Monthly Archive: May 2009

Educational Passages, fun with GPS tracking 2

Educational Passages, fun with GPS tracking


Here I am trying to cover the world of marine electronics from my nest in Camden, Maine, and darned if I don’t miss interesting happenings in my own neighborhood.  Apparently Richard Baldwin, an experienced bluewater solo sailor who lives just up the Bay in Belfast, is the passion and brains behind an unique endeavor that’s using mini sailing drones like the prototype above to teach students of all ages about oceanography, not to mention GPS and satellite communications…

Comar AIS-MULTI receiver, looks great but… 12

Comar AIS-MULTI receiver, looks great but…


After METS 2007, I wrote about how many new AIS products Comar had in the pipeline.  Well, this U.K. company hasn’t slowed down, and has even developed a snappy new logo and Web site.  Comar’s latest is this AIS-Multi, which seems like quite an able AIS listener at $399 (from U.S. distributor Milltech Marine).  It features true parallel receivers, so slow Class B updates will plot as well as they can; an amplified VHF splitter, so you don’t need to add another antenna; USB data output, so you can connect it to a modern PC without needing a serial converter; and, finally, the ability to multiplex in NMEA 0183 data at 4800 baud (GPS most likely), so the unit’s 38,400 baud data output can be easily used with a plotter whose NMEA 0183 port was already in use (and the PC will get it, too).  But…

Gizmo update, careful with the wipers! 3

Gizmo update, careful with the wipers!


So Gizmo’s nifty, and now semi-permanently installed, PC charting system could have perished abruptly in a nasty mix of saltwater and glass chards.  But it didn’t.  In fact we were tied up on our float before the slow shatter of tempered glass became evident. And it was really me, not the boat, at fault.  On Memorial Day, soon after we set out for home from Pulpit Harbor on North Haven (note the link: it’s great news that MyTopo has revived the old Maptech mapserver), the running port windshield wiper went overboard with a bang.  It was blowing 20 knots Northwest right on our nose with short, sharp seas, and we were taking serious bow spray even at 7 knots, but none of that broke the window…

A57, iPhone, & HDS-10 — Navionics everywhere 1

A57, iPhone, & HDS-10 — Navionics everywhere


The photo isn’t fair, because the shooter (me) is reflected in the Raymarine A57D‘s screen and the iPhone is in an Otter Box which includes a screen protector that muted its display in a way I don’t notice in normal use.  But there’s some truth here, too; the screen on the Lowrance HDS 10 has been bright, crisp, and completely readable in all light conditions so far experienced on Li’l Gizmo’s completely exposed helm, whereas the other two have sometimes been quite hard to read.  Another truth is…

GPS problems?  Boaters last! 7

GPS problems? Boaters last!

I think that the Google news search above, and those 397 articles you can click through to, mostly indicate that the US General Accounting Office accomplished its goal: Light a fire under the collective...

iPhone/Touch nav, yet more news 14

iPhone/Touch nav, yet more news

I don’t usually write about rebates and sales, but 90% off!?!  Navionics not only launched version 2.0 of its Mobile app yesterday, it’s slashing prices. Here’s the press release, and note above how the...

Lyman Morse big cat, almost done 4

Lyman Morse big cat, almost done


How about these command and navigation stations?  Thursday evening turned out pretty horrid for a boat launching, but Lyman Morse pulled one off with its normal panache.  The Hunt-designed 54′ jet express Whistler (just visible beyond the catamaran’s bow) is another stunner for its power boat portfolio, especially if she zips by you at her expected 30 knot cruise.  While it was neat to check out Whistler’s interior at the same time many of the local craftsmen involved were showing off details to their families, I particularly enjoyed some alone time on the 60′ Morrelli & Melvin sailing cat Mala Conducta, which Lyman Morse launched just last month…