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Check These Out at the 2016 Miami Boat Show

If you’re already in South Florida, or headed that way for this weekend, you probably know that The 2016 Progressive® Insurance Miami International Boat Show® has moved from the Miami Beach Convention Center to Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. And now that the dog days of the 2008 recession have more or less faded, there is lots of innovation to explore in recreational boating. So stop by the show and take a look at some cool new boats and gear. Some of my top pics for the show:

Navico

Navico, the world’s largest manufacturer of marine electronics, announced several new technology developments that will integrate some key industry systems monitoring capabilities into the company’s equipment.  The company announced it would partner with Naviop, an international leader in monitoring and control systems for yachts and luxury megayachts, to develop state-of-the-art solutions for displaying and managing sophisticated yacht systems. The effort will bring Naviop’s monitoring technology into the broader marketplace for production and high-volume boat building.

Naviop Monitor

Navico also announced that, in partnership with Mercury®, the full line of Simrad® GO, NSS evo2 and NSO evo2 multifunction displays will soon receive a new software upgrade that adds powerful functionality with the recently introduced Mercury VesselView® Link module, providing boaters with fully integrated Mercury engine data combined with their chartplotter, sounder or radar display. Leif Ottosson, Navico CEO, said, “Working together with Mercury, we are able to offer boaters a simplified approach to data management. Now information from radar, sonar, gauges, engine controls, and more, can all be viewed on one screen, minimizing distractions for captains and simplifying the boating experience.”

Navico’s Lowrance® brand announced the release of the Lowrance Precision-9 Compass, which delivers heading and rate-of-turn information with an enhanced level of accuracy to Lowrance Outboard Pilot™, Broadband Radar™ and navigational systems over an NMEA 2000® connection.

Lowrance Precision-9 Compass

The Precision-9 Compass incorporates a sophisticated solid-state sensor array measuring motion on nine separate axes. Data from all nine axes is used to calculate the most accurate heading and rate-of-turn information possible, avoiding common limitations of conventional fluxgate electronic compasses. Once the compass is calibrated, it delivers heading accuracy of ±2 degrees, with a pitch and roll range of ±45 degrees. Lowrance said the compass should be available this month in the U.S. and Canada at a suggested retail price of $645USD.

BRP – Rotax and Evinrude

Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) announced that its Rotax Intelligent Shift and Throttle (iST) system was recognized by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) with an Innovation Award in the Jet Boat category at the beginning of this year’s show. BRP says the game-changing iST option for Rotax jet propulsion systems brings electronic control to formerly mechanical functions. Now available on nearly all Scarab jet boat models and Chaparral Vortex models, iST allows boaters to optimize low-speed maneuverability in a variety of environmental conditions.

BRP’s Evinrude brand has a very high profile at this year’s show, with some eye-watering demos available with the E-TEC G2 models on several boats at the dock. BRP has also announced that they have approved the use of biobutanol fuel blends in Evinrude engines, and will be offering test rides to show the compatibility. Demonstrations will be held at the Miami International Boat Show for media and consumers at on a Key West 239 equipped with an Evinrude E-TEC G2 300HP engine, at Slip #120. Even if you don’t think you will have access to these new bio fuels in the near future, you definitely want to experience a 300HP E-TEC G2. That’s all I’m saying.

GOST

GOST® (Global Ocean Security Technologies), celebrating its 10th year as a world leader in marine security, tracking, monitoring and video surveillance systems, is highlighting its newest marine products at the Miami show this year at Booth: C368, in the C Tent. You can see the new GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM, with its hardwired interface unit that allows it to be integrated with hardwired sensors you may already have aboard your boat. If you’re just getting started on the search for a serious security system, look at the GOST NT Evolution 2.0 security and tracking system. The pinnacle of marine security solutions, the NT Evolution 2.0 marine-grade, wireless security, monitoring and tracking system provides battery backed-up global arm/disarm and relay control via satellite from anywhere in the world. It is designed to defend oceangoing vessels and any other asset that requires a ruggedized, water resistant security, monitoring and tracking system. Easy to install, the wireless sensors can be monitored and the system can be controlled remotely, no matter where the vessel is located globally, with the exception of the most extreme polar latitudes.

GOST Nav Tracker

And finally, see if they’ll show you their new GOST Tracker App, which allows boat owners to link to vessel data from a corresponding Nav-Tracker device and other GOST tracking systems via a smartphone or tablet with an easy-to-use, secure interface. The intuitive application allows users to log in with the same username and password used to access their account on the GOST website. Users can remotely monitor and control Nav-Tracker devices installed on any number of vessels, while fleet managers can view multiple fleets of vessels, as their needs require.

As far as boats go, we’ll get back to you after the show with a roundup of the best of the new boats. There is some really cool stuff going on now with boat builders. While most companies got hit hard by the recession — and some did not survive — others are making a real comeback, including some names we thought might be gone for good.  I’ll mention just one here, and ironically, they don’t have their new vessel at Miami, in this case the Yachts Miami Beach 2016 show (formerly the Miami Yacht and Brokerage Show) on Collins Ave. But I know they’re at the Cocktail Barge and they’re talking about the new Bertram 35.  Yes, the Moppie is coming back! The first hulls are under construction at the Lyman-Morse Shipyard in Thomaston, Maine, and Bertram execs will be in Miami Beach to share some more details about the new boat. Check out the details at Bertram’s website.

Copyright © 2016 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Boats, Electronics, Engines, Marine Electronics
Holiday Gift Guide for Boaters

Holiday Gift Guide for Boaters

Looking for some last-minute holiday gift ideas for the boater in your life (or you)?  We’ve got suggestions that range from truly in expensive to once-a-year-purchase.  One or two you should consider for more than just your boat.

Weego is offering a holiday bundle. Image courtesy of Weego.

