Technology overload

Andy Adams

Sept 26, 2023

Kerrwil Media Publisher, Jill Snider and I had the pleasure of traveling to New York city last week for a special Brunswick media event. It was an absolute stunner. Although only a selected group of products were there on display, it skillfully demonstrated the incredible breadth and depth of integrated marine products that Brunswick now manufacturers.

Depending on what you are interested in, the highlight of the day might have been the new Boston Whaler 405 Conquest autonomous docking demonstration boat. Equipped with a remarkable display of all the leading-edge tech that Brunswick offers, especially through their Navico Group and their Marine Autonomy group, after a few moments of user-friendly programming, this richly equipped yacht moved away from the dock, out to a predetermined location in the fairway without any driver input. There, the Skyhook feature held position until we pressed the button requesting the Boston Whaler to dock itself. A stunning display!

At the opposite end of the spectrum are two very affordable and usable products in the Brunswick stable. I quite like the 13-foot Veer boat which they describe as a multi-tool vessel built in roto-molded polyethylene and engineered by the talented team at Lund Boats to provide lots of convenience and fishing features for entry level boaters. The Veer was developed for Brunswick’s new Avator electric motors offered in 7.5e, 20e (like 5-hp) and 35e (like 9.9-hp) and now available in the marketplace. These electric engines motors use a removable battery developed by the Navico Group’s Mastervolt team. The Avator can run on just one battery or owners can get the Avator Power Centre that includes up to 4 Mastervolt batteries for maximum range.
Also on display there and actually being ridden out on the Hudson River was Brunswick’s newest acquisition, the Fliteboard. Starting at about 10 grand in the US, this is a super cool electric foiling surfboard. The silent electric motor is available in a shrouded propeller configuration or a jet-drive and there are four different versions starting with the Scooter for novice riders up to the Ultra. An incredulous passerby in the harbor stopped to ask what she had just seen riding through the waves. Was that a hoverboard?! Expect to see a fleet of these in Canada next summer.
For Brunswick, the main event is their line of Mercury engines and in the water was a Boston Whaler 350 Realm with triple V10 Verado’s, three different Sea Ray models; an SLX 280 with twin 600 horsepower Mercury V12 engines, a 370 Sundancer with twin V12’s and their most elegant day boat, the SLX 400 with twin V12’s. We were lucky enough to get a ride out aboard that SLX 400 for a Statue of Liberty photo op accompanied by Aine Denari, President of the Brunswick Boat Group. To cap it off, Mercury hasn’t forgotten its high-performance roots and available for a ride was an MTI catamaran with twin Mercury Racing 500R engines that we were told could hit 118 mph!

There was far more product to talk about but the main take-away for me, was how broad, complete and integrated their range of products has become in recent years. It felt like technology overload that day but from entry-level to high-roller, Brunswick has the market covered.

Not that Brunswick is alone in launching new product. See the story in this edition of News Week that Honda has just launched a 350 HP V8 outboard. In a few days at IBEX in Tampa, I will be getting a demo ride in the Hyundai Avikus autonomous boat that drives itself.  From small accessories to major systems, the marine industry is buzzing with new products. The boat shows will be really exciting this year!

Andy Adams – Editor

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