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NMEA Boater Blog

Top boating autopilots for 2021

For many boaters autopilots are essential equipment, not merely devices to make your day on the water less stressful or more fun, although pilots deliver those goods as well. Like just about every other piece of electronics onboard, autopilots have continuously stepped up their game in terms of performance and user friendliness.

If you’re shopping for a pilot that meets both your needs and those of your boat, we’re here to help. Below are autopilots that manufacturers singled out as their Best & Brightest—not necessarily the latest model or the one with the most features, but the pilot that may be their most popular or technologically advanced or the workhorse of the line. This list is part of an exercise that Marine Electronics Journal does every year in which we report on 17 categories of electronics. We call it the Best & Brightest Boating Electronics. Last week we looked at top-rated MFDs-multifunction displays. Next week The Mic will roll out the Best & Brightest audio entertainment systems and speakers.

Garmin GHP Reactor 40 with SmartPump v2

Garmin’s Reactor 40 hydraulic autopilot keeps you on course at cruising speeds, minimizes heading error, reduces power consumption and more, so you can be more comfortable while cruising. Solid-state nine-axis Attitude Heading Reference System (AHRS) sensors provide reliable vessel control in all sea and weather conditions and consistent heading accuracy within 2°. With a complete package designed for powerboats and sailboats, Garmin brings an advanced marine technology to the boating public that was once only available for commercial boats. Experience the ultimate hydraulic autopilot performance when paired with the one-size-fits-most, high-reliability, brushless SmartPump v2 that eliminates the risk of rudder "hard over.” Its patented Shadow Drive technology automatically disengages the autopilot if you take the helm and re-engages when you hold a steady course.

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Furuno Adds SiriusXM Marine Fish Mapping™ Service to NavNet TZtouch3 Displays with BBWX4 Satellite Weather and Entertainment Receiver

Furuno and SiriusXM announced today that the SiriusXM Marine Fish Mapping™ service – designed to help saltwater anglers locate fish faster and save fuel – is now available on Furuno's NavNet TZtouch3 line of multi-function displays (MFDs).

SiriusXM Fish Mapping provides regularly updated, science-based fishing data directly to compatible TZtouch3's using the BBWX4 SiriusXM Satellite Weather receiver and running Furuno's new version 2.01 software.

Simrad® Now Offers the SiriusXM Marine Fish Mapping™ Service

Simrad Yachting and SiriusXM announced today that the SiriusXM Marine Fish Mapping™ service – designed to help saltwater anglers locate fish faster saving time and fuel – is now available on Simrad's NSSevo3™, NSOevo3™, NSSevo3S™ and NSOevo3S™ line of multi-function displays (MFDs).

C-MAP Launches New High-Resolution Range of Chart Cards

Egersund, Norway – C-MAP®, a leader in digital marine cartography and cloud-based mapping, announced today the launch of new high-detail C-MAP DISCOVER and C-MAP REVEAL charts for Lowrance®, Simrad® and B&G® chartplotters.

The DISCOVER and REVEAL charts include new features like Custom Depth Shading, Shaded Relief for inland waters, subscription-free Easy Routing and more. The charts replace Insight PRO, Lake Insight HD, Precision Contour HD, MAX-N and MAX-N+ charts in the C-MAP line-up, greatly simplifying its chart portfolio.