Subscribe to our newsletter

Author Articles

by Tim Bartlett

PMY Electronics Editor:
Based out of the U.K., Tim has a lifetime of experience running and writing about boats. For more than ten years, he served as the technical editor of Motor Boat and Yachting—the UK’s leading powerboat magazine. Since leaving that position in 1997, he has penned articles for various boating publications, including Power & Motoryacht’s sister magazine, SAIL Magazine. Read more here...

Standard Horizon CPN MFDs

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Standard Horizon CPN MFDsCPN1010i AND 700i PLOTTERSBlurring the tenuous line between navigation instruments and computers even further, Standard Horizon’s CPN1010i and 700i plotters move away from the company’s usual conservative styling and textured casings: They have rounded corners and edges and are finished in high-gloss “piano black.” They still have the

Read Article

Icom MA-500TR

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Icom MA-500TRClass B AIS TransceiverIcom’s MA-500TR—the company’s first (and only) Class B AIS transceiver—broadcasts position, track, and speed data derived from its own internal GPS. Cosmetically compatible with Icom’s rugged, chunky IC-M504 and IC-M604 radios, the MA-500TR monitors the two AIS frequencies for incoming information

Read Article

Personal locator beacons

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Cutting the FatPhoto Courtesy of KannadPersonal locator beacons get slim and trimThere seems to be something of an arms race going on between rival manufacturers to produce the smallest and lightest PLB on the market: Kannad’s Safelink Solo is already narrowly beaten by the FastFind models (with or

Read Article

Miami 2011 Electronics Product Round Up

By Tim Bartlett | Posted May 2011 | Add a Comment

Miami: From Sonar to SatcomThere was something for everyone in the electronics hall at the Miami boat show, at prices to suit almost every budget.In Miami, my personal pick of the show is the TracPhone V3 mini VSAT terminal. Less than 15 inches in diameter and weighing just 25 pounds, KVH is claiming it as the smallest marine VSAT antenna in the world—and pointing

Read Article

Furuno 21x7BB

By Tim Bartlett | Posted April 2011 | Add a Comment

The View from the BridgeNew Class B AIS Targets DisplayAIS clutter may (one day) be more of a problem on small screens than on big ones but that doesn’t mean that the big-ship guys are ignoring the possibility. For the past couple of years now, it’s been an international requirement that all new ships’ radars must include a facility for

Read Article

AIS Watchmate

By Tim Bartlett | Posted April 2011 | Add a Comment

Clearing the AIS Log JamOnce skeptics thought AIS wasn’t worth the bother. Now they worry the technology is working too well.For about the same price as a pair of midrange binoculars, an Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver can alert you to the presence of approaching vessels and tell you their names, courses, speeds, and

Read Article

Watchmate 850

By Tim Bartlett | Posted March 2011 | Add a Comment

Vesper Marine is a New Zealand-based company that specializes in easy-to-use AIS equipment for recreational and light commercial craft. Recently granted FCC approval, the third member of Vesper’s Watchmate range is the Watchmate 850, which has a built-in AIS B transponder and is priced at $1,099. While the transponder broadcasts details of your boat’s

Read Article

Personal Computers at Sea

By Tim Bartlett | Posted March 2011 | Add a Comment

PCs at SeaThese computers may be indispensable ashore, but can they really cope with the rough-and-tumble of life and work afloat?I’ve never been much in favor of using “office equipment” onboard a boat. It’s fine to use a laptop to do a bit of Web surfing, send a few e-mails, or play games, but navigation, communications,

Read Article

How to Keep Your Chart Data Up To Date

By Tim Bartlett | Posted February 2011 | Add a Comment

Top of the ChartsThere are numerous ways to keep your chart data up to date.Finding your way through shifting banks or a channel such as this one demands the very latest information.No one who has gone back to their hometown after a few years away can fail to notice how much things have changed. Maybe

Read Article

Satellite Communications For You

By Tim Bartlett | Posted February 2011 | Add a Comment

Satcom For EverymanThanks to powerful new satellites, nearly anyone can now afford to stay in touch from anywhere in the world.Last August, Inmarsat placed a billion-dollar contract with Boeing for three new satellites. Using higher frequencies than any existing commercial satcom system, they will provide land users with data transfer

Read Article