Garmin GDL 40

For boaters who don’t go far from the coast, a Pay-As-You-Go Weather Receiver: Get a day’s worth of weather data on your plotter for $5...

Getting The Weather

Passagemakers can find different sources for WX information as their voyage progresses and adjust their plans based on current data.

Personal locator beacons

Cutting the Fat

Personal locator beacons get slim and trim

There seems to be something of an arms race going on between rival manufacturers to produce the smallest and lightest PLB on the market: Kannad’s Safelink Solo is already narrowly beaten by the FastFind models (with or

Furuno 21x7BB

The View from the Bridge

New Class B AIS Targets Display

AIS clutter may (one day) be more of a problem on small screens than on big ones but that doesn’t mean that the big-ship guys are ignoring the possibility. For the past couple of years now, it’s been an international requirement that all new ships’ radars must include a facility for

AIS Watchmate

Clearing the AIS Log Jam

Once skeptics thought AIS wasn’t worth the bother. Now they worry the technology is working too well.

For about the same price as a pair of midrange binoculars, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver can alert you to the presence of approaching vessels and tell you their names, courses, speeds, and

Review of night imaging products

Night Moves

There's more than one way to see in the dark.

CAM100 is a low-light video camera with built-in infrared lighting. $700

You wouldn’t think much of a piece of boat gear that stopped working or whose performance was severely reduced for half of the time. But in the case of our

Smoke Alarms for Your Boat

A 75-footer heading from Naples, Florida, to the Bahamas stopped for what promised to be a relaxing night in Miami. The seven guests onboard—five college-age passengers, the vessel’s owner, and his wife—kicked back and enjoyed a few cocktails. Everyone relaxed.

Four hours later, the scene onboard was anything but calm. A massive fire had spread throughout

A Sirius/XM Development

A Sirius/XM Development

Finally—dependable, detailed, real-time weather info onboard.

Sirius/XM services offer weather station and buoy reports (left), animated frontal boundaries (middle), and NexRad (right).

Years ago, during one of the economic downturns that regularly plague the oil-and-gas business, I

Stay Safe WITH AIS

Why a collision-avoidance system is must-have technology.

Vesper Marine’s AIS Watchmate RX displays data from its built-in receiver on a simple, radar-like display or as a prioritized list. ($700; www.vesper

Every year, the U.S. Coast Guard publishes its Recreational Boating Statistics—70-odd pages of


Jotron's Automatic Identification System (AIS) SART is a search-and-rescue beacon based on AIS technology; it transmits a dedicated identity code and GPS position to produce a distinctive red cross icon on the bridge display of every AIS-equipped ship within range, marking the position of a liferaft or a vessel in distress.

Jotron was instrumental in carrying


ACR Electronics has introduced what it describes as the newest generation of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) in the shape of the AquaLink PLB. Although less than six inches long and thus truly pocket-size, the newly approved AquaLink features an integral 66-channel GPS. Once the unit is triggered, the lat and lon provided by its GPS should guide rescuers to

Night Eyes

Eat all the carrots you want. Your eyes still can’t match the power of thermal imaging.

Need proof of how well FLIR’s infrared technology works? Compare the views of the same bridge abutment (above): on the left as viewed with the naked eye, on the right using infrared technology.

We’ve all brought a flashlight up on

Avoiding Disaster

True Motion displays like this one have come down from the big-ship world. For collision avoidance, switch to the unit’s relative-motion mode.

One foggy May morning, a few years ago, a 900-foot container ship heading westwards at 25 knots collided with a 40-foot yacht called Wahkuna, which until a few minutes before the collision,

A Fatal Error

The ill-fated fishing vessel Lady Mary, docked at her home port of Cape May, New Jersey, before the incident.

EPIRB manufacturers around the world are urging owners to make sure their distress beacons are properly registered. The warning follows the loss of the scallop dredger

Hazardous to Your Health?

Garmin pulsed radar

The microwaves that reheat your coffee are very much the same as those transmitted by marine radars, so it isn’t too far-fetched to believe that they could “cook” anyone who gets in their way. And we all know that some types of radiation can produce deformities in unborn children or trigger the

Search and Rescue

In January, thieves ran PWCs up to a 35-foot Fountain that was docked in Fort Lauderdale, cut her lines, and quickly towed her away. Within seconds, the boat’s owner received a text message on his cellphone alerting him to the fact that the vessel was on the move and providing her exact positioning, speed, and heading. Armed with this information, he contacted

Simrad AI50

Simrad's AI50 is the most feature-packed Class B transponder available. Most obvious is the four-inch display with its world base map. It can serve as a standalone AIS target plotter, or as a useful adjunct to your regular nav system, which the AI50 can feed with target and GPS data either via NMEA 0183


Autotether wireless lanyard

My 14-foot outboard catamaran Gizmo is quick and low-sided, and I have almost fallen out of her; yet I rarely clip on the engine kill-switch tether because it's too cumbersome. I admit stupidity on this score—no letters, please—but also delight that Autotether has come along to save

KEP Marine Monitors

KEP Marine Monitors

KEP Marine is likely one of the largest and most accomplished marine electronics companies you've probably never heard of, though you may have marveled at one of its super-bright monitors with a more familiar brand name on it. KEP also directly markets its own line of In-Sight displays ranging from 12-inch to

From a Ship's Bridge

As a young third mate straight out of the Maritime Academy, I took a job on the 873-foot S/S Cape Mohican. Nervous about standing my first bridge watch, I asked the captain for a few tips, and he jokingly replied, "Red over red, the captain's dead (vessel not under command); if it's painted grey, stay away (Navy); and never alter course for a boat unless



ACR's 12-inch-high RCL-300A beams a million candela of light with twin HID bulbs and can pan continuously at 12 or 30 degrees per second, controlled by up to three Point Pads. Its 45-degree-tilt ability is completely internal (reflector assemblies only), which protects the mechanism, but it also has a clever XRCiZ

VEI OceanView Zeus

VEI OceanView Zeus

VEI, the Florida-based manufacturer of marine monitors and computers, has jumped with both feet into night-vision cameras. Its OceanView line includes five pan-and-tilt models each named for Greek deities, hence the company's "Play God! Turn night into day" tag line. It starts with the $12,995 Apollo, which

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

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