Category: Editors’ Blog

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Hydrogen-fueled electric foiling chase boats at America’s Cup 37?

The next America’s Cup will be held in 2024 at a location still undecided, but the defender Emirates Team New Zealand and the official challenger INEOS Britannia just announced the Protocol which controls almost every other aspect of the race series. And while there are numerous changes that should make the actual sailing competition even more exciting, it also includes a rather amazing powerboat provision…

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Littelfuse acquires Carling Technologies, Maretron included: Business as usual?

Littelfuse — a large Chicago-based manufacturer of industrial technology — is acquiring Carling Technologies, and that makes me a bit nervous about the future of Carling’s marine brands. Will Octoplex, MPower, and especially all the (great) Maretron electronics on my boat continue to be developed and supported even though Littelfuse currently has only a minor marine market presence?

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FLIBS 2021 recap, a smaller show still packs a punch

The 2021 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show was the first major consumer show I’ve attended in nearly two years. Although the 2020 show took place in October of last year, I wasn’t there. I heard reports from colleagues of a dramatically smaller show with empty booths, smaller crowds, and very different energy. This year, the show was a little smaller than the last one I attended in 2019, but definitely felt like FLIBS. Although it was different, I think many of the differences result from the scarcity of available boats and components.

AP News Oct 18, 2021 4

Drug smuggling, the sailing feats we rarely hear about?

When I got serious about sailing and seamanship fifty years ago, I read all sorts of offshore cruising and racing accounts, particularly interested in the problems that came up and the solutions found. It seemed valuable to learn that, say, a well-found 46-foot ketch could pitchpole stern-over-bow in certain situations and how the crew survived. But eventually I realized that there was a whole niche of especially extreme ocean voyaging that was almost never discussed, except maybe quietly in remote harbors or jail cells…

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Monitoring dew point temperature at your helm, why and how

Allan Seymour wants to see the current Dew Point and outside Air Temperatures at the helm of Sally W because fog is often about to shut in when the two temps become similar. And there are at least three marine sensors that claim to deliver dew point over NMEA 2000, two of which Allan owns. But actually getting the value to show on his instrument display turned out to be quite a challenge. I helped with the troubleshooting, and came to better appreciate the value of dew point in the process…

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Simrad is 75 years old, and doing fine

Simrad is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a marine electronics brand, and that’s a good excuse to look at old photos and reminisce about how far the technologies have evolved. Consider, for instance, the compact shortwave receiver above, nicknamed the “Sweetheart”. Though not actually a marine radio, it’s key to Simrad’s origin story. That’s because founder Willy Simonsen distinguished himself in the Norwegian resistance before starting his company after World War II, escaping to England where 50,000 of his Sweetheart designs were built and airdropped behind enemy lines so that resistance groups in Norway and other occupied nations could keep up with BBC news…

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Brunswick to acquire Navico, what we know so far

This morning started with a bang when it was announced that Brunswick is buying Navico for $1.05 billion. The acquisition will close in the second half of 2021 so it’s still early days and both companies’ communications are pretty general. The plan is for Navico CEO Knut Frostad’s leadership team to remain in place and report to Brunswick Advanced Systems Group president Brett Dibkey.

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What’s in the box? Included accessories change the cost of marine electronics

Installing electronics on a boat is often a solitary experience and leaves one with time to think. Recently, while installing a camera, I found myself thinking about the significant differences in what each manufacturer includes with their equipment. What I realized is that comparing the cost of the item doesn’t tell the full story.

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DIY LiFePO4, the build begins

In the last couple of months I’ve installed two of the three main types of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. In March I installed Mastervolt’s system integrated MLi batteries on Have Another Day and just last week I finished up the installation of Battle Born’s 8D drop-in batteries on another boat. With two out of three types covered I figured it was time to get my hands dirty with the third type, a do-it-yourself build of a 12-volt battery from four cells and a battery management system (BMS).

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KVH’s TracPhone V30 announcement includes more affordable mini-VSAT service plans

It’s certainly noteworthy that KVH now offers a smaller, simpler, and less expensive VSAT antenna, but the TracPhone V30 announcement also mentioned new service rates of potential interest to those cruising and working on slimmer budgets. Although the more affordable plans only include small amounts of high-speed data, they also offer unlimited low-speed data. Is it fast enough to make working by satellite a reality at a reasonable cost? Depending on how you use the KVH mini-VSAT broadband service, it just might work for you.