Canadian Yachting traveled to the Netherlands in late November to attend METSTrade, the biggest marine equipment trade show in the world. Just in time for our own winter boat shows, here’s just a sample of what you’re going to see on sale right across Canada this year.
By Craig Ritchie
PICS: Allan – Craig included several pics of the METS hall, people in the show and a shot of the Canada group in a line.
Canadian pavilion welcome the Canadian Embassy for a ribbon cutting ceremony to open Canada’s largest presence at METS.
I’ll try to indicate where each shot goes by the photo file name:
There are boat shows. And there are big boat shows. But even the largest boat shows on the planet can’t hold a candle to METSTrade, also known as the biggest marine parts and accessories expo on earth.
Held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands each November, METSTrade is where boat builders and marine equipment distributors go to do their shopping and see all the latest gear unveiled by a who’s who of manufacturers from all over the world. It’s where nearly 1,700 exhibitors from more than 50 different countries fill a dozen different, inter-connected exhibit halls with more boat parts and accessories than any sane person would ever have thought existed. Talk about feeling like a kid in a candy store – for a boat gear junkie, this place is as close to nirvana as it gets.
You can’t get in to METSTrade – the show is closed to the public and admission is strictly restricted to only boat builders, parts and accessory distributors, and other individuals actively working in the business. Fortunately, that includes media and Canadian Yachting was there. We’ve saved you the air fare and the hotel bills, to say nothing of the sore back and blisters upon blisters that come from walking its miles of aisles, to bring you this sneak peek of what you can expect to see at the winter boat shows and in the local chandleries this year.
Raymarine M364C Marine Thermal Camera System.
Now That’s Revealing
One of the big hits of METSTrade was Raymarine’s new M364C marine thermal camera system. Although high resolution thermal cameras have been around for a few years now, the M364C uses all-new Color Thermal Vision (CTV) technology that allows boaters to see critical colour information on the thermal camera image for the first time. That means instead of facing the traditional monochrome screen, we can now clearly see essentials like coloured navigation lights and illuminated navigation aids. That’s a big plus because let’s face it, slamming into a shoal because you were on the wrong side of the marker never ends well. The camera works with most Raymarine multi-function displays, so it’s a potential retrofit upgrade to existing cameras.
Dometic STT Trim Tab Control Dial.
Trim tabs have long been the key to improving time-to-plane, correcting for uneven weight distribution, and improving speed, fuel efficiency and overall boat performance. Yet many boaters remain baffled by tabs, and have never bothered to learn how to use them properly.
Dometic Marine raised more than a few eyebrows this year with what it calls its Smart Trim Tab System. Part of the fuss comes from their trim tab system being completely automatic – to the point that the system not only provides automated trim tab positioning, it can even adapt on the fly to correct for any changes in boat speed or running attitude. But the biggest buzz was around their unique rotary dial controller, which is hands-down the easiest and most intuitive we’ve ever seen. Where trim tabs have traditionally used two toggle switches – one to control the tab on each side of the boat – Dometic uses a little wheel that you simply rotate to correct the trim. It’s as simple as turning the dial in the direction you want the boat’s deck to go. If you want to raise the port side, for example, simply turn the dial to the right till things level out. The farther you turn the dial, the greater the effect.
Garmin GPSMAP 86i.
Garmin won a METS design award with its new GPSMAP 86i handheld GPS, which it’s marketing as a compact, easy-to-use backup navigator. What sets this little guy apart is that it includes InReach satellite communication capability so you can also use it to send and receive two-way text messages, track and share your journey and, if necessary, trigger an interactive SOS to get emergency help via the global Iridium satellite network. It’s water-resistant, floating design, sunlight-readable three-inch display and simple button operation provide ease of use out on the water – which means a lot if you lose power miles from shore and have no other way to call for help.
Because You Never Know
Mercury 1st Mate.
Also touting safety, Mercury Marine unveiled its all-new 1st Mate kit, which it describes as the world’s first engine-integrated Man OverBoard (MOB) system. 1st Mate can keep track of up to eight passengers at once, who each wear a wristwatch-type wearable called a FOB. If someone falls over the side and the radio signal from their FOB is broken, 1st Mate will either sound an alarm or automatically shut off the engine – a great option when boating alone. It can also be set up to automatically send notifications to emergency contacts if you’re out alone and go over the side.
