Electronics+Navigations

While Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) have been appearing on more commercial and recreational vessels, many sailors still find it to be cost-prohibitive. As an alternative, I recently used a combination of smartphone apps and AIS websites...

Marine Communications Special: 2006

by Sail Staff, Posted June 28, 2006
By Ben EllisonOn the one hand, I’m sorry to report that the U.S. Coast Guard has made little visible progress toward implementing Rescue 21, the new search-and-rescue communications system that will, eventually, unleash the potential of DSC-VHF radios. On the other hand (this comes as a real surprise), the reappearance of coastal marine VHF operators just may induce a lot of sailors to

The Top iPhone Apps for Sailing

by Mark Smith, Posted April 6, 2010
Apple's iPhone is an amazing piece of technology—it’s a full computer in a small package. As a recent convert to the iPhone, I've been exploring the world of apps to discover which ones provide something truly useful. When I searched for "sailing" in the App Store, over 150 programs popped up. Out of those, here are the three that I'd most want with me while cruising or racing.

Shakespeare ART-3

by Sail Staff, Posted November 10, 2006
That in-the-red VSWR, reading on the ART-3 tester confirmed my suspicion that while the old VHF antenna attached looks okay, it must be fried internally. VSWR stands for “voltage standing wave ratio,” but Shakespeare reasonably calls it “antenna efficiency.” The ART-3 can also test transmission wattage (only 17 with this particular antenna, but a full 25 with a decent one) and can generate a tone

Iridium 9555 Satellite Phone

by Sail Staff, Posted May 6, 2011
The Iridium system has gotten more robust and now has 66 low-earth-orbit satellites arrayed in a constellation that delivers Arctic-to-Antarctic coverage. One big advantage of this system is that the company has recently decided to transition to a 2015 upgrade called “IridumNEXT” that will be backward compatible. The new satellites and software will allow current sat-phones to remain fully
Norway’s Navslide AS is continuing to expand its line of flexible mounts to accommodate an even wider variety of cockpit types—including those that are especially problematic.

2012 Holiday Gift Guide

by Adam Cort, Posted December 4, 2012
Think your sailing sweetheart, your old man or your competitive kid has everything they need and more for getting out on the water? The editors at SAIL come to your rescue with practical, fun and stylish new items the helmsperson in your life won't be able to resist.
I started using iRegatta in December, and I’m not sure I’ll sail without it again. Although I’m primarily a cruiser and the app is nominally for racers, it provides an impressive amount of real-time and historical data that all will find useful.

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
With a Racer’s Edge wind sensor from Catch the Wind Inc., it is now possible to precisely measure the wind direction and velocity hundreds of yards away. The handheld fiber-optic device—which was part of BMW Oracle’s technical arsenal for the 33rd America’s Cup—weighs about 18lb and uses a pulsating laser to detect what the wind is up to, an approach that allows it to work even in poor
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