Korean marine electronics tour, w/ apps & gadgets


The original idea was to finish this entry during the Chicago stop of the very long journey seen on the nifty FlightTrack app screen above, but travel mistakes were made and O’Hara airport had less connectivity than one might presume in this day and age.  Is anyone surprised to hear that the Tokyo and Seoul airports are much friendlier to the traveler trying to stay in touch?  So, yes, I’m already in  Korea and will soon begin a writer’s tour that is being hosted by Intellian Technologies and that is intended in part to show us the state of recreational boating in this “technology-led” country…


Of course I brought some mobile gadgets both to use and test. Will the DeLorme inReach tracking and messaging system work on the other side of the globe? And how about that new SPOT Gen3? This particular unit is a beta model and I can’t discuss its performance yet, but the existence and features of Gen3 are out of the bag. Can their internal GPSs come close to the Bad Elf Pro?
   I also just received an Ocean Signal RescueME PLB and while I can’t really test it, I’ll guess that I was better prepared than most if we’d had to ditch in the Aleutians and I can also say that this is definitely the most pocket friendly PLB I’ve ever handled. And while I was pleasantly surprised to get text messages on my Verizon Galaxy Nexus welcoming me to Korea and laying out the reasonable voice/text costs and very unreasonable data price ($20.48 per megabyte!), I’m going to try using Google Voice for texting and calls when I get WiFi (which seems very fast and widely available)…


What will we be doing for the next three days? Very soon we’ll be going to KIBS, the Korea International Boat Show, tomorrow we’ll visit the Intellian R&D center, and on Saturday my friend, neighbor and Marine Electronics Journal Editor Jim Fullilove has arranged a bullet train trip to Busan where we’ll visit the Korea Maritime University. Apparently there’s quite a NMEA 2000 labratory there and much else of interest. I probably won’t be able to write much but I do have new scheme for sharing photos and short comments. The widget below is connected to an Instagram account so I should be able to post images to it fairly easily. We’ll see!

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.

13 Responses

  1. Dave D says:

    Hi Ben
    Just discovered waterfi.com.Have you checked it out?
    If not ,take a look.They are working on the ipad.

  2. bosunj says:

    Not at all surprised that you wrote Asian airports are much friendlier. Not just for communication purposes either. Having lived in Asia for most of my adult life the most surprising thing is people from DUHmerica being surprised by it.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I’m back from the boat show and realize that my Instagram photos at the end really only illustrate a lighter cut of what I saw. They’re fun though, and note if you click on any one you’ll get to a stream with captions. The bigger view of what’s happening with leisure marine in Korea is fascinating and I’ll try to cover it eventually. Now I need rest 😉

  4. peter c says:

    Cold jelly fish with mustard sauce?
    You are braver than me if you tucked into that!

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Actually tasty, Peter, and not difficult visually (must have been tentacles, not blobby). The nearly black quarter egg aged in tea was more disconcerting but also tasty.
    We’ll be busing up to the Intellian R&D center fairly soon and I’ll add to the Instagram stream above.

  6. John M says:

    I know you are at the show to primarily review marine electronics and related systems, but if you have the bandwidth, develop a shortlist of the local builders that impress you, I’m specifically interested in trawler yachts: not the high-end stuff, but more diesel duck types.

  7. SheltieJim says:

    Ben, I’m actually in Korea right now (as I’m typing this); I’m in Gyeongju, which is only 30 or 40 km north of Pusan. Korea is a great country and the people are very warm, friendly, and helpful. And, as you are discovering, the food is wonderful. Enjoy your time here. I presume the show you’re attending is in Seoul (or environs), so I’ll wave tomorrow as I travel by (bullet) train to Seoul and then out to Incheon airport.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    John, my knowledge is thin but I don’t think Korean boatbuilders are yet ready to build export cruising boats. However, it surges looks like they will be eventually. The government is putting a lot of resources into building a local market and encouraging a leisure marine industry. It also seems quite possible that an established brand will partner to build boats in Korea and that we will also see charter companies set up around the south coast, which is reported to have exquisite cruising and sport fishing potential. And these folks get stuff done.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Good testing! Neither inReach nor Spot has as sensitive a GPS as Bad Elf Pro but both did eventually locate themselves through a bus window. See About page for inReach Share Map link. Plus Spot is sending one way messages, and inReach both ways, no problem.

  10. Jim Klauser says:

    Hi Ben, Looks like the tracking feature of your InReach is working well from Korea. Enjoy!
    Jim in Seattle

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Wish it the inReach GPS would work on the bullet train, but I guess that’s a lot ask.
    Korea Maritime Universty was beautiful and impressive. Blown away by Dr. Yung’s NMEA 2000 lab.

  12. John Konrad says:

    Hi Ben, We have to get on the same page as I’m just back from a press tour sponsored by Maersk of the world’s largest ship ( http://gcaptain.com/maersk-triple-e-detailed/ ) which is being built just south of Busan… would have loved to have stayed for the Intellian tour 😉

  13. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Wow, yes, I sure would have appreciated a look at that ship and yard. But glad I did at least get a peek at the Maritime University (5,000 students, no tuition) and beautiful Busan. John, gCaptain looks great!

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