The FLIR acquisition of Raymarine has left a lot of questions in people’s minds, and everyone’s wondering what new marine electronics for 2010, 2011, and beyond will develop from this marraige. Yesterday I met with company reps, who gave me the low-down on what we can expect to see over the next year, and it’s all good stuff!
Some new gear will be coming out from Raymarine around the time of the Lauderdale boat show, but for now, we’re sworn to secrecy on exactly what it will be. But here’s what I can tell you: These companies have made a serious commitment to upgrading Raymarine’s current offerings; they’ve already worked out the bugs left in some of the newer systems, and have paid some serious attention to getting the line-up in good shape before launching new products. FLIR’s expertise in networking systems is both simplifying and expanding Raymarine’s SeaTalk capabilities and future prospects, and a new converter is available (and costs less then $100!) which will allow legacy products to “talk” to new units on the SeaTalk system. There’s also a new GPS antenna in the game, the Raystar 125 Plus, which can communicate with both old and new SeaTalk as well as NMEA0183 systems.
More important then any individual product was the attitude Raymarine reps projected: they are 100-percent committed to moving Raymarine forward, and re-establishing it as a leading marine electronics brand.Meanwhile, FLIR is giving them the backing they need to fix the problems created by economic turmoil and move forward with cool new products in the very near future. (And as we’ve seen in the past, FLIR does what it says and does it well.) OK Ray fans, you can let out a collective sigh of relief – Raymarine isn’t going anywhere, it’s only going to get better!