Say hello to the HDS Gen3

Introducing the much-anticipated HDS Gen3

Lowrance, a world-leading brand in fishing electronics since 1957, announced today the launch of the High Definition System (HDS) Gen3 fishfinder/chartplotter series. The next revolutionary step forward for the world’s top-selling and award-winning multi-function display, HDS Gen3 is available in 7-, 9- and 12-inch models and combines a faster processor with enhanced, built-in fishfinder technologies, as well as a modified menu system that’s even easier to use.

HDS Gen3

HDS Gen3

Quicker, fingertip access to all features

With an improved Lowrance user interface plus multi-touch and full keypad operation, the HDS Gen3 series provides quicker, fingertip access to all features – along with an enhanced, lightning-fast processor for more responsive performance. Instinctive, icon-driven commands are easy to learn, and convenient features such as scrolling menus, cursor assist, snap-to setting markers and preview panes with quick-touch slider bars, provide a user-friendly feel, similar to operating a smartphone or tablet.

The fishfinder of choice

Each HDS Gen3 model comes standard with today’s most advanced fishfinding technologies – from StructureScan® HD and DownScan Imaging™, which provide picture-like images of fish-holding cover – to CHIRP Sonar for improved target separation and superior noise rejection for clearer, easy-to-see bait fish and game fish targets. When combined with Lowrance’s TrackBack™ feature, these sonar technologies combine to make HDS the fishfinder of choice for anglers worldwide.

Built-in wireless capabilities

Additionally, the HDS Gen3 features built-in wireless connectivity for convenient mapping and software downloads directly to your fishfinder/chartplotter, as well as connection with mobile devices using the Lowrance GoFree App. All HDS Gen3 models are also plug-and-play compatible with performance-enhancing options such as SpotlightScan Sonar™, Broadband Radar™, SonicHub® Marine Audio, SiriusXM® Marine Weather and audio, Class B AIS and DSC VHF, as well as the recently released SmartSteer™ control for MotorGuide® Xi5 electric-steer trolling motors and the Lowrance Outboard Pilot.

“Since 2008, anglers worldwide have relied on Lowrance HDS systems to make the most of their time on the water,” said Leif Ottosson, CEO, Navico. “Not only does HDS offer today’s most advanced fishfinder technologies, the collection of optional mapping solutions and performance modules cannot be surpassed by any fishfinder/chartplotter in the industry.”

Easy integration with the HDS Gen3

Providing anglers with the most expansive list of mapping-upgrade options, HDS Gen3 is compatible with the complete collection of Navionics® charts, as well as C-MAP MAX-N+ and third-party mapping partners, such as NV Digital Charts. HDS Gen3 can also utilise the Insight Genesis™ map-creation tool, which allows users to create and share high-definition contour maps from personalised sonar recordings. All charting options can also be used with Insight Planner™ PC navigation-planning software. In addition, Easy Routing and AutoRouting features are available globally, outside of the Americas, with C-MAP MAX-N+ and Navionics charts, respectively.

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MotorGuide’s Xi5 wireless trolling motor

Motorguide is excited to introduce its new Xi5 wireless trolling motor

The Xi5 wireless trolling motor marks a key milestone in MotorGuide’s history. It is the culmination of a renewed focus and significant R&D investment to design, engineer and manufacture best-in class trolling motors.

The Xi5 wireless trolling motor is designed to exceed the expectations of today’s discriminating fisherman. It’s engineered to be reliable every day – and durable over the long haul. Unlike its competition, the new Xi5 wireless trolling motor includes “out of the box” wireless capability, where anglers can command precise motor and steering control from anywhere on the boat. A wireless foot pedal is standard with freshwater models and a hand-held remote is standard with saltwater models. Plus, they’ve made it stealthy quiet and silky smooth. And you’ll also see thoughtful details that make it safe and easy to use.

Easy to read LED dashboard

The Xi5 wireless trolling motor uses LED lights in the controller so anglers can quickly check the status of four key functions in any light conditions.

  • Power ON / System Ready
  • Propeller ON
  • Pinpoint GPS System Active

The battery power indicator uses different coloured lights to show three levels of battery life in real time.

Wireless pedal for precise control

The Xi5 wireless trolling motor’s pedal provides outstanding motor control from anywhere on the boat. The intuitive, pro-style “heel-toe” operation controls steering that’s extremely quiet, precise and 50% faster than its competition. Digital variable speed control enables exceptional low-speed trolling capability and longer run time.

Xi5 wireless trolling motor pedal

Xi5 wireless trolling motor pedal

All-new composite shaft

The new composite shaft can take on any and all obstructions that get in its way. It’ll bend, but won’t break. That’s why it’s backed by a lifetime warranty.

