Panbo

Testing Furuno DRS4D-NXT solid-state Doppler radome, “Radar Redefined” most definitely

2 Aug

Written by Ben Ellison on Aug 2, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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After many hours testing a NXT radome on Gizmo in often busy Maine waters, I believe that Furuno’s bold “Radar Redefined” claim is completely justified. This radar is so smart that it makes sense to run it in broad daylight. Brightly highlighting the one vessel (above) moving toward me in Camden Harbor’s forest of moored and moving boats is just one example of its highly automated and intelligent features. I fear that many readers will suffer radar jealousy as I detail what I’ve seen so far, ...

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Summer fun: Camden, Panbots & Gizmo

27 Jul

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 27, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

yachts_RH3_and_RH4_special_opps_style_lr_cPanbo.jpgHave we reached the era when “special ops” makes sense as a superyacht style? I joke, but RH3 would be pretty imposing even if it weren’t cruising Maine in company with the all-black, dual jet drive, 40-foot-plus RH4. Given the two other substantial black tenders on the boat deck — and lord knows what’s in the hidden arms lockers (ok, I’m fantasizing, but armament is a seriously untold big yacht story) — this team seems ready to fend off a serious bad guy attack or ...

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NOAA introduces Zones of Confidence; mind your ZOC

18 Jul

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 18, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

NOAA_chart_18622_w_new_ZOC_table_cPanbo.jpg

Yikes! Did you know that some areas of the U.S. coastal chart you’re using may only show land and bottom features accurate in position to +/- 1,600 feet, and you shouldn’t be confident about the depth soundings either? NOAA has a new way to show boaters how old and inaccurate much of its survey data is, and it will surely give pause to those who pay attention. The concept is called Zones of Confidence and it’s slowly rolling out as diagrams on paper-style raster charts ...

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Good instrument news: Garmin gWind Wireless 2 and Raymarine i70s

9 Jul

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 9, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Mount the new Garmin gWind Wireless 2 transducer on your mast head, plug the GNX Wind display into your NMEA 2000 network and — badda bing, badda boom — your sailboat has quality networked wind data that hardly uses any power and retails for $900 bundled. And if you already have a Garmin GPSMAP 7400/7600 or 8400/8600 chartplotter series, you don’t even need the GNX Wind to display and network the data. Meanwhile Raymarine’s updated i70s all-in-one N2K instrument display looks great on several levels…...

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Evinrude E-Link, one leg of a generous open architecture attitude

4 Jul

Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 4, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Evinrude_E-Link_WiFi_gateway_n_app_aPanbo.jpgI suspect that a lot of now and future Evinrude E-Tec G2 outboard owners are going to appreciate the new E-Link hardware and app system almost as much as the Fourth of July. The easy-to-install NMEA 2000 WiFi gateway will cost about $360 and will neatly put all G2 gauges, calibrations, and fault codes into otherwise free E-Link Android and iOS (Apple) apps. One E-Link gateway will handle multiple outboards and the system doesn’t require or preclude any other monitoring and control options. In fact, you ...

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Gizmo 2016, Pettit Hydrocoat Eco round 2 and Gadget redo

28 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 28, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Gizmo_2016_Pettit_HydroCoat_Eco_2_cPanbo.jpg“You’re pretty late, aren’t you? I heard that a lot recently! There are many reasons for Gizmo’s late launch last week — travel, getting old, boatyard miscommunications, etc. — but perhaps the most interesting one is what it took to properly retest Pettit Hydrocoat Eco bottom paint. Modern anti-fouling paint can be more of a technology than I realized and I’ll also have to admit to some classic boat owner denial. Plus, I’d like to show off some improvements to the good tender Gadget

HydroCoat_Eco_n_Prop_Zinc_18_months_wet_n_hauled_4.jpgYou ...

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DeLorme inReach gets weather & goes to Cuba

21 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 21, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

DeLorme_inReach_weather_feature_cPanbo.jpgI’ve long felt that the DeLorme inReach is a valuable safety and communications tool for boats that sometimes go beyond reliable cellular (and/or VHF) contact with friends, families and rescue centers. But one gripe for skippers hoping to use an inReach as their only offshore communications device was the lack of weather forecasting. There were some necessarily crude third party solutions, but now DeLorme itself is offering easy-to-use and understand forecasts, both marine and terrestrial. I’ve just been testing this and many other inReach features in ...

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Thermal boat phones: Boat Beacon AIS, Flir One & the Cat S60

6 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 6, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Boat_Beacon_Flir_One_ship_test_1_aPanbo.jpgThe Boat Beacon app running on the iPhone screen above looks like a fairly ordinary AIS target display app that can also show your own vessel. In this specific example your 28-foot sailboat is plotted on center as you head south at 5 knots into the Solent with the ship Morning Calm overtaking you to starboard. But, hey, it’s pitch dark, the iPhone has a Flir One thermal camera attached, and Boat Beacon’s “Live View” augmented reality feature can now make use of this night vision ...

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Land Rover BAR, can this AC35 tech partnership “bring the Cup home”?

31 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 31, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Land_Rover_BAR_tech_press_conference_NYC_cPanbo.jpgAt this press conference in New York City on Saturday, May 7th, the UK’s largest automobile manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, made the case that their support of Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) in America’s Cup 35 is not just about marketing. It’s also a technology partnership that may be critical to finally bringing the Cup back to England, which both parties would really, really like to do. I completely bought the story and I was especially feeling my inner Brit after taking in the rest of the ...

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Gizmo’s new Firefly battery bank, working out the details

6 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 6, 2016 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Gizmo_Firefly_Carbon_Foam_AGM_battery_bank_cPanbo.jpgWhen I wrote about replacing Gizmo’s house battery bank, I was already inclined to try Firefly Oasis AGMs, and my enthusiasm has only grown. It certainly helped to have RC Collins and Nigel Calder testify further in that entry’s comments about how deeply they’ve “abused” these batteries in ways that boaters like me tend to do. I’m excited about gaining significantly more usable, easy-to-replace power capacity, and the Firefly’s smart, colorful exterior design is a nice bonus. But the switch from two conventional 8D AGMs ...

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