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Gizmo's antenna mast 2013: FLIR, Rogue, Wilson & more

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 25, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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I've heard it said that if you heeded all the manufacturer advice about antenna placement, you'd need a boat 100-feet long with four or five masts. I've been meaning to ask Panbo readers about how to best use Gizmo's single (though beefy) antenna mast, but instead I went and rejiggered everything last week and your advice will have to wait for the next revision. What mainly drove the change is the long term loan of a FLIR M-Series camera system, which certainly deserves the premier masthead position...

The Equinox, celestial mechanics & pesky "True Wind"

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 20, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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I'm not a pagan but my first wedding was on the Summer Solstice in 1976 and the second was on the Vernal Equinox in 1993. So, yes indeed, today we're celebrating twenty years wonderfully together (though right now about a thousand miles physically apart). But I want to write about what largely drove those wedding date decisions: my fascination with celestial mechanics, largely acquired through marine navigation, particularly the celestial kind. I learned about the apparent and true motions of the heavenly bodies, the foundations of geography, and what makes this such a balanced day on earth... 

Faster, Farther … Wider

The Wider 42 is like no boat I’ve ever seen. Same goes for you too, I bet.

Wider 42 in Key Largo - photo by Kevin KoenigI recently got to test the Wider 42 down in Key Largo. Whew! What a boat. The thing is nearly all carbon fiber, and, of course, has those pontoons hidden away inside its hull.

Brokerage Market for the Grand Banks 42 Classic

By Jason Y. Wood

We spoke to three brokers who each had a Grand Banks 42 listed on BoatQuest.com. Here’s what they had to say about the boats and the market for buying and selling them.

MIBS CZone tour, enabling the car-like boat

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 18, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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In Miami Actuant Electrical invited a few boating writers like Ed Sherman, Steve D'Antonio and myself to tour several production boats that have chosen to use BEP CZone distributed power and digital switching systems. A highlight for me was getting to hear the founder of Scout Boats explain why he would do such a crazy thing. I joke of course -- and there's an argument that you have to be a little nuts to build boats anyway -- but Steve Potts (seen to the right of BEP's Jarrod Sagar above and interviewed here in Soundings) made a compelling case for why systems like CZone are critical to creating boats that really truly modern customers...

Video: Big Surprise in Small Viking Liferaft Box (Hint: It Seats 200)

When you’re looking at safety equipment for your boat, two things should come to mind: The number of people you need to protect from harm and the space you have on your boat. A new commercial liferaft turns the geometry of those figures on its head. The raft is stored in a box that measures roughly 3 feet wide, 3 feet tall, and 15 feet long. But it expands into a covered raft that seats 200 persons. It also has four electric motors, the better to steer out of trouble. Check out its first-ever deployment at Lauderdale Marina in Ft. Lauderdale.

Recipe: Oven-Roasted Golden Tilefish

Reel Eats

Reward all that deep-drop reeling with a delightful repast of oven-roasted tilefish. You won't be disappointed. Sportfishing columnist Gary Caputi has caught--and eaten--enough of them to know.

Things I Just Don’t Understand

I like to think of myself as fully endorsing the glass-half-full philosophy. I’ve had some ups and downs over the years and thankfully have gained a little perspective along the way. To help maintain this inner Zen, I think it’s healthy not to allow any pet peeves to pile up for too long. Here are several items that I just need to get off my chest so they quit nagging away at me. 

Furuno at MIBS 2013; CHIRP, FCV587/627, and NavPilot FPS8

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 12, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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When I was at the in-water powerboat portion of the Miami show before it opened one morning, I discovered Furuno marketing manager Jeff Kauzlaric and product manager Eric Kunz making video. Of course I interrupted them for a photo but I was also hoping to see their long-rumored CHIRP fishfinder in action. But while it turned out that the big sonar screen behind Eric was not showing CHIRP, Furuno did announce the new DFF1-UHD during the show and Eric showed me the nifty NavPilot Safe Helm and Power Assist modes just about ready for release...

My Pebble, more PAN in Panbo

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 9, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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I've been waiting so long that disappointment loomed large. It was mid-April last year when I became a Kickstarter 'backer' in the Pebble E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android, which really just meant that I might get a good deal by buying one upfront for delivery the following September. But I wasn't the only geek who thought they'd sniffed out a bargain. Though Pebble's Kickstarter goal was only $100,000, almost 69,000 backers sent them over 10 million dollars! Which was neat in the sense that the Pebble people could then make the watch waterproof and add other features, but not so great in that suddenly they had a LOT of watches to build, which took much longer than 'estimated'. However, I've been smiling about Pebble ever since I opened my mailbox last week and found the box with "It's Time" printed on it in large, ironic type...