Monthly Archive: December 2010

Future SAR gadgets, what are you hoping for? 51

Future SAR gadgets, what are you hoping for?


The illustration above and the term “SAR gadgets” are both borrowed from the final issue of On Scene, published until 2009 by the USCG Office of Search and Rescue (downloads here).  But no worries, On Scene is now a blog, and hence the times-they-are-a’changing illustration, which also serves well for a Panbo entry about evolving SAR gadgets.  On Monday, I’ll be speaking to a group of companies developing SAR communications equipment along with representatives of the agencies that regulate such gear and the ones like USCGSAR which answer the calls.  My task is to articulate what boaters may want to see in future SAR gadgets, and I’d like your help…

NMEA 2000 Bridges #1, they’re coming 36

NMEA 2000 Bridges #1, they’re coming


So what the dickens is a NMEA 2000 bridge and why would you want one?  Well, I think the answers are complicated enough, and important enough, that they deserve two entries.  Mystic Valley Communications, the small company that produced the prototype above, describes its bridge as an “intelligent connection between two electrically isolated NMEA 2000 networks that copies transmitted data between the two networks.” Obviously, then, this is another way to deal with the backbone power issues discussed here in the past; with a bridge you can have two N2K networks that act as one in terms of data but are independent in terms of supplying power to devices, and in terms of a power failure.  But the Mystic Valley brochure (unfortunately not online yet) goes on to claim that the bridge can also be used to increase the number of devices and drop lengths beyond what’s allowed for a single backbone.  How is that possible?…

Cangarda, the touchscreen steam yacht 18

Cangarda, the touchscreen steam yacht


Camden Harbor is pretty quiet these days, but on Monday afternoon — while I was stripping off electronics prior to Gizmo’s inevitable haulout —  Cangarda, the only existing U.S.-built steam yacht, suddenly slipped around the corner and silently maneuvered onto the Wayfarer dock just ahead of me.  Yesterday I was further thrilled when Capt. Steve Cobb himself showed me around, paying special attention to his beloved engine room, where he’d fired up the boiler in order to check that the “water chemistry” was proper for lay up.  You see, I already knew a fair bit about Cangarda, though I’d never seen the 126 foot vessel in all her awesome flesh before…