Buzz-Worthy Boat Brains

Today's multi-function displays (MFDs) do so much more than manage charts  (published April 2017) If the engine is the boat’s brawn, the multi-function display (MFD) is the brain and if what’s at your chart table is more than a few years old, Mach-speed changes in technology are leaving you at

READ MORE...

Offshore Communication Comes of Age for the Occasional Passagemaker

(published November 2016) Whereas long-term cruisers develop various communication strategies over time, offshore communication has always been a challenge for occasional passagemakers trying to balance cost and need. Once out of cell phone range, there have been three choices to maintain communication: single side band radio, purchase of various satellite

READ MORE...

Integrated Nav Systems for Passagemaking

Some 350 boats sailed in last fall's rallies and most of them used advanced navigation and routing systems  (published January 2016) Last November, I was lucky to join Rick and Julie Palm for the passage south from Hampton, VA to the British Virgin Islands aboard their new Outremer 51 cruising

READ MORE...

Check. Check. Not Check.

Whether racing offshore or cruising, taking stock of a "safety equipment requirements and recommendations" list will show you what safety gear you have, but more importantly, what you don't  (published May 2015) When Jill and I consider our future sailing endeavors aboard Yahtzee, cruising as a family is the answer.

READ MORE...

5 Single Sideband Tips

Five ways to make the signal you transmit from your SSB clearer and more reliable  (published February 2015) We were on a passage from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean Sea. The night we reached the halfway point across the pond, we fired up our ICOM and tuned into WOO

READ MORE...

Comms for Cruisers

For offshore sailors, here are three modern communication solutions for three different budgets  (published February 2015) Skippers and their crews headed offshore should take their onboard communications seriously because the safety and well-being of the crew and your boat may depend upon you being able to get a message out

READ MORE...

Don’t Blame eCharts for Anything

What the grounding of the Team Vestas Wind boat in the Volvo Ocean Race reminds us about our own navigation  (published January 2015) We have long taught at Starpath School of Navigation that we should never blame echarts for anything that goes wrong. This is a fundamentally important rule that

READ MORE...

The Queen Goes Digital

How we assissted, purchased and upgraded our electronics with the past, present and future in mind  (published January 2015) After three and a half years in a Colorado cornfield, the complete restoration and refit of our Pearson 424 ketch, Regina Oceani (Queen of the Ocean), was almost complete. Trucked 2,000

READ MORE...

AIS for Cruisers

(published May 2014) The Universal Shipborne Automatic Identification System (AIS) that was put into action in 2002 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), mandated that commercial shipping be equipped with a VHF based transponder that would automatically broadcast and receive each ship’s identity and steaming data. The protocol to carry

READ MORE...