Panbo Features

10

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…

9

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.

2

Quark-Elec A026: AIS receiver with WiFi, GPS, and NMEA 0183 multiplexing

Quark-Elec offers quite an array of problem-solving marine electronic devices. I’ve been testing their A026 AIS receiver with built-in GPS; data output via WiFi, USB, or NMEA 0183; plus an 0183 input that can be multiplexed into its output stream. This little box could be the perfect answer for day sailors, delivery captains, and any boater looking for an easy way to get AIS target and GPS data to a navigation app running on a tablet or phone, or to a PC or MFD. But, how does it perform?

12

Across Ocean Systems NMEA 2000 pressure sensor, smart & useful

What you’re seeing above is an innovative and affordable new NMEA 2000 pressure sensor from a relatively unknown company, plus the work of a dumbass installer. Yes, I tried to remove the analog vacuum gauge on Gizmo’s Racor fuel filter system before installing the Across Ocean Systems (AOS) sensor, broke the gauge glass in the process, and only then realized it had a compatible seeming port on top…

8

Simrad Go12 XSE and Halo20, capable and cost-effective small boat navigation

Simrad’s Go12 XSE may be from the value-oriented Go line, but I’m impressed at its performance and capabilities after installing it aboard Panbo(at). Plus, paired with Simrad’s Halo20 radar this 22-foot center-console has great nighttime and foul-weather visibility. All of this from an electronics package with a list price of less than $4,000.

31

ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus electric outboard, Torqeedo has competition

The summer of 2020 In my home harbor was different from past seasons in three ways:.. …and there were a whole lot more Torqeedo electric outboards in use on tenders and small boats. While the Covid pandemic clearly caused the first two situations, I think that the popularity of small electric outboards is just reaching a sharply upward and sustained growth curve. And the ePropulsion Spirit 1.0 Plus will be part of this growth…

6

Helm ergonomics part one: Junior’s makeover

This spring and summer I redid all three of my boat helms — Junior’s above, plus the flybridge and pilothouse stations on Gizmo. So I’ve been thinking a lot about what electronics I need and/or want in those different locations and how to arrange them just so for maximum utility. And I’m eager to share my thoughts and photos in this Part One of a three-part series. But first…

17

Trial Run: TZ iBoat v. 2

My iPad is a veritable archeological dig of marine navigation apps. At some point over the years, I have installed just about every major release: C-Map Plan2Nav, Navionics Boating, NV Charts, iNavX, AquaMap, Garmin Bluechart Mobile (that became Active Captain), and some others lost to memory. It’s the iPad equivalent of Gizmo’s radar mast. With that history, it should be no surprise that I downloaded and installed TimeZero’s TZ iBoat app version 2 when it was released a few weeks ago…

0

Govee WiFi thermometer and hydrometer, inexpensive and easy off boat monitoring

Monitoring the temperature of your boat (or RV) can be important to maintaining the health and safety of your vessel. My reasons for such monitoring have included ensuring that the heat is working (and nothing is freezing) inside the boat, that the air conditioning is working (and nothing is cooking) inside the same boat, that the engine room temps are normal underway, and that the conditions are safe for pets. It’s not always simple or cheap to get this information remotely, but I’ve recently come across an inexpensive and simple option that’s worked well for two months, the Govee WiFi thermometer and hydrometer.