Dorset-based maritime equipment specialist Marine Components International (MCI) has been selected to supply a state-of-the-art EchoPilot 3D sonar system to American boatbuilder Fleming Yachts.
MCI supplies high-end marine products to leading yacht builders and shipyards worldwide, and became an international distributor for EchoPilot’s Forward-Looking 3D sonar system (FLS 3D) in November 2019. The ground-breaking model displays real-time 3D imaging of a vessel’s surroundings, providing sailors with a clear overview of the seabed and any potential hazards.
Fleming Yachts will fit the EchoPilot sonar system to its latest Fleming 65 cruising yacht, currently under construction at the Tung Hwa boatyard near the port city of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan. Every Fleming Yacht built since 1985 has come out of the Tung Hwa yard, including more than 50 Fleming 65s.
Andy Scott, MCI managing director, said, “MCI has always partnered with world-class manufacturers in order to supply our clients with products of the highest quality. EchoPilot’s FLS 3D sonar system is a strong and popular addition to our range.
“Fleming Yachts are renowned for their high-quality build and attention to detail, so I am delighted they have selected the EchoPilot to be fitted to their latest 65. These vessels are meticulously designed to be the ultimate cruising yachts, combining practicality, safety and comfort. The inclusion of the FLS 3D with its ability to map a vessel’s surroundings in real time will no doubt prove invaluable, especially when cruising off the beaten track.”
While 2D sonars can only give a representation of what lies directly below and what has already passed a boat’s keel, usually with a significant time lag, the FLS 3D displays a three-dimensional representation of the underwater scene up to 200 metres ahead of the hull and 100 metres below.
The system’s 20x depth ratio means it is capable of scanning 100 metres ahead when there is only five metres of water beneath the boat. The model outperforms rival products costing up to 10 times as much, but which can only offer an 8x depth ratio, equivalent to just 40 metres ahead for the same five metres of depth.
Additionally, the FLS 3D’s one-second refresh rate means information on potential hazards is displayed almost immediately, allowing sailors plenty of time to react. The removal of any time lag makes journeys into uncharted waters far safer and more enjoyable.
MCI has kept the business running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, helping its clients across the world to trade through the crisis. The firm also provides specialist import, warehousing, distribution, sales and technical support for marine equipment manufacturers including Duarry liferafts, Bennett trim tabs, Groco marine hardware, Lasdrop shaft seals, Dr.Shrink shrink wrapping and Rocna Anchors.