As an added benefit, Mercury notes that 1st Mate doubles as an effective anti-theft device, since the engine won’t start if the FOBs are out of range. As long as you remember to bring them home with you instead of leaving them in the boat, that’s a sweet bonus giving the product even greater value.
Dress For Success
Exhibiting at METSTrade as part of the Canadian Pavilion, Mustang Survival took home a coveted METS design award for its all-new Callan waterproof jacket and salopette set. Said to be the lightest-weight jacket and salopette on the market, the Callan line offers maximum waterproof protection and breathability, coupled with a comfortable, high-stretch design that makes it ideal for inshore activities that demand high flexibility.
SeaDek Dek Defenders.
Foam flooring manufacturer SeaDek comes to the 2020 boating season with an all-new line of fenders featuring a flat design for easier onboard storage. Dek Defenders utilize 50 mm of closed cell foam for durable boat protection, and feature a honeycomb embossed surface pattern and laser etched SeaDek logo. Each fender includes two colours: a 5 mm surface colour on each side of the fender and a 40 mm middle colour in the following combinations: storm gray/black, Bimini blue/white, storm gray/white and mocha/black. Available in small (20 x 8 x 2 inches) and medium (24 x 12 x 3 inches) sizes to fit a range of boats, each fender includes a ¼-inch braided rope and a Velcro strap to accommodate horizontal linking and other docking needs.
Here I Am
ACR Electronics used METSTrade to unveil its all-new ResQLink View, said to be the only buoyant Personal Locator Beacon designed using feedback from actual rescue survivors. A new digital display shows its exact status for peace of mind, while infra-red and LED strobe lights assist rescuers with and without night vision goggles. With multiple mounting options and customized skins, the PLB has a multi-constellation GNSS receiver for faster location download.
Get A Grip
Ever try to clean algae or other debris from the side of a boat that’s in the water? Whether you’re in the water as well or sitting alongside in a dinghy, pressing to scrub harder simply pushes you away from the boat. If only the hull had handles!
Well, now it does. The YachtGrabber is an innovative suction cup with an ingenious design that allows it to be operated with one hand, making it a breeze to work all around the boat and get the job done in a fraction of the time. The YachtGrabber has no metal parts that can scratch or mar gelcoat finishes, and it floats so that you won’t lose it
when (not if) you drop it. Brilliant.
The Strong Silent Type
Also exhibiting in the Canadian Pavilion, GeigerTec Marine attracted a lot of attention with its new Extreme articulated mount for electrionics. Capable of securely holding enormous MFDs steady in even rough water, the Extreme mount starts off as a seven pound block of aluminum (!!) which is carefully CNC-machined to a precision fit and finish. Featuring five axis of movement, once locked in place it holds MFDs as steadily as if they were screwed into granite. It comes with a stainless steel gimbal mounting kit, a helicoiled base, and fully anodized components.
See You Again
Blue Ocean dock line from Marlowe Ropes is made from 100 percent recycled plastic bottles. A first in the boating industry, this premium dock line is constructed entirely from plastic water bottles that have been recycled and processed into polyester yarn. Talk about a double whammy – the Blue Ocean lines are not only made from recycled materials, they can also be recycled themselves at the end of their life. Keep your boat secure and feel great doing it.
DipDeck brush is an EcoSmart 2-in-1 deck brush.
The DipDeck brush is an EcoSmart 2-in-1 deck brush with an integral water supply so you don’t have to keep constantly dipping it over the side. Simply fill the container by dipping DipDeck brush in the water just once, or use a water hose. The water flows out through the brush to get rid of grime fast, and simultaneously protect the deck against scratching. Best of all, the bottle even folds flat for storage when not in use.
No More Bumped Heads
Seldén’s E40i electric winch is built around a powerful but compact electric motor which is housed completely within the winch drum, allowing the E40i to be installed wherever it’s needed – including right on cabin roofs without compromising head room below. With only three thin cables protrude to lead through the roof or the deck, there’s no need for large cutouts, and no external motor or gearbox to get in the way.
Everyone Needs One
U Safe is a super-buoyant lifesaving device.
Overall winner of the 2019 METSTrade design awards, the U SAFE is a super-buoyant lifesaving device that renders the old floating ring and throw line completely obsolete. Remotely controlled and self-propelled, the U Safe zips quickly across the water to lend support to a person in need faster than anything else on the market according to its maker, and without any concern over being able to throw it far enough or accurately enough to be of use. Making its world debut at METSTrade, the U Saf