Category: Safety & SAR

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SmartPlug Debuts White 30A Cordsets

When walking through a marina, seeing distinctive SmartPlug orange cables indicates boat owners that are savvy about shore power safety. But some prefer that their electrical cords blend in with the boat deck or dock surfaces. For them, there’s the new 30A/125V White Cordset. It has all the impressive features of the standard SmartPlug system, but in a pleasing traditional marine color…

6

Lightning strikes, nicely refit 1978 Bristol 29.9 dies

We know how dangerous lightning can be to a boat and its crew, but to see it actually strike is something else. After a multi-year DIY refit, the 1978 Bristol 29.9 Perseverance lays at a Dorchester float completely ready for a challenging offshore race, but one second later she’s damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, the owner was not on board, and now he and the CCA have made the lightning damage details available to all of us who should be aware of how perverse and pervasive they can be…

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CCA publishes revised “Safety for Cruising Couples” workbook

A new, revised and updated edition of the “Safety for Cruising Couples” workbook has been published by the Cruising Club of America. The workbook is part of the CCA’s popular and widely recognized Safety for Cruising Couples seminars offered by clubs and boating groups around the country. The goal is to help raise the competence and confidence of crew who are not generally in command of sailboats and powerboats cruising in coastal waters…

3

Class B AIS SO & CS transmit rates, truth vs confusion

Don’t always believe what you read, even on Panbo, and even when it’s sourced from the U.S. Coast Guard’s normally authoritative NavCen website! I was recently quite humbled to realize that the uncorrected version of the table above does not make sense with the rest of my 2015 entry about then-new Class B/SO AIS, and that the mistakes may have been confusing skippers choosing an AIS transceiver ever since. Deciding between CS and SO is still an issue, so let’s look closely at the real reporting rate differences…

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Garmin GPSMap 86sci: inReach, GPS and a plethora of tools for boaters

The Garmin GPSMAp 86 family is a powerhouse of communications and connectivity. The dizzying array of technology inside this handheld provides two-way satellite messaging, GPS chart plotting, and integrations with many onboard electronics, all in a compact, weather-resistant, floating case. The marriage of a marine GPS unit with inReach satellite messaging could be the perfect tool for boaters. Can this many capabilities work in one little package? Read on to find out.

5

Return Link Service, a major PLB & EPIRB improvement

Many of us carry an EPIRB or PLB satellite distress beacon for worst-case emergencies at sea, and while they’ve earned an excellent success record, they also have a nerve-racking drawback. The rare boater who actually activates one will not know if the distress message was received until the search and rescue heroes actually show up. Or don’t show up! But that intensely tense uncertainty is about to change thanks to a newly revealed technology called the Return Link Service (RLS)…

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A few valuable boating apps, and what’s your favorite?

Most boaters carry around an impressively powerful and easy to use computer in their pockets: their smartphone. Smartphones have enough processing power, sensors and capabilities to augment or possibly even replace dedicated navigation equipment onboard your boat. Mobile phone and tablet apps for boating have steadily improved and today offer a compelling set of functionalities that can make boating both safer and easier.

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Broad IP camera support, a Raymarine advantage

When I outfitted Have Another Day to begin cruising I wanted better visibility of several areas of the boat. IP cameras are the natural way to tackle this but once I realized I wanted five or more cams the cost of MFD manufacturer branded models quickly became prohibitive. Fortunately I’d already decided to go with Raymarine MFDs and some digging revealed strong support for a commonly used IP video standard.

MoB alarm generated by Digital Yacht TriNav GPS160 button 0

Digital Yacht TriNav GPS160 & NMEA 2000 MoB buttons

When Digital Yacht announced their TriNav GPS160, I was impressed with the details. For starters, it offers high-performance GPS for $190, and it can integrate with most any navigation electronics environment because it has numerous interface options and its various user-selectable settings are done internally with good old DIP switches. But the cherry on top is support for a manual MoB alarm button that should work with most any current multifunction display, along with some PC charting programs and mobile apps…

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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…