Two old guys, and a Garmin, part 2

Garmin simple setup Panbo lr

So I spoke to “the boys” on Saturday; they’d had a great first sail on their own. Good Enough is slippery, as I saw myself (note the 6.3 knots on the GPS, relatively flat seas in background). And, good news, Jo found himself getting more comfortable with his Garmin. Here’s a bigger shot of the screen above, showing some of the things I set up that may be helping him:
  * In Map Setup, the Prefs sub tab, I put Orientation to “Track Up”. Now I know that some salts think North Up, paper chart style, is the only way to go, but I’ve come to believe that head up makes it easier to sort out what’s important on these little screens. That’s especially true on this Garmin (the Navman 8120 too) because Track Up and Course Up automatically put the screen into a “look ahead” mode so you see more chart ahead of the vessel.
  * In the same setup page, Nav sub tab, I set a Heading Line based on a distance of 1 nautical mile. I always set up one of these lines, which I think Garmin should be calling a COG line (there could be Heading line too, like on a Raymarine, but it would be based on compass input). Usually I use time, but in this case, with inexperienced users and those tiny lower right map scales, the 1 mile really helps the eye to understand the current chart scale easily. The effect is pretty obvious on this Split Chart page, which I think is another boon to maximum situational awareness on a minimal screen.
  * Finally, I also goosed up the spot soundings font size in the Labels sub tab, but I’m not sure that helps. I really wanted to enlarge the nav aids but couldn’t figure out a way to do this. Anyone? Or do you have any other ideas on how to make a small Garmin screen as easy and informative as possible? Do tell!

PS. In regard to inspirational old boat guys, I’m happy to report that my buddy Max didn’t last long without one. Plus: Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who won the first non-stop race around the world, aka the Voyage for Madmen (excellent book), is doing it again.

Two old guys, and a Garmin, part 1

Good Enough Jim Brown plus Panbo lr

Multihull sailing fascinates me anyway, but yesterday’s scoot around the Bay was inspirational and momentous. That grinning dude, bigger picture here, with the magnifying lens clipped to his already serious glasses is 73–year-old trimaran designer Jim Brown, who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since my days in the 80’s running WoodenBoat School, where he and longtime boat-biz partner John Marples taught a wonderful class in Constant Camber multihull construction. Jim’s had macular degeneration nipping away at his vision for some fifteen years, and his good buddy Jo Hudson, 70 himself, is sporting some brand new artery stents. But yesterday was, in part, a test sail preparatory to Jo and  Jim taking off today, headed for Jim’s dock in Virginia. And they’re dreaming about the Azores and an Atlantic circle starting next April. That’s the inspirational part!
  The momentous part is that Jo just bought Good Enough from Steve Neil, center below, who took Jim’s class in 1986 along with his dad, for whom he (beautifully) built this 35’ Constant Camber Marples-designed trimaran. Good Enough Garmin Panbo 2Steve went on to build several other multis, took this one over after his dad’s passing, and is now production manager at Wayfarer Marine. It’s not easy to give up a boat with so much personal history, but he and his mate Diane (chasing us in a photo boat) seemed delighted about turning this one over to Jo and Jim.
  And, yes, there was a marine electronics element. Part of my function yesterday was trying to orient the old guys to the Garmin 3206 that Jo just bought and Steve installed. It was a challenge. This is a pretty complex machine, with a lot of buttons, and Jim can only see it by putting his magnifiered eye inches away. I tried to set it up to be as useful yet straightforward as possible—more about that in part 2—but Jo still found it overwhelming. Hopefully, he’s making friends with his 3206 right now, on the open Bay. If you live or boat along the Northeast Coast, keep an eye out for these old cats!

Good Enough crew 9_21_6 Panbo lr

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.

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