Category: Editors’ Blog

4

Inside the DAME Design Awards, and a lovely TBS Electronics battery switch

METSTRADE opens next week at the huge RAI Amsterdam Convention Center, which also owns the show. I again look forward to joining a global crowd of marine equipment folks amidst a forest of manufacturer stands and other exhibits. But actually I already spend two October days in a RAI warehouse with fellow jurors carefully examining an interesting selection of new gear, and the goal of this entry is to shed some light on the DAME Design Awards choices that resulted…

8

Snagging lobster pots & a DIY hookah solution

With winter setting in fast, it’s nice to remember summer, even a cruising hassle like snarling lobster trap gear around Gizmo’s running gear. During my 48 years in Maine waters, the catch has increased from 20 to 120 million pounds and the pot buoy systems have gotten significantly tougher; so snagging one has become much more of a hazard. But the grin above is not just because I’d finally cut away this particular mess; I think I’ve found a reliable snarl solution that will even work out in the remote Maine islands that lobsters, lobstermen, and cruisers all appreciate…

61

DC-DC chargers, Victron introduces Orion TR Smart series

I just recently developed an interest in DC-to-DC battery charging and — bada bing — Victron introduces a whole series with the “Smart” Bluetooth configuration feature I’ve greatly appreciated in two of their other power components. But DC/DC is an unfamiliar technology for me, so I’m hoping readers will help out with possible misunderstandings, though even I can detect some confusing nomenclature and product naming…

7

Panbo test fleet adds a fast outboard: Gizmo Junior

I’m generally content to operate at trawler speeds these days, on and off the water. But — boy, oh, boy — taking on a new boat has definitely brought out the kid in me. Though it was only a few weeks ago when I finally realized that rebuilding the 14-foot power cat (and original Gizmo) is not in my future, the new plan has already hosted some electronics testing that would have been much more difficult with the 37-foot Gizmo, and it’s a different kind of pleasure on the water. Say hello to Gizmo Junior…

10

My Island WiFi offers U.S. service – $110 / month for unlimited internet

When Have Another Day visited the Bahamas in 2017 internet connectivity was complex and pricey. In 2018 Island WiFi began renting mobile hotspots with unlimited data; the raves of simplicity and cost-effectiveness from those cruising the Bahamas could be heard all the way back in the states. Many commented that the service was so much better than what they could get in U.S. providers that they wished they could use My Island WiFi’s service in the U.S. Well, now they can, Island WiFi has started offering service in the U.S.

8

Panbo fun at the NMEA/RTCM Conference

It may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but trying the first dual-color electronic Visual Distress Signal Device (eVDSD) is how a writer trying to cover the present and future of marine electronics gets his kicks. And it happened because the annual and always valuable NMEA Conference is now also the annual RTCM Conference, and also because Panbo covered the event with dual Bens…

4

Navionics Boating app adds AIS target vectors and ActiveCaptain Community updates

In a recent blog post Navionics announced they’ve added vectors to AIS target displays and the ability to edit rate and review ActiveCaptain Community points of interest (POIs). It looks like Navionics is making good on their promise of rapid improvements to their AIS features.

10

T-Mobile Test Drive, try out T-Mobile’s network on them

T-Mobile has been busy building out their network and extending their coverage. For many boaters it may be the best compromise of coverage and cost-effectiveness. But, how do you know if their coverage is good enough where you plan to use it? T-Mobile hopes you will take them up on their offer and try 30gb of data and a hot-spot to find out.

4

Chuck Berry, Ali’s butterfly, and the National Hurricane Center

Dorian is powered up and perilously close, but while the forecasting is better than ever — based almost entirely on massive data collection and modeling by NOAA — the meteorologists are still quite uncertain about the hurricane’s path. I’m thinking a lot about folks in the Abacos and in the vast areas that might be struck next, but, sorry, I’m also remembering how I managed to use Chuck Berry and Muhammad Ali in the opening paragraph of a July 2003 SAIL magazine article about visiting the National Hurricane Center…