Electronics+Navigations

LED There Be Light

by Sail Staff, Posted November 12, 2007
Looking to illuminate your foredeck without chewing through batteries? Petzl’s new Tikka XP LED headlamp cranks out a blinding (literally) 35 lumens at its maximum-brightness setting and sports three other brightness levels—optimum, economic, and boost. The unit's clear-plastic slide converts the illumination from a spot beam to the diffused lighting that is optimal for chart work. The headlamp

Marinco Cordset Adapter

by Mark Corke, Posted October 19, 2007
This product, made by Marinco (www.marinco.com), was sent to SAIL recently, and after looking it over, we wonder why no one has thought of it before. Basically it’s a right-angle cord adaptor for plugging in a shore-power cord to the boat. The right-angle version is more streamlined than the usual straight plug, it looks neater, and there is far less chance of

Connected Color

by Sail Staff, Posted October 18, 2007
Raymarine’s innovative ST70s instrument displays use bright 3.5-inch high-resolution color screens to display traditional instrument information (really well), plus engine, weather, and other data that’s available on the multi-manufacturer NMEA 2000 data standard. They also mark the introduction of SeaTalkNG (new generation), which is both a rugged-yet-slim plug-and-play cabling system and an

Anti-Anxiety Machine

by Sail Staff, Posted October 18, 2007
Do you worry about your boat when you’re not aboard? Boatsense Solutions’s KISS-principle monitoring system is an easily programmable GSM cellular modem that’s potted in epoxy. Drawing only 130 milliamps, it stands perpetual watch, ready to send text messages wherever GPRS data service is available (which is along much of the world’s coastlines). It automatically monitors battery levels, plus has

NMEA Knife

by Sail Staff, Posted October 18, 2007
Originally Franson GpsGate simply enabled GPS NMEA 0183 data flowing into a PC or PDA serial port to feed multiple programs simultaneously, but now it’s something of a software Swiss Army knife. The latest 2.5 version works with all sorts of I/Os like Bluetooth and the Internet, supports multiplexing and data logging, and lets groups share their location data over the Web. Any member can see

Be Seen

by Sail Staff, Posted October 16, 2007
Class B AIS still awaits FCC approval, but ACR’s Nauticast B will be a complete and well-made solution. It comes with both GPS and VHF antennas along with cabling capable of sending position and target information to both a plotter and a PC simultaneously. Included software simplifies setup and lets a user easily enable silent mode or send a Mayday. Testing done outside U.S. waters suggests that

Pocket Processor

by Sail Staff, Posted September 16, 2007
Having a back-up wind instrument is a good idea for big-boat sailing; for dinghy racing, having a wind meter can make a huge difference, especially in challenging, shifty conditions. Speedtech Instruments’s new WindMate wind/weather meters can take a number of wind and weather readings (model depending), including windspeed, temperature, wind chill, wind direction, and cross-wind and head/tail

Waterlines: July 2007

by Sail Staff, Posted August 14, 2007
The Eyes Have ItLearning to see the world around us should be the heart and soul of navigationBy Charles J. DoaneQuiz any nautical curmudgeon on the subject of proper wayfinding these days and you’ll soon find yourself reefed down in a gale of conventional wisdom about the importance of paper charts, compass bearings, dead reckoning, and the divine art of

Unwired

by Sail Staff, Posted August 11, 2007
Tacktick’s new solar-powered waterproof Race Master System is packed with useful features, including an electronic compass, a speed log, and a depthsounder, and can be wirelessly networked with other Tacktick instruments to display wind speed, wind direction, windshift averaging, and mean-wind-direction data. In addition, it can connect to your boat’s NMEA interface to display GPS data. The kit’s

Keep Control

by Sail Staff, Posted June 16, 2007
Wireless is all the rage on boats these days, as exemplified by the advent of handheld multifunction controllers. Simrad’s RemoteCommander is a prime example. Not only does it let you control your NMEA 2000–compatible autopilot, chartplotter, and other instruments from anywhere on the boat via Bluetooth, it is also a VHF handset. Simrad USA, 425-778-8821,
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