MIBS, the madness

... written for Panbo by Ben Ellison and posted on Feb 19, 2008


Dear readers, sorry for the dead air! I intended to post at least a few times during MIBS (Miami International Boat Show), but your boy way over booked himself, and sometimes had a little too much fun. For starters, I got pretty consumed with the two-day NMMA Innovation Awards judging process, which turned out to be impressively serious and well organized. There were lots of worthy entries into the Consumer Electronics category, which was won by Furuno’s NavNet 3D with Honorable Mentions for Standard Horizon’s HX850S combo VHF/GPS and Globalstar’s SPOT. The full Awards press release is here. Then there were the rounds of press conferences and booth visits, and this year no less than six on-the-water electronics demos. That “Miami madness” shot above was taken during the FLIR thermal imaging cruise, which was blogged by MadMariner’s Tom Tripp. Embarrassingly, Tom also managed to cover lots of other MIBS highlights, electronic and otherwise, and my mates from PMY produced a really neat set of show videos.

I did output something, though, which was a presentation about Panbo to my colleagues at the Boating Writers International annual breakfast. That was fun, but the surprise highlight of the event was picking up my first ever First Place in the Electronics category of the BWI writing contest. I got it for a Feb. 2007 Sail feature titled “The Future of NMEA 2000” (that just went online). I got to see some of that N2K future actually happening at MIBS and I’ll be reporting on that and many other highlights soon. I also gratefully accepted a lot of Panbo plaudits from both electronics professionals and consumers, and explored a few angles that might make Big Gizmo an even better, and more possible, dream. In fact, I was feeling so good—perhaps even swell-headed—that yesterday’s return trip seemed almost just. Major bumps near the Chesapeake, unscheduled fuel stop in Boston, Portland landing through maybe a 100’ ceiling, then a drive home through fog with sometimes zero ceiling. Once truly settled, I will have more MIBS.


Congratulations on your award, Ben! It was well-deserved. You do a lot to inform, enlighten, and educate all of us on these most interesting of times in marine electronics.

Posted by: Jeffrey Siegel at February 19, 2008 11:42 AM | Reply

Ben, I'll echo Jeff's comments... Kudo's on the award, it's well-deserved!

Posted by: Tim Hasson at February 19, 2008 11:59 AM | Reply

Congratulations Ben !

Posted by: Dan (b393capt) at February 19, 2008 2:49 PM | Reply

Thanks, gents! And I also got a Certificate of Merit for the PMY foil cat boat test I wrote after last year's MIBS:


My head can barely fit through doorways ;-)

Notice, by the way, how those colorful squiggles in the photo actually illustrate the motion of the yacht and camera seen looking steady in the foreground. I think that big FLIR Voyager on the bow took that wake roll out of the image with gyro stabilization.

Posted by: Ben at February 19, 2008 3:27 PM | Reply


Posted by: Russ at February 19, 2008 10:42 PM | Reply

The Sail article mentioned above (“The Future of NMEA 2000”) has a diagram which shows "one possible NMEA 2000 network". Having a drop go up a sailboat mast is not usually in-spec. Each drop length should be

It is okay to take the trunk up the mast and back, and it is okay to take the trunk to the bow and back before going up the mast and ending there.

Posted by: norse at February 27, 2008 12:43 PM | Reply

You're absolutely correct, Norse, and it's my bad as I worked with the illustrator on that drawing. Typical sailboat NMEA 2000 networks will have one end of the backbone at the masthead, which is why Simrad builds a terminator (resistor) into its N2K windducer and Maretron came up with an inline terminator that can screw into its Weather Station N2K port.

Posted by: Ben at February 27, 2008 2:25 PM | Reply

At the risk of piling on, lemme add my heartiest congratulations to you, Ben, for receiving recognition you so richly deserve. Panbo gets the straight scoop usually before anyone else and more importantly, puts it in context so people can understand what it means to them.

Keep up the great work.


Posted by: Mike at February 27, 2008 2:52 PM | Reply

Well deserved Ben! Congrats from the Navioncs team!

Posted by: susan at March 11, 2008 12:19 PM | Reply

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