By Ben Ellison
The bigger picture is that international norms seem to be changing, even disintegrating, and chart costs will become more variable from one country to another. I’m told that some foreign hydrographic authorities will soon instigate significant royalty increases on the theory that users, not taxpayers, should finance data collection. Meanwhile, the U.S. government takes the opposite approach, claiming no copyright on data. NOAA is now actually giving away charts in PC format, which is encouraging increased competition—around chart features and pricing—among the vendors.
EPIRB and PLB Problems Solved
This issue highlighted both the need for tougher standards on safety gear and the value of independent testing organizations like ETS. Hawley notes that the testing was “a great learning experience for us and I believe the industry as well” and that West Marine, along with BoatU.S., will sponsor more ETS rescue beacon tests this winter.
GPS Spoofing Detected?
This article originally appeared in the November 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.