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by Ben Ellison

Northstar M121

By Ben Ellison | Posted February 2007 | Add a Comment

I first knew the 12-inch Northstar M121 MFD as the Navman 8120. Now it not only has joined the Northstar family (upper right in group photo) but has gained a new little brother, the 8.4-inch M84, and brought along some 27 various Explorer smaller boat cousins. The latter are all based on Navman designs, only with black buttons and in some cases upgrades like

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Poly-Planar Modular Marine Stereo

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2007 | Add a Comment

One sign of how deeply Poly-Planar rethought marine stereo is that it takes a while to fully comprehend its flexibility, power, and thorough boat-worthiness. Start with the basic $500 package, a MRD-70 combo AM/FM receiver and no-skip CD/MP3 player paired with a RD-44 control head; everything's waterproof, even the cable connectors, and the head, in either gray

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Hatteland Series 2

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2007 | Add a Comment

Hatteland Display, a large Norwegian manufacturer with an excellent behind-the-scenes reputation, is going public with its new Series 2 Marine Multi Displays (MMD) and Marine Multi Computers (MMC). The interesting idea here is that interchangeable "backpacks" make identical slim-line screens into either conventional multi-input monitors or compact all-in-one

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Raymarine LifeTag MOB System

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2007 | Add a Comment

Unlike some safety gear, you'll never have to worry if LifeTag is going to work when you need it. That's because it's what might be called an "alarm-on-failure" system; the receiver triggers an alarm whenever one of the constantly transmitting pendants goes out of its 30-foot range (overboard!), if it breaks or loses battery power, or when a wearer pushes his or

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POI'd Off

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2007 | Add a Comment

This C-Map POI data is the best available, but it's still full of errors.It's my good fortune that I get to spend many a fine summer's day hanging around beautiful, bustling Camden Harbor, Maine. Often I'm fooling with some new charting wonder because that's my job, and often I'm also scanning locally busy VHF channels because I'm

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Garmin GPSMAP 4XXX

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2007 | Add a Comment

Garmin chose the huge Marine Electronics Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam to preview an entirely refreshed marine line that will roll out during the first half of 2007, and I wasn’t the only bowled-over observer. We saw 20-something new products all boasting a sleek, new casing design as well as an intriguing new interface platform. For example, the latest

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TR-1 Gladiator YTS Autopilot

By Ben Ellison | Posted December 2006 | Add a Comment

With its YTS model, Nautamatic is finally offering a conventional control head for its unconventional yet well-proven autopilot technology. In fact, the three buttons and dual-function knob (steering or course setting) are about as simple as it gets and a welcome contrast to its original ten-button wired remote. You still get the remote and its unique facilities

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Raymarine G190

By Ben Ellison | Posted December 2006 | Add a Comment

A Lauderdale line that rings true: "19-inch is the new 15-inch." We want bigger displays, and bezels are getting thin enough that we can have bigger in almost the same helm space. Raymarine's elegant G190 monitor is a good example, featuring nine video inputs with direct-access keys and flexible PiP (picture-in-picture) ability. Its front side is waterproof and,

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FLIR Navigator

By Ben Ellison | Posted December 2006 | Add a Comment

While BMW's optional Night Vision is winning raves for its ability to help drivers see obstacles beyond their headlights, I'd argue that the same thermal technology is even more valuable for negotiating a pitch-black channel or recovering a person overboard. So isn't it nifty that BMW's 70,000 cameras-a-year order is why manufacturer FLIR can now offer marinized

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Nobeltec Admiral 9

By Ben Ellison | Posted November 2006 | Add a Comment

The full name for this high-end $1,200 PC navigation package, Jeppesen Marine's Nobeltec Admiral 9.0, has become a mouthful—and its $490 little brother, Jep...tec Visual Navigator Suite (VNS) 9, even worse—but I dare say that the similarly long list of "choice" new features, and especially new Plus Pack options, will be much appreciated. The left

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