2021 DAME Design Award winner Garmin Surround View should help make berthing easier, explains DAME jury member Elaine Bunting
Leaving and coming back to a marina berth can be some of the trickiest parts of boating, and more than a few family dreams have foundered on high-stress manoeuvres. The difficulties are quite a major barrier to entry for newcomers and many in the marine industry are determined to crack this with technology. One such offering comes in the form of the Garmin Surround View.
Propulsion will always be key to ease of manoeuvring, but a wave of technology is arriving from the car industry that will make judgement and decision making easier. Sensors, cameras and park assist systems are the norm in cars, and similar systems and software are rapidly being adapted for boating.
The latest to launch is the Garmin Surround View, which has a camera system giving a 360° bird’s eye view as you come into a marina berth. The overhead view is derived from six 1080p camera arrays: forward-looking at the bow; an aft-looking on the stern; and side-looking cameras on the port and starboard sides.
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These images are stitched together into a composite and shown on a compatible Garmin chartplotter or MFD helm display. The cameras can pan around on any area from the individual cameras, and the display has a ‘situational awareness’ mode that will show distance markers and a bumper zone with pre-set limits.
The Garmin Surround View retails at over €16,000 – a major investment – but one that makes sense on larger boats sailed short-handed and those with sizeable blind spots, such as catamarans.
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