September 2010 Archives

Gizmo's halo, hello Lightning Electrotechnologies

Sep 10, 2010
Lightning Electrotechnologies Streamer Inhibitor cPanbo.JPG

We've had a run of interesting new products this week, but this may be the topper.  That cast-aluminum "wheel" -- wrapped with I'm not sure what and threaded for a stainless steel masthead mount that's grounded to a Dynaplate -- is a new lightning protection technology called a Streamer Inhibitor from a new company called Lightning Electrotechnologies.  I've posed it with the Lightning Master Static Dissipater which generated a fair bit of skeptical commentary when I took it off Gizmo's masthead last summer.  The Inhibitor seems to be related to the Dissipater, but different.  Understanding lightning and how you might avoid it is very challenging, and I have yet to form strong opinions one way or another...

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Garmin GHP 12 autopilot, hello sailors!

Sep 9, 2010

Yup, that's a Garmin GHC 10 autopilot head steering to an apparent wind angle, along with one end of a linear drive typically used to control sailboat rudders, but never before supported by Garmin.  Announced today is the GHP 12 sailboat autopilot system, which will work with a choice of two linear drives designed to handle sailing vessels from 20 to 70 feet...

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Vesper Marine, new Class B AIS & antenna splitter

Sep 8, 2010

At first blush Vesper Marine's just announced Class B AIS transponder seems similar to the Simrad AI50 and the Icom MT-500R, which is to say a transponder with a handy target plotting and info screen built in.  But I think the WatchMate 850 will be significantly different, because Vesper has been focused on AIS collision avoidance for years and has gotten quite good at it.  I finally got some hand's on time with a WatchMateRX early this summer, and was even more impressed with the company when I met co-founder Jeff Robbins a few weeks ago.  I had not realized, for instance, that Vesper designed and built the AIS receiver that's in the RX model, and they're doing the same with the transponder as well as an interesting antenna splitter also announced...

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Raymarine introduces thermal cameras, but FLIR Nexus still open

Sep 7, 2010

Given that FLIR, the big daddy of thermal imaging, purchased Raymarine in May, few will be surprised that Ray is introducing its own thermal cams.  In fact, I think the Raymarine T300 and T400 model series will simply be re-branded FLIR M-Series cameras, though the control and integration possibilities are interesting.  For owners of Raymarine E Wide and G Series MFDs, the joystick control above will be optional; the first group will be able to pan and tilt the camera using their touch screens, as shown, while the latter can use a G's detached keyboard.  And while the short initial press release doesn't say anything about niceties like automated target tracking, we already know that the Nexus operating system FLIR builds into these cameras offers such capabilities...

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Earl aftermath, & thumb's up to Bluefin Marine Weather

Sep 5, 2010

It is disconcerting when all the waterfront owners within a few hundred feet of your boat remove their floating docks for fear of hurricane damage!  In fact, the harbors in my area were jumping on Thursday and Friday; lots of boats got hauled, and the rest of us hunkered down with chafing gear and extra lines applied, sails and biminis removed or trussed up, etc. etc.  But Hurricane Earl lost its steam, big time.  Even the Friday 6 pm forecast by our most reliable local source, Locus Weather, turned out to be way off the mark; instead of the predicted late night easterlies of 30-35 knots with gusts over 40, the GoMOOS F01 weather buoy recorded a max hourly average 14k with a max gust of 17.  I slept aboard Gizmo like a baby...

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First Maine Cat flying bridge P-47, a Garmin horror show?

Sep 2, 2010

My first impression of this just-launched Maine Cat P-47 last June was all about how well the flying bridge looked on what I'd only known previously (and almost bought) as an express style design, and how much useful space it added.  But, my, what a mess I found when I went aboard.  The poor owner -- just about to embark on an already delayed delivery trip to his home waters on the Great Lakes -- gamely listed all the not-yet-functioning parts of the boat's elaborate Garmin networks while sitting in a main salon littered with bits and pieces of other unfinished systems.  While delays for complex, semi-custom boats like this are nearly a cliche, and possibly worse in these tight times, this case seemed particularly egregious.  However, I've stayed in touch with this gentleman and am relieved to report that he's a pretty happy boat owner today...

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