September 2004 Archives

SkyMate Versus A Connection-Based System

Sep 9, 2004

Over at Ocean Navigator, SkyMate's CEO John Tandler has a few things to say on the cost of using a system like theirs.

"First, SkyMate transmits text email files much more efficiently than connection-based systems. This is because satellite phone airtime is billed in one-minute minimum increments, so for a message of less than 1,000 bytes, 98 percent of that one minute of airtime is unused. With SkyMate, the user is only charged for the amount of data actually transmitted. A user sending five separate emails per day over a Globalstar phone would use about 150 minutes of airtime per month, which in the Caribbean would cost more than $120. The same usage profile using SkyMate would cost less than $70."

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Power Charting

Sep 8, 2004

SAIL Magazine highlights Rose Point's Coastal Explorer in their new gear section and they seem to like it. This product was released not so long ago.

"Coastal Explorer is a humdinger of a new PC charting program. It's remarkably fast and bug free for 1.0 software, deftly handles most raster-chart flavors as well as free NOAA vector ENCs, and has planning and underway interfaces that I find both comprehensive and comprehensible."

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Navigation Programs For PC

Sep 7, 2004

Interesting roundup of different navigation software packages and what to expect from them in the coming months. MotorBoating takes a look at C-Map' PC Planner, Fugawi's Marine ENC, Global Navigation Software's NavPak-Lite and NavPak-Pro, Maptech's Offshore Navigator, Maxsea's The Yacht, Raymarine�s RayTechRNS 5.0, Nautical Technologies' The Capn and Voyager Mosaic/S-57, Nobeltec's Admiral 7 and InSight Radar 2, and Transas' Navigator Plus.

"Navigation programs for PCs can do a lot more than simply paint pretty pictures of electronic charts. The programs available today can download free charts to your computer. They can be platforms for your PDAs. They can work with radar sets to warn you of collisions at sea. They can overlay charts with photographs, weather images or radar targets. And they can even draw their own bathymetric charts. To fill you in on the big picture, here�s a look at what�s coming from nine software companies this fall."

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Locomarine's Marine Computer Systems

Sep 6, 2004

There's a new manufacturer of marine computer systems, Locomarine, primarily building Centrino based 'desktop' systems. At least conceptually they have a very good understanding of the value a PC can bring to any yacht. One of the simple but innovative features is the additional 'Dashboard control' unit with power on/off button, 4 USB ports and headphone jack.

"This new series 2000 model is based on high performance ultra low power consumption Pentium M (Centrino) 1.7+ GHz processor. It offers speed and usability as the strongest desktop machines with power consumption lower than many laptop models. 2000 model is prepared for usage of up to 4 independent LCD which give you a possibility to monitor all necessary information separately (radar, chart, NMEA information, sonar)."

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Yachting Entertainment

Sep 3, 2004

I visited the HISWA boatshow in IJmuiden, The Netherlands, yesterday. Can't really say I saw anyting exciting, but the one thing I noticed was a very strong trend towards in-boat entertainment. Even in small boats I saw LCD-screens popping-up everywhere, lots of (somehow all) Clarion speakers installed and marinized stereo equipment. In a couple of weeks I will be at the Monaco Yacht Show and should be able to experience some real state of the art equipment over there...

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Virtual Tacking Puts Sailors To Test

Sep 3, 2004

Well this sounds like the fitness equipment I would like to have at home instead of a rowing machine...

"The Virtual Sailor VS-1, which can replicate the physical stresses and technical demands of sailing in a range of typical conditions, is thought to be a first for yachting. But the simulator is also proving a valuable tool for sailing instruction, including tactics, fitness and psychology, and for simulated races, he says."

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Putting Oceanics' Waterproof MP3 Player To The Test

Sep 1, 2004

Jerry Hall, Guinness world record holder for longest underwater submergence with scuba gear, will this time try to stay underwater for 94 hours and 9 minutes in Watauga Lake. He's got all sorts of underwater electronics with him, allowing him to read and play chess. And this time he will also have the opportunity to listen to music since Oceanic is one of his sponsors. And I've written about their H20 Audio product-line before.

"For this dive, I will have the use of powerful underwater speakers and an underwater MP3 player," said Hall. "I can't describe what it's like to be able to listen to music underwater. That alone is going to make a tremendous difference."

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