Gone are the days where a full cluster of instruments were needed to determine how your outboard was performing. With today’s outboards a captain can have all the information he needs and more displayed on a dedicated display or displays sent from high tech sensors to a bright, customizable display that is capable of doing more than just engine readouts. Mercury is at the forefront of this new technology with its VesselView 4 and 7 engine displays.
Although VesselView has been around for a while these two displays introduced at the Miami International Boat Show have some valuable added features and when combined with other new technology have the ability to do some amazing things that make life at the helm easy and stress free.
The VesselView 4 sports a four-inch glass fronted screen and the VesselView 7 a seven-inch display, and both have a new stylish bezel that looks at home on any dash. Each display is capable of displaying over 30 engine parameters such as fuel level range and other typically desired engine information. Added features include Eco-Screen, Smart Tow, and Troll Control.
Eco-Screen is green technology recognized by West Marine in 2010 as one of its green products of the year that monitors the engine and will determine the optimal trim and rpm to allow for maximum fuel economy. Tom Mielke of Mercury Marine claims that savings from Eco-Screen could be as much as 20 percent. The display clearly shows where optimal engine performance can be achieved and through intuitive displays it is easy to make adjustments to gain maximum fuel efficiency.
Smart Tow is another added feature that boaters involved in water sports such as wakeboarding, waterskiing or even tubing would be particularly interested in. The boat operator can set up pre-set profiles to allow for controlled launches and tow speeds and ensure the same launch and running speed time after time, regardless of who is at the helm. Finally, the boat owner can enjoy a perfect launch and run while a novice is at the helm. Everyone can get a tow and enjoy a perfect ride.
Anglers will also like the new Troll Control feature added to the new VesselView displays. Now anglers can spend more time watching and working on their spread and rigs rather than fussing with throttles to maintain a steady trolling speed. By setting a preset trolling speed the captain can allow VesselView to take over and control the vessel’s speed while under way.
The value of these displays proves itself not only for the new features mentioned above that they possess, but also when the engine is started. They run a full diagnostic of the engine and display the results so that you know if there are any issues prior to your departure. The seven-inch model can display information for up to four outboards and can even be interfaced with Simrad and Lowrance displays and accessories. It can even act as a chartplotter when connected to the appropriate equipment.
Adding all these capabilities to an already comprehensive display makes VesselView far superior than the gauges it has replaced and a valuable addition to Mercury Marine’s offerings.