Next-Gen Displays Meet First-Gen Engines On Sport-Fishing Boat




When John Bowen learned that Caterpillar was looking to test out its new marine displays on a vessel powered by first-generation electronic marine engines, one immediately jumped to mind: a Bertram 54 sport-fishing boat owned by a long-time client.

“Coyote was built in 1992 and repowered in 1998 with Cat® 3412s, the first generation of Cat electronic marine engines,” says Bowen, president of Elite Diesel Service, an authorized marine dealer based in Kemah, Texas. “The engines continue to provide excellent service after all these years, but the displays needed updating. This was a way to put new technology into an older vessel to help extend its life and usefulness.”




Available in seven-inch and 13-inch versions, the new Cat Marine Displays feature intuitive touch-screen user navigation, sleek edge-to-edge glass, anti-glare technology and multiple data links. Display software offers optimized day and night modes with an auto-dimming feature, swipe navigation between screens, a real-time clock, external keyboard/mouse support and PDF file uploads.

“They’re great for sport fishing applications because they meet very high waterproofing standards and they’re easy to see even when you’re wearing polarized sunglasses,” Bowen says. “The owner also likes that these displays have a much more modern look.”

Another advantage is that the new Cat Marine Displays provide information about both of Coyote’s engines on one screen.

“You can see information about pressures, temperatures, RPM and fuel burn all in one place, so you can tell if one engine’s running hotter or cooler without having to go back and forth,” Bowen says. “When you don’t have to go to so many different spots for the data, it’s easier to monitor the engines and safely navigate the vessel. It also eats up less real estate on the dash, which is important for these boats.”

The new Cat Marine Displays aren’t just easy to read and use — they were also simple for the Elite Diesel Service team to install, thanks to a kit created by Caterpillar that allows the new displays to communicate with older engines.

“It was our first time putting in these new displays, and everything fit and functioned properly,” Bowen says. “Caterpillar is always very good about making sure the new stuff is backwards compatible. We were able to plug in one off-the-shelf communications adapter to talk to both the new displays and the first-gen engines. It was a simple upgrade.”

Smart Design on New Cat® Displays

Even if a vessel is 20 years old, its instrumentation doesn’t have to look like it. New Cat® displays are designed for vessels of any size or function.

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