Panbo Features

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Interactio Optio Fuel, easy installation and accurate fuel flow

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?

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Furuno SCX20 & SCX21 satellite compasses, the impressive demo at NMEA

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…

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Simrad RS40-B, the first VHF radio with AIS transceiver

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?

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Wave WiFi Rogue Reach Dual Band, excellent high-power marine WiFi

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…

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Digital Switching gets easier, cheaper, and more compelling

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.

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SiriusXM and Garmin GXM 54 add Fish Mapping to satellite weather

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.

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Garmin GPSMap 86sci: inReach, GPS and a plethora of tools for boaters

The Garmin GPSMAp 86 family is a powerhouse of communications and connectivity. The dizzying array of technology inside this handheld provides two-way satellite messaging, GPS chart plotting, and integrations with many onboard electronics, all in a compact, weather-resistant, floating case. The marriage of a marine GPS unit with inReach satellite messaging could be the perfect tool for boaters. Can this many capabilities work in one little package? Read on to find out.

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Victron Cerbo GX, good AC/DC power monitoring gets better

The existing Victron Venus GX and Color Control GX are both excellent AC/DC power monitoring products in my estimation, but with many boat systems it’s hard to decide which one to use. While the Venus blue box is less expensive with more networking capabilities, none of its display and control abilities are as fast and easy as the CCGX’s screen and button interface. I’m happy to report that this purchasing dilemma will end next year with the new Cerbo GX and GX Touch 50, and valuable new GX features are included…

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Dometic E-Actuator steering promises better outboard steering with no hydraulics

Dometic’s Optimus Electric Steering Actuator has had quite a successful show season since its early 2019 introduction. It’s won major awards at IBEX, METS Trade and from Boating Industry Magazine. But what captured the attention of those award committees? It’s the promise of more precise handling, reduced weight, easier installations, and reduced maintenance. A few minutes spent with Dometic Marine representatives makes clear the engineering and innovation required to make this system possible.

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Return Link Service, a major PLB & EPIRB improvement

Many of us carry an EPIRB or PLB satellite distress beacon for worst-case emergencies at sea, and while they’ve earned an excellent success record, they also have a nerve-racking drawback. The rare boater who actually activates one will not know if the distress message was received until the search and rescue heroes actually show up. Or don’t show up! But that intensely tense uncertainty is about to change thanks to a newly revealed technology called the Return Link Service (RLS)…