These are heady times for marine-navigation systems. New technologies are making it possible to share information with fellow boaters faster and more easily than ever before, making charts incredibly accurate. Read here to find out how you can get involved.
Why GPS could be more dangerous than you think.
GPS is a fantastic tool, but it’s still only a tool. The person that operates it is ultimately responsible for using it correctly and getting safely to his destination. We investigated the pitfalls of being overly reliant on GPS.
Are paper charts a thing of the past?
NOAA recently made news by saying that it would no longer be printing its own paper charts. But does that mean that the time of the paper chart is gone, and that they’ve been fully usurped by electronic charts? Read here to see what we think.
If you’ve ever followed the magenta line down the ICW you know a little local knowledge will go a long way to keeping you out of trouble. But does that mean we’ll be better off without the line as NOAA is exploring the possibility of its demise? Read all about what could happen and what it may mean to you here.
Whether you’re looking to get a brand-new boat or upgrade the boat you have, the autopilot may play a big role in how you feel about that boat. And the way technology is changing, you may find a whole new reason to love boating. See what we’re talking about here.
I haven’t actually cruised with the Nobeltec TimeZero iPad app yet but I was able to preview it before it made it to the iTunes store last week and I have already seen its excellent (Bad Elf Pro-powered) tracking while underway in car and dinghy...
Powerboaters could learn a thing or two about using electronics from sailors. There are some new systems that make these lessons more apparent. See what we’re talking about here.
Navigation electronics make things easy on boaters—till they go wrong. Learn the best way to stay safe while cruising. Our tips will help you know just where you are, where you’re headed, and how to get home using a keen mind, a sharp eye, and the tools of the trade.
Just when you thought onboard gadgetry had reached its limit, FLIR has introduced a thermal imager with technology previously unavailable to civilians like us. Have a look at the latest system here.
Thermal imaging works just fine in daylight, but can it cut through sight-reducing mists?
Even the most seat-of-the-pants navigator can benefit from passing his or her eyes over a course in advance of a cruise. Voyage-planning software gives you the option to do this at your helm, your home computer, or even a tablet or other mobile device. Learn more about how to use this powerful navigational tool here.
Relying on navigation electronics is a double-edged sword. Trust is necessary, along with constant doubt. Only together can these diametrically opposed conditions work to get us where we need to go.
More satellites, more precise positioning. Simrad’s new GS25 is a GPS antenna and a GLONASS antenna, all in one tidy package.
FLIR launched the MD-324 as one of the company’s MD-Series of fixed-mount thermal-imaging cameras. The cameras are simple to mount and easy to integrate into existing electronics, and come at an affordable price point.
Garmin’s GPSMAP 8000 Series Combines Power and Simplicity
The GPSMAP 8000 is being hailed as Garmin’s new flagship. This is a system that would seem right at home on a large yacht, but we saw it installed on a 32-foot Scout center console. Learn more about the system here.
Raymarine has just rolled out its Dragonfly combo unit and we’ve got to say, this is big functionality in a small package. Two kinds of CHIRP sounding and a chartplotter for under $700—in a bracket-mount standalone unit. Raymarine Dragonfly may be the buzz on the fishing docks this spring.
There was significant news regarding Garmin’s BlueChart Mobile app (BCM). In fact, anyone with a relatively current iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone—that is, one that’s running iOS 6 or better—can download the basic and free BlueChart app right now.
GPS altered how boaters figure out where they are. But other, new, comparable systems are coming online soon, shifting the satellite-navigation landscape even more. Don’t worry, it’s going to be a good thing.
Radar shows us what we cannot see, due to distance, fog, and darkness. But the way it does that is undergoing a major change, and we wanted to know more. Tim Bartlett learned all about it and shares what he learned here.
Linux Comes aboard with Digital Yacht
Worried about putting a personal computer on your boat? Use one that’s made to be there: Digital Yacht’s Aqua 50 marine PC works with a range of DC input levels and has a 64-gigabyte hard drive designed to work without a cooling fan. Learn more here.
The Plan2Nav app from C-Map provides chartplotting capability to GPS-enabled handheld mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and iPod, as well as those with the Android operating system.
FLIR Helps Boaters Know What They’re Seeing
Night vision is cool technology, no doubt about it. But interpreting what you’re seeing on a thermal-imaging scope is not always be simple—until now. Instalert is FLIR’s answer to that. See what it does here.
Learn about the Lowrance Elite 7 Chartplotter and Fishfinder//Lowrance’s latest chartplotter, the Elite 7 HDI combines navigation and sounding functions in one easy-to-use unit with many interesting features, including NMEA 2000 compatibility. Need a new plotter? Have a look at this.
Raymarine updated its LightHouse software, which directs the user experience for the company’s a-, c-, and e-Series multifunction displays.
Navionics’s SonarCharts use sonar logs from users, along with data from the hydrographic office and proprietary surveys to add detail to a layer of cartography.
As Interphase Technologies joins Garmin, forward-looking sonar may get a boost.