THE AWARDS WERE anything but small, and they came back-to-back-to-back-to-back. ¶ First, at ICAST, the world’s largest sport-fishing trade show, Garmin’s Panoptix LiveScope took home the Best Electronics Award. Then the sonar system won the Best in Show Award, with Bassmaster Elite Series and Garmin pro Fred Roumbanis announcing, “Never before have you beenthe first and only live, real-time recreational scanning sonar,” the NMEA judges wrote. Anyone reading the announcement could feel their enthusiasm leaping off the page as they described the technology. ¶ Panoptix itself is not new. Garmin debuted that technology in 2015, providing real-time, live sonar returns — something no other company had been able to do for recreational boaters. The Panoptix technology allowed for views forward, aft, sideways and down, even while the boat’s hull was not moving. Garmin called the sonar “all-seeing,” which sounded good until now, with the company proving that it can show boaters so much more. ¶ What the new Panoptix LiveScope ($1,499) does is combine that “all-seeing” sonar ability with live-return capability. The effect is that skippers can see real-time scanning-sonar images from beneath or away from the boat — as far as 200 feet away. And it doesn’t matter if the boat is stationary or underway. While cruising, Panoptix LiveScope continuously adjusts the sonar beam to compensate for the boat’s motion. ¶ That’s why fishermen and electronics experts are so excited, not only about how they can distinguish among different species of fish based on what they see at the helm, but also about how they can also see things like bait beneath the boat. The imagery on the screen is that good, with details that small, even when those details are moving underwater. For technology watchers, the system is so cool to see, it doesn’t even matter if fishing is part of the plan. ¶ Panoptix LiveScope comes with a black box and transducer (see sidebars at left), and a plug-and-play connector attaches the system to compatible Garmin chart plotters. For purists, the transducer also can be used as a traditional sonar source, letting boaters see a historical representation of structure and fish below the hull.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from Yachting

Yachting2 min read
Breaking Boundaries
JUST ABOUT EVERY ANNOUNCEMENT from top yachtbuilders in Europe these days is heralding something that’s never been done or built or tried. ¶ At Amels in the Netherlands, Aurora Borealis, the yard’s first 220, has completed a technical launch and is o
Yachting2 min read
Nothing But A Number
WHEN JUD SMITH was around 10 years old, growing up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, he and his pals would go into Ted Hood’s lofts and play in the sailmaker’s scraps. ¶ “I would climb on those piles of cloth like it was a hayloft,” he says. “I don’t kno
Yachting2 min read
Outboard Influence
SEVEN MARINE HIGH-HORSEPOWER OUTBOARDS ONE OF THE MOST striking sights at recent boat shows was HCB’s 65 Estrella—the world’s largest center-console—and her five Seven Marine 627sv outboards. These engines eliver 3,135 horsepower and, according to HC