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Honorable Mention: Navico

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Launching a new product every 20 days takes foresight, resources and knowledge of boaters. We recognized Navico for its culture of innovation across its brands — Lowrance, Simrad, C-MAP and B&G — by the number and real-world usability of products it introduced last year.

The range was impressive. FishReveal separates large catchable fish from smaller bait fish; Lowrance HDS Carbon provides near-photographic images on the sides and under the boat; VelocityTrack delivers instant visual feedback on the motion of radar targets in relation to an owner’s boat; and Advanced WindPlot gives sailors a clearer view of wind trends.

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These products are niche applications compared to Navico’s new Information Display, which unfortunately was announced a month after our entry deadline. The new ID is worth mentioning since it demonstrates the way Navico is moving forward to deliver an automotive experience at a boat’s helm.

“We’ve moved beyond displaying navigation data and digital switching systems into a world of integration that nobody else in the boating industry has developed yet,” says Leif Ottosson, Navico CEO.

The innovation of the ID is not just its full integration of on-board systems, but also its easy-to-use display that lets boaters avoid having to scroll through endless menus for information they may never use. The model at IBEX in early October had four modes — Startup, Cruising, Anchoring and WaterSports — that let users push a button for information about each activity.

“Now they can push one button, start the boat and then go to Cruising mode that displays just the information they need to travel from point A to point B, without all the clutter of menus,” Ottosson says. “It’s an intuitive system designed to be user-friendly.”

This type of activity-based innovation is what pushes the industry forward.

This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue.

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