Thanks to NMEA 2000 electronics-communications technology, boat-builders have been able to channel the most basic, real-time engine-monitoring information delivered by Mercury Marine’s SmartCraft system through multi-function Garmin and Raymarine GPS monitor displays for several years. But for access to full SmartCraft functionality, a Mercury VesselView monitor was still required to augment anything other than a Simrad unit, which makes sense given that Simrad manufacturers VesselView monitors for the Fond du Lac, Wis., marine propulsion and accessories.
With SmartCraft Connect, Garmin and Raymarine units will eliminate the need for VesselView monitors. Photo courtesy/copyright Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats.
“You could get the basics before through your Garmin or Raymarine unit, but you still needed a Mercury VesselView monitor to get all of the deeper engine information such as fault codes,” said Dan Kleitz, the national sales manager for Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, R.I.
All that changes with Mercury’s new SmartCraft Connect technology, which was announced today in a press release from the company.
“We are responding to the needs of our boating community and expanding the Mercury experience to Garmin and Raymarine devices,” said Rob Hackbarth, Mercury Marine’s SmartCraft product category director, in the release. “The VesselView system, which is now available to Garmin and Raymarine users via SmartCraft Connect, keeps track of everything and provides alerts if any engine measurements stray away from the norm.”
With analog gauge clusters mostly a thing of the past and “glass-cockpit” popularity continuing to grow, SmartCraft Connect enables end-users to eliminate one more dashboard-space-eating component—a VesselView monitor.
Said Kleitz, “I think it going to be really cool. It’s one more step toward cleaning up helm stations.”
SmartCraft Connect technology will be available to Garmin and Raymarine later this year.
“We’re pleased to work with Mercury to offer engine data features that our customers and OEMs have been asking for,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice-president of worldwide sales, in the release. “VesselView compatibility gives boaters access to vital Mercury engine information directly on their Garmin display for a more integrated and convenient on‑the‑water experience.
“We look forward to offering VesselView functionality to Garmin customers in the second quarter of 2021,” he added.
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