Weego is offering a holiday bundle. Image courtesy of Weego.

The Boater’s Gift Guide for 2015

  • Weego Jump Starters – If you operate anything run by battery, you should have one of these in your bag or in a locker on the boat. It’ll jump-start or re-charge anything up to a moderately sized diesel engine, all the way down to your Bluetooth headset.  The Weego units distinguish themselves from other chargers on the market by their premium build quality, connectors and compact size. They also don’t lose their charge while sitting in a bag or locker. You can put one near the helm or in your car’s glove compartment and come back a year later and be able to jump-start that engine. The unit we’ve linked to here is about $120 and still available for delivery before Christmas. The bundle in the image above is available directly from Weego here.
  • Pettit Protect® with Mica Shield Technology – If you’re looking to tackle a barrier-coat challenge for your boat, consider Petit’s new product. Introduced this summer, it features slate mica in the epoxy resin, compared to the granular mica found in most barrier coats.  Think of it as a series of sheets of mica overlapping in the resin; a great structure to resist moisture intrusion. It’s a traditional two-part epoxy coating, with a 3-to-1 mix ratio, and a typical 18-foot powerboat would likely require less than two gallons (at 3 coats) for full coverage. We don’t have a specific price estimate so check the link for local dealers and give them a call.  I don’t expect it to be more expensive than other high-solids barrier coatings, which means it could run about $115-$120 per gallon.
  • GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM – Have you already jumped on the GOST boat security bandwagon?  You should.  It’s like a Lo-Jack™ for your boat. And if you’ve already got some security sensors on the boat — webcam, horn, motion detection — this latest package from GOST will allow you to use an included hardware interface to integrate those into the total security effort. The complete GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 SM Package includes: the GOST Nav-Tracker 3.0 control unit with tamperproof backup battery, the hardwired interface unit, a 5 foot I/O cable to connect the HWIU to the control unit, an IP67-rated momentary Arm/Disarm Button, a Door/Hatch Contact, High Water Sensor, GA-Mini Siren (with all the required cables), the GOST Nav-Tracker antenna, a 10-meter antenna cable, a 2-meter power cable and a GNT-L bracket to mount the antenna. Check out the GOST Global link for a supplier near you.
  • Simrad® GO5 XSE Chartplotter and Fishfinder – How about a cutting-edge, compact chartplotter and fishfinder that can cover all the bases and do it for the price of perhaps two tanks of gas on a typical center console fishing boat? The GO5 XSE features a super-bright multi-touch display, internal 10 Hz GPS receiver, StructureScan® HD and CHIRP Sonar, autopilot integration/control, engine data monitoring, full audio entertainment integration with SonicHub®2, integrated wireless connectivity and the powerful, new Simrad TripIntel™ trip computer. Seriously, what else do need? Ranging in retail price from $449 to $599, depending on the transducer included with the display, the Simrad GO5 XSE is scheduled for March 2016 availability from authorized distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada.
  • Vesper Marine XB-6000 Class B AIS Transponder – If you do any kind of big-water cruising, whether it’s coastal or Great Lake or large rivers, you should consider installing an AIS transponder on your boat. It uses VHF radio frequencies to tell other boats and shore stations who you are, what you are doing and where you are going. This data can be displayed on almost every chatplotter and navigation monitor out there nowadays and while AIS transponders aren’t yet required on all recreational boats, they should be, and you should be the first on your fairway to install it. This Vesper unit is reasonably priced, yet has what might be the most advanced AIS technology there is, with a built-in GPS receiver and NMEA gateway. We found it on Amazon for $555. Check the link to see that source.
  • IMTRA Largo Tri-Color LED Light – That annoying white dome light you have in the middle of your helm deck overhead can now be both useful and pleasant to deal with. IMTRA’s new Tri-Color LED light offers white, blue and red light and simple, momentary-push operation. Since it’s LED, it uses very little power – 4.7 watts in this case for a 30-watt halogen-equivalent. You can pick either a warm or cool white light as part of your unit, while both the blue and red lights preserve the crew’s night vision. How often will you have to change it? It’s designed for 50,000 hours of life.  Are you?
  • FUSION Signature Series Speakers – Got tunes aboard? How about sending those signals out through the best speakers you can put on your boat. FUSION has 230-watt and 280-watt configurations of its new Signature Series line that will give you both the sound and look you want. Choose from Classic White, Sports White or Sports Grey/Chrome styles. The new speakers are offered in a 6.5-inch 230 Watt or 7.7-inch 280 Watt configuration. A dual-color diffused LED lighting option that illuminates in either striking blue or sparkling white based on the polarity of the wiring, adds to the aesthetics There is also a new sub-woofer for the series — a 10-inch unit that delivers premium bass reproduction. Comprised of a high tensile fiberglass-paper composite cone driver that produces a massive 450-Watts maximum output, this unit will bring the bass to the party. Check out the link to see the FUSION Signature Series on Amazon, where some units are still available for pre-Christmas delivery.

 

Copyright ©2015 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Electronics, Fishing, Gift Guide, GPS, Navigation, Sonar, Technology

Kadey-Krogen Notches 600th Yacht Sale

A new Krogen 44′ AE will start construction next month, the happy result of Kadey-Krogen Yachts’ 600th yacht sale. The customers of Kadey-Krogen sales executive Greg Kaufman were identified only as “two new members” of the KKY family of owners.  The yachts will be built at KKY’s construction partner, Asia Harbor Yacht Builders, in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, with delivery expected in the fall of 2015.

Kadey-Krogen 44' AE Yacht.  Photo:  Kadey-Krogen Yachts

Kadey-Krogen 44′ AE Yacht. Photo: Kadey-Krogen Yachts

The Krogen 44′ AE is the latest version of the company’s original 42′ design, which was penned by the late Jim Krogen for his business partner Art Kadey.  The “AE” designator was applied to Krogen 44′ yachts delivered as of 2011, which incorporated a set of more than 50 ergonomic and technical changes. The newest iteration includes a redesigned galley and expanded flybridge.

