Thanks for all the kind and encouraging words about my early drawings. They were labors of love. The “client” names you see in some of the title blocks are usually names of my friends or people I made up. I was trying to look “official”.
I spent yesterday cruising the docks at the show in Newport and was particularly pleased to have a chance to get aboard the new Gunboat 55. You’ve got to hand it to Peter Johnstone–he is not one to rest on his laurels. After sailing the Gunboat 60 last year at Annapolis, I was impressed by how willing he’s been to rethink what a Gunboat might be. Given the great success of the first generation of boats, a lot of builders would have been very happy to just do more of the same. The 60 is definitely a different sort of Gunboat, but the new 55, a very elegant open-bridgedeck design, is something else entirely.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 11, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
So far, so good. Finishing up Gizmo’s antenna mast was the last minute task before heading south, but nothing fell on our heads during the often lively passage to the Cape Cod Canal and around into Long Island Sound. Most of the new installs up there worked too, though we experienced a couple of very odd MFD issues that I’ll write up once I understand them better. For the time being I’ll just repeat a venerable adage: Do not rely on any one source of navigation information.…Read More
Here’s a class that holds a world championship every three years—only.
Here’s a class that’s not right for everyone.
And here’s a class that’s addictive for a certain few. Their newsletter is called The Sliding Seat.
Erik Simonson/PressureDrop.US has been following the action, hosted by the Richmond Yacht Club. There’s a “Richmond Riviera” thing going on, but the breeze has touched twenty at times, so everyone will go home knowing they have sailed on San Francisco Bay . . .
This video is a few years old, but if you’re intrigued, here’s where you will find the International Canoe story.…Read More
By Brian Knight
Over the years, we have featured some of Jon Staudacher’s more innovative projects and ideas. From his extreme house, to race boats, to aerobatic airplanes, to a gate at the end of his driveway, to something as simple as a paint roller brake, Jon has always sought the simplest method to build his projects. Jon’s latest project is no exception.
Jon is currently campaigning a Formula Continental C, an open wheel, Ford Pinto powered car capable of straight away speeds of 160 mph. The following projects took place in Jon’s shop over the last two years and all relate to his Formula car; however, the concepts described here can be adapted to many other projects.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 2, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
I didn’t write the seminar title, but I do understand the value of a grabby headline and I’m excited about being part of the entirely revised TrawlerFest in Baltimore. Paul Comyns and I will make a valiant attempt to cover all the important electronics bases for the knowledge-hungry, long-range-cruisers-to-be that tend to take the all-day “TF University” courses. An interesting added challenge for the presenters is to provide money-saving tips. I’m already working on concepts like how GPS, AIS, and improved signal processing have made it possible to “make do” with a smaller radar, but please suggest other reasonable cost-cutting strategies.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 29, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
She: “HEY! Do you realize you’re steering right at a ledge?!?” He: “Yes, dear.” While it was a tough cruise for my lovely first mate, I did learn a lot about what an EchoPilot FLS Platinum Video Engine can actually do. If you click the photo above to full size, for instance, note how the FLS in the Garmin video window is showing especially shallow water about 55 feet ahead, though in a rather vague, pixilated manner. Note, too, that the more conventional and less expensive Raymarine CHIRP DownView/sonar is at least suggesting a shallowing trend.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 26, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Apparently, the folks at Cruising Solutions have not forgotten that I once characterized their useful and still popular Mariner 500 intercom headsets as “making a boater look unfashionably similar to a Soviet tank driver,” and hence asked me to test their latest solution to the problem of verbal communications when captain and crew are in different areas of a boat. They are called “My Team Talks” Bluetooth headsets and they’re much more than modern looking intercoms. “Bring state-of-the-art multiplex communication technology to your boat” is not an overstatement…
The technology that Cruising Solutions has selected for boat use (and to presumably support for a long time) was developed by headset specialists Sena, whose main market is motorcyclists.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 22, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Garmin’s SmartMode station control seemed like an obviously great idea when introduced with the 8000 Glass Helm series in early 2013. The basic feature simply lets you group 8000 displays at a helm (station) and control what the various screens are showing all at once. But the interface designers went a smart step further by naming the default SmartModes after the overall tasks at hand, instead of the conventional specifics about the tools needed, like “chart/radar/cam”. Thus the 8212 now being tested on Gizmo came with CRUISING, DOCKING, ANCHORING, and FISHING modes already suggested, and I’ve been adding my own in the same task-not-tool spirit…
Another sign of Garmin’s interface smarts is the well-done SmartMode explanatory graphic that pops up when you set up a Station.…Read More
It’s not too often that you see 6 Moorings 5800s in one photo, or any six 50-60 ft cats for that matter. Captain Ryan from the crewed 5800 Prodigious took his dinghy out to snap this great shot recently off of Marina Cay in the BVI. We’re not sure of the reason for the rendezvous on this particular day, but why not?
Perhaps this will become a more common site. The Moorings 5800s have been proliferating in the BVI since the flagship model was introduced in late 2012. Each of these yachts is privately owned in the Moorings Yacht Ownership program.…Read More
It takes many years of diligent saving and personal sacrifice to afford the boat of your dreams and cruising adventure. Or, you can limit your selection set to what fits into a ready budget, and trade years of anticipation for years of cruising.
That’s what Steve Dolman did. His modest sloop, Mary Powell, was not a candidate for swagging at a boat show or splashing across a magazine cover. But the simple monohull was kinder to the budget, and it meant he could go- soon. We met Steve in Mexico, hung out again in Tonga, and caught up recently once more in Malaysia.…Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 19, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Now we’re talking. Gizmo’s flybridge feels like the starship Enterprise now that the Simrad NSS16 evo2 is installed in its Seaview Power Pod and the Garmin 8212 has been moved closer to the helm since I first discussed the 2014 glass bridge install. Recent visitors tended to break into giddy laughter, but the marine electronics horsepower at my fingertips is truly phenomenal. In this scene, for instance, I’m exploring a dicey area of Camden outer harbor — hence the lack of moorings — using StructureScan and medium CHIRP sonar on the NSS16, CHIRP DownView and sonar on the gS125, and EchoPilot FLS via the Garmin’s video port.…Read More