Gizmo’s air draft sensor & my Panbo 8th

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

12 Responses

  1. Fred says:

    I’ve had lot’s of doubts (in a pesky sailboat…) trying feel good about going under a bridge. It would be really nice to know exactly how much clearance I have.
    BTW, the last photo looks like the marines spending taxpayer money to practice defending the USA against a few turban-headed goat herders.

  2. Adam says:

    Hi Ben.
    I don’t see too many gizmos on that RIB. Other than the antennas, whose frequencies a I would expect a HAM guy to be able to estimate by their length, I spotted only a radome and what appears to be a FLIR unit. There must be a GPS somewhere, but I don’t see it unless it’s atop the radome.
    Bow guns are an M240 machine gun and an M134 minigun, both 7.62mm. The aft gun is a .50 caliber M2.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    A radome? Maybe, but not like any I’ve seen before, and there may be something else in that odd casing. I’m also not certain that those are normal spotlights on either side of what is probably a thermal camera.

  4. Adam says:

    You certainly could be right, Ben. I just assumed we were looking at typical heavy duty military enclosures.
    As for the spotlights, they look to me like they’ve been turned around to face aft, but I’m sure in any case they’ll have infrared filters.

  5. Carl says:

    Not the Marines, that’s the good old United States Navy…

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    You got it, Carl; I also saw the other boat shown with the unit. Wikipedia some detail on this boat, which is known as a SURC (small unit riverine craft)
    Most pictures show SURC’s with conventional Raymarine radars.

  7. Bill Taylor says:

    I purchased a Lieca Disto plus laser ditancemeter to take the lines of a boat a few years ago. Handiest tool to have. It is accurate to 1.5mm (1/16″) at 200 m (656′) You can shoot multiples and it does Pythagoras, volume, tracking, etc, etc. It outputs bluetooth to a CSV or Excel type. I paid hundreds more than they can be had today. 1st job paid for it the first day. Invaluable when building off things that aren’t plumb, true, etc. Instantly put my mast height (lite) at 41.25′
    Best Regards

    Bill Taylor
    VP Engineering
    Holiday, Fl

  8. Bruce Hays says:

    That’s a nice looking Nymph. That boat rows really well, but I’ve never thought of putting an outboard on mine. However, I see that it least it floats level with the Torqueedo on the back!

  9. Mark Morwood says:

    Nice photo of your OCC Burgee. Now I know I was interpreting your occasional jibes at sailboats correctly, even without the :-)’s.

  10. Patrick says:

    The Navy SURC is clearly running the very latest dual DragonFly displays. No more Furuno thanks to the automatic budget cuts!

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks to Sherri & Nick for sending more air draft measuring solutions (by email):
    “1 Put boat in a covered slip (pilings generally go taller than boat)
    2 Get a laser level – the kind that self levels (most of them do) – at home depot
    3 Hang level from boat hook on a line
    4 Lift to top point on mast
    5 Mark spot on piling – best done when dark
    6 Measure spot on piling
    Another technique many new Krogen owners are advised to do is put a piece of PVC pipe in the burgee holder forward to “test” the clearance.”
    I’m glad that other boaters have had a hard time measuring their mast height, but I really have no excuse when I think about it. I can climb to top fairly easily and its a straight verticle shot from the ring of the lightning protector down through the hatch to the main deck. Once I get that number it will only be matter of measuring the deck height off the water and that’s fairly easy because of the stern door. Consider it almost done πŸ˜‰

  12. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    It’s been a blast working up Chesapeake Bay and now I’m anchored in a creek near Annapolis very close to the home of PassageMaker founders Bill and Laurene Parlatore. They are very kindly hosting an “open boat” for Gizmo on their dock tomorrow afternoon and any Panbot in the vicinity is welcome. Email me (ben at for details.

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