Panbo Features

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SV Delos, much more than fun in the Pacific

“Another interesting bluewater cruising boat smartly visiting Camden in October,” I thought to myself, “but what’s up with that giant VSAT dome?” Yes, I failed to recognize one of the world’s most famous cruising boats until I ran into an excited passenger schooner captain/friend waiting for the Delos crew to come ashore. But many more boaters than I envision Delos perpetually adventuring to exotic Pacific locales; for example, check this 2014 Episode #22 video that’s drawn 4.3 million YouTube views…

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Mercury’s new 600hp Verado V12: truly different & surprisingly smooth

Mercury Marine’s highly secure and unusual Lake X facility has decades of history as a research, development, and testing skunkworks for the company’s many outboard innovations. So it was a fitting location, even on a gloomy Monday afternoon, for the unveiling of Mercury’s latest creation. And what an outboard they revealed: a 600 horsepower, twelve-hundred plus pound V12 with a two-speed automatic transmission, counter-rotating props, and a lower unit that rotates while the engine itself only tilts.

New Boat Network feature seen on iPad and Android phone versions of Cortex Onboard apps 21

Vesper Cortex update: Boat Networks, squashing bugs & more

Vesper Marine’s Cortex AIS, VHF, and monitoring system is the most innovative marine electronics product I’ve tested in a long time. But Cortex is also a serious challenge to review properly because it has so many useful capabilities — some of which look and feel strikingly different from their antecedents — and it’s also a system designed to evolve. That’s the justification for this update, even though…

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Zipwake interceptors, dynamic trim control installed and tested

Last fall I installed Zipwake interceptors on Panbo(at), my 22-foot center console, to help control motor torque trim, level the boat while running, and reduce some rolling. At first, I was highly impressed by the design and quality of the hardware, but I had some concerns about its automatic control mode. However, after some tuning by an Imtra field technician — Imtra is the exclusive U.S. ZipWake distributor — I’m sold.

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Garmin GPSMap 943xsv hands-on, X3 delivers

Last November Garmin announced new X3 versions of their mid-tier 7, 9, and 12-inch GPSMap multifunction displays (MFDs), claiming higher resolution displays, twice the processing power, and more features compared to the X2 models they replace. I installed the GPSMap 943xsv — the “3” is what’s new, while “xsv” indicates all the sonar processing built-in — and can report that it works well. And I remember how responsive an X2 series 1242xsv was. I expected an X3 to be an improvement on an already highly capable unit, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Temo 450 in action (photo ©Wind4production) 10

Temo, unique electric propulsion with ancient design roots

The Temo electric outboard is wildly different from any other design, but it makes sense on first sight, and more so when you dig into the details. It’s small boat propulsion in the simple format of a single sculling oar, a modern brushless electric prop drive in some ways as rudimentary as a third-world longtail. So while the boaters above are enjoying quiet and highly maneuverable thrust similar to what a Torqeedo 1003 has pleasantly provided me for years, they’ve got it in a significantly more compact and portable package…

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Raymarine announces YachtSense control and switching system

Boat show season 2020 has turned into virtual event season 2020. Raymarine got in on the action with a press conference to coincide with the start of METSTrade Connect, the virtual networking event organized by METSTrade. Raymarine gave an update on DockSense, their collision avoidance system, and announced YachtSense, the product name for a new family of control and switching products.

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Hands-on with Raymarine’s Axiom+, improved MFDs and software

Last June Raymarine announced and I wrote about new Axiom+ multifunction displays (MFDs), plus new charts and an updated version of their LightHouse 3 MFD operating system. Each is a significant update, and so far I’ve been able to explore two out of three. What follows are my thoughts — and I must say that I’m more impressed by the upgrade than I was expecting — after testing an Axiom+ 9 and LightHouse 3.12, plus an update on the delayed charts.

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Testing Vesper Cortex M1: excellent AIS, monitoring, and much more in one box

What a box! If possible, I’d expand the headline to “excellent AIS transceiver, dual antenna splitter, high-performance GNSS, AIS display and collision avoidance, NMEA 0183 & 2000 data multiplexing, nav app WiFi support, anchor watch, and general off-boat monitoring.” And even that long list leaves out the powerful VHF radio that’s also inside the M1 hub, accessible with the innovative multifunction Cortex handsets, and understandably the most prominent feature in Vesper’s marketing. But that’s my plan for this review…

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Clarion Marine CMSP speakers and XC amps, premium value?

In the early 2000s it seemed like every new boat had a factory-installed Clarion head unit and speakers. The giant double-din XMD3 was standard equipment on my first new boat and several others since. But starting a few years ago, the brand became less visible, to the point that I can’t remember when I last a new production boat install. Well, now Clarion is back with fresh products and assist from new brand owner JL Audio. And I’ve just installed their latest speaker and amp models on Panbo(at) to see how they perform.