Panbo News and Reviews

11

Installing and configuring a Victron battery monitor

Deep cycle, house batteries can be critical to enjoying time on your boat away from the dock. But, as boaters, we often fail to consider what’s happening with our batteries. A battery monitor helps us understand what’s happening with our electrical system and our batteries. For many owners, ignorance may be bliss when it comes to their house banks. However, that bliss can come to a screeching halt when you find yourself prematurely murdering your batteries. The solution? A battery monitor. This article will walk you through the basic process of installing a Victron battery monitor and the critical settings to ensure accuracy.

9

Garmin, Raymarine, and Simrad enclosed radars compared, part 2

Part 1 of my radar comparison generated a good discussion about the results and highlighted some opportunities to get back out on the water and complete some additional testing. I’m back with part 2 and the results of that additional testing. I’ve been able to test some additional scenarios, different settings, and more features of all three radars.

16

Enclosed radars compared, including Garmin, Raymarine, and Simrad

I often shy away from recommending one manufacturer’s products over another. I feel the comparison is usually highly subjective and what works for me may not work for others. But, an on-the-water comparison of Garmin, Raymarine, and Simrad’s current radar units allows all of us to see the results and decide for ourselves what we like best.

2

Remote options, Dockmate and Yacht Controller offer new solutions

For many years Yacht Controller was just about the only game in wireless docking remotes for boats. But, starting roughly four years ago, Dockmate brought their products to the United States. Dockmate’s software configurable, two-way remotes offered more configurability than Yacht Controller’s. But now, Yacht Controller has introduced Maixmo with several features not available from Dockmate and Dockmate has introduced Red, a full remote system at a previously untouchable price point.

6

Avikus’ autonomous boat navigates, pilots, and docks itself

In a last-minute addition to my Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS) schedule, I was invited to take a ride on Avikus autonomous boat. Boy, am I glad I did. Despite being a pre-production system, what I saw and experienced was the most polished example I’ve seen to date of assisted boating.

20

KiloVault HLX+ Batteries tested, power aplenty

Each of the last three summers my family and I have loaded ourselves into our RV, Harvey, and hit the road. It’s an opportunity to see friends and family and to escape some of the hottest months of south Florida’s summer. It’s also an opportunity for me to test new systems installed on the RV.

3

Tank monitoring with Victron GX Tank 140, accuracy matters

Harvey, as I (mostly) affectionately call my RV, like all other RVs, contains waste and gray water. If you’re a boater in the U.S., gray water containment is a largely foreign concept. Let me tell you, it’s also kind of a pain. On Harvey, until now, it’s been a pain. But, it turns out that’s because we were only using a small percentage of the advertised capacity of the gray water tank. Victron’s Venus OS, GX Tank 140, and an inexpensive tank transducer tell the real story of our tank usage.

5

Actisense adds NMEA 2000 insight to W2K-1 with Actisense-i

Actisense’s W2K-1, like Actisense’s other products, is a well-made, straightforward product with a few extra features. The primary focus of the W2K-1 is making data from your NMEA 2000 network available via WiFi to mobile devices and laptop. But now, Actisense has expanded the features of the W2K-1 to include their Actisense-i diagnostics functionality. How does Actisense-i stack up to other NMEA 2000 troubleshooting tools? I’ve spent some time with it and believe it provides useful insight into your network but leaves room for more.

9

A cool and quiet sailboat thanks to efficient air conditioning, LiFePO4 batteries, and Integrel

I work around boats pretty much every day of my life. So, what would cause me to jump in my car and drive 28 hours round trip to go see a boat? The answer: A brand new, luxury 44-foot sailboat ordered with no generator and no air conditioning. But fear not, although it was delivered without systems many regard as required, it’s now been outfitted with arguably the best air conditioning and power systems available.