Here are the basic specs for the Krogen 44′ AE

Length Overall (LOA) 49′ 0″
Length On Deck (LOD) 44′ 4″
Length at Waterline (LWL) 40′ 11″
Beam (Molded) 15′ 6″
Beam (Over Rub Rail) 16′ 4″
Draft (Designed Water Line – DWL) 4′ 6″
Displacement (at DWL) 43,140 lb.
Ballast (Encapsulated Lead) 2,500 lb.
Fuel 850 gal.
Water 300 gal.

Range Performance (Approx., with 10% reserve)

6 knots: 4,450 Nautical Miles
7 knots: 3,000 Nautical Miles
8 knots: 1,900 Nautical Miles
9 knots: 1,250 Nautical Miles

All data from Kadey-Krogen Yachts.

For more detailed information and a nice photo gallery, see the KKY website.

Copyright © 2014 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Industry News, Powerboats
KEP Marine Vessel Monitoring System Scalable for Any Size Boat

KEP Marine Vessel Monitoring System Scalable for Any Size Boat

Editor’s Note — As the marine world finally catches up to the rest of modern life, electronics are controlling more and more of the systems on our boats.  Although some old salts will claim otherwise, this is a good thing.  It means our engines run more reliably, efficiently and pollute a great deal less.  It also means we have more precise control of our major systems — everything from batteries, to air conditioners, tank monitors and safety and entertainment systems.  The next big step in marine modernization is monitoring — getting all those electrons to give us a complete picture of what’s happening on our boats, and giving us the opportunity to interact with and control those systems — all from the helm (or wherever else we want, as we’ll see later in this article).  There are a relatively small, but growing number of companies developing monitoring and control systems for our increasingly electronic boats.  One in particular, KEP Marine, is offering a family of products that scale nearly perfectly all the way from a center-console fishing boat to a superyacht hundreds of meters in length.  Here’s a look at what they’re offering and why I think it’s worth consideration by anyone considering a new boat or a major refit.

KEP Marine Company Logo

KEP Marine Company Logo

KEP Marine’s Intelligent Vessel Monitoring System (IVMS) can give captains of everything from small fishing boats to superyachts precise monitoring and control of nearly every system on their boats. And it does so using an open-standards system that easily handles whatever proprietary data system a particular component manufacturer may be using, so you don’t have to worry about establishing a single data bus format on your boat.  Today’s boat captains have high-definition, flat-screen, multi-function displays to help them navigate, investigate and explore. Now they can have the same kind of inward-looking vision and awareness of what’s going on inside their boats.  Ultimately, this means far fewer nasty failures and surprises and a safer boating experience.

An Open Standards System

The KEP Marine IVMS was developed using open standards, which means that standard Ethernet protocols are used.  The company has developed its system to operate with nearly any information protocol from the individual devices aboard your boat, whether NMEA 2000, CAN bus, MOD bus or company-proprietary.

KEP Marine Intelligent Vessel Management System (IVMS)

KEP Marine Intelligent Vessel Management System (IVMS)

This might be one of the most significant features of the KEP Marine IVMS, since the ongoing lack of device and network standardization in the marine industry can frustrate even the most dedicated efforts of builder, captains and installers to get major and minor systems onboard to talk nicely to each other.  Fortunately, the KEP Marine staff have worked closely with all the major systems and engine-makers and understand how to link these systems into the IVMS.  This is where years of experience in not only the marine industry, but the industrial monitoring and control business pay dividends.

WAGO Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) typically used in a KEP Marine IVMS. The PLC serves as a robust central processor for all the data in most IVMS and IVMS Pro installations. An IVMS Ultimate system might also use a dedicated PC to handle multiple display options. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

WAGO Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) typically used in a KEP Marine IVMS. The PLC serves as a robust central processor for all the data in most IVMS and IVMS Pro installations. An IVMS Ultimate system might also use a dedicated PC to handle multiple display options. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

The system uses a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) from WAGO, a type of digital computer used to monitor and control mechanical, electrical and electronic equipment.  It differs from a general purpose computer in that it is capable of many simultaneous inputs and outputs and is normally designed to withstand the environmental rigors of an industrial (or marine, in this case) environment.

Three Basic Levels Lead to Infinite Scalability

The KEP Marine IVMS is offered in three basic configurations — the IVMS, IVMS Pro, and IVMS Unlimited.  The standard IVMS package is designed specifically for recreational vessels under 50 feet in length.  It allows the captain to monitor and mange the most critical information onboard using a dedicated sunlight-readable 7″ touchscreen display.  Here’s a list of some of the typical monitoring and control functions for such a boat:

  • Battery levels
  • Shore power
  • Smoke and CO detection
  • Tank Levels, including fuel, freshwater and blackwater
  • Voltages
  • Bilge
  • Exhaust

 

Example of a typical engine-related gauges information display from the KEP Marine IVMS System. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

Example of a typical engine-related gauges information display from the KEP Marine IVMS System. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

The simplest installation might be for a center-console fishing boat, where the IVMS is monitoring all the basic systems, but might also be controlling the aeration of the baitwell when water temperature or species change. A boat owner might spend around $5,000 for a system like this, which will earn back its investment the first time you head offshore in a big tournament and discover a dying engine battery before you get stranded in the Gulf Stream. The standard package includes the 7″ display, control panel, terminal block kit and a choice of 16 monitoring selections. The graphics on the display are user-configurable.

