Davis Instruments

Product Roundup: More Stuff You Can Use on Your Boat

Editor’s note — About once a month we publish a list of interesting new (and sometimes not-so-new) products on the market that you might find useful.  We get dozens of press releases every week from manufacturers all over the world, but this is just a select few that seem especially worth bringing to your attention.


Save the Keys!

Davis Instruments Key Buoy

Davis Instruments Key Buoy

You’ve got multi-thousand gallons per hour bilge pumps, switchable inlets for your engine cooling pumps, massive deck scuppers, life jackets, rafts and huge investments in all kinds of survival gear.  But you drop the keys into the water between the deck and boat.  Oy.  What luck.  Your gorgeous expeditionary ocean-going vessel is floating pretty but the voyage is sunk until you find a diver to retrieve the keys.  Not any more (cue the ShamWow™ guy).  Davis Instruments (yeah, the weather station people) has your newest piece of safety gear — the Key Buoy. 

If the Key Buoy should fall into the water, the patented, self-inflating key ring automatically pops open, inflates its air tube and rises to the surface.  In as little as 60 seconds, owners can get back their keys, small tools or deck plate keys weighing up to 2.8 oz.  A convenient, bright orange 14″ air tube makes the versatile Key Buoy easy to spot and retrieve.  It maintains buoyancy for over an hour.  A great, practical gift, the compact Key Buoy measures just 2-1/2″ x 1-1/2″ x 1/2″ and weighs merely 1.1 oz.  Made entirely out of plastic, it can be recycled after use.  Suitable for single use only, owners should keep a spare on hand.  The suggested retail price of the economical Key Buoy from Davis Instruments is $6.99.


Yes, Hon, I NEED a Sextant

Davis Instruments Sextant

Davis Instruments Sextant

I know you’ve pictured yourself braced on the poop deck, the great canvas sails of your ship of the line billowing in the wide blue sky, while you took that noon sunshot and confirmed to Admiral Nelson that the enemy fleet would be just over the horizon.  But really, you should have a good sextant aboard, and know how to use it.  Given the ubiquity of GPS and electronic chartplotting, there hasn’t been a huge market demand for sextants, but for ocean voyagers they still represent, after thousands of years of evolution, a good piece of safety gear.

As practical backup navigational tools, the Mark 15 and Deluxe Mark 25 Sextants, also from Davis Instruments, deliver accurate readings to 2/10°.  Featuring a precision-machined, slow travel gear and worm mechanism, the dependable Mark 15 has a 7″ frame radius graduated from 120° to -5°.  It also includes seven large sunshades, a star scope with anti-reflective glass lenses and a separate hooded sight tube for glare-free sun shots.  Designed for the harsh marine environment, the durable sextant has a contoured handle and angled back for a steady grip and added control. 

The Deluxe Mark 25 Sextant adds a Beam Converger, LED light and advanced mineral coating.  Replacing the traditional, half-silvered mirror, the Beam Converger provides a single, full-field view for reliable sights, even under the most difficult conditions.  The highly-efficient, long-life LED illuminates the arc and drum, while a special, mineral coating enables users to see the horizon in one color and a star or the sun in another.  This helps to pick up faint objects such as low-light stars as well.

With a detailed instruction booklet and tough, fully-padded, shock-resistant carrying case, the Davis Mark 15 has a suggested retail price of $215.99 and the Deluxe Mark 25 is $299.99.  A Mark 3 training sextant is also available for $59.99.  Contact Davis Instruments, 3465 Diablo Ave., Hayward, CA  94545.  510-732-9229; Fax: 510-732-9188.  [email protected]www.davisnet.com.


Why Are You Using Your Laptop in the Head?

YachtSpot Wi-Fi Receiver and Router

YachtSpot Wi-Fi Receiver and Router

As nice as it is sometimes to be totally disconnected from the modern world, at rest in a peaceful anchorage somewhere, the Internet is an immense resource for cruisers of all kinds.  From simple e-mail and chat sessions with the kids and grandkids, to sophisticated real-time weather briefings and the tools to conduct almost any kind of electronic commerce, we do need access to the Internet.  And more and more, we’re becoming accustomed to having access to reliable wireless connections aboard our boats.

Global Satellite USA has announced the availability of a sophisticated new shipboard wireless receiver and router, called the YachtSpot.  According to the company’s description, “YachtSpot connects wirelessly to marina or near shore WiFi hotspots using 802.11 b/g and shares that connection between all of the Yacht’s onboard laptops, desktops, servers, PDA’s, VOIP phones, and any other device that can use an Internet connection.”

YachtSpot is similar in functionality to the Broadband router you use at the office or at home. The internal interface is Ethernet which can be shared using a switch or a wireless access point. The external interface is a wireless client which connects to WiFi hotspots.  YachtSpot provides security to the onboard network.  It is not a bridge, like a wireless access point, which shares it’s IP range with the entire marina, but a router which uses ‘Network address translation’ [NAT].  The onboard network on the Yacht will be separated and fire-walled from the marina’s network and has its own IP range.  Users have reported good connections from as far as 1.5 miles offshore without using special boosters, and faster-than-expected speeds when moored alongside.  Contact Global Satellite USA, 1831 Cordova Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316, or 954-854-3389.  [email protected] or www.globalsatellite.us.

Copyright © 2009 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Industry News, Technology