Electronics

GME Emergency Beacons

GME Emergency Beacons

Though GME has been manufacturing emergency beacons in Australia for more than 30 years, its EPIRBs and PLBs are new to America. The regular AccuSat 401 and GPS-assisted 401G models shown are said to be the smallest and lightest available, and each features an LED strobe light and a seven-year battery, not to

MatsyOnBoard SMART9522

MatsyOnBoard SMART9522

MatysOnBoard is a little like Spot, as it uses a satphone system's SMS facilities—in this case, Iridium's—to send one-button-push distress messages as well as other short messages and automated tracking

Navionics Platinum+

Navionics Platinum+

As the ever-so-slight name change implies, "plus" is only an incremental change from the original multifaceted Platinum format, mainly offering improved resolution of the photo maps and panoramic port photos. But the improvement is major. One measure of how much more data is included in Platinum+ is that the

PAS-Thru Box

PAS-Thru Box

Life's hard; your friends are all enjoying NMEA 2000 install benefits with their new gear, and you're still struggling with an unruly mess of NMEA 0183 data connections. I know your pain, and a PAS-Thru Box can at least soothe it. The $150 model shown here can beautifully organize, connect, and protect 16 cable pairs,

3D & G

The competition is fierce, and I'm not just talking about the grandiose debuts held simultaneously and almost chin-to-chin across a Fort Lauderdale boulevard the evening before the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show began. The two combatants (Furuno's new NavNet 3D and Raymarine's new G Series) both crave, and deserve, attention from the same sort of users—bigger-boat, bigger-budget

Simrad AP 24 and AP 28

Simrad AP 28

Simrad's two new autopilot control heads, the AP 28 (above) and the smaller, knobless AP 24, may look like minor upgrades to the revered Simrad (Robertson) line, but there's a big change behind the scenes. Each head uses SimNet, a flavor of NMEA 2000, to communicate with one of two new SimNet-talking autopilot

PulseTech Xtreme Charger

PulseTech Xtreme Charger

What with the lab and a fleet of small craft, I use and abuse a lot of 12-volt batteries. Wasn't I tickled with how well the $100 Xtreme "five-stage maintenance" Marine Charger tested and then, when possible, charged and desulphated my scraggly collection, all the while telling me what it was up to with

Standard Horizon CPV555

Standard Horizon CPV555

Combine a top-the-line VHF radio with a competent chartplotter/fishfinder, and you get Standard Horizon's unusual and under-appreciated CPV series, which began with a seven-inch display and now also comes in this jumbo 12-inch unit. Given its considerable size you may not save any helm space, but man, you

Glomex Polaris

Glomex Polaris

Satellite TV and radio are great on a boat, since they're able to deliver clear and familiar channels most everywhere you cruise. But what about unfamiliar content? Glomex's amplified and directional antenna might be just

KVH FleetBroadband

KVH FleetBroadband

The good news is that the advent of Inmarsat's FleetBroadband in November means that a yacht cruising almost anywhere from the U.S. West Coast eastward to Australia can get a decent Internet connection ("up to" 284 kbps) and make clear phone calls with a stabilized antenna dome just a foot high—even at the

Maptech Touch Screen Navigator

Maptech Touch Screen Navigator

Next month I'll profile the exciting new Raymarine G-Series and Furuno NavNet 3D systems, both of which are actually powerful PCs, though dedicated almost entirely to navigation. Maptech pioneered this concept, along with the touch-screen nav interface, way back in 2001, first with the Sea Ray

Nighttime Navigation

Bright Charts

The LightWedge Night Vision ($40) is one of those simple but decidedly useful products that makes you ask yourself, "Why didn't I think of that?" Designed for boaters and pilots, this lightweight illuminator casts red LED light onto charts, so you needn't ruin

Tacktick Wireless Instruments

Tacktick Wireless Instruments Micronet Power Boat Wind Transmitter

The direction and speed of the wind are not only important pieces of information when maneuvering in close quarters, they're also a tip-off to weather changes. Tacktick makes it easy to get precise wind information—and most any other numerical

AmbientNAV Alpha

AmbientNAV Alpha

West Coast-based AmbientNav has introduced a new monitor line named Alpha, as in "alpha dog." This leader-of-the-pack boast is based on high-end specs like 170-degree viewing angles and 700:1 contrast ratios, not to mention an awesome rack of inputs. These monitors even have satellite-ready, HD-compatible TV

Lowrance LVR-880 VHF/FM Radio

Lowrance LVR-880 VHF/FM Radio

In a world with so many VHF choices, two features on the Lowrance LVR-880 are especially noteworthy. One, it can receive stereo FM stations, even cut in with DSC calls, purportedly a first for a fixed VHF. Two, it uses NMEA 2000 to input GPS information and output DSC call data. This is especially

Swift Hitch

Swift Hitch

As the name implies, this $309 wireless color camera and display are meant to make hitching a vehicle to a trailer easy, and they do. Features that help: The image can be reversed to sync with your rear-view mirrors; the camera automatically switches to infrared-lit grey scale in the dark; and its base is magnetic. And

Freestyle Audio Sport MP3 Player

Freestyle Audio Sport MP3 player

So I not only tested the Freestyle water- and shockproof Sport MP3 music player, but also my ability to windsurf like I once could. Unfortunately I can't, and hence the test was thorough! The Freestyle is simple—a gig of flash memory, four buttons to control volume and tracks—and tough.

Boatsense Solutions

Boatsense solutions remote vessel monitoring system

The new company Boatsense Solutions has applied a rigorous keep-it-simple, -rugged, and -economical approach to its single eponymous product. It does not offer GPS tracking or a display screen, it does not include a call center or user Web site, and it doesn’t even send alarms by

E.E. Owner

"Glass bridge? Nah...been there, done that!" That's George Wallner surprising me as we tour his splendid and almost-finished 94-foot Electra. I'm already intrigued.

George Wallner maneuvers Electra from her upper helm during a trial run in Maine.

It isn't just that Wallner

Interphase SE-200B

Interphase SE-200B

Interphase's SE-200B forward-looking sonar (FLS) can be neatly integrated into most any helm. Its video output can go to one or more of the many multifunction displays that now support video, and/or its VGA output can go to one or more monitors with this PC-type input, while one or more compact keyboards can be

Krill Black Box

Krill Black Box

For a while now Krill Systems has been building sophisticated sensor pods that collect all sorts of vessel info—tank levels, switching states, power parameters, etc.—for delivery via Ethernet to a yacht's PC and, if desired, onto Krill's private Web service and then to you wherever you roam. Now it's

Raymarine A60

Raymarine A60

The 5.7-inch, dual-function A60 is only a minor model shift from 2006's 6.5-inch A65, but electronics designs can age well, particularly when software and value improve. It was interesting to test an A60 side by side with the fairly equivalent, if adolescent, Garmin 545s. The A60 has all the dedicated and soft keys

Where To?

The four units displayed in my test lab below—ranging from the diminutive 440 all the way up to the touch-screen 5212—are a good representation of the five multifunction series that Garmin rolled out this year. Actually there are some 20 new models within those series, depending on what's included in terms of charts and functions like sounder and XM weather/radio and how you count

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