The IVMS Pro series includes all the features of the base system but expands the “human interface” software element to support additional monitoring stations, remote viewing, full engine monitoring and switching of electrical circuits.  A typical IVMS Pro installation will include one sunlight-readable panel for an outdoor station — say a flybridge — and one standard panel for an indoor station, likely the pilothouse helm. This is the kind of system you would expect to find on an offshore cruising yacht or sailboat, with more and more-complex systems to both monitor and control.

An example of an iPad displaying detailed engine information, as might be used with an IVMS Pro installation from KEP Marine. A remote, wireless display like this can give the off-watch captain some peace of mind while she is off the bridge. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

An example of an iPad displaying detailed engine information, as might be used with an IVMS Pro installation from KEP Marine. A remote, wireless display like this can give the off-watch captain some peace of mind while she is off the bridge. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

Imagine a Nordhavn or Kadey-Krogen trawler offshore with engines, generators, watermakers, extensive fuel and water management systems, hydraulic systems like stabilizers, and an extensive HVAC system with several zones.  All are easily handled with a single PLC in an IVMS Pro installation.  The owner of such a yacht might spend $50,000 to $70,000 for a system like this, once the components, installation and software development is totaled. My feeling is that level of expense is likely to be well-leveraged when insurance premiums and unscheduled repair costs are figured into total operating and ownership costs.

I have to admit that, for a recreational yacht, this level of display, from a KEP Marine IVMS Unlimited superyacht installation, would be nice on my idea of an ocean-capable trawler of the Excelsior-class starship "Enterprise." Seriously, it illustrates a conning display with the types of information important to the navigator, helmsman and captain. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

I have to admit that, for a recreational yacht, this level of display, from a KEP Marine IVMS Unlimited superyacht installation, would be nice on my idea of an ocean-capable trawler of the Excelsior-class starship “Enterprise.” Seriously, it illustrates a conning display with the types of information important to the navigator, helmsman and captain. Image courtesy of KEP Marine.

When you get into the superyacht and ship category, you will see IVMS Unlimited series systems using a PC to drive more extensive and customizable displays of all the systems.  The addition of the PC — called an “Operator Work Station” in the IVMS system, is a type-approved computer with a solid-state hard drive and Windows Embedded OS.  The Unlimited series still use the WAGO PLC for connecting and controlling sensors and actuators.  With the Unlimited series, display and control panels can be installed throughout the vessel — picture crew’s mess and cabins, engine room and other key locations.  Unlimited systems might require an investment of $150,000 or more, depending on the size and scope of the installation.  While that might seem like a lot of money, it’s quite normal in the superyacht industry to allocate those kinds of resources to safety, monitoring and control systems, many of which are required by the classification societies that govern shipbuilding at that level.

Bottom Line

Consider a system like the KEP Marine IVMS, either at the basic or PRO level if you are going to have a new boat or yacht built,  And if you are buying an older vessel and planning a major refit, particularly one where electrical and plumbing runs will be completely replaced, you’ll be in a good position to incorporate the IVMS in the refit.  The process will involve working with a local dealer and installer but you will undoubtedly work with the KEP Marine staff directly as well, since they do all the programming of the PLCs in-house.  They have programmed controllers for nearly every type and brand of system on today’s yachts, so your system is unlikely to pose any difficulty.  The PLCs they typically use in most installations are programmable via SD memory card, which makes modifying and updating the program (and backing it up) extremely simple.

Copyright © 2014 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Electrical Systems, Electronics, Maintenance & DIY, Marine Electronics, Technology
Navionics Boating App Updated With U.S. Govt. Charts, New Features

Navionics Boating App Updated With U.S. Govt. Charts, New Features

The "About" screen of Navionics newly released Navionics Boating app, showing version 7.0.

The “About” screen of Navionics newly released Navionics Boating app, showing version 7.0.

Do you have an iPad (with GPS) or iPhone on the boat with you?  Okay, then, no excuses:  Download the latest Navionics Boating app update from the App Store, now standard with access to the free U.S. electronic navigation charts (ENC) from NOAA.  There.  You’re not lost anymore.  You’re welcome (from Navionics, anyway).

Now, a little more objectively. . .Navionics today released the latest version (7.0) of its free app, Navionics Boating, which now includes integration with free U.S. government-produced charts for U.S. coastal and navigable waterways, plus additional shorelines of major lakes and rivers from other public sources.

NOAA ENC Charts Included

This means that the Navionics Boating app is immediately suitable for direct navigation in these waters.  NOAA ENCs are vector charts, which means they scale up and down in a completely readable way, and they conform to the International Hydrographic Office (IHO) S-57 standard for electronic charts.

Navionics Boating app showing a NOAA ENC chart for Long Island Sound.

Navionics Boating app showing a NOAA ENC chart for Long Island Sound.

They include all the primary navigation data you need — depths, buoys, beacons, harzards, channel markers and more.  Of course, you can also purchase full-featured Navionics charts with enhanced detail and features such as newly improved dynamic tide and current information and displays.  The chart on the right here of the north shore of Long Island is a NOAA ENC.

You can see the little blue circle at the lower left labeled “GOVT” which means I’m using a NOAA chart.  If you click on that you can opt for a Navionics chart instead, or load one of the cool, crowd-sourced SonarCharts.  Also visible in that screen capture is the classic “navigate” button at lowest left, camera and search buttons to upper left, zoom buttons at upper right and a distance measuring tool at bottom right.

Enhanced Features

The updated app includes several enhanced features:

  • Tracking — The Navionics Boating app uses GPS to measure and record performance data.  Speed, Trip Time, Course Over Ground, Distance and more are all displayed in a new Tracking Console.  Boaters can pause, playback and review a track, and share details with others.
  • Expanded Routing — Planning and route creation are also free with the Navionics Boating app.  Boaters can measure distances, mark waypoints, create simple routes and save data across mobile devices.  The company says wind forecasts include 3-day projections, as well.  The app includes a free trial version of a Nav Module ($4.99) that includes Estimated Time of Arrival, Distance to Arrival and more.
  • Sharing — App users can share memories of their trips with family and friends via Facebook, Twitter and email.  Using a camera function within the app, photos and videos are automatically geo-tagged while recording a trip.  Other images, such as tracking screens and stats can be shared, too.
The Navionics Boating app showing one of the menu options with the various in-app purchases available.

