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From keeping a boat maintaining its exact position in the water without an anchor, to consulting the eight manuals your boat requires on the same tablet or kicking back and watching a movie at sea, this year’s Newport International Boat Show promises to be its most tech-driven incarnation yet.
Some of the technology that will be on display at the three-day event being held Sept. 12-15 at various locations along America’s Cup Avenue in Newport is in pursuit of “greener” boating.
Tom Delotto, director of the Newport Exhibition Group, which hosts the show, has noticed a lot of interest in the show’s Newport for New Products awards program this year, which is co-managed by Cruising World, Sailing World and Yachting magazines with Delotto’s group.
“We’ve received a record number of entries this year,” Delotto said. “Submissions represent the latest in marine watercraft and consumer technology, such as the world’s only production-built diesel-, electric- and solar-powered boat – the Greenline GL 40 – and the Raymarine Evolution Autopilot.”
The Greenline GL 40, a hybrid craft twice over, will make its first appearance at the show. It fits with boat owners’ longstanding desire to avoid wasting fuel, which is only now coming to fruition.
Phil Lee, of Portsmouth-based Cay Electronics, has noticed that the boating industry has been behind its car-making peers.
“What has made the industry more affordable is the research that has been put into it by the automotive industry,” he said.
Also on view at the boat show will be Cay’s wooden, electric-powered eCraft 20, intended for use in such places as the canals of Florida and Venice, Calif., and even the inland waterways of the Carolinas.
Those favoring bumpier seas, including Narragansett Bay on windy days, they can end up making use of technology in other ways. That’s one reason that Safe/Sea, the North Kingstown-based marine-rescue company, will have representatives at the show. The Safe/Sea personnel will be displaying, and using, a customized FilemakerPro app that the company designed to sign up new customers.