DISCOVER THE INCREDIBLE WASSP STORY
Since its launch, WASSP has seen incredible growth in all areas. WASSP is now distributed in more than 30 countries and has been embraced by the commercial fishing, recreational fishing, mega yacht, hydrographic, professional workboat, navy and coastguard sectors.
WASSP is wholly owned by ENL Group, New Zealand’s leading marine electronics company. Founded in 1945, ENL Group has earned a solid reputation for outstanding service, innovation and supply of quality marine electronic products worldwide. We are proud to offer our clients more than 74 years’ experience within the marine industry.
ENL’s head office is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, which is where the WASSP state-of-the-art R&D facilities are located. The company has a branch in Nelson at the top of NZ’s South Island, as Nelson is the largest fishing port in Australasia. ENL has also established an office in Maldon, Essex, UK to support growing demand for WASSP product in Europe.
WASSP R&D COMMENCES IN 2000
Understanding the limitations of a single beam sounder and the high cost of multibeam sounders, ENL embarked on an ambitious R&D quest to develop a system that would bridge the gap between the two. It had long been believed that wide-angle multibeam sounders would remain too expensive for commercial fishing applications and leisure craft. But the WASSP R&D department was determined to create a product that would fill this niche. In 2000, they started development and committed to produce a system that would provide skippers with all the functions and advantages of a multibeam sounder, but at a fraction of the cost.
GENERATION 1 IS LAUNCHED
In 2006, the first-generation WASSP (Wide Angle Sonar Seafloor Profiler) multibeam sounder was launched. Designed to satisfy the needs of New Zealand crayfish (lobster) fishermen, WASSP’s success and potential was soon realised by a growing number of commercial fishermen. 2006 also saw the appointment of multiple international distributors.
Interestingly, WASSP has no direct competition. While there may be single-beam echo sounders and various software programs that try and emulate WASSP, none of them bring all of those features into one cost-effective package.
DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT FORMED
In 2011, WASSP Limited was established. That same year, WASSP and Furuno Electric Company formed a distribution agreement for 22 countries, including UK and Ireland, USA, China, Spain, South Korea and Japan. Then, in 2013, WAASP Generation 2 was released.
GENERATION 3 LAUNCHED
In 2015, ENL relocated to a new 2,500 m2 building that houses the specially-designed WASSP R&D facilities. Following significant R&D investment, the new WASSP Generation 3 technology was completed and launched. From the solid platform of WASSP Generation 3, WASSP has been able to fulfil our company objective of continuous improvement, with a mixture a hardware and software enhancements. The good news is, many of our early customers can still benefit from these on their 2015 hardware.
The emphasis in the last few years since the launch of Generation 3 has focused on WASSP’s continuous improvement goals, making something that was good, very good and implementing many new innovations from which all G3 customers have benefited from. Now, many G1 and G2 customers are upgrading to these improvements. In addition, we have expanded the range by adding the F3X high-power unit based on the same platform and hardware. Most recently, we have upgraded the CDX GUI software into a standalone software suite that many users prefer, due to the level of detail it offers users.
KEY PLUS AND IMS
A major advancement the WASSP R&D team has made recently is the enhancement of Key Pulse and development of IMS that allows the user to find space for all subsea acoustics to work alongside each other without interference. At WASSP, innovation never stops. Watch out for what’s coming next.