This great aerial image from Marinas.com shows the peaceful, safe harbor I so enjoyed while keeping Gizmo at the New Bern Grand Marina last winter, and across the Trent River at Bridge Pointe Marina three winters before that. Well up the Neuse River from the Outer Banks and below the normal ice and snow belt, these well-managed operations seem like cruising boat havens and that’s reflected in the large, active liveaboard communities.
But New Bern got pummeled by hurricane Florence last night, and it’s hard to tell the amount of damage or how worse it may get. I find myself ... Read More
For almost a year I hardly used this little control and monitoring panel because the attached EFOY fuel cell was already flawlessly performing its duty: If engine alternator, solar panels, and/or shore power were not keeping Gizmo’s main battery bank at the voltage parameters I’d configured, the EFOY automatically and quietly charged the bank for a variable period also configured.
While the amp hours are expensive — the tested 210 model retails for $5,899, and the company’s methanol fuel costs roughly $10 per 100ah — I’m convinced that an EFOY Comfort could be a very pleasing addition to many cruising ... Read More
The USCG recently issued a Safety Alert about how LED lighting near VHF antennas can cause poor reception on attached radios, which of course includes AIS and DSC reception along with regular marine VHF audio channels. I’m surprised because I remember such problems coming up and being solved a decade ago, which was very early in the evolution of LED lighting.
For instance, when I wrote “LED nav lights, a fast moving target” in 2008, it quickly got comments about various interference issues and especially in regard to the popular Orca Green Marine tricolors (often installed right next ... Read More
What the heck? An AIS transceiver with a decent antenna up reasonably high can see other AIS transceivers fairly far away, but not 3,508 nautical miles! What’s actually illustrated here was a Standard Horizon GX6000 mistranslating AIS target positions into NMEA 2000, as strongly suggested by the photo below. But as bad as that glitch was, there’s already a firmware fix and the way the update operation works has further benefits.
Here’s the GX6000 I began testing in June photographed at the same time I grabbed the Garmin 742 screen at top. Note the realistic bearings and distances for vessels ... Read More
Aha! The tar-smeared GPS mushroom antenna stuck incongruously in the bow of the mighty 115-foot replica Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre was not a surprise. That’s because live maritime historical research requires modern aids both by regulation and common sense. And, holy Leif Erikson, what a dim and dangerous history this vessel tested.
I didn’t get a peek into that cabinet as I took the Draken tour with a steady stream of interested Mainers, but I’ll bet there’s a networked Simrad MFD giving the lookouts access to the 4G radar and maybe a forward depth sounder. Which seems pretty prudent ... Read More
A US versus EU trade war cartoon courtesy of the China Daily seems like a fit illustration of the Navico “2018 Price adjustment warning” recently sent out to dealers (one of whom shared it with Panbo). As you can read below, the company is trying to answer questions about what all the changing tariff changes may do to their costs and hence our costs as well as the business situation for everyone in between.
Navico doesn’t really know yet, but while presently “unaffected by these new tariffs” they warn that “if in future we do see an impact, then we ... Read More
On Tuesday I drove down to Yarmouth, Maine, to meet some of the ActiveCaptain Community team at the former DeLorme headquarters building that Garmin now partially leases for inReach and cartography development. The key news is that Garmin recently contacted marine businesses to explain the three-tier business “ownership” and advertising plan they intend to roll out in late August. I think it’s brilliant.
Garmin obviously took a cue from Google — no shame — with the concept that every relevant business on a largely crowd-sourced map deserves special status regarding the facts about their business, and that granting such status ... Read More
My interest in electric assist bicycles has not waned a bit since I wrote about my boat ebike research early last year. In fact, I now own five, including the two Sondors folding models above. I’ve also learned a lot more about what to look for, especially if you are tempted to cruise with an ebike or two. I will share the possible downsides but be forewarned that I’ve become an ebike evangelist…
Just before heading south last September, I received the Sondors Fold X7 above, and after about fifteen weeks of roundtrip and onboard marina time, I had been ... Read More
Yesterday was tough for Rhode Island independent gubernatorial candidate Joseph Trillo. To me it already seemed like a poor idea to use his 65-foot yacht to campaign along the state’s summer beaches, especially with the huge banners and his “very, very big sound equipment” playing patriotic music and asking for votes. But then came the navigation issues.
This U.S. Coast Guard Northeast Facebook entry seems to report the grounding incident clearly, and let’s note that they politely named the yacht, Lady M, but not the owner. Many of the commenters — some of whom were trying ... Read More
B&G just announced the WS300 range “of wireless and wired wind sensors designed for cruising and club racing sailors” and the first two models seem like smart designs at reasonable prices. I also appreciate the emphasis on reliability, as in:
... Read More
“As the most exposed sensor on a yacht, the wind sensor is critical for instruments and autopilot steering. Reliability of these sensors is key and to address this the WS310 and WS320 have undergone rigorous validation. We have conducted benchmarking tests against multiple different sensors in over 500 individual wind tunnel tests and conducted over 200,000 hours of field tests