Category: Editors’ Blog

8

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…

Touchscreen throttles on US Navy Destroyer John S McCain 11

U.S. Navy destroyers without physical throttles?

Touchscreens work well for many tasks at a boat helm (and elsewhere), I think, but a touchscreen throttle never even occurred to me until I read about the Navy “reverting to physical throttles” on warships like the USS John S McCain. Holy cow! Why the heck did we deprive destroyer drivers of the excellent (electronic) control interface known as a throttle lever, and why is Wired magazine mispresenting the “reversion”?

0

Made in Maine: kayak rack, winter boat frame & more

I’ve gone to the Maine Boat & Home Show in Rockland for all 17 years (so far) and never failed to discover many things of interest. I had no idea, for instance, that a floating kayak and canoe rack even existed though it was designed and built right in my home town. And this entry includes other unique products made by very small companies in Maine that you too might want to know about…

17

Dedicated Depth display, NMEA 2000 the best way?

I enjoyed this Bill Morris article at OceanNavigator.com even though he pokes fun at skippers like me. For one thing, he does it gently and well, as in his elegant second paragraph…I also agree with Bill that a dedicated depth display is a key navigation tool, regardless of what else you’re using. But then again I think that there are better ways to do it than he advocates, and…

2

Doppler radome testing tease: they’re all good

The picture tells much of the story. In rain and fog, the three 7-inch Garmin, Simrad, and Raymarine multifunction displays are each showing their respective solid-state Doppler-assisted radomes capturing well the complexity of Rockland Harbor moored vessels and shoreline while also automatically highlighting the most significant moving object…

8

Raymarine LightHouse 3 calibrates Oceanic Systems tank senders, on my float mate’s boat

Way down the long list of new features that came with April’s LightHouse v3.9. update for Raymarine Axiom MFDs is “Tank naming and Sender Calibration” and it turns out that means NMEA 2000 tank senders made by Oceanic Systems. Which is a semi-big deal because a significant disappointment of N2K is that while many standard data PGNs are truly plug-and-play across brands, sensor calibration is usually not…

12

Is Visible’s $40 cell plan better than Verizon’s defunct $65 unlimited hotspot deal?

Visible, a relatively new Verizon subsidiary, has been offering a $40 per month (taxes included) unlimited plan for about a year.  While the plan’s pricing is great, its usefulness has been potentially limited by a 5mbps speed cap. Today Visible announced that they’re removing this speed cap while keeping the rest of the plan the same.  Is this as good as it sounds?

4

Cruisair AC unit extraction, quality Wera tools helped

How different are boats, boaters, how we boat, and where we boat? On the very day that Ben Stein despaired about Have Another Day’s South Florida air conditioning addiction, I proudly humped this old Cruisair AC unit off Gizmo with no replacement plans. The sense of accomplishment actually came from a challenging extraction process, and that may have been much harder without some particular hand tools…