The Navionics Boating app showing one of the menu options with the various in-app purchases available.

Integration with On-board Electronics

As of the most previous update, v6.0, early this year, Navionics Boating includes Plotter Sync, a new feature that allows on-board electronics to connect to Navionics servers on the Internet for uploading data and downloading new charts or updates.

The company says owners of Raymarine Wi-Fi-enabled plotters — just the first of Navionics’ manufacturer partners compatible with this technology — can now use Navionics Boating as a bridge for this connection, eliminating the need to remove a memory card from the plotter to update it.  The App will sync with the chartplotter and provide the update directly.

This is especially cool when users upload and share with Navionics their fishfinder’s recorded sonar tracks, allowing the company to verify and integrate the information in to SonarCharts™ — a new high-definition bathymetry maps that reflects the ever-changing conditions boaters experience in the real world.

Updating Advice

I checked out the new version on my iPad and it’s a big change.  The inclusion of NOAA ENCs makes a HUGE difference in out-of-the-box usability.  If you’re in need of the more detailed and feature-laden Navionics charts, by all means buy them.  They’re not that expensive for most areas (at least compared to what we used to spend for charts and updates) and you won’t regret the purchase.  But for starters, the NOAA ENCs will get you going and keep you safe.  When I fired up my iPad, it didn’t offer me the app update when I went to the App Store, so I deleted the version I had (6.0.3 – the April update) and then downloaded the app again and it was the 7.0 version.  I imagine the updating will be automatic and more smooth over the next couple of days (it could also conceivably have been my own iPad’s sometimes flaky relationship with my router).  If your older version doesn’t seem to be updating, just delete it and download it anew from the App Store (assuming you don’t have any data saved that you need).

Then, when you start it up, after you acknowledge the EULA and settle on a chart area, you can download the NOAA ENC for that area for free.  I downloaded the chart for New England and it was about 68 MB, which downloaded over my Wi-Fi in about 1 minute.  Beautiful and ready to navigate.  You can see “me” in the screen capture up above, standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking Long Island Sound.  I will actually need to board the boat to navigate from here, but the readers come first!

Android Version Coming Soon

Navionics says an Android version of the updated app will be out soon, with features similar to those in the iOS version rolling out throughout the year.  You will find that version in the Google Play store; we’ll advise when it’s released.

Copyright © 2014 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Posted by Tom in Electronics, GPS, Marine Electronics, Navigation, seamanship, Sonar, Technology
Lowrance Offering Special Deals on High-Tech Displays

Lowrance Offering Special Deals on High-Tech Displays

Lowrance said today it was offering money-saving promotions on some of its latest displays, with cash rebates and map giveaways among the highlights. The promotion includes $200 cash rebates on HDS-9 and HDS-12 Gen2 Touch displays, as well as free map giveaways with the purchase of Elite-4 and Elite-5 HDI models. These special offers will continue to be available through June 15, 2014 in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

 

The Lowrance HDS-12 Gen2 Touch Display.  Image courtesy of Lowrance.

The Lowrance HDS-12 Gen2 Touch Display. Image courtesy of Lowrance.

There are also some great bundle deals involving the StructureScan HD.  I saw this technology demonstrated earlier this year at a special press preview at Hawk’s Cay and it’s nothing short of jaw-droppingly impressive.  Watching the high-definition sonar displays show every little details all around the boat, and having the ability to scroll back to an interesting detail, just left me speechless.  The test boat I was on had an autopilot aboard that let me simply designate a point in that sonar history and then took me right to it.  If you fish, or explore, you NEED this gear.

Copyright © 2014 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Depthfinders, Electronics, Fishing, Marine Electronics, Navigation, Radar, Sonar, Technology
Annual Top 10 Boat Names List from BoatUS

Annual Top 10 Boat Names List from BoatUS

A clever boat name from the photo files of BoatUS.

A clever boat name from the photo files of BoatUS.

I’m a little late on this one, but the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) recently released the national boating organization’s 24th Annual Top Ten Boat Names List. The BoatUS list of Top Ten Boat Names:

1. Serenity
2. Second Wind
3. Island Girl
4. Freedom
5. Pura-Vida
6. Andiamo
7. Island Time
8. Irish Wake
9. Happy Hours
10. Seas the Day

You can see the complete history of the BoatUS name survey  at this link.

We’d love to hear some of the better names you’ve seen out there.  Post them in the comments and we’ll do a roundup of them.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Industry News, Legal & Insurance, Maintenance & DIY, seamanship
Smallest Personal Locator Beacon Available from Ocean Signal

Smallest Personal Locator Beacon Available from Ocean Signal

 

A rescueME PLB1 from Ocean Signal is shown attached to the upper surface of this inflated personal floatation device. Image courtesy of Ocean Signal.

A rescueME PLB1 from Ocean Signal is shown attached to the upper surface of this inflated personal floatation device. Image courtesy of Ocean Signal.

The Cospas-Sarsat satellite-based rescue system has saved more than 35,000 people in distress and nearly three-quarters of those were at sea.  Modern 406 MHz rescue beacons have had a huge impact on maritime safety.  If you go offshore anywhere, it’s time for you to equip your boat with an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and to seriously consider equipping your offshore crew and passengers with personal locator beacons (PLBs).  One such personal device is the rescueME PLB1 from Ocean Signal, touted by the company as the smallest PLB available.

