The staff of Marine
Electronics Journal greatly
appreciates the time and
effort contributed by
the following NMEA
members to maintaining
the magazine’s high
ComMar Sales Inc.
Marina del Rey, CA
George Ensley Jr.
Ensley’s Radio Co.
New Bern, NC
St. Pete Beach, FL
United Radio Service
Gordon West’s Radio School
Costa Mesa, CA
Bethel Marine Electronics
Hon Secretary to British
Marine Electrical &
As we start another year in our industry, I want to thank all members for your support of NMEA as we continue to grow and evolve. We have a stellar Board of Directors who share a common vision of improving the marine electronics
industry as a whole. I want to especially thank our past NMEA Treasurer Marilyn
Quarders for her years of service on the NMEA Board. We welcome our new Treasurer Richard Baker from Garmin into his new role. NMEA has various committees
which are always welcoming fresh ideas, like yours. We welcome any member to get
involved. The time commitment is minimal.
You will see something new in MEJ in 2018. We will profile all NMEA Master
Dealers—letting the industry know why these dealers are the best in their field (see
page 42). If your dealership is interested in becoming a Master Dealer, check out the
requirements at www.nmea.org.
Last year, a NMEA Master Dealer asked me the question: “Over the past 10 years,
With all of the great additional features and functions now available, and most of them now standard on
a MFD, I too am a bit confused why marine electronics are the only part of the vessel going the other way
on the price scale. I don’t want to use the word “blame,” but we are driven by the consumer electronics
industry. Cell phones, apps, most of which are free or under $10, are doing some things a MFD can do. Is
this bad for our industry?
If marine electronics prices increased like the rest of the accessories on the boat, would the consumer not
buy them? Would they only buy the most cost-effective brand? Or would they want to buy the most expensive brand? Back when I worked for the late Northstar GPS (RIP), consumers had no issue paying double
for their chartplotters. I doubt that consumer mentality has changed much today, as the customer feels they
have the best piece of equipment on their boat that money can buy. Additionally, marine electronics help
save lives, boat canvas does not! Has Rolex or Prevost decreased their prices? No.
What I do know is if prices increased the NMEA dealer/installer could make more margin on the sale of
the product, which today is virtually nil. Dealers/installers instead have to rely on the installation to make a
profit. I do not know how to collectively solve this industry issue, but maybe as a team we can come up with
some more insight and ideas. Please reach out to me directly with any comments (good or bad), as we are
here to help you, the members.
Here’s to a good start for 2018!
The curious case of
declining electronics prices