Category: Safety & SAR

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Sirius Signal C-1002 & C-1003 SOS distress signal testing begins, future bright

The Sirius Signal C-1002 — the first electronic Visual Distress Signal Device (eVDSD) built to the new RTCM two color standard — is now a shipping product, and Panbo testing has commenced. Also in hand is the new C-1003, which meets the existing USCG white eVDSD standard with minor improvements over the original Sirius Signal (Weems & Plath) model that trail blazed a legal alternative to mandated pyrotechnic flares. I haven’t tested either device on the water yet, but I’m already convinced that smarter, brighter eVDSDs are here, but now with a distinct better/best choice…

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Songo River Guide Service: learn fishing & electronics from Dan

The late September day when Dan Hillier took me fishing in western Maine turned out wet and windy. So instead of exercising his deep trolling expertise on wide-open Lake Sebago, we launched from a crude dirt ramp into a hideaway pond so that I could at least enjoy another of Dan’s skills — explaining his extensive system of Humminbird electronics and integrated gear…

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ZOLEO Inc. debuts the world’s first truly seamless global messaging solution for smartphones

ZOLEO Inc., an emerging global messaging solutions company, today announced the launch of ZOLEO, the world’s first truly seamless global messaging and personal safety solution for smartphone users who venture beyond mobile coverage. The flagship product from a joint venture between Beam Communications Pty Ltd. and Roadpost Inc., ZOLEO is the first consumer-focused messaging solution of its kind based on Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD), cellular and Wi-Fi standards…

The Ocean Signal SafeSea EPIRB1 Pro with Category 1 Auto Deploy Bracket 0

Ocean Signal Introduces SafeSea EPIRB1 Pro – The World’s Most Compact Float-Free EPIRB

Ocean Signal has developed the world’s most compact Category 1 (auto-deploy) Emergency Position Indicating Rescue Beacon – the SafeSea EPIRB1 Pro. The new EPIRB1 Pro features a ground-breaking 30 percent reduction in size compared to other EPIRBs, a huge 10-year battery life and a retail price that makes it one of the most affordable EPIRBs on the market…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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)…