Category: Electrical & Engines

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Victron Cerbo GX, good AC/DC power monitoring gets better

The existing Victron Venus GX and Color Control GX are both excellent AC/DC power monitoring products in my estimation, but with many boat systems it’s hard to decide which one to use. While the Venus blue box is less expensive with more networking capabilities, none of its display and control abilities are as fast and easy as the CCGX’s screen and button interface. I’m happy to report that this purchasing dilemma will end next year with the new Cerbo GX and GX Touch 50, and valuable new GX features are included…

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Dometic E-Actuator steering promises better outboard steering with no hydraulics

Dometic’s Optimus Electric Steering Actuator has had quite a successful show season since its early 2019 introduction. It’s won major awards at IBEX, METS Trade and from Boating Industry Magazine. But what captured the attention of those award committees? It’s the promise of more precise handling, reduced weight, easier installations, and reduced maintenance. A few minutes spent with Dometic Marine representatives makes clear the engineering and innovation required to make this system possible.

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Kobelt Vitals: a new sensing, monitoring, and gateway powerhouse

Long Maretron experience has taught me that the key benefit of boat monitoring is not screens of sensor readings, though they can be useful; it’s warnings and alarms. Done right — which is not easy — they can help a boat operate longer without major issues, but with a more relaxed operator. So I’m pleased to report that the new Kobelt Vitals offers similarly sophisticated alerting in a freshly thought-out, reasonably priced, and very flexible design that may be just right for many mid-size vessels…

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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…

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2019 IBEX Innovation Award Product Winners Announced

The 2019 IBEX Innovation Awards, managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), were presented at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) during the annual Industry Breakfast on Tuesday, October 1st. Eight BWI judges with various technical backgrounds in boating selected the new product winners from over 100 entries submitted by marine trade companies – the largest program to date…

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Bliss: 100hp diesel powers trawler, Seakeeper, and huge battery bank

The goal of the makeover certainly sounded like cruising bliss, but could a 100hp Yanmar diesel really propel a 39-foot trawler while also producing gobs of 12 volt DC to feed both SeaKeeper gyrostabilization and a huge battery bank? I’m pleased to report that the dual MGDC 250 amp alternator setup seen above on the actual trawler Bliss has proven my skepticism unwarranted, and an already beloved cruiser became a “new boat” in the process.

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Monitor multiple functions from a single display with the M2 Vessel Systems Monitor from Blue Sea Systems

Building on their commitment to meaningful innovation, Blue Sea Systems is proud to announce the release of the M2 Vessel Systems Monitor. “With so much technology on boats today, it is critical to keep track of all of the different systems”, Stated Justin Kaufman, Product Manager for Blue Sea Systems. “The M2 Vessel Systems Monitor simplifies monitoring by allowing the boater to keep track of several key functions from a single location.”

Engine data displayed on a Raymarine Axiom Pro 16 11

Yacht Devices J1708 Engine Gateway brings data from older engines to NMEA 2000

When I bought Have Another Day I really wanted the data from my early electronically controlled diesel engines available on my MFDs. I’ve had access to this data previously and knew the value of the data for fuel management and engine monitoring. My path to getting that data wasn’t easy but I think I helped blaze a trail to easy engine data on your NMEA 2000 network.