Browsing: Electronics

Cruising Life
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Garmin Introduces New ActiveCaptain App, Very Cool Diver’s Watch, and Much More

Just before the big Lauderdale show, Garmin announced several new products, including new 7- and 9-inch touchscreens with updated mapping and sonar features; new fishfinders, and the first ActiveCaptain Mobile app and the first diver’s watch with a computer and GPS (see the picture above). For cruising boat owners, the ActiveCaptain app might have the most appeal, since it could lead to being connected all the time on the water. It gives you the ability to access the ActiveCaptain community, and to create, save and transfer routes and waypoints between the app and your device. You also can use it…

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BoatU.S. Offers New Online Course About How to Use AIS. See the Video

In a move designed to improve safe boating, BoatU.S. is offering a new online course about how to use AIS, the Automatic Identification System that tracks boat movements on a radar-like screen display. The course, “AIS Electronics for Boaters – See and Be Seen on the Water,” was developed by the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water and the United States Power Squadrons. The course is a blend of practical knowledge and technical know-how and is an easy way to get up to speed on AIS, the latest collision avoidance technology that is being used by more and…

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Garmin Buys Navionics, Gets Its Charts and Apps

Garmin’s fast-growing marine business just got bigger. The publicly-traded electronics giant (GRMN, Nasdaq) just bought Navionics, the privately-held provider of navigation charts and mobile applications. “Navionics has long been known as a leading supplier of highly accurate navigational charts and mobile applications for boaters,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO. “By combining Navionics’ content with Garmin’s BlueChart and LakeVu content, we will be able to offer the best available breadth and depth of coverage to our marine customers.” Pemble said that Garmin, a world-wide company based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, will keep the Navionics brand and support Navionics’ customers. The…

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Coast Guard Gives Furuno $10 Million Contract for Very Cool Docking Aid

The Coast Guard just awarded Furuno USA a five-year, $10-million contract to supply the company’s Doppler Speed Logs on more than 200 ships, ranging from 87-foot patrol boats to 418-foot cutters (the largest vessels in the Coast Guard fleet). The DS60 Speed Log is a precision 3-axis Doppler Sonar that provides real-time information for berthing and docking. It has a bright 8.4” color display with three modes: 3-axis speed, berthing, and detailed nav data, that show in both graphic and alphanumeric formats. The unit has the unique capability to measure the dead-slow speed that is vital for precise docking. It…

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New Low-Cost, User-Friendly CrewWatcher MOB System from Weems & Plath

Weems & Plath just signed an agreement to make and distribute a revolutionary, low-cost and easy-to-use man-overboard system developed by PanPan and called the CrewWatcher. Peter Trogdon, the Weems & Plath president, just demonstrated it to me here at the Annapolis power boat show, and it seems like a no-brainer. The CrewWatcher system is an app-based MOB alarm using a smart phone or tablet with a small beacon that can easily fit in your pocket. It’s all automatic and requires no manual activation. When it’s dropped in the water, the device sounds a loud alarm and then on screen gives…

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Garmin Big Winner at NMEA Conference with Eight Awards for Product Excellence

Garmin was the big winner at the annual NMEA conference recently, as the electronics giant was named Manufacturer of the Year (for the third straight year) and won eight awards for product excellence. Garmin dominated the annual Product of Excellence competition at the National Marine Electronics Association convention in Bellevue, Washington. In voting by NMEA members, Garmin won in eight categories – radar, autopilot, multi-function display, mobile application, utility, fishfinder, AIS, and multimedia entertainment. For the second straight year, Garmin won the MFD category with its GPSMAP 8624 (pictured above), a 24-inch, all-in-one chartplotter with the highest screen resolution in…

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Simrad Adds Two New Chartplotters to Its Popular GO Series

Simrad has just added two new chartplotters with larger displays and radar compatibility to its award-winning GO series. The new GO12 XSE and GO7 XSR, now part of Simrad’s popular GO stand-alone chartplotter series, are both multi-touch chartplotters for power boats with user-friendly navigation features for cruising, fishing and watersports. The new GO12 XSE (pictured above) has a 12-inch display, while the upgraded GO7 XSR has a restyled glass-helm design, plus radar capability that was not previously available on that model. Both units have bright displays and easy-to-use interfaces. The multi-touch controls are intuitive, and probably will seem similar to…

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Digital Switching Is Moving Down to Regular Cruising Boats

Digital switching started out on megayachts, and then moved down to some large cruising boats. I first encountered it while cruising on Dirigo, hull number one of the flagship Sabre 66, about 18 months ago; the crew was managing the fuel flow from an iPad in the salon.  The system then was so new that the crew called it Hal, after the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Now it’s being used on smaller boats. Basically, digital switching is a network control system that replaces conventional circuit breakers and switches with a digital power system working on an NMEA 2000…

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New Simard NSS evo3 Multi-Function Display: Easier to Read, Easier to Use

The new Simrad NSS evo3 multi-function display has a lot going for it. It’s easier to read, it’s easier to navigate and it’s easier to use. It also combines a lot of features all in one unit to make cruising easier and safer. The brilliant landscape on the new widescreen SolarMAX HD display shows true colors, and the display is clear in the sun and easy to read even at a wide angle. The clarity is exceptional. You control it via the all-weather touchscreen or the expanded keypad, so that you have reliable control in all sea conditions. You can…

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New High-Tech FLIR Cooled Thermal Camera Detects Targets Nine Miles Away

FLIR has just introduced a cutting-edge cryogenically-cooled thermal camera that allows for early detection of other vessels, landmarks and nav aids up to nine miles away. A multi-sensor marine camera, the FLIR M500 has a 14x optical zoom lens to improve situation awareness, a gyrostabilizer to produce steady images in rough seas, and a video tracker to monitor a selected moving or stationary target. The new camera does all this by detecting small temperature variations in targets, providing greater detail even at great distances or in reduced visibility. It is the first cooled thermal camera in FLIR’s award-winning M Series…