Yacht Devices Limited builds an impressive array of clever devices that solve specific needs aboard your vessel. Recently they’ve introduced a NMEA 2000 run indicator to monitor circuits aboard your boat and an alarm module that can notify you of problems or provide a man overboard button. These new products build on their impressive array of capabilities and make monitoring your boat easier and more powerful.
I get to test a lot of amazingly high tech products with long lists of features and mind-blowing capabilities. But, sometimes a design simply solves a need and accomplishes its intended mission so well that I stop and take note. The Scanstrut Rokk line of wireless chargers are a good example. These well-engineered, relatively simple devices keep your phone charged and securely mounted at your helm, and do it without any fuss.
With COVID-19 stalking the planet, settling down in a remote Maine anchorage sounds even more attractive than usual. But I’ll also want a connection to family, news, etc. even more than usual, and reliable cell service remains a longterm issue in many of the sweetest spots along this coast (and elsewhere), despite what the service provider coverage maps show. So I’m pleased to report on two related cell boosters that have already worked pretty well for me…
I think we’ve all heard the wisdom about the right tool for the job and how much easier it can make it to complete your task. I have something of a tool habit, so I frequently use this wisdom as an excuse to go buy another tool. But, sometimes the cost of the “right” tool is high enough to cause me to try some intermediate steps first
Interactio’s Optio Fuel flow system is a tidy little box that delivers gas or diesel consumption information to your phone. The system’s app collects performance data about your boat and then makes recommendations for the best cruise speed to help you run your boat as efficiently as possible. Can a little box communicating with your phone via Bluetooth really help you run your boat more efficiently?
While Furuno has just introduced powerful new TZT3 multi-function displays and NXT solid-state radars, that’s all the more reason to highlight their remarkable new SCX satellite compass design. After seeing prototypes demonstrated on the water, I believe that the technology delivers much more than similar sensors at a reasonable cost with lots of install flexibility. In fact, I expect to eventually see the SCX20 mounted on boats that don’t even have other Furuno gear and hope to see other brands develop similar multi-sensors…
AIS and VHF voice radios operate in the same frequency band, so it’s a natural step to combine the two functions into one device. But, combining a VHF radio and AIS transceiver has proved difficult. Although other manufacturers have tried, Simrad and B&G are the first to make it through approvals and ship radios to boaters. But how does the radio perform in the real world and is this a good choice for all your VHF communications needs?
These days many coastwise cruisers rely on cellular for their internet needs, but there’s still a place for high power WiFi radios that can connect to harbor hotspots, at least on my boat. And Wave WiFi’s dual-band Rogue Reach model has been making me very happy in this department. The interface shown in part above makes it easy to find and stay locked onto even fairly distant access points, and often they’re in the 5GHz band that most marine WiFi systems can’t see…
Until recently digital switching has only been seen on newly built, high-end boats. Now, Maretron and CZone both have digital switching products that can be retrofitted by a boat owner or pro installer and cost under $500. But, are these products easy to install and will the boat owner benefit from the installation? Read on to find out.
SiruisXM has expanded on their satellite delivered weather options with their new Fish Mapping plan for anglers. Does Fish Mapping deliver the goods for the offshore angler? With sea temperature, plankton, weed line, sea surface height and fishing recommendations there’s a lot of data to help you find fish and Garmin makes it easy to display on their MFDs.