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Author Articles

by Ben Ellison

Early Adopter

By Ben Ellison | Posted October 2008 | Add a Comment

Ben EllisonMark, Natalia, and Alexis Levey enjoying Camden, Maine, from the flying bridge of Alexis.Capt. Mark Levey is my kind of guy. When he took ownership of a new Azimut 55 in early 2007, he immediately had the factory-installed electronics replaced with the just-introduced Simrad Glass

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Yanmar Smart Check

By Ben Ellison | Posted October 2008 | Add a Comment

YanmarYanmar Smart CheckUnfortunately you'll need Yanmar electronic engines like the BY, LY3, and SY Series (so far) plus at least one Raymarine E-120 to even consider plunking down $795 for the Smart Check software package that will debut this fall. But once you realize all that it will do,

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FloScan FloNet

By Ben Ellison | Posted September 2008 | Add a Comment

Ben EllisonFloScan FloNetHats off to FloScan for developing FloNet, one of the most NMEA 2000-friendly products I've tested. Rather than trying to grab some of the precious space at your helm with a

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Offshore Systems Pump Control and Tank Display

By Ben Ellison | Posted September 2008 | Add a Comment

Offshore SystemsOffshore Systems Pump Control and Tank DisplayAs discussed in "Know the Flow", flow-based fuel management renders a tank gauge mainly useful for double-checking consumption and avoiding a tank

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Know the Flow

By Ben Ellison | Posted September 2008 | Add a Comment

Ben EllisonThese gauges are using twin FloScan interfaces and GPS to calculate nm/gal and more.Oil! I won't belabor the pain felt at fuel docks this season, but I sure am glad to report that electronics and engine manufacturers are working hard so that we can get the most boating from every

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How's Your "Q"?

By Ben Ellison | Posted August 2008 | Add a Comment

Airmar product manager Mark Reedenaur is showing off the company's floating test lab."Come on, Mark, can't you just tell me which is the best fishfinder?!?" I couldn't help making that plea when I realized what a fantastic floating fishfinder lab we were headed out to sea in. Before launching the 24-footer into the Piscataqua

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Raymarine DSM 400

By Ben Ellison | Posted August 2008 | Add a Comment

Raymarine DSM 400Raymarine's powerhouse DSM 400 black-box fishfinder weighs 27 pounds, contains four independent digital sonar transceivers, and can pump up to 3 kW of ping power on 28, 38, or 50 kHz and two on 185 or 200 kHz. All of which makes it particularly adept at handling some of the high-end Airmar transducer features

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Lowrance Broadband Sounder

By Ben Ellison | Posted August 2008 | Add a Comment

Lowrance Broadband Sounderowrance has not lost its innovative scrappiness under Navico ownership. In fact it was the latter's CEO, Jens-Thomas Pietralla, who dubbed the new Broadband Sounder a "disruptive technology." Now, confusingly, this $799 black-box fishfinder, which networks to all current Lowrance displays, is not

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Shine Micro RadarPlus AIS-BX

By Ben Ellison | Posted August 2008 | Add a Comment

Shine Micro RadarPlus AIS-BXIt's been almost 18 months since the U.S. Coast Guard approved a variety of yacht-size Class B AIS transponders, and the FCC still hasn't added its blessing! I'll spare you further ranting, but understand that we may have to wait for a new administration before we can use this valuable safety tool.

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Bushnell ONIX 400

By Ben Ellison | Posted August 2008 | Add a Comment

Bushnell ONIX 400Bushnell's Onix 400 mapping GPS is designed primarily for hikers, but I'm not the only boater to notice its ability to deliver both XM Satellite Weather and Radio in a form portable enough to also go on the water, in the car, etc. Unfortunately the weather data it displays is a limited subset of what's available

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