Panbo Features

5

Helm ergonomics part one: Junior’s makeover

This spring and summer I redid all three of my boat helms — Junior’s above, plus the flybridge and pilothouse stations on Gizmo. So I’ve been thinking a lot about what electronics I need and/or want in those different locations and how to arrange them just so for maximum utility. And I’m eager to share my thoughts and photos in this Part One of a three-part series. But first…

12

Trial Run: TZ iBoat v. 2

My iPad is a veritable archeological dig of marine navigation apps. At some point over the years, I have installed just about every major release: C-Map Plan2Nav, Navionics Boating, NV Charts, iNavX, AquaMap, Garmin Bluechart Mobile (that became Active Captain), and some others lost to memory. It’s the iPad equivalent of Gizmo’s radar mast. With that history, it should be no surprise that I downloaded and installed TimeZero’s TZ iBoat app version 2 when it was released a few weeks ago…

0

Govee WiFi thermometer and hydrometer, inexpensive and easy off boat monitoring

Monitoring the temperature of your boat (or RV) can be important to maintaining the health and safety of your vessel. My reasons for such monitoring have included ensuring that the heat is working (and nothing is freezing) inside the boat, that the air conditioning is working (and nothing is cooking) inside the same boat, that the engine room temps are normal underway, and that the conditions are safe for pets. It’s not always simple or cheap to get this information remotely, but I’ve recently come across an inexpensive and simple option that’s worked well for two months, the Govee WiFi thermometer and hydrometer.

8

A guide to understanding boat batteries part 1, lead-acid

Earlier this year, unfortunately, we roasted the 1,855 amp hour battery bank needed to achieve electrical nirvana on our 40-foot trawler Bliss. And that meant a painfully expensive and unbudgeted replacement, plus a period of no lights, no engine, and no electric toilet. So having recently suffered through the battery selection process, I’d like to share in depth what I know about the multitude of deep cycle high-performance battery choices…

16

Victron SmartShunt: easy install, networked, all-in-one battery monitor

I’ve found Victron’s BMV battery monitors to be simple, reliable, and easy to understand. Now, the new SmartShunt combines the BMV’s shunt and electronics into a single unit barely larger than the regular shunt with Bluetooth and Victron’s VE.Direct networking built-in. In my testing, the SmartShunt works just like a BMV. And I don’t miss the little gauge display because there are so many other ways to see and use SmartShunt battery data, suitable to boats large and small (and RVs).

10

GL.iNet AR750 travel router, a low-cost boat router option

Regardless of how you get internet connectivity onboard your boat, I’m a big advocate for using a dedicated boat router. There’s nothing inherently special about a boat router; it could be a cheap router designed for use at home or a sophisticated system designed just for use on megayachts. The options cover a broad price range and I’ve recently come across an inexpensive, relatively easy-to-use, feature-rich router that seems like a good option.

20

Raymarine news: Axiom Plus, new Lighthouse charts, and more

Raymarine had a busy Monday announcing new and updated hardware, software, and cartography. They unveiled an updated Axiom MFD called the Axiom+, all new LightHouse charts, LightHouse Premium subscription plan, and a new companion app called RayConnect to their Axiom line of MFDs. Raymarine recently presented the new functionality to members of the media allowing me share some more details about the announcements.

21

How Wakespeed’s WS500 alternator regulator solves complex charging issues, now with NMEA 2000 UPDATE

It’s hard to imagine getting excited over a mundane appliance such as an alternator regulator, but there is a lot to like about Wakespeed’s WS500 device. For me, the primary reason is that this regulator has addressed a gnarly charging problem on Bliss, our 40’ pilothouse trawler. It may help with yours. Let me explain…

11

AC Energy Monitoring with Emporia Energy

Have Another Day seems to consume nearly unlimited electricity. So much in fact that I began to doubt the accuracy of the simple kilowatt hour meters on the shore power pedestal at my marina. Month after month of $300 plus electrical bills will do that to you. Spot checking the power consumption with a clamp meter seemed to agree with the meter on the pedestal, but I wanted to know more which sent me searching for a tool to help me understand my boat’s electrical usage. It took me some time, but I eventually found a cost effective and easy solution.