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Blogs

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...

This Ain’t No Sports Bar

My friends refer to me as a hurricane magnet. Consider, for example, the years 2004 and 2005. I was living and working in southwest Florida in 2004 when Charley, Frances, and Jean came to visit. Then I moved to south Alabama to work with another yacht company in the fall of 2004, only to have Ivan partially destroy the marina we were moving into, so plans for the move were postponed. Shortly after opening a temporary office in Orange Beach, Alabama in 2005, Arlene came to town.

New Digs in an Old Locale

Galápagos IslandsPay a visit to the Galápagos Islands and you’re immediately greeted by a combination of geography, waters, and wildlife unlike anywhere else in the world. But it’s not easy to stay overnight on this volcanic archipelago. Enter scientist and marine artist Guy Harvey and the newest locations for not one, but two Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts.

AC34 Mark/VIP vessels, seeking perfection

Written by Dan Corcoran on Mar 7, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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A visit to the America's Cup World Series in Newport, RI in June 2012 provided an opportunity to tour the engineering spaces and helm of this second-generation mark/VIP boat as a follow-up to Ben's visit to hull number one. Before the engineering tour I spent the day on the race course in the vessel's predecessor, observing the racing and learning what drove the design improvements to this latest generation.

Navico's numbers, should you care?

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 5, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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As a privately held corporation Navico doesn't have to reveal anything about its financial state, but last week it issued a proud press release claiming a dramatic 15% sales increase in 2012, which resulted in revenues of 256 million dollars and EBITDA earnings of 41.4 million. And at the Las Palmas B&G event, the mother company added some claims about what their numbers meant versus the competition, as seen in the slide above. Is Navico painting a fair picture of where the recreational marine electronics market is at? Does it matter to consumers anyway?

Samsung Chromebook, your $129 'burner' boat laptop?

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 3, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Before discussing my brief but positive experience with a Samsung Chromebook, I have some important advice. Do not brag about how little financial (or data) risk is involved in boating (or traveling) with this 11.6-inch, 2.4-pound laptop even though it looks and acts something like a precious MacBook Air. There's a fair bit of truth to the brag, but the deities of humility may then make you prove the point by, say, leaving your nice new Chromebook on a airport security belt in the Grand Canary Islands...

Eats: Another Man’s Treasure

Adventurous eaters should look into attending the first-ever Trash Fish Dinner put on by Chefs Collaborative on March 10 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

B&G in Las Palmas: "Products for All Sailors"

Written by Ben Ellison on Mar 1, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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I know several sailors who have installed Lowrance MFDs as an economical way to gain access to Navico's sailboat-friendly Broadband Radar, and the scheme made sense as there wasn't really all that much difference between the fishing-focused Lowrance systems and even the sailor-centric B&G Zeus versions of the Simrad NSE and NSS displays. But those days may be over soon as one of several stories Navico presented to the boating press in Las Palmas was a simplification of its three-brand strategy. Now B&G intends to serve all sailors, from grand prix racers to weekend cruisers, and from premium to value-oriented budgets. Moreover, B&G demonstrated that it's fast putting together a suite of features that should appeal to every type of sailor...

A Day's Work

Bill Pike working on Betty Jane's engine“While installing new primary fuel filters on the ol’ Lehman recently, I realized I spend more time doing maintenance onboard the Betty Jane than I do actually cruising. But hey, we’re talking an old boat.