Category: Zany

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…

2

FloatHub, Boat Beacon and Boat Watch work with Amazon Alexa

You may realize that Amazon’s “smart assistant” Alexa is like Apple’s Siri, except that you can ask “her” questions through an Echo speaker instead of an iPhone. But did you know that some marine app developers have created Alexa skills as free and possibly useful features? The underlying technology is awesome, but you don’t have to know much to make it work…

17

Winter boat, with help from Victron, Maretron, and FloatHub

Ben Stein is already in Miami working as an Innovations Award judge and I look forward to his reporting as I man the news desk here in Maine. Today, though, I’ll discuss some of the monitoring tools helping to keep Gizmo safe in winter conditions like the easterly gale that blew about ten inches of snow onto Camden last night…

15

The Equation of Time, old time navigation know-how in the modern world

If you ever messed with celestial navigation, you probably understand why even a perfectly installed sundial can be off by more than 15 minutes at some times of the year. But let’s recap on this shortest and darkest of days — in the Northern Hemisphere, that is — and I’ll also discuss how my old celestial nav skills recently helped with some very modern technology…

11

Yacht campaigning along RI beaches hits rocks, politician blames NOAA

Yesterday was tough for Rhode Island independent gubernatorial candidate Joe Trillo. To me it already seemed like a poor idea to use his 65-foot yacht to campaign along the state’s summer beaches, especially with the huge banners and his “very, very big sound equipment” playing patriotic music. But then came the navigation issues…

6

Can you open the fridge and grab me an iPad?

I’m an information junkie; if some information is good, more is better. So, when traveling in unfamiliar waters I would like to know as much as possible.  This data habit finds me with multiple plotters and a couple of iPad Minis at the helm when I’m underway.  Sometimes my quest for information finds me refrigerating iPads.

2

Smörgåsboat 2: More tasty test electronics southbound on Gizmo

Passagemaker_Who_is_Ben_Ellison_article_opening_spread.jpgThe jury is still out. Brian Lind may have written a blushingly laudatory profile of Panbo and me for PassageMaker magazine — and you can now check out “Who is Ben Ellison?” online — but I agree with regular readers who may rightfully doubt my ‘authoritative’ ‘expertise’! This site is not the “arbitrator of marine electronics” — no such thing exists — and evidence is building that I’ve become a bumbling old boat guy barely in command of all the gear he’s installed, plus very darn slow to write about it…

43

Ebikes for boats, learning from a Sondors

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Folding bikes seem great for cruising boats. You can extend your sightseeing, fetch supplies, or simply get some rolling excercise. But I’ve wondered if a compactable electric bike could be even better and more fun. While that manly beast above is certainly unfit for stowing on even a mid-sized trawler, it’s led me to love the ebike concept and taught me what a good one may look like for my cruising situation…

5

SSECN and MITA cruising info apps, Doyle Bon Voyage, and Cuba Ho!

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If I was once again in New Bern, North Carolina, about to cruise north with spring — instead of watching late April freaking snow fall in Maine — I’d certainly have the new Cruisers’ Net app loaded on my iPad and might well use it all day every day while I was still in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). It’s absolutely loaded with solid, well presented information, and I’m happy to add that the Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) has done something similar for my local cruising waters…