Panbo

Garmin acquires ActiveCaptain, now what?

11 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 11, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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This morning Garmin purchased ActiveCaptain and I have no idea if that will turn out to be good news or otherwise. Will this large and growing database of crowd-sourced cruising information change now that it belongs to a major electronics brand? I have no bold opinions but I do have lots of questions I hope to discuss…

For instance, will access to all the ActiveCaptain cruising data remain forever free as promised by the founders but now former owners Karen and Jeffrey Siegel? The Garmin press ...

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News+: Victron Venus, CruzPro SOG2, DY WindSense, Vaavud Ultrasonic, & Panbo “News+”

21 Apr

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 21, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Victron’s new Venus GX is a dauntingly complicated looking blue box, but it could beautifully simplify and improve the monitoring and control of a boat’s electrical power system. Essentially, Venus is a Color Control GX without the screen, which makes it less expensive, and it also has extra goodies like 3 tank level and 2 temperature inputs, built-in WiFi, and yet more I/O that hasn’t been enabled yet. The Color Control has evolved (and been used) a lot since I wrote about it in 2014, ...

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Sabre 66: excellence in digital switching and control

17 Apr

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 17, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Frankly, there’s no plan behind the Panbo trend of more detailed entries posted less often, but sometimes it does seem like a feature rather than a bug. For instance, Sabre gave me a long and impressive systems tour of their first Dirigo 66 while she beautifully occupied this slip at Yachts Miami Beach 2016, and while I didn’t intend to delay the write-up this long, last week I got aboard just-launched hull #3 the day before heading from Maine to Florida at about 25 knots. So ...

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MV Dirona: deep cruising, deeply shared

5 Apr

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 5, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

MV_Dirona_with_Jen_and_James_cPanbo.jpgIf there were a lifetime award for cruising excellence, I think that Jennifer and James Hamilton would deserve at least a nomination. I mean excellence at the core practical cruising skills — seamanship and boat care — plus inspirational levels of curiosity about the vast world cruising makes accessible, and perhaps at the top of my imagined award criteria: distinction at sharing all of the above with the rest of us. Visiting M/V Dirona in Belfast, Maine, last October was a treat, but you too can ...

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SkyMate Mazu/mSeries all-in-one Iridium sat comms & Si-Tex NavStar Android MFD

26 Mar

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 26, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

SkyMate_Mazu_and_mSeries_intro_MIBS2017_cPanbo.jpgIt was good to see SkyMate return to the Miami Boat Show after years focused on commercial fishing, and the company clearly has not lost its touch at squeezing lots of easy utility out of skinny-band satellite communications. Its new Mazu/mSeries marine system promises surprisingly full-featured weather and email using Iridium’s least expensive service, plus texting, SOS, navigation and (optional) off-boat monitoring. And, just around the corner in the Si-Tex booth, I saw a very interesting Android-based touchscreen NavStar MFD nicely interfacing with SkyMate’s existing communications ...

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MIBS 2017: Furuno standalone 1815 radar, DFF-3D multimodal sonar & more

13 Mar

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 13, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

MIBS17_Furuno_1815_standalone_radar_cPanbo.jpgWhile Furuno USA had a lot to show off at the Miami Boat Show, let’s start with the new 1815 standalone radar. Recent Panbo entries about Raymarine’s sleek new Axiom Series multifunction displays and Navico’s ambitious systems integration strategy drew some keep-it-simple skeptics. But it is still possible to find single function marine electronics if that’s your preference, and the 1815 may be an excellent small radar choice packing a whole lot of performance for the price…

Furuno_1815_standalone_radar_aPanbo.jpgThe Furuno 1815 radar retailing for $2,500 includes the ...

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Navico Hawks 2017: “Full boat integration into one display cluster”

27 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 27, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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The Miami Boat Show was loaded with marine electronics news, but first let’s visit the Navico writers event held at Hawks Cay, Florida, earlier this month. Deeper still – Mercury engine integration, B&G Zeus PredictWind weather routing, the Halo radar VelocityTrack Doppler upgrade, Navionics SonarChart Live everywhere, Simrad’s new 3kW 3-channel S5100 super sonar, and Lowrance Carbon (Gen3) MFDs are some of the goodies that were demonstrated and/or discussed. But I was especially taken with CEO Leif Ottosson’s opening “big picture” presentation and think it’s valuable ...

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BAM! Raymarine Axiom MFDs, LightHouse 3, RealVision 3D sonar & FLIR M100/200 ClearCruise

15 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 15, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Raymarine and FLIR are coming to the Miami Boat Show loaded for bear. Those three new 7-, 9- and 12-inch Axiom multifunction displays are showing new LightHouse 3 operating software and new RealVision 3D sonar. Moreover, you’ll learn below about how new M100 and M200 thermal cameras can give the Axioms some features normally seen on superyachts. BAM! The theme that seems evident throughout is modern interface and hardware design with value pricing and a potent dash of innovation spice…

Raymarine_Axiom_MFD_key_features_aPanbo.jpgThe new Axiom MFDs are compact ...

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Nautic Alert, excellence in monitoring and control

9 Feb

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 9, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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While my boat, thankfully, doesn’t need six bilge pumps like the system above, four months of serious testing has left me deeply impressed with the Nautic Alert bilge, battery and GPS precision sensor platform. Yes, it also manages one pump or many — probably better than any us ever will — and it clearly informs a skipper of problems whether you’re on board or off. Finally, Nautic Alert regularly assures me that all is well, and it’s ripe for expansion. I think I’m in love…

Nautic_Alert_NMEA_booth_w_Nick_Velado_cPanbo.jpg

First, ...

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PanPan CrewWatcher, smart MOB beacon for smartphones, plus Sea Tags & Fell MOB+

23 Jan

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 23, 2017 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Does it make sense to use smartphones and tablets for a man overboard alarm and recovery system? I can testify that the first reaction of Sail magazine’s Pittman Innovation Award judges was skepticism. Nonetheless we found PanPan’s CrewWatcher so well thought out and potentially so useful that we gave it an award in the safety category, and then an independent second set of judges picked it for the Overall Winner. And truth be told, the finished CrewWatcher personal beacons and apps don’t actually exist yet!

man_overboard_courtesy_Sail_magazine_Steve_Sanford_aPanbo.jpg“Everyone’s ...

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