Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 6, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
These days I feel obliged to include a warning every time I write about AIS over the Internet. What you see in a nice app like ShipFinder HD (above) probably does not include every vessel that’s transmitting AIS info even in fairly well covered areas like the Miami/Lauderdale area, and many areas aren’t covered at all…unless perhaps you’re using the Seapilot app in Sweden or somehow have access to another well-organized AIS receiver system. That’s because what most of us see on computers, phones or tablets connected to the web is target data collected by patchy networks of volunteers, whose shore antennas may well miss even fairly nearby 2 Watt Class B AIS transmissions or even 12 Watt Class A signals obscured by buildings or terrain (or may suddenly go offline just because the volunteer’s kid trips on a power cord or something similar).…
By Kimball Livingston Posted March 5, 2014
Let’s talk classics, sailable and wearable.
In my book, there are two true classic fiberglass boats, the Hinckley Bermuda 40 and the Cal 40.
The Hinckley is the traditionalist, beautifully recalling the allure of the wooden boats that came before.
The Cal 40 was, in its moment, a bold leap forward, a disruptive surfin’ machine.
Both of these 1960s boats please the eye. Both please the hand.
Also in my book, there are two classic sunglass styles, Ray-Ban’s Aviator and Kaenon’s Kore, likewise worlds apart.
Aviators have made a comeback, big time. The “most” classic retails at $145.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 3, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
The ability of Fusion marine stereo systems to integrate with multifunction displays over NMEA 2000 (or Ethernet) is a wonderful example of what MFDs and standard network protocols can do for us. One day last summer a Garmin software update suddenly made the GPSMap 7212 already installed on Gizmo’s flybridge the best interface I had for the Fusion IP700 stereo installed below. And mind you, I already had a Fusion NRX remote control up there, and I also had the Fusion Remote apps running on iPad and smartphone via Gizmo’s WiFi router.…
We have already discussed an early elite cruising vessel, Cleopatra’s Barge, and the development of high-end yacht design in the 19th century. Now it’s time to turn to the “hoi polloi,” the unwashed mass of middle-class (and upper middle-class) sailors who were also determined to enjoy “messing about in boats,” and who, ultimately, had a much bigger impact on the development of the sport.
One important pioneer was a stern British stockbroker named Richard Turrell (R.T.) McMullen, who, in 1850, at age 20, decided to teach himself sailing and commissioned the construction of a 20-foot half-decked cutter named Leo.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 27, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
When this photo went up on Panbo in early 2010, the prospect of an eLoran system to back up GPS in the USA seemed worse than dead. As the Coast Guard dismantled the old Loran C infrastructure, it would obviously get more expensive to resuscitate the eLoran concept. Well, by golly, the rebirth of eLoran USA is happening anyway! I learned about this good news in a fairly startling way earlier this month, and I’d like to share it with you…
On Feb. 4, Briana Sullivan, a friendly research scientist at UNH, let me know about a Congressional hearing, called “Finding Your Way: The Future of Federal Aids to Navigation,” being livecast by the Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee which looks after the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 25, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
There is still an amazing number of boats that can’t use the excellent DSC distress feature that’s been built into every fixed VHF marine radio sold in the U.S.A since 1999. Their radio either hasn’t been interfaced with a GPS or hasn’t been programmed with the owner’s MMSI number, or both. I’ve heard Coast Guard rescue center personnel report that a DSC alert can work beautifully to quickly identify and locate a boat in trouble, but that they rarely see valid DSC alerts. So before discussing advances in VHF (and AIS), let’s note how companies like Standard Horizon and Icom are helping to make working DSC a pervasive reality (finally)…
First note the “WARNING!…
Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 21, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
That’s the Web browser built into the Humminbird ION10 MFD that I first saw demoed in Lauderdale (pre browser), and the test was pretty realistic for a boat show. It was easy to log the ION onto my phone’s WiFi hotspot and if you click the image bigger, you’ll see how well it rendered a complex site like www.powerandmotoryacht.com. It even supports tabs for multiple sites, so if I were out fishing on, say, a sunny center console, I could have had a weather site open while still checking my gmail or moderating Panbo comments, all on a bright waterproof screen.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 18, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
The Garmin and Volvo Penta Glass Cockpit won a lot of awards and shook up the competitors. I think it’s why Raymarine rolled out its nifty-seeming ECI-100 so quickly, and I suspect it motivated Mercury Marine to put together the clean “glass dash” above. The Simrad NSO evo2 driving those two MO19-T monitors is not only doing the boat’s CZone switching — even able to activate the four outboards — but its Mercury Vessel View app seemed a terrific interface to all those engines…
While we never got underway in the quad-powered center console, I began to buy Mercury’s claim that they’ve gone way beyond virtual analog engine gauges with both its own VesselView displays and especially the just announced Navico integration.…
Wingsail tech is going mainstream
Trickle-down economics might not have worked out so well for most of us, but the technological trickle-down from the most recent America’s Cup seems to be falling on fertile ground. First there was what you might describe as the legitimization of foiling; the idea that a boat can rise above the waves and proceed at thrice true windspeed is no longer the province of the sort of wild-eyed evangelistic character you wouldn’t want next to you on the subway. Production-built foiling catamarans are already available. There’s plenty of experimentation going on with foiling monohulls too.
The mainstreaming of another concept once relegated to the fringes of sailing—the wingsail rig—is also well under way.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 13, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
Garmin integrates with Mastervolt CZone digital power
I think they overhyped the innovation but this is great news for distributed power and digital switching in general, and the Garmin 8000 series in particular. It’s also a huge win for Mastervolt CZone.
Northstar modular thin plate 8D battery
West Marine picked this modular Northstar thin plate 8D battery as one of its products-of-the-year.
Panbo Wins Again
The iPad blogging has some problems but I’m a happy guy. Boating Writers International just awarded Panbo #1 in Online Excellence — third time in four years!…