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Author Articles

by Ben Ellison

3D & G

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2008 | Add a Comment

The competition is fierce, and I'm not just talking about the grandiose debuts held simultaneously and almost chin-to-chin across a Fort Lauderdale boulevard the evening before the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show began. The two combatants (Furuno's new NavNet 3D and Raymarine's new G Series) both crave, and deserve, attention from the same sort of users—bigger-boat, bigger-budget

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Simrad AP 24 and AP 28

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2008 | Add a Comment

Simrad AP 28Simrad's two new autopilot control heads, the AP 28 (above) and the smaller, knobless AP 24, may look like minor upgrades to the revered Simrad (Robertson) line, but there's a big change behind the scenes. Each head uses SimNet, a flavor of NMEA 2000, to communicate with one of two new SimNet-talking autopilot

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Navionics Platinum+

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2008 | Add a Comment

Navionics Platinum+As the ever-so-slight name change implies, "plus" is only an incremental change from the original multifaceted Platinum format, mainly offering improved resolution of the photo maps and panoramic port photos. But the improvement is major. One measure of how much more data is included in Platinum+ is that the

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Standard Horizon CPV555

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2008 | Add a Comment

Standard Horizon CPV555Combine a top-the-line VHF radio with a competent chartplotter/fishfinder, and you get Standard Horizon's unusual and under-appreciated CPV series, which began with a seven-inch display and now also comes in this jumbo 12-inch unit. Given its considerable size you may not save any helm space, but man, you

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PulseTech Xtreme Charger

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2008 | Add a Comment

PulseTech Xtreme ChargerWhat with the lab and a fleet of small craft, I use and abuse a lot of 12-volt batteries. Wasn't I tickled with how well the $100 Xtreme "five-stage maintenance" Marine Charger tested and then, when possible, charged and desulphated my scraggly collection, all the while telling me what it was up to with

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PAS-Thru Box

By Ben Ellison | Posted January 2008 | Add a Comment

PAS-Thru BoxLife's hard; your friends are all enjoying NMEA 2000 install benefits with their new gear, and you're still struggling with an unruly mess of NMEA 0183 data connections. I know your pain, and a PAS-Thru Box can at least soothe it. The $150 model shown here can beautifully organize, connect, and protect 16 cable pairs,

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Black Box Wideband Receivers

By Ben Ellison | Posted December 2007 | Add a Comment

The seven-inch Alden AE-3300 alongside the Icom R2500 with its second, non-PC control head.Wideband is not broadband. If you boat far from civilization, you'll still find even a moderately fast Internet connection elusive (see KVH FleetBroadband

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KVH FleetBroadband

By Ben Ellison | Posted December 2007 | Add a Comment

KVH FleetBroadbandThe good news is that the advent of Inmarsat's FleetBroadband in November means that a yacht cruising almost anywhere from the U.S. West Coast eastward to Australia can get a decent Internet connection ("up to" 284 kbps) and make clear phone calls with a stabilized antenna dome just a foot high—even at the

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Glomex Polaris

By Ben Ellison | Posted December 2007 | Add a Comment

Glomex PolarisSatellite TV and radio are great on a boat, since they're able to deliver clear and familiar channels most everywhere you cruise. But what about unfamiliar content? Glomex's amplified and directional antenna might be just

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ClearPoint Weather

By Ben Ellison | Posted December 2007 | Add a Comment

ClearPoint WeatherClearPoint is an ambitious new weather service that attempts to go global with features similar to those that have made XM and Sirius Weather so popular under their North American

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