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VIDEO: Navico test event opens in Florida Keys

Navico VP and COO Louis Chemi.

Navico VP and COO Louis Chemi.

Navico opened a two-day event Tuesday night in the Florida Keys that will give marine journalists a chance to learn about and test its new products and technologies under the Simrad, Lowrance and B&G brands.

The company has outfitted 11 boats with product, including a 36-foot Yellowfin and a 32-foot Contender. Two dozen journalists will hit the water today after a series of morning educational seminars. The event is being held at the Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key.

"The media will have access to talk with Navico product developers, marketing teams, techs and senior management in both structured and non-structured environments," Simrad spokesman Andrew Golden told me Tuesday night at the event's reception dinner.

At the 2013 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Navico debuted the Simrad NSO evo2 Glass Bridge System, composed of a new black box with dual independent processors for dual independent control, according to Golden, a principal of Rushton Gregory Communications.

Another version — the NSS evo2 with a multitouch touchscreen — was introduced at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam and will make its first public appearance at the Miami International Boat Show, said Rus Graham, also a Simrad spokesman and principal of Rushton Gregory Communications.

Navico also will showcase its "Sonar Hub," which has 2-D sonar, structure scan and CHIRP technology.

"Our units have what I call walk-up usability," Simrad global brand manager Dennis Hogan said. "In the retail environment, people can walk up and easily figure out how to use the product. And as they get used to it, they learn more advanced features."

Here are some of the personnel at the Navico event: Leif Ottosson (CEO); Louis Chemi (EVP Americas and global head of recreational marine); Mike Fargo (product director for Simrad products); Gordon Sprouse (Lowrance global brand manager); Dennis Hogan (Simrad global brand manager); Jim Deheer (B&G global brand manager); Jonathon Pudney (global marketing manager); and Daren Cole (Americas marketing manager).

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