Having a PLB like the rescueME PLB1 either on your person or attached to the floatation device that you are WEARING will give you an extraordinary advantage if you go overboard.  The current fleet of low-Earth orbit and geostationary satellites will pick up the emergency signal from your PLB, and will transmit it and the GPS-derived location data to a local rescue authority.  When that happens, you give the rescuers a huge leg-up on finding you.

Check out this video showing how the rescueME PLB1 works:

 

There are several brands of EPIRBs and PLBs, but I highlight the rescueME PLB1 here because it’s a great example of how compact and user-friendly these devices have become.  This device will sit comfortably attached to your personal flotation device (PFD), or your person, if for some inexplicable reason you are not wearing a PFD while on deck.

The rescueME PLB1 is currently on sale at Landfall Navigation.  And you can see the product description at Datrex, the U.S. distributor for Ocean Signal’s rescueME PLB1.

Check out these devices and don’t forget to properly register your device when you get it.  That ensures that rescuers know who to contact to get more information about you and your cruising plan.

Copyright © 2014 by OceanLines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Electronics, Gear & Apparel, GPS, Marine Electronics, seamanship, Technology
Newport International Boat Show Announces 2014 Dates, Prices

Newport International Boat Show Announces 2014 Dates, Prices

Newport International Boat Show, in Newport, Rhode Island.  Photo courtesy of Newport Exhibition Group

Newport International Boat Show, in Newport, Rhode Island. Photo courtesy of Newport Exhibition Group

The Newport Exhibition Group said that the 2014 dates for the Newport International Boat Show, in Newport, RI, are as follows:

  • THURSDAY, SEPT. 12: 10am-6pm
  • FRIDAY, SEPT. 13: 10am-6pm
  • SATURDAY, SEPT. 14: 10am-6pm
  • SUNDAY, SEPT. 15: 10am-5pm

Here are the pricing details:

Tickets for Thursday, September 11th, VIP Day, are $30*. If tickets are purchased by Wednesday, September 10th, each order includes a reserved parking space at Easton’s Beach. ($15 value, one parking space per transaction.) Shuttle bus service from Easton’s Beach to the show entrance is included with the parking space. On Friday, Saturday or Sunday, September 12th, 13th or 14th, tickets are $15* through Thursday, September 11th and $18* September 12th through the 14th. Two-day discounted ticket packages are also available. Children under 12 are admitted free when accompanied by an adult. On Friday, September 12th only, visitors with a valid Military or Newport County Resident ID receive half price admission at the ticket booth.

*Ticket prices are subject to additional processing fees.
**Discounts, packages and advance pricing can not be combined with other offers.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the show website.

Feeling like a little vacation splurge this year? The Newport Exhibition Group also owns and operates the Newport Charter Yacht Show, which runs from June 23-26 this year.

Posted by Tom in Boat Systems, Boats, Brokerage, Charter, Construction & Technical, megayachts
Argonaut Offers Android-Powered Smart MFD

Argonaut Offers Android-Powered Smart MFD

Love all those Android apps but wish there was a more integrated way to use them at the helm?  Argonaut Computer last week announced the A615 smart multifunction display (MFD) — a fully marinized Android MFD with built-in GPS and lots of delicious inputs to take advantage of all the other data sources on your boat.

The A615 Android-Powered Smart MFD from Argonaut Computer.  Image courtesy of Argonaut Computer.

The A615 Android-Powered Smart MFD from Argonaut Computer. Image courtesy of Argonaut Computer.

The A615 — a 15-inch, waterproof, sunlight-viewable unit — is also directly web-connected via its own WiFi connection, so if you are docked or have Internet access while underway, you can access live data for your apps beyond just the GPS.  Here’s a quick rundown of the specs:

  • Built In Android Processing For Web, Apps
  • Powerful Navigation App With U.S. Charts
  • Weather Monitoring with Live Radar Plot
  • Full Featured AIS App with Alerts/Status
  • On Dash Access To Over 875,000 Apps
  • Built In 2.4G WiFi Network Send/receive
  • Multiple Input/Output Signal Connectors
  • Tflex 15” Bonded Sunlight View LED
  • Precision Lock TouchPad User Control
  • Unmatched Low Power Consumption
  • Includes 48 Channel GPS Receiver
  • Shock Isolated Design, 360 Waterproof
  • Industry Leading Three Mounting Options
  • Comprehensive Two Year Warranty

The A615 is not cheap.  MSRP is $2,999, which seems like a lot until you consider that this is not just a monitor, but a fully-powered MFD, with its own Wi-Fi, GPS and waterproof, marinized construction.  That makes it on a par, cost-wise, with other stand-alone marine MFDs.  One tremendous advantage is that you can load it up with free and low-cost apps that, in many cases, are as capable as their PC- and MAC OS-based sister products.

The A615 can also be mounted in a number of different ways — surface mount it like any other fixed helm display; in an optional U-bracket, or an optional RAM arm mount.

Here’s a LINK to the detailed specs for the A615.

This is a product to consider if you’re building a new helm or looking to update one and you need a lot of bang for your buck.  It’s a great way to build in functional redundancy in your helm, or even as the centerpiece of your helm.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Electronics, GPS, Marine Electronics, Navigation, Radar, seamanship, Technology
Nordhavn to Expand Coastal Pilot Series with 59CP

Nordhavn to Expand Coastal Pilot Series with 59CP

Two years after it launched the 52CP, Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) has announced a larger addition to the new semi-displacement lineup of Nordhavn yachts — the 59 Coastal Pilot (59CP).  The Coastal Pilot boats are a little more than half the displacement of  a similar full-displacement boat, and sport top speeds up to 20 knots.  PAE says they represent not only a good way for the company to expand the demographics of its high-end customer base, but as transitional boats for people moving into or out of the full-displacement bluewater ocean-crossers that make up the original Nordhavn line.  Jim Leishman, PAE vice president, said, “This is the perfect type of vessel for anyone with dreams of extended cruising that don’t involve ocean crossings — for instance, an Alaska-to-Maine itinerary.”

