by Sail Staff, Posted June 28, 2006By 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
by Mark Smith, Posted April 6, 2010Apple'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.
by Sail Staff, Posted November 10, 2006That 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
by Sail Staff, Posted May 6, 2011The 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
by Sail Staff, Posted August 14, 2007The 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
by Sail Staff, Posted August 11, 2007Tacktick’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