Panbo News and Reviews


Dometic all electric steering, four years later and now with autopilot

It’s now been four years since I installed Dometic’s all electric steering system (AES) on Panbo(at). When I wrote my initial review of the system, I bragged that after sixty hours on the boat the system worked perfectly and without incident. Allow me to add a zero to my brag. After six hundred trouble free hours I’m back with an update on the system, a new auto pilot, and information on additional all electric systems for more boat types.


Starlink Mini is available, but with limited data options

We’ve been hearing about Starlink’s Mini terminal for a long time now. Recently, hints from regulatory filings, new documents on their website, preparation for the new terminal in the app, and even a Tweet from Elon Musk made it seem the introduction was imminent. This week, Starlink made links on the website live and started sending emails to some long time subscribers offering an opportunity to purchase the new terminal. Now we have the opportunity to see if the Mini answers some of boater’s gripes with the current hardware.


Calypso Instruments Ultrasonic NMEA 2000 wind meter, plug and play wind

Wind sensors serve multiple purposes on a boat. For a sailor, they provide critical information to best harness the wind. For a power boater, they provide insight into conditions and a potential preview of close quarters manuevering. Regardless of the application, a simple, reliable, accurate, and easy to use wind instrument is something many boaters value. Does the Calypos Ultrasonic NMEA 2000 Wind Sensor deliver? Let’s take a look.


Starlink spring 2024, making sense of continued changes

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a Starlink update. Frankly, that’s because things have (mostly) been humming along pretty well with a relative minimum of changes. While there have been developments, including new hardware, none of them called to me for an update. Until last week. That’s when subscribers to Starlink’s Mobility – Global package received an email notifying them their monthly charges would double. So, now seems like a good time to dive back in and take a look at the state of affairs at SpaceX and Starlink.


Max Marine Electronics, used gear with confidence

I first learned about Max Marine Electronics when Max himself served with me on an awards judging panel at the National Marine Electronics Association’s annual meeting a few years ago. Since hearing about his operations, I’ve been planning to visit the facility and see how they refurbish and sell used marine electronics. It took a while, but I recently made my way to Pompano Beach and spent the day with Max at his eponymous company.


Garmin GPSMap 9000 series, high resolution and big power

Garmin’s GPSMap 9000 series is a tour de force in many ways. At 27 inches, the largest member of the line is the largest main stream MFD out there. With 4K resolution it’s the highest resolution MFD on the market. It has ample processing power, myriad interfaces for integration, and ample screen real estate.


Seakeeper 1: installed, on the water, and stable

In the last year, Panbo(at) has had both Seakeeper Ride and now a Seakeeper 1 gyro installed. I know it may seem like it, but Panbo(at) didn’t have a stability problem before both products were installed. In fact, the boat’s ride impressed me even without any aids. But, now that it has these two systems keeping the boat’s movements in check, I can’t help but marvel at how much better the boat rides. Seakeeper’s systems have taken a boat with good manners and made it dramatically better. That’s quite the accomplishment.


MIBS 2024: Dockmate DPS

Dynamic positioning systems (DPS) have been around for over a decade. But, until now, DPS has been a feature of joystick control systems tightly coupled with propulsion packages. So, a boater interested in adding DPS to their boat couldn’t unless their existing engine and control package offered it. Typically, that means pods or recent outboards. That propulsion integration means if you own a boat with traditional inboards, shafts, and props, there very likely isn’t a viable DPS option. Until now! Dockmate now offers DPS as an add-on to any twin-engine boat fitted with their remote control.



Shortly before the 2024 Miami International Boat Show, Simrad announced the NSX ULTRAWIDE multi-function device. My first reaction when I saw it was that Simrad was joining other ultrawide displays already in the market. But, when I stopped to think about it, I realized they are the first to introduce an ultrawide MFD to the marine marketplace. It seemed like such a logical next step that I thought someone must have done it already. So, I believe Simrad deserves credit for being the first and keeping pace with broader trends.