Nordhavn 59 Coastal Pilot rendering.  Image courtesy of PAE.

Nordhavn 59 Coastal Pilot rendering. Image courtesy of PAE.

 

How is the Coastal Pilot series different?

They are lighter. The 59CP has a design displacement of about 71,000 lbs., which compares to the full-displacement Nordhavn 60 at 130,000 lbs. Obviously, the ocean-crossing N60 needs to carry much more in the way of fuel and other consumables.  To be honest, the two yachts are not really that comparable since the N60 is fully 4′ longer and a foot wider in beam.

They are faster.  It’s probably obvious, but with less hull in the water and with two engines standard, cruising and top speeds are going to be higher.  A full-displacement hull is normally limited in top speed mainly by the length of the hull (longer hulls go faster).  The N59CP will reach about 20 knots at top speed, while an N60 is just about 10 knots.

They are designed for coastal cruising.  A number of factors contribute to this quality.  From the captain’s perspective, draft, speed and range all contribute.  The higher cruise speeds mean more destinations within reach during shorter time spans.  The significantly shallower draft — only 4′ 2″ on the 59CP — mean that much more gunkholing and close-in island anchorages are accessible.  The Bahamas, for example, become much more interesting in a luxury yacht with that kind of shallow draft.  The range (at lower cruising speeds) is up to 1,000 miles.

They are sedan and express cruiser designs.  Nordhavn full-displacement yachts are raised pilothouse designs, intended to provide appropriate isolation from the normal distractions of the living spaces, particularly during night time watches on extended passages. In coastal cruising, however, night passagemaking is much less often a requirement and the single-deck design on the main level means the watchstander can be part of the family dinner discussions.  Here’s a link to the Nordhavn 52CP, the first boat announced in this new Coastal Pilot series.

How are the Coastal Pilot Yachts similar to other Nordhavns?

They are the same quality, which is certainly at least equal to the best in the entire industry.  That includes the substantive areas of mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the cosmetics of furnishings, surfaces, cabinetry and household appliances. Nordhavn mechanical and fuel systems are known for their offshore reliability and simple concepts like a sight glass for the fuel tank demonstrates the safety mindset of the designer.

They are as safe.  The N59CP will carry a “CE – Category A” unlimited offshore rating, which ensures the highest levels of seakeeping and strength.  There isn’t a boatbuilder around that knows more (or maybe even as much) about safe cruising as PAE  In fact, 2014 is the 10th anniversary of the famous “Nordhavn Atlantic Rally (NAR),” which saw a fleet of Nordhavns cross the Atlantic non-stop.

General Configuration

The Nordhavn 59CP is an express-style cruiser with a single main deck that includes the raised aft cockpit, salon, galley and helm area. The design features a roomy flybridge with seating for 12 people and plenty of room on the aft portion for a tender.  The lower deck features a VIP guest stateroom forward and a massive master stateroom amidships. There is a three-stateroom option with twin upper and lower bunks that takes a bit of room away from the master.

Also on the lower level, there is a large utility room at the landing of the stairs from above.  It includes the separate Bosch washer and dryer along with a deep freezer chest.  The main stateroom aft of this landing is isolated from the engine room farther aft by two bulkheads, with the fuel tank in between.  There should be no problem of noise and vibration in the master stateroom emanating from the standard twin Cummins QSM11 diesels.

The Specifications

These are the preliminary specifications as provided by PAE:

  • Twin Main engines: Cummins QSM11, 715 BHP ZF335 IV with 2.458: 1 reduction x 2
  • Exhaust system by Marine Exhaust
  • Delta T engine room ventilation including moisture eliminators and raised intake and outlets
  • Bow thruster: Side Power 11 hp, 24 volt
  • Trim tabs: Bennett Premium BXT system
  • AC Generator (located in E/R): 21.5kw Onan with sound shield and gensep exhaust
  • Onan 21 KW generator with sound enclosure
  • Hynautic hydraulic steering system
  • Fresh water pressure pump: 120VAC Headhunter Mach 5
  • Grohe fixtures in all sinks and showers
  • Tecma Silence Plus toilets in heads
  • Cruisair reverse cycle air conditioning and heating throughout
  • Self contained air conditioning units for each area
  • 110/240 60 hz electrical system with 3,500 watt inverter and by pass system
  • 24 volt electrical with 8×255 amp hour Lifeline (AGM) batteries for house and engine starting with separate generator starting batteries
  • 24 volt battery and DC system
  • Deluxe galley appliances including:
    • Bosch 800 Series stainless refrigerator in galley
    • GE Café Series 30″ electric cook top and oven
    • GE Café Series convection microwave with exhaust blower
    • GE Café Series dishwasher
    • Separate U-Line freezer in laundy room
  • Separate Bosch washer and dryer
  • LED lighting throughout
  • Muir “Jaguar” 3500 lb. windlass 24VDC horizontal
  • Deluxe Imtra self parking windshield wipers
  • Kallenburg horn
  • Tempered glass frameless windows
  • Custom fiberglass exterior doors
  • Thirteen opening ports
  • Steelhead Marine WD Series davit, 800 lb. lifting capacity with 8′ reach

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Construction & Technical, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats
Navionics at Center of ICW Magenta Line Renovation

Navionics at Center of ICW Magenta Line Renovation

Last year, NOAA’s Coastal Survey Office announced that it planned to discontinue the so-called “magenta line” on charts of the IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW) because the line placement was based on data that, in some cases, hadn’t been updated since the original charts were produced in the early 20th century.  Well, that generated quite a storm of response from the user community but that response turned into something much more substantial and positive — a commitment by some companies and from boaters themselves to help get the data updated themselves.  Navionics, known for its comprehensive charts of nearly all the navigable waterways, lakes and coastal areas visited by recreational boats, decided to employ some of its latest crowdsource-supported technology to assist in the effort.

