Subscribe to our newsletter

Blogs

Yacht Phone, A 'Burner' For The Boat

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 11, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Yacht_Phone_test_messaging_cPanbo.jpg

I'm apologetic to all the manufacturers who've loaned me products I still haven't tested or written about -- so many gizmos, so little time! -- but maybe it was a good thing in the case of the Yacht Phone which I first saw (floating) at the Lauderdale Show. Because the $20 three-month 50 minute prepaid card included with the sample had run out, I bought another 50 minutes at yachtphone.net. The purchase process turned out to be easy, in a few minutes the phone was able to make calls (aside from 911), and customer service even answered a few questions within an hour on a Saturday.  Plus the phone itself exceeded expectations...

Garcia GT54 Le Trawler, a Furuno winner

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 7, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Garcia_54_Le_Trawler_wheelhouse_cPanbo.jpg

I did get to tour a couple of yachts during my Trawler Fest engagement and the one that got my attention was the Garcia GT54 hull #1, which was built in France and motored to the U.S. on her own bottom...during hurricane season!  "Le Trawler" is both stylish and practical in numerous ways, and it's also a good example of a full-on Furuno NavNet 3D system...

Memory Maker

The silence hurt. It wasn’t the peaceful silence of solitude you’ll find on a pre-dawn Sunday morning walk while most folks in the neighborhood are still in a deep slumber. Nor was it the hypnotic tranquility of hearing nothing but a few waves lap against the hull at night while the moon shines above through an open hatch. No, this was a silence encased in sadness and a deep void. 

Did Briartek "invent" two-way distress beacons?

Written by Ben Ellison on Feb 4, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

DeLorme_inReach_user_web_site_2013_cPanbo.jpg

I really enjoyed being part of Trawler Fest last week. It was inspiring to meet relatively new cruising enthusiasts who are working to expand their skill sets, and trying to explain and demonstrate current technologies rekindled some of my own enthusiasms. I hadn't turned on the DeLorme inReach in months, for instance, but it located itself and paired with my iPad for easy backup navigation, tracking, and two-way messaging no problem, even though I was standing in front of an audience under a large aluminum-framed tent. Plus I got to see the entirely new User and Map Share web pages DeLorme recently developed for inReach, and they are sharp. However, I was also reminded of a disturbing behind-the-scenes patent issue that may hobble all SENDs (Satellite Emergency Notification Devices) and will likely tax consumers no matter what happens in court...

New Clothes Make-Up for Old Technologies

Yeah, we’ve all complained about those pesky combo washer/dryers that started showing up in all type of vessels in the mid 1980s. These machines are supposed to do everything except fluff and fold. But the truth is you leave Pine Island, cruise to Key West, spend a couple of days then head to Ft. Lauderdale, cross over to West End, spend three days and return to Stuart, Florida and those damn Levis and that long sleeve cotton “T” you picked up at Ragged Ass Saloon are still damp! 

boot Düsseldorf 2013, Henning Dürr reports

Written by Guest Writer on Jan 31, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

courtesy_boot_Dusseldorf.jpg

boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat fair with a very long tradition and in case you wondered, it really is about boats, not shoes. It is held in Düsseldorf on the banks of the river Rhine in a huge area with 17 halls, and because of its central location in Germany and Europe, it draws many foreign visitors, such as from nearby Netherlands and also -- they say -- some wealthy Russians...

Icom IC-M73 Plus with 'rewind' & more in VHF

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 30, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Icom_M73_screen.jpg

Icom is just about to release a new version of its IC-M72 pro-level handheld VHF and it includes a feature that really caught my eye (and ear). As suggested by the audio tape and REC(ord) icons on the screen above, the M73 Plus model will have a 60 second recording function so you can "rewind" a call you didn't quite understand the first time. If you only half listen to your radio, or a possibly important call is broken, this can be very handy. Meanwhile Cobra is updating its VHF handheld that has a similar feature, Standard Horizon is offering a sharp-looking pair of low-end handhelds, and Icom is also adding a basic black box fixed radio...

Furuno MaxSea PC Radar, only in Europe?

Written by Kees Verruijt on Jan 25, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

furuno_maxsea_pc_radar_german.jpg

What is it with radar on a PC screen that seems so enticing to yachties? Is it the fact that you don't need a MFD? Or do we want the ability to use the digital charts of our choice with the radar of our choice? Last week I wrote about how OpenCPN now supports Garmin and Simrad radar, or at least partially, and it was in that entry's comments where we learned about the existence of Furuno MaxSea PC Radar. Yes it is possible to use Furuno's excellent radar with the excellent charting program MaxSea Time Zero without purchasing a NavNet 3D or TZ Touch MFD!  But right now it may only be possible in France or Germany...

A Modest (Financially Speaking) Experiment

For quite some time now (I figure about three years…not bad for a guy who’s painstakingly punctual about procrastination), I’ve wanted to either refurbish or replace the Fiamm air horn on the Betty Jane. While the old girl’s brightwork usually looks pretty good and folks occasionally say her gelcoat resembles a patina of Awlgrip, that ancient horn up there on the flying-bridge cowling looks like the Wreck of the Hesperus, comparatively speaking. So here’s the deal—I have finally decided to take the bull by the horns or, rather horn, and put one of the following two options into play:

Aboard Tranquilidad, more adventures with N2K (& Raymarine)

Written by Guest Writer on Jan 23, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

Tranquilidad_helm_2013 courtesy J Anwyl.jpg

Regular Panbo readers may recall that Jeremy Anwyl wrote a 2011 guest entry about his efforts to bring some stability to his admittedly complex NMEA 2000 network. Back then, he was focused on the backbone, minimizing voltage drops, managing reflections and so forth. Anwyl continues to enjoy using his lovely Beneteau 57 Tranquilidad as an electronics lab, but he's also finding bugs in new places...