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?

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

Smart Plan

by Sail Staff, Posted June 24, 2008
MAKE A PLANNING SPREADSHEETI use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets for my planning documents, and I use four different worksheets. The main sheet covers a full year of sailing (I know, that sounds llke a lot of planning but I have found that it is very helpful to me) while the other sheets detail my plans for a long trip in the spring, plus shorter weekend trips and another long trip

Paper or Plastic?

by Sail Staff, Posted August 21, 2008
"You're not carrying any paper charts?" is a question I've heard at all the exotic landfalls and cruiser's hangouts I've visited during my circumnavigation. Many cruisers, it seems, aren't quite ready to fully trust their electronic chartplotters. While almost all cruisers, other than a few diehards, do have plotters on board, they also carry enough paper charts and tools for measuring and

Bailout Electronics

by Sail Staff, Posted August 26, 2008
As part of a major refit of our BoatWorks Bailout boat, a 1983 Ericson 34, we installed an up-to-the-minute electronics package. It was easier than expected.By Mark CorkeInstalling a new pedestal from Edson gave us space for a number of instruments, with the C80 display taking center stage. The C80 acts as a chartplotter, radar display, and, with optional modules, can be

Dream Electronics

by Sail Staff, Posted September 22, 2008
"We love to sail our older Hunter 34 and want to upgrade the navigation setup at the helm. We’d like to add a wind indicator and combine our existing speed and depth displays in a single unit, using the existing sensors if we can. We cruise on Lake Michigan and rarely leave the Wisconsin coast. Is there an economical solution for us, and can the new instruments talk to our laptop?"-- Peter

Can you hear me now?

by Sail Staff, Posted January 12, 2009
Having a VHF radio on a boat is always a good idea. It allows you to communicate with other boats, marinas, and rescue services if necessary. I have two on my boat, one a handheld and the other a fixed set. Fixed sets have a maximum radiated power output of 25 watts, while handhelds normally have a maximum output of 5 watts. The more power a transmitter has, the farther its signal can travel. The

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
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