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Introduced with a big splash at this past Miami Boat Show, Furuno’s new NavNet TZtouch2 is a next-generation, all-glass, multi-function display that makes a great thing even greater!
By Capt. John N. Raguso

Unlike many competitive multi-function displays (MFDs), including its forbearer the original NavNet TZtouch units, the new next-gen TZtouch2 is a true all-in-one combo machine, featuring a built-in sounder module, in addition to an on-board GPS antenna. This evolution really simplifies the installation process, in addition to reducing the acquisition cost. Simply plug-in your power cord, attach the transducer of your choice and you are ready for action.

Every NavNet TZtouch2 display has a built-in dual-frequency fishfinder (50/200kHz) with a 600W/1kW power output. With TZtouch2, Furuno is also introducing a new, proprietary fishfinder technology, called RezBoost. This revolutionary new feature utilizes Furuno’s exclusive digital signal processing protocol to produce fish targets and images that are four to eight times sharper than a conventional fishfinder, without the need to change your existing narrowband transducer, or purchase an expensive broadband/CHIRP transducer. With RezBoost, you can now achieve target separation and resolution that was previously limited to Furuno commercial-grade echo sounders. It also includes Furuno’s unique Bottom Discrimination and AccuFish modes. This built-in fishfinder module saves at least $900 over earlier NavNet and TZtouch black box systems. But there’s more good news. Furuno also built-in a 56-channel GPS receiver right into the TZT2’s display. You can still connect an external antenna for redundancy or an enhanced signal, but the primary GPS receiver is already onboard, saving you another $450 - nice!

What good is a chartplotter navigator unit without the marine cartography? As any boat owner knows firsthand, no matter what your favorite brand of charts, the initial purchase and annual updating of these requisite coastal roadmaps is an expensive process. But Furuno has addressed that with the new TZT2. The raster and vector cartography employed in these new MFDs uses the MapMedia format based on Jeppesen, Navionics and NOAA data. You can get additional bathymetric downloads and updates directly from Furuno over the internet and then upload those to theTZT2 at your convenience.

Modular Approach
NavNet TZtouch2 is a component-based system that utilizes Furuno’s myriad network products. You can choose from a 12.1-inch WXGA or 15.6-inch FWXGA multi touch display and from there, add a variety of UHD Radars, from their 2.2kW dome to a 25kW open array. Additional sensors that can be added to the network include AIS, Weather Fax, SiriusXM satellite weather, Fusion marine stereo, auto pilot, cameras, NMEA2000 and Furuno CAN bus devices, plus it even includes one NMEA0183 output port to send data to legacy systems. Of course you can just keep it simple with the basic built-in sounder and chartplotter, but it’s nice to know that you can seamlessly add on features as your future needs change.

Easy to Operate

The absence of buttons or keys on the front panel of the MFD removes any safety net for “old school” thinking and operation. However, once you turn on the TZtouch2, this anxiety will become ancient history. Furuno designers used bright, bold colors, with easy to identify icons for the display selection of radar, fishfinder, chartplotter, weather, camera, instruments and Nav data. Creating custom display pages is as easy as dragging and dropping the icon onto the display creator. Accessing different displays is done by tapping on the Home icon, or utilizing an “edge swipe” motion. You can “edge swipe” from all four sides of the compass to access various options. Just swipe down from the top (north) of the screen and display page options drop down for quick and easy access. Swipe the right side (east) to view contextually appropriate menus; swipe the left side (west) and you get navigation data; then swipe from the bottom (south) for chart and data layer options. Rather than digging through menus, all of the important options are now just a single swipe away - just like using a super-sized cell phone.

NavNet TZtouch introduced the capability to access tablets and smartphones via WiFi and TZtouch2 continues that trend. You can download and utilize several “free” apps for both Apple and Android devices, or there’s a physical remote keypad that can be connected. More wireless capabilities are planned, including connection to the ActiveCaptain service that delivers points of interest, Community Charts that allow users to report depth and obstruction changes, plus a TimeZero Cloud Data Service that will allow you to back up and synchronize data across your TimeZero devices.

The Furuno TZT2 color displays are “polarized friendly,” which means that the LCD screen does not "black out" when wearing polarized sunglasses. You are free to move around the vessel while maintaining clear visibility from virtually any angle. Just try that with some competitive machines and you’ll know exactly how valuable this feature really is when out on the briny. The new Furuno NavNet TZtouch2 MFDs are a step up the marine electronics evolutionary ladder, and I’m planning on mounting one on my new MarCeeJay, a 228 EdgeWater CC, for the 2015 season. MSRP on the 12-inch screen unit is $3,995. Be sure to check them out at a dealer near you.