By Ben Ellison
Nauticomp Columbus Explorer
The Columbus Explorer is a more conventional marine computer than those discussed in the column. On one hand it certainly has built-for-boat characteristics: a compact (15"x4"x14") anodized aluminum housing designed to be bolted in place, multiple levels of shock absorption, protective coatings on all internal circuitry, and three RS232 serial ports for interfacing with NMEA 0183 devices (which is three more than many modern laptops). But otherwise the $3,100 Explorer computer is much like a standard high-end desktop, and you can install any software you desire. In fact, Nauticomp buys the guts from Dell, and hence the unit nicely comes with Dell’s famous three-year, on-site, next-day service. Nauticomp also offers an extensive line of marine monitors, software, and peripherals.
Nauticomp ( (800) 267-9491. www.nauticomp.com.
This article originally appeared in the February 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.