Panbo

Cruising on the high end, w/ Northstar

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Aug 24, 2005

KL helm

Sorry if there’ve been too many “what’s on board” entries recently, but these are the high days of summer here, they don’t last long, and I’m enjoying them! Yesterday I took a little spin on this spiffy Eastbay 54SX; the ‘research’ will go into my next Helm Shot column in Voyaging. I’m particularly pleased with this picture (bigger here); I had to do a lot of fiddling to make it look like reality! (By the way, those are the Camden Hills out there; I live in the westward lee of the middle one).

Yes, there are FOUR Northstar 6000i’s on this single helm boat, but the very experienced owner—this may be his 13th sizable boat, he’s lost count—has his reasons. The two 10” displays on the Himalaya (that’s what they call that little mountain of an electronics cabinet you see on these tall windowed boats) are the main navigation tools, usually run chart left, radar right. (North up and head up, respectively…the man has been doing this a long time, and says he’s sticking with the modes he knows). They’re networked together with Northstar’s N2 (Ethernet), sharing a 4’ 12kw (special order) radar scanner, a GPS, and a black box fishfinder. The two smaller overhead displays share their own N2 network, another GPS, and a 4kw dome scanner. Redundancy! The system is also designed so that guests, or a co-pilot, can use that 6” display at far left without getting in the skipper’s way. Meanwhile the right 8” is ready to serve as backup if the main system packs up. (It’s also set to use radar overlay, which the owner admits to ‘peeking’ at on occasion ;-). There’s more of interest on this boat, but for later…

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