Panbo(at) spent much of this week at Seakeeper’s Fort Myers operation while they installed a Seakeeper Ride system. After only a few hours on the water with the system, and most of that spent gathering performance data, I think it’s safe to say Seakeeper has another game changer on its hands.
Category: Editors’ Blog
Although it acquired Vesper Marine in January of 2022, even today Garmin’s VHF/AIS product pages only list the Cortex and its accessories. The entire WatchMate product line is conspicuously absent from the product list, and the Vesper name is absent from the Cortex items. In retrospect, these are telling ommissions, as today Garmin confirmed that the WatchMate XB-6000, XB-8000 and Vision2 have all been discontinued, soon to be followed with the Vesper brand name.
Gizmo needs a new anchor rode and windlass, and in my experience replacing boat gear is a lot more satisfying if it’s also an improvement. That’s how I got interested in the somewhat new plaited 8-strand rodes that seem to offer multiple advantages over the 3-strand nylon line I’ve used all of my boating life. But, wait, does plait have its own problems…
This morning, Mercury unveiled their new 350 and 400 horsepower, Verado V10 engines. These engines follow the introduction of the highly successful, judging from transoms at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, Verado 600 horsepower, V12 engine. I’ve just spent the day at Mercury’s Lake X facility and I can tell you these are really impressive engines, but for many Panbo readers, that’s not the story. The story is the dual voltage, 12 and 48-volt, alternator!
Things in Fort Myers are starting to get back to normal after hurricane Ian. For me, that means getting back out on the water and testing marine electronics. One of my first post-hurricane on-the-water tests will be comparing the current crop of solid-state, enclosed dome radar units. I’ve planned this comparison test for an embarrassingly long time. But I haven’t been able to figure out how to mount all three units on my 22-foot test boat.
Ben Stein and his family evacuated from Fort Myers on Tuesday night, that’s the great news. But at about 7 pm last night their beloved boat and home on the water Have Another Day sank in her slip at a well-engineered marina 14 miles up the Caloosahatchee River as Ben watched the aft bilge pump try to keep up via remote monitoring. Here in Maine I’m near tears at their loss…
The ABYC has ratified standard E-13 covering the installation of lithium batteries on boats. E-13 replaces TE-13, a technical note that provided a preview of the direction the ABYC was headed with the standard. But, not having an approved standard for lithium battery installs presented some challenges. The main one comes from insurance companies not having an approved standard they could reference. Now that we have a standard let’s look at what it means for new installs and those who have already installed lithium batteries.
r as long as I’ve been covering marine technology, I’ve heard consistent talk of a move to a higher voltage than the defacto 12-volt standard. 48 volts is often cited as the sweet spot between efficiency, safety, and reduced weight. But, why make a change? 12-volt has served boats well for a long time, why change? Let’s take a look at the reasons for a change and perhaps some reasons to move cautiously.
It’s been four and a half years since Garmin bought Navionics and just under four years since Navico and C-Map’s corporate parents merged them. In both cases, there were statements made promising continued availability of the data on competing brands. But, would it? I’ve read comments from and talked to many boaters who are understandably nervous about access to their chart provider of choice on their navigation equipment brand of choice.