touch

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.

4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    That sounds like a lotta stuff in that touch and may be a good buy.

  2. Microship says:

    Yah, I’m intrigued too. Turned away from Navnet 3D at the last minute; now trying to figure out what is going to be installed over the winter. This is one to watch – thanks for the heads-up, Ben!
    -Steve aboard Nomadness in a gale (although docked)

  3. norse says:

    But does it support NMEA 2000?

  4. Microship says:

    Norse – yes, according to this comment from the METS site:
    “Touch allows for connectivity with other on board systems through a NMEA/N2K, USB and ethernet interface Radar scanner and sounder modules are available as options.”

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