Monthly Archive: May 2019

2

FloatHub, Boat Beacon and Boat Watch work with Amazon Alexa

You may realize that Amazon’s “smart assistant” Alexa is like Apple’s Siri, except that you can ask “her” questions through an Echo speaker instead of an iPhone. But did you know that some marine app developers have created Alexa skills as free and possibly useful features? The underlying technology is awesome, but you don’t have to know much to make it work…

12

Heat shrink solder sleeve butt connectors, great for skinny boat wires

The small gauge wire connections usually required when installing NMEA 0183 data sharing often fail because normal boat wiring techniques don’t work well at this scale — or at least not in my clumsy DIY hands. So I was intrigued at first sight with this relatively new type of heat shrink butt connector that uses low-temperature solder instead of a crimping sleeve, and so far I’m quite impressed with the results.

3

Dinghy as depth scout with Garmin QuickDraw Contours

My boating career started in the generally deep waters of the Great Lakes where the prevailing wisdom is: If you can’t see it, you can’t hit it.  But cruising the Great Loop taught me the perils of shallow water boating, especially because our props hang lower than any other part of the hull by two feet.  So I’ve gotten creative in an effort to make shallow water boating involve fewer clunks of running gear meeting bottom, and the most effective technique I’ve found so far is advanced scouting with our dinghy using the QuickDraw bottom survey feature of its Garmin Echomap 64cv.

11

Clogged air conditioning condenser coils make for a hot boat

A hot room and air conditioning fans on high blowing warm air isn’t a good way to start your day.  About two weeks ago I woke to just that.  I knew something had to be wrong with the air conditioning but figuring out what involved a few wrong turns before finding what turned out to be a pretty obvious problem…

0

Raymarine Launches New Lighthouse NC2 North American Charts

Raymarine is excited to announce a new digital cartography product for Raymarine
Axiom and Element products. LightHouse NC2 North America offers high-quality vector charts for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, western Caribbean, Baja Peninsula, U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes, and British Columbia. Covering over 80,000 miles of coastal waters and over 6,000 inland freshwater lakes and rivers, LightHouse NC2 North America offers advanced features for every class of boater and angler.  Fishing tips and waterway intel derived from expertly sourced Fishing Hot Spots® ensure you spend more time catching fish and less time looking for them.

13

Electronic visual distress signals: Sirius Signal (Weems & Plath) versus Orion, plus a new option

In 2015 I enjoyed testing, and then enthusing about, the first electronic distress signal that could effectively and legally replace the flares required on most of our boats by the US Coast Guard. Now there’s competition from the pyrotechnic flare company that originally denigrated the electronic “flare” and also an interesting expansion of the USCG standard in the works…

0

New USCG compliant high water alarms

Blue Guard Innovations has launched two US Coast Guard compliant solid state alarm systems to detect high water conditions on board and help prevent potentially disastrous flooding. USCG 46 CFR 28.250 & 182.530 require commercial fishing and small passenger vessels to have a high water alarm system in every compartment that has potential to take on water, consisting of a method of detection, audible and visible alarms…

2

Nauti Tech — New remote maneuvers vessels with confident ease

Even seasoned professionals find docking and maneuvering in tight situations a nerve-wracking experience, especially in unfamiliar locations or when strong wind and currents are at play. The new Wave Marine M880 available from Nauti-Tech dynamically controls engines, thrusters and other devices. It delivers the ability to safely and confidently dock, anchor, moor and navigate tricky passages…