Every year via the Chuck Husick Marine Technology Award, Ocean Navigator looks at the latest offerings in marine tech — new products, new online services, new ways of approaching the challenges of voyaging. This year we had an excellent crop of new possibilities to consider. We had nominees that included new radars and a forward-looking sonar to safety gear and even a product called the Sawafuji Swing Motor (a refrigeration compressor drive).
Our team of judges whose task it is to evaluate the nominees and pick a final winner is an experienced group of marine technology experts and voyaging sailors. The panel included Ben Ellison, marine electronics guru and the guiding force behind Panbo.com; Ellen Massey Leonard, circumnavigator and frequent contributor to ON; Wayne Canning, ON contributing editor, marine writer, photographer and surveyor; Jeff Merrill, marine writer, yacht broker and power voyaging expert; Paul Exner, sail training/sea trial instructor and marine writer; Lawrence Husick, son of Chuck Husick who is carrying on Chuck’s tradition of marine writing as a contributor to ON.
After looking at the whole slate of 2016 nominees, our judges chose a new, highly capable Doppler radar from Furuno, the DRS4D-NXT UHD Doppler radar.
Congratulations to Furuno for winning the 2016 Chuck Husick Award!
The DRS4D-NXT UHD has a number of impressive features that led to its win, including the exclusive Furuno Target Analyzer function: “Targets that are approaching your vessel automatically change color to help you identify when they are hazardous. Green echoes are targets that stay stationary, or are moving away from you, while red echoes are hazardous targets that are moving towards your vessel.”
The radar also has Furuno’s RezBoost beam sharpening feature. RezBoost allows users to see more detailed targets, with less clutter. RezBoost even allow users to see small and highly detailed targets such as kayaks and dinghies nicely separated. Another feature is Bird Mode that helps users identify birds gathering around schools of fish at the sea surface. Yet another new feature of the DRS4D-NXT UHD is Furuno’s Fast Target Tracking that only takes a few seconds after a target has been selected to display a speed and course vector. With accurate tracking information, estimation of other vessel's course and speed is greatly simplified. With Fast Target Tracking activated, any approaching vessel yours will automatically display a target vector, as well as sound an alarm (if TCPA setting is on). As many as 100 targets can be displayed simultaneously on the DRS4D-NXT UHD.