Brunswick Corporation, one of boating’s biggest conglomerates and the owners of brands like Mercury Marine, Boston Whaler, Sea Ray, and others, has announced the formation of the new electric-focused Navico Group.
The Navico Group’s primary focus is serving as Brunswick’s supplier of integrated systems and products, while also generating new electric-focused products. In other words, Navico will serve as Brunswick’s technological innovation responsible for its future development. The group’s motto is “to deliver seamless product integrations and revolutionary technology, creating new experiences and enabling greater possibilities on the water and the road.” Under the larger Brunswick umbrella, Navico will operate across the recreational marine, RV, and industrial industries.
So, what are Navico’s long-term plans with respect to expanding the capabilities of recreational boating?
Last week, the group announced two innovative new technologies — Fathom ePower Systems and CZone Mobile — both of which will enhance the capabilities of boating systems and the abilities of consumers to operate and customize their vessels.
According to their press release, Fathom ePower “enhances Brunswick’s electrification capabilities delivering a seamless integration for OEM partners, reliable power management and control, as well as enabling users to better understand and manage their power needs.”
The new CZone Mobile app, meanwhile, “is a full turn-key cloud and mobile app solution made for boat builders to enhance the boating experience for their customers. The end-to-end digital platform service, inclusive of on-board IoT hardware, cloud integration, and branded mobile app, enables OEMs to deepen their relationship with customers by instantly delivering a personalized, branded app experience.”
So, what does this mean for upcoming products from Brunswick Group? And what does it mean for boating in the next 5-10 years? Broadly speaking, you can expect better implementation of electric power and more control for boat owners to tweak and fine tune their boats.
The new ePower system is “an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system that delivers reliable power and unparalleled performance for the marine and RV sectors. The Fathom system offers advanced digital controls and monitoring of power consumption, delivering information on demand and providing complete control for the user.”
In other words, the new Fathom ePower system will be a new foray into higher efficiency electric utilities for boats. Bigger batteries, better runtimes, higher performance, and easier installation.
It also allows users to extend time away from the charge source by providing more battery capacity and efficiently managing the electrical system, while also eliminating the noise, vibration and fumes associated with traditional generator experiences. The simple user interface allows owners to monitor and control their power on and off the vessel via multifunction displays or smart mobile devices.
Coupled with that, the new CZone mobile will give owners and OEM’s the ability to customize and monitor their boat with ease. Less need for dealer maintenance, less check-ins with the marina or repair shop, less diagnostic checks in the driveway, and more information going directly to the owner’s phone.
According to Brunswick, “CZone Mobile is more than a ‘remote control’ for the boat. While providing features like monitoring boat location, engine data, battery and fuel levels, and bilge status, it also provides valuable instructional content, marine weather forecasts, trip tracking and more. The mobile app solution also unlocks powerful information for OEMs, and their dealers, using real-time telematic data accessible directly from the Cloud service or through a website portal.”
Earlier this year, Mercury released the Avator electric outboard, which despite being a small horsepower tiller-operated platform, is certainly a sign of larger things to come.
In July of 2021, Boston Whaler and Sea Ray, both Brunswick-owned brands, launched mobile apps to enhance the ownership experience.
Combined, these all illustrate a dedicated focus towards an electric future that is being led by one of the industry’s most influential manufacturing groups.
A new era in boating may be dawning. While it’s no secret that electric propulsion is emerging for both boats and automobiles alike, one of the positive byproducts to this new economy will be intuitive and user-friendly onboard systems for users. An easier system to operate, a more user-friendly platform that you can customize, and a more enjoyable ride on the water.
To get an in-depth look at the new systems from Navico Group, check out the video below: