Yearly Archive: 2019

Touchscreen throttles on US Navy Destroyer John S McCain 10

U.S. Navy destroyers without physical throttles?

Touchscreens work well for many tasks at a boat helm (and elsewhere), I think, but a touchscreen throttle never even occurred to me until I read about the Navy “reverting to physical throttles” on warships like the USS John S McCain. Holy cow! Why the heck did we deprive destroyer drivers of the excellent (electronic) control interface known as a throttle lever, and why is Wired magazine mispresenting the “reversion”?

0

Made in Maine: kayak rack, winter boat frame & more

I’ve gone to the Maine Boat & Home Show in Rockland for all 17 years (so far) and never failed to discover many things of interest. I had no idea, for instance, that a floating kayak and canoe rack even existed though it was designed and built right in my home town. And this entry includes other unique products made by very small companies in Maine that you too might want to know about…

3

DirecTV on water, the future is clear as mud

A lot has changed in the 25 years since KVH started making their TracVision line of satellite TV receiving dishes. But, the upcoming reconfiguration of DirecTV’s satellite constellation brings more changes and a lot of uncertainty for on the water DirecTV subscribers. Hopefully I can clarify what’s happening.

5

Using your PLB/EPIRB better & testing ACR’s ResQLink View

In this dangerous world, most types of boating are quite safe activities. But when things do go wrong afloat, getting the needed help can be a lot harder than it is ashore because of poor communications. So I was pleased to learn about an easy way to make the excellent safety communication tools known as PLBs and EPIRBs a little more effective…

17

GFCI and ELCI breakers can be confounding, but heed their warning

I recently met cruisers who have been having trouble connecting their mid-80s boat to shore power pedestals equipped with GFCI (ground fault current interrupters) or ELCI (electric leakage current interrupters). Many months of working with electricians allowed them to plug into GFCI breakers without tripping them but still not ELCIs. So, what’s the problem, why did it take months to get it fixed, and what serious safety issues were uncovered? Read on…

14

Dedicated Depth display, NMEA 2000 the best way?

I enjoyed this Bill Morris article at OceanNavigator.com even though he pokes fun at skippers like me. For one thing, he does it gently and well, as in his elegant second paragraph…I also agree with Bill that a dedicated depth display is a key navigation tool, regardless of what else you’re using. But then again I think that there are better ways to do it than he advocates, and…

Siren Marine, Boat Command, Nautic-On and BoatFix's apps 0

Monitored boats, connected boats and smart boats, what does it all mean?

If you’ve been reading Panbo, boating magazines, or spent any time at a boat show you’ve likely seen boat monitors, connected boat products and smart boat products. But, you may well not know what these things are or how they’re different from each other. Hopefully, I can help shed some clarity on this latest collection of buzzwords.

12

Navionics Boating app AIS feature, great idea but…

Well, dang, I was steeled up to write an unusually negative entry about the AIS feature that Navionics recently added to its Boating app, but then I learned that they’re already planning virtually all the improvements that I intended to vigorously champion. So, if you too are having trouble making the WiFi connection work — or if you too are disappointed with the target display — don’t worry…