Electronics

In recent years it has become more feasible than ever to navigate using a smartphone or tablet. Apps have improved to the point where they rival paper charts and chartplotters. With so many good navigation apps available, the question is: which is best for you?

Winter Battery Maintenance

by Peter Nielsen, Posted January 27, 2010
A few years ago, I left my boat’s two lead-acid batteries on board over winter. It wasn’t intentional—an early snowfall led me to cover the boat up sooner than anticipated, and I just never got around to taking the batteries off.After three months of freezing New England winter, I suddenly remembered they were still on board. I snuck down to the yard one mild Saturday and hooked the
There are times when we find exactly what we aren’t looking for, and this was one of them.I was tired of technology and wanted to write a sailing story about the good old days, when a Windex was high-tech and real navigators dealt with celestial fixes and high-anxiety uncertainty. What better place to look for such things than at the annual Annapolis Classic Wooden Boat Regatta? Ambling

Too Hot to Handle

by Nigel Calder, Posted May 11, 2011
Anyone who has played with electrical gear for any length of time is familiar with the distinctive smell of burned windings. Unfortunately, this smell, wafting out of engine rooms from fried alternators, may soon become familiar to a much wider audience. Why might alternators, generally known for their reliability, become more likely to fail in the next few years?The answer lies in

Compass Truism

by Tim Bartlett, Posted September 14, 2009
Karl Westman of Ocean City, New Jersey, asks:"Is it all right to use magnetic headings on my chartplotter to adjust a new compass?"Tim Bartlett replies:In theory, definitely not. But in practice I'd have to give you a very guarded "maybe." The problem, of course, is that your heading is the direction your boat is pointing in. Your

Signal Fade

by Tim Bartlett, Posted March 19, 2010
Jose Viegas of Lagos, Portugal, asks:"I have a Navman DSC VHF radio, and last summer I began noticing that when I transmit in bad weather, only boats close by can hear me. But I can always clearly receive transmissions from others, near and far. How can I test to see whether the problem is with the antenna, the connection or possibly the radio itself?" Tim

Vavuud Wind Meter

by SAIL Editors, Posted June 20, 2014
The Vaavud wind meter (currently being distributed in North America by Ronstan) is both accurate and truly pocket-friendly, with a compact two-cup durable plastic rotor and low friction PTFE bearings.

Autopilot Manufacturers

by Sail Staff, Posted September 14, 2004
Alpha Marine Systems, Mercer Island, WA"Alpha" "Spectra"Web: www.alphamarinesystems.com B&G/Brookes & Gatehouse, Clearwater, FL"Network," "H1000," "Hydra" & "Hercules" "Pilot" linear drives & hydraulic pumpsetsWeb: www.bngusa.com Benmar Marine

Wireless Resources

by Sail Staff, Posted November 5, 2004
No Strings AttachedWireless technology is constatantly evolving and improving. To keep abreast of the latest developments log on to the following sites:www.BandG.com; B&G’s site has information about the company’s RemoteVision wireless system that can control and monitor various electronic systems wirelessly

Keeping Connected: Communications for Cruisers

by Sail Staff, Posted November 13, 2007
The rapid evolution of communications technology in the last decade has meant that more of us are able to keep in range of a regular cell phone. We asked many of the entrants in the 2006 ARC transatlantic rally how they planned to stay in contact with those back home and received a variety of answers. Here we describe what systems were chosen and why, and explain some of the
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