The Brains of the Operation

Multifunction displays bring the information age to your helm and nav station  (published January 2014) The field of marine electronics has been on a fast development curve over the last decade as many companies have been consolidated under a few big brands and then these large companies have innovated and

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Navigation System Backups

Know where you are when your most important systems fail  (published January 2014) It’s a question of if, not when your main navigation equipment fails. Of course, it usually tends to do so right when you need it most, such as just after you’ve committed to shooting that chancy inlet

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Bank On It

How to assess and choose the right house batteries for your boat  (published November 2013) We were reaching south halfway between Annapolis and Norfolk when the chartplotter faded and blipped off. I immediately knew the problem, low house batteries, but was puzzled because they were inspected and topped up before

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Staying in Touch

Thoughts after using SSB and satellite phones over thousands of miles at sea  (published August 2013) The SSB radio is a time-honored staple of long distance communications aboard seagoing ships of all kinds. And for good reason, after the initial expense in hardware and a modest installation effort, the units

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Weather Facts

How to obtain weather information by satellite phone  (published July 2013) As satellite phones become commonplace for today’s blue water sailors, the question is, what services are available and how do you choose between them to get the best information for you and your crew? Weather data are available underway

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The Fickle Finger of Fate

Lightning, electrical failure, computer crashes all happen on a whim of the gods. Safety and lives may hang in the balance and navigation's basics can tilt the odds in your favor  (published July 2013) She was a tired but still-fast sloop out of the Med. Charging along through the trade

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Free Online Weather Tools

The difference between success and failure in racing or cruising is often determined by the thoroughness of the preparation-often by just getting the weather right  (published June 2013) It’s almost time to start your cruising rally, and some time ago, you noticed that getting hammered by unexpected cold fronts wasn’t

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Safety Electronics for Offshore Sailing

What features make the newest safety gear right for you?  (published May 2013) Safety at sea is a concept that is impossible to wear out as each voyage has it’s own dangers, difficulties and unique risks. However, modern sailing practices and equipment have made offshore sailing radically safer than it

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ebooks On Board

Love them now, or love them later  (published May 2013) The value of digital publications for an offshore sailboat is pretty obvious. We can store a boat-sinking load of books on a small thumb drive, available now with 128 GB storage for under $100––though it would be better to store

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Weather Routing Software

The good, the bad and the ugly truth of it all  (published May 2013) As night settles on the deck of the boat, a glow emanates from the nav station. It used to be red to protect the night vision of the deck watch. For years, it has increasingly become

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