FAREHAM, ENGLAND — Twenty journalists gathered at Raymarine headquarters in England for two days of learning about and testing the electronics company's latest products. The group also will tour Raymarine's research-and-development facility.
"We wanted to give you a look under the hood," maritime marketing director Jim Hands told the media members. "We have introduced many new products recently, so we wanted to go behind the curtain and shed some light on how we create these products and technologies."
The new products include two multifunction displays in the Raymarine aSeries (9- and 12-inch screens) and a third that is its largest Glass Bridge MFD — the 19-inch gS195. Journalists on Wednesday will test the products installed on four powerboats — one trawler, one express cruiser, one power cat and a RIB — and a Discovery 57 sailboat.
Vice president and general manager Gregoire Outters talked about the company's "Capture the Corners" business strategy of offering a wide variety of products, ranging from entry-level to high-end price points. For example, the entry-level Dragonfly sonar units represent one corner and the gS Series of Glass Bridge MFDs represents another.
FLIR acquired Raymarine in 2010. FLIR has also been pumping out new cameras with innovative technology, such as the FLIR One, a thermal imaging device for mobile devices.
"We are convinced that thermal imaging will be a significant part of leisure boating," Outters said.
The maritime segment of FLIR, which includes Raymarine Marine, saw a 6 percent growth in revenue in 2013; maritime represents 12 percent of the entire FLIR business. Raymarine released more than 40 new products in 2013; it employs 300 people and has more than 100 engineers. Sixty employees work in the U.S. office.
There will be more to come from England tomorrow.