Furuno recently introduced two of their next-gen fish finders, the FCV600 and the FCV800 at the recent NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) annual convention back in late September. The FCV800 won the coveted “best new product award,” which is Furuno USA’s 250th best-in-category accolade since 1971.
Dedicated Echo Sounders
With the marine industry inundated with multi-function, multi-layer, touch-screen displays, there’s something to be said about embracing the “old school” approach of employing the latest generation sunlight-readable, high-resolution, color LCD with functional touch keys for the most desirable one-step operations. With all of the electronic data that gets jammed into an all-in-one MFD (multi-function display), more often than not, the critical fish finder info gets crunched down to a small box on the big screen, getting lost in the informational clutter. Adding a dedicated echo sounder to your marine electronics mix is not such a far-fetched idea — what’s old can be new but with a contemporary twist.
I ran a precursor to the latest wave of Furuno fish finders, the FCV-582L, on my 27 Phoenix for many seasons with excellent results, exploring the canyon depths down to 1,200 feet and more with this 600W sounder and classic 200/50kHz continuous wave transom mount transducer. I have used Furuno gear for decades, including both of my current EdgeWater center consoles, and trust them with my life. Furuno is a worldwide leader in marine electronics and manufactures great equipment that’s respected around the globe and used by the US Navy and US Coast Guard.
These new Furuno debutants may embrace the old-school approach of employing a dedicated echo sounder but with a next-gen capability. Both newbies offer a very impressive feature set. The 5.7-inch FCV600 and 8.4-inch FCV800 can drive either a CHIRP or dual-frequency 200/50kHz CW (Continuous Wave) transducer, allowing fishermen to configure the fish finder to suit their needs. Better still, the FCV800 features dual transducer ports, allowing for the simultaneous use of CHIRP and CW channels. Both come in a sleek, piano-black presentation with comfortable rubber keys and a robust rotary knob controller. The soft-touch keys are inclined at the top and bottom, making them comfortable to press and easy to use.
Those who feel stuck making the critical choice between CHIRP or CW will be pleased to know that the dual transducer ports of the FCV800 offer the best of both worlds. Desirable features such as Furuno’s Accu-Fish fish size assessment tool and Bottom Discrimination, a feature that displays what kind of material the bottom is composed of, require a dual-frequency CW transducer. At the same time, Furuno’s TruEcho CHIRP delivers greater detail and target separation for baitfish, game fish, and structure by transmitting across a spectrum of frequencies. With the FCV800’s ability to drive both CHIRP and traditional CW transducers simultaneously, you’ll see crisp CHIRP echoes on the screen while the ACCU-FISH and Bottom Discrimination functions from your CW transducer work in the background, overlaying important information on your CHIRP returns. You will be able to see fish targets, fish size assessment, fish depth, and bottom composition. Up to three frequencies can be saved as preset selections.
New Color Palettes
Two new color palettes are introduced in both models: Sunlight and Yellow. These new display options offer greatly improved visibility in daylight. Also available is the new Color Range Expansion feature, which broadens the range of discrete signal intensities that can be detected and paints them in different colors. With conventional color ranges, echoes from the seabed and fish may be shown in a similar homogeneous color, which can make distinguishing fish from the bottom challenging. With Color Range Expansion, the range of identifiable echoes is expanded so you can intuitively identify bottom fish from the seabed. Reefs, structure, and fish near the seabed are shown in slightly separated colors, making it easy to tell structure from fish at a glance and spot elusive fish targets you otherwise may have missed.
Furuno’s RezBoost signal processing technology can improve resolution and target separation using conventional narrowband transducers. With RezBoost, you can expect higher resolution, crisper visuals, and improvements in the ACCU-FISH function. This dramatic improvement in the capabilities of conventional Fish Finders can produce a picture that is up to eight times clearer, breathing new life into the standard CW transducer that many fishermen already have installed. A second display can be installed for these desiring multiple stations to show the echoes and nav data from the FCV600 and FCV800 via the built-in wireless network. With a simplified installation, this powerful solution allows for continuous monitoring of the underwater situation while fishing from the bow or stern, helm/cabin, or cockpit. Multiple TruEcho Chirp and CW transducer options allow users to fine-tune the performance of their chosen echo sounder for their boats. For more information on the new Furuno FCV600 and FCV800 echo sounders, visit www.furunousa.com.