Fishing Vessel Electronics: What’s New and What’s Trending

The WASSP F-series fishing system. Image: WASSP.

Functional electronic equipment is an essential component of any modern fishing vessel, so it’s important that boats have at least modern, operable gear, if not the latest and greatest.

After all, without devices that monitor a vessel’s location, communications and direction, as well as the location of fish, then a crew can be at a significant disadvantage.

Fishermen’s News reached out to a number of companies that make and/or sell devices for fishing vessels to see what’s new and trending in the electronics market.


Jeff Kauzlaric, spokesman for Camas, Wash.-based marine electronics manufacturer Furuno USA said that his company has several products introduced over the past several years that captains have been installing.

“On fishing vessels under 100 feet, we typically see multiple monitors where our Fish Finder like the FCV1900/1900B/1900G, Sonar, like the CH500 Search Light or the CSH8LMK2 Omni, Radars like the FAR22X8NXTBB Solid-State Doppler, DFF3D Multibeam Sonar and TimeZero Pro (marine navigation) software are being installed to integrate with each other,” he said.

Some fisheries he said, are utilizing WASSP, which is a Multibeam Sounder that offers features such as 3D presentations of the seabed, backscatter function and seafloor hardness.

“This aids the captain in determining the best location for posts and maximizing catches. It can also create a complete picture of seafloor bathymetry for a clear picture of the fishing grounds,” he explained.

“We’ve introduced some new satellite compasses, like the SCX20 and SCX21, that allow for extremely accurate heading data, along with being able to adjust their Fish Finder for pitch and roll,” Kauzlaric said.

As far as notable trends, he said that Furuno is seeing customers tightly integrating Furuno sensors, such as radar and satellite compasses, along with Fish Finders and Sonars with TimeZero Pro software.

“Typically, the TimeZero Pro solution allows the captains to utilize multiple monitors on the bridge to display the software which then displays data and video from all of the Furuno sensors,” he explained.

As to whether Furuno is working on any new devices that could come to market within the next few years, he said that the company is “constantly” working on new technology for the commercial fishing industry.

“I think we are going to see some new Fish Finder models for the smaller commercial fishing vessels, sonars and even autopilots that are developed with commercial vessels in mind,” he said.


U.S-based global operation Rhotheta International, a distributor and factory-authorized service center for all Rhotheta Radio Direction Finders (RDFs) is another company that remains active in the retail electronics market.

In recent years, Rhotheta has released enhanced NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) connectivity in its models RT-300 and RT-500-M, enabling integration with marine navigation software like the aforementioned Furuno TimeZero and searchlights like Glamox and Carlisle & Finch, company spokeswoman Shanna Navarro said.

“We see a customer trend to procure radio direction finders (RDFs) that feature enhanced connectivity with different brands of ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System), marine navigation software, compass, GPS receiver and searchlights,” she said.

What could the company bring to market within the next couple of years? Navarro said that updates of existing products are in the works.

“Next generation Rhotheta direction finders, based on software defined radio (SDR) technology, and compatible with Cospas-Sarsat MEOSAR (Medium-altitude Earth Orbit Search and Rescue) and second-generation Cospas-Sarsat beacons” are in development, she said.

Standard Horizon

Standard Horizon, a global company specializing in commercial radios and other communications devices told Fishermen’s News that as of now, it does not have plans to launch any new products within the next year.

In February 2023 however, Standard Horizon, which makes marine electronics equipment including VHF radios, loud hailers and accessories, began shipping its new HX320 Handheld VHF with USB charger.

“The key features are built in Bluetooth so you can connect a standard audio headset wirelessly and operate the VHF handsfree,” Hans Rooker, a spokesman for Cypress, Calif.-based Standard Horizon said. “Universal USB charging makes it easier and quicker to charge practically anywhere.”

When it comes to what people in the fishing industry are looking at or have been buying, Rooker said Standard Horizon has seen a trend in purchases of radios with scrambler features due to many commercial fishing vessels preferring private communications with other vessels.

There are also noteworthy radio features, he said.

“In handheld units, battery life is important, as well as having built-in GPS for position sharing capabilities,” he remarked. “In the fixed mount (VHF) units, loud audio, PA capabilities and the ability to have a remote station are all important features.”


In March, fishing electronics maker Lowrance introduced its latest fish-finding tool, an entry level fish-finder/chartplotter device called the Eagle. Among the features are a newly designed high-definition enhanced sonar with FishReveal technology and detailed C-MAP marine navigation charting.

“Eagle brings Lowrance’s high-definition sonar to our most easy to use fish-finder, providing the ultimate tool for weekend anglers,” said Jeremiah Clark, vice president and general manager of fishing systems with Lowrance’s parent company, Navico Group.

“Lowrance is dedicated to providing anglers of all levels the latest technology with the single aim of helping them to find and catch more fish and with its true eagle-like vision, this new fishfinder will deliver that,” he said.

Within the past couple of years, Lowrance has introduced three other devices: the HDS PRO chartplotter/fish-finder; the high resolution ActiveTarget 2 Live Sonar, and the ultra-high-definition Active Imaging HD device.

HDS PRO, according to Lowrance, offers full networking and bow-to-stern boat control spanning trolling motors, autopilots, engines, radar, communications and connectivity, and control of PowerPole shallow water anchors.

It includes new, expanded controls for Lowrance’s Ghost Trolling Motor product, such as orbit waypoints, depth routing and anchor-at-a-distance, while offering chart overlays for the ActiveTarget Scout mode and Ghost 360 sonar feature.

Additionally, HDS PRO has a 10-inch display with a new form factor and aspect ratio.

ActiveTarget 2 is an update to the company’s ActiveTarget live sonar that was unveiled in 2020. It provides higher-resolution views of fish movement and structure and enables fishermen to quickly recognize if lures and techniques are working in real-time, allowing them to make adjustments to get fish to strike.

Additionally, it allows for the use of two systems at the same time, giving more views simultaneously with 180 View, Scout Wide View and Forward and Scout split screen view.

Lastly, Active Imaging HD, according to Lowrance, presents the clearest images it offers of fish and structure from Lowrance CHIRP sonar, SideScan and DownScan Imaging.

Additionally, a new FishReveal SideScan view is now available with a new S3100 Sonar Module, in addition to the already popular DownScan Fish reveal view, helping to identify targets to the sides and beneath a boat.

“All of these new technologies … are aimed at helping anglers find, see and catch more fish, by providing the full suite of tools and the highest resolution and clearest images of fish and structure to date,” Clark said in a statement announcing the products in December 2022. “Lowrance continues to innovate.”


In November 2023, Raymarine announced a new product for the commercial marine market, its X-band Pathfinder Radar system, which is driven by a fan-less, six-foot, low-profile open array antenna. It offers crews target separation and increased long-range resolution using CHIRP pulse compression and beam sharpening technology. 

“The solid-state transmitter provides performance exceeding a 12kW magnetron and the system meets and exceeds all IMO performance requirements for target detection,” Raymarine said in a statement.

The Pathfinder system is about half the weight of comparable commercial radar arrays and has a small-diameter cable, simplifying runs and reducing installation time by days. In addition, the company said it’s available with console mounts, deck stands or desktop mounts for ease of retrofitting.    

Mark Edward Nero can be reached at