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Blogs

Garmin Quatix, best 'aquatics' watch yet?

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 17, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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Holy Batman, the just-announced Garmin Quatix watch can connect wirelessly to a Garmin autopilot and not only show you what the AP is doing but let you steer the boat from your wrist. Plus if you fall overboard the lost wireless connection will set off an MOB alarm on a Garmin MFD and the AP will try to steer back to you. I hereby rescind my recent mumbling about Garmin's conservative approach to marine electronics!  And aside from all the connectivity -- the Quatix can apparently interface with Garmin PC, Mac, and iPad apps too -- it seems like a heck of a boating watch even if you aren't running other Garmin gear...

NV-Charts on Navico displays, another 'paper' option!

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 15, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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The surprising press release just came in this morning. I didn't even know that Navico multifunction displays could handle "raster" style digital charts -- the ones that look like paper charts -- let alone that NV Charts was working to make its large portfolio of handsome cartography available to the owners of Lowrance HDS, Simrad NSE/NSO/NSS, and B&G Zeus MFDs...

VHF radio recalls, not to worry?

Written by Ben Ellison on Jan 13, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

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A Panbo reader sent this recent photo of empty VHF shelves at a West Marine in Florida along with a store manager's report that Standard Horizon and Uniden had called in their inventory for a software upgrade needed to meet an FCC regulation. Yikes? The reader wondered if this had something to do with Class D VHF mandates and worried about same model radios that had already been bought and installed. My head hurts from the research involved but I'm pretty sure that the answer is "no worries"...

Can a Real Pirate Retire?

Notorious Somali pirate Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as “Big Mouth” It was with a heavy heart that notorious Somali pirate Mohamed Abdi Hassan, known as “Big Mouth,” announced today that he will be retiring from piracy.

Man Reclaims NJ Roller Coaster for America

 

Photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/U.S. Air Force/New Jersey National GuardBoaters in New Jersey should be well familiar with the Jet Star, the iconic roller coaster that used to jut out over the Atlantic from off Casino Pier in Seaside Heights. During Hurricane Sandy, the ride was wrenched from its supports and replanted in the water just off the coast. The ruins are a shocking visual testament to the wreckage Sandy left behind.

DSM150, Maretron for the masses?

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

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When Kees spotted Maretron's new little display at METS, it didn't seem like a big deal. In fact, it's fairly homely compared to other contemporary NMEA 2000 all-in-one displays like the B&G Triton and the Raymarine i70. But now that the DSM150 is fully detailed, I think it represents a significant new opportunity for boaters who used to think that Maretron gear was out of their league...

Sunshine Nostalgia

We have winter down here in North Florida. And occasionally, like denizens of the snowy latitudes, we yearn for summers past—you know, when it’s warm enough to virtually live in one of the most comfortable, practical, and fashionable ensembles ever invented for subtropical temperatures: flip-flops, a t-shirt, and a bathing suit.

Wilson marine cellular, the testing begins

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

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I probably made the PR guy's day!  He called out of the blue with two questions -- did I think that many boaters care about cellular boosters and had I heard of Wilson Electronics? -- and my reply was not only "heck, yes" on both counts but also a report on how pleased I already was with the Wilson amp I installed on Gizmo last September. The company may have just decided to pay attention to the boat world, but I was more than ready to test the box of Wilson gear that recently showed up at Panbo HQ...

Driving Fool

That particular morning it took a while to secure my footing and clear my head. The boat lacked a predictable motion. Indeed, the day we departed south Florida, our weather forecaster called for a “complex” weather pattern of dueling highs and lows extending over most of our course from the Bahamas to the Virgin Islands. He got it right.