Next-Gen digital technology

The wireless pedal provides outstanding motor control from anywhere on the boat. The new digital technology features durable cooler-running power electronics that are 50% more efficient. They also capture and store energy that is typically lost as heat. This improved efficiency means longer run time and fewer battery charges. Digital speed control delivers power, smoothly and incrementally, at the precise level needed by the operator.

Low-profile mount

An improved low-profile mount is all about form and function. The base uses anodised aluminum to prevent corrosion. The hardware components are stainless steel throughout, including the linkage that’s built to be extra tough. The unique stow and deploy mechanism aligns and guides the motor into the stowed position and secures it in place. For added safety, a secondary lock prevents unintentional deployment and potential damage.

Please welcome the new Mercury FourStrokes

Please welcome the new Mercury FourStrokes

Mercury Marine South Africa is proud to introduce its new 80hp, 100hp and 115hp FourStroke outboards, offering the ultimate combination of power, thrust, unsurpassed fuel economy, extreme reliability as well as a smooth, quiet operation – all in a lightweight, compact package.

Mercury FourStroke 115hp

Mercury FourStroke 115hp

Despite their low profile and lowest weight in the industry in this horsepower segment, the new engines feature a 2.1-litre, four-cylinder, eight-valve, single-overhead-cam design that deliver more torque and horsepower than competing engines.

The new Mercury FourStrokes last longer, irrelevant of the conditions

The new Mercury FourStroke engines are built with the same architecture as that of the popular Mercury 150 FourStroke to ensure they start and run consistently as well as last longer, irrelevant of the conditions.

“These new Mercury FourStroke engines have an all-new world-class, hydro dynamically designed standard gear case with a 2.07:1 gear ratio which decreases drag to improve efficiency and performance, consuming less fuel and increasing operating range,” says Shaun van Rooyen, Director of Mercury Marine South Africa.

Unrivalled control and power

The new robust Mercury Command Thrust gearcase delivers unrivalled control and power for heavier boats or boats that operate with more hull surface and remain in contact with the water.

Command Thrust gearcase

Command Thrust gearcase

The Command Thrust models use the same bigger gearcase housing as the Mercury 150 FourStroke, but with an all-new 2.38:1 gear ratio. It’s the first true oversized gearcase in the industry for outboards in this horsepower range.

Heavy boats and boats with less efficient hull’s benefit from the gear case’s ability to quickly lift a hull out of the water, resulting in greater acceleration and superior ability to hold plane at slower speeds.

There is also a 115hp Command Thrust model with left-hand rotation for improved handling and docking in dual-engine installations. With Command Thrust you not only experience the benefit of a larger, heavy-duty gear case, but also the broad range of larger-diameter class of V6 propellers that go with it, such as Mercury’s popular Enertia series.

Better boating experience

“This new engine lineup was engineered and manufactured to provide the smoothest, quietest ride,” adds van Rooyen. A tightly-sealed top cowl and idle relief muffler system lessen high-frequency exhaust noise. In addition, a top-mounted throttle body fine-tunes intake noise, while the exclusive Focused Mount System greatly reduces vibration. Even the trim pump is designed to run significantly quieter and the new clutch system reduces shock while shifting into gear. Together all of these features deliver a smoother, quieter, more pleasant boating experience.

“To top it all, Mercury backs up its world-class corrosion protection with an industry-exclusive five year factory backed limited warranty, as well as a lifetime maintenance free valve train, no mess oil-change system, no-tools-required fuel filter, colour-coded maintenance locators and an up-front freshwater valve flush system,” concludes van Rooyen.

This article first appeared on Mercury Marine South Africa’s blog.

Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX review

Boattest.com recently tested the Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX and this is what they had to say.

The Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX is a well thought-out, cleverly designed family jet-drive sport boat built with some of the best materials available.

Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX jet boat

Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX jet boat

The Chaparral 203 Vortex VRX boasts many features

After experiencing this boat first hand, we feel safe in saying that consumers now have another viable option when contemplating a jet-powered sportboat. From the Kevlar reinforcement to the special design of the hull and high freeboard, this new model brings a long list of features to the table. This is our first look of what will we be a three part series on this new boat. To read the full review click here.

This beauty boasts:

  • Powered by jet-drive
  • U-shaped cockpit seating with crossover switch helm bucket seat
  • Exterior colour packages (stealth grey, glue, aqua, lime, red and yellow)
  • Four LED cockpit courtesy lights
  • Removable 25 quart cooler under bench seat
  • Premium sound system
  • Snap-in cockpit carpet
  • Four water-resistant speakers