Furuno has been awarded the marine electronic industry’s Best Navigation System award the last eight out of nine years and Best Fishfinder the last 42 consecutive years. They are one of the few manufacturers that literally design and manufacture navigation systems, sounders and radars for a variety of boats that range in size from 17-foot center consoles on up to US Navy Nimitz class aircraft carriers!

The GP1670F offers a 5.7-inch color LCD, while the GP1870F has a larger seven-inch wide-format screen. Each delivers all the capabilities demanding anglers expect from contemporary GPS chartplotters, including hi-sensitivity internal GPS, lightning-fast chart redraw, super-simple operation with Furuno’s RotoKey controller, C-Map’s latest 4D cartography and easy-routing capability. What makes these combo products different is their unique and powerful echo sounder features. The GP1670F and GP1870F not only incorporate Furuno’s unparalleled, multi award-winning fishfinder functionality, but also feature their ground-breaking Bottom Discrimination, Accu-Fish, and Post-Processing Gain technology. Both units feature a 600W or 1kW fishfinder, depending on the transducer that you select to do the job. They are dual-frequency 50/200kHz machines that utilize Furuno’s Digital Signal Processing. Until now, the benefits of these proprietary fish-finding technologies were only available in Furuno’s more expensive dedicated fishfinder products. For the first time, fishermen seeking a single display solution that delivers top-notch charting capability, without compromising performance or skimping on fish-finding features, now have an answer from Furuno.

Whether fishing, navigating or anchoring, knowing the bottom type under your vessel’s keel is a major advantage for every boater. The advanced signal processing of the echo sounder component of these combo machines provides a graphical display of the water column and objects in the water, in addition to showing the composition of the seafloor, which Furuno dubbed "Aquarium" mode. When connected to an appropriate transducer, the Bottom Discrimination feature provides a graphical display showing the characteristics of the seafloor as either mud, sand, gravel or rock. Amazingly, these fishfinders can also show a bottom type probability curve when boating in an area with mixed bottom composition.

Furuno’s Accu-Fish feature is a revolutionary fish size assessment function that can tell you the approximate size of the fish below your boat. To learn more, I contacted Furuno USA’s Advertising Manager Jeff Kauzlaric. According to Jeff, fish symbols appear on the screen, along with the size of the fish or the depth where it found the fish. It can detect fish size from four inches up to about six feet long, in depths of seven feet to well over 300 feet of water. Accu-Fish signal processing blends the high and low frequencies to depict fish targets of all types simply, clearly and distinctly. Now, fishermen can clearly and easily distinguish big billfish around a bait ball, or see through bait and trash fish on the surface to target "the big one" below. These units also offer Furuno’s Post-Processing Gain feature that was previously only found on their larger, commercial-grade fishfinders. Post-Processing Gain adjusts the gain throughout the entire screen, allowing you to really “dial-in” the echo sounder’s history and then come back to get the fish that others may have missed.

Both the GP1670 and the larger GP1870 (my fave of the two) utilize the very latest Jeppesen C-MAP 4D cartography. C-MAP 4D allows you to choose your digital navigation charts, from MAX data to full 4D content. Selecting the 4D feature gives you the added ability to view charts in 3D, overlay satellite images and raster charts, and then automatically create a route with the Easy Routing feature. You can also unlock other value-added data, such as high-resolution bathymetry, a “must-have” for all bluewater anglers.

A new feature in these small chartplotters is a dual-range display. This gives you the ability to view both short and long ranges of your chart simultaneously in a split-screen presentation. Both units sport an ergonomic and easy-to-use keyboard layout, featuring a directional pad with a center enter button, four dedicated buttons and Furuno’s RotoKey with a revolving menu with familiar point-and-click operation. This clean and intuitive layout allows you to get up and running quickly. I field-tested the GP1870 at a local marine retailer using the built-in simulator program and it was a total breeze to use and master within minutes without ever reading the manual. Way to go, Furuno!

The bright LCD displays on both of these new combo machines offer excellent visibility and readability, even in direct sunlight. The LCD and AR glass are bonded together to ensure fogging-free operation and super clear vision even when wearing polarized sunglasses. Other standard features include an internal GPS antenna for simple and easy installation; standard C-Map 4D chart available on a removable SD card; RotoKey revolving menu and familiar point-and-click operation; an internal memory of 30,000 waypoints and 1,000 routes; a 600W/1kW fishfinder equipped with Furuno’s latest digital fishfinder technology; plus a White Line function that discriminates fish lying near the bottom. The 50-channel GPS receiver has a cold start time of approximately 90 seconds. With an MSRP of $1,195 for the GP1670 and $1,495 for the larger GP1870, these new combo machines from Furuno will be a huge hit with coastal anglers.