An example of the "magenta line" on a chart of the ICW.  Image courtesy of Navionics.

An example of the “magenta line” on a chart of the ICW. Image courtesy of Navionics.

Navionics is at now at the center of the NOAA Office of Coastal Survey’s efforts to reestablish an accurate magenta line on IntraCoastal Waterway (ICW) charts.  The Navionics effort involves updating the charting data on its “Freshest Data” servers with information generated by boaters who upload sonar logs and who submit edits to charts using the Edit Map function on their Navionics mobile application.  Given that there are more than 1.5 million users of the mobile apps, Don Black, global vice president of sales and marketing for Navionics, says, “We are able to deliver invaluable enhancements to charting data at an unmatched pace.”

Crowdsourcing (have you noticed how German the American English is becoming, just combining words into compound words?) is one of the hottest developments in the online world today.  The technology of “connectedness” makes it possible for users to now share local data and build profoundly more accurate databases of information.  In the marine charting world, that translates to the possibility of much safer local navigation, offsetting many years of neglect from government hydrographers who had higher priorities and insufficient budgets.

If you’re a user of the ICW and you would like to participate, get onboard with the Navionics Boating APP and get your local sonar logs and information uploaded to Navionics.  You may also contact NOAA’s Coastal Survey Office directly with input and comments. Use the link above to see how.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Depthfinders, Electronics, Marine Electronics, Navigation, seamanship, Sonar, Technology
Navionics Plotter Sync Wirelessly Updates Charts on Raymarine plotters

Navionics Plotter Sync Wirelessly Updates Charts on Raymarine plotters

If you own a wirelessly enabled chartplotter from Raymarine  and you use charts from Navionics, your life is about to get MUCH simpler. An updated Navionics app on your iPhone or iPad will download daily chart updates, and then when you are within range of your wireless-enabled chartplotter from Raymarine (with the latest firmware update, likely by late April), the app will communicate with the chartplotter using an embedded technology called Plotter Sync, and update your Navionics chart cards. You really just won’t have to think about it or worry about it anymore:  you will always have the latest updates for your charts.

The Navionics Boating App is available for iOS and Android platforms.  Image courtesy of Navionics

The Navionics Boating App is available for iOS and Android platforms. Image courtesy of Navionics

Navionics Plotter Sync on Raymarine chartplotter

Navionics Plotter Sync wirelessly updates the Navionics charts on Raymarine chartplotters. Image courtesy of Navionics

According to Navionics, the Navionics Boating app gets the latest chart data from Navionics Freshest Data servers and, using Plotter Sync, automatically syncs to the chart card.  You never have to remove the card or take it back to a computer.  A bonus comes if the Raymarine user is sharing her sonar logs with Navionics.  Then, the logs will also wirelessly sync to the mobile device and then up to the cloud where they become part of Navionics crowd-sourced SonarCharts.  In the right-hand image here you can see the Navionics chart display on a Raymarine e97 chartplotter, which the image on the left shows the same chart info on an iPad, which is using the Plotter Sync technology to sync with and update the e97.

Navionics PlotterSync on an iPad synchronizing chart updates to a Raymarine e9 plotter.  Image courtesy of Navionics

Navionics PlotterSync on an iPad synchronizing chart updates to a Raymarine e9 plotter. Image courtesy of Navionics

This technology represents a significant safety enhancement.  A boater using Plotter Sync not only will have the latest charts on the Raymarine chartplotter, but also on an independent mobile device.  If you were smart enough to buy your iPad with a cellular modem, and thus with an actual gps receiver in it, then your iPad becomes a fully functional offshore navigation device.  Our resident expert on iPad navigation for boats, Christine Kling, has written extensively about iPads on boats.

Print out a up-to-date free PDF chart from the NOAA website before you leave for the dock and you’ve set yourself up for success with a triple layer of navigation redundancy.  Get the updated Navionics Boating app from the iTunes store if you want to sync your Raymarine unit via your IPad.

Plotter Sync will also soon be working with chartplotters from Navico.  The Simrad, Lowrance and B&G units equipped with GoFree wireless will be able to sync routes, tracks and logs according to current plans.  The Navionics Boating app is available also for Android devices, for use as a planning tool or for navigation.  Current Android capabilities do not include the wireless chart sync with devices on your helm. Without trying to put words in Navionics’ mouth, I can imagine that at some point in the future, we will be able to use any and all of our mobile devices to sync with our fixed-mount plotters. The technology is evolving almost on a daily basis, it seems. It’s already pretty cool and useful.  If you are using this or testing it, let us know in the comments how it’s going.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Electronics, GPS, Marine Electronics, seamanship, Technology
Boston Whaler 345 Conquest Wins Award for Innovative Cabin Design

Boston Whaler 345 Conquest Wins Award for Innovative Cabin Design

345 Dauntless.

345 Dauntless. Photo courtesy of Boston Whaler.

Boston Whaler’s 345 Conquest today won the 2014 Innovation Award for its spectacularly designed interior at the Miami Boat Show. There’s a lot more space than might be expected, according to Jeff Vaughn, vice president of sales, marketing and customer service, who spoke at a press event here in Miami this afternoon.

What makes the 345 Conquest so appealing is its convertible seating. It starts in the climate-controlled helm with a hard-top where passenger seating can convert into a full lounge. Opposite the cockpit wet bar, the trademark reversible companion seating allows you to enjoy a conversation helmside, but easily converts to face aft. Further aft, there ‘s a roomy bench that folds out of the way to transform the area into a huge platform.

Convertible seating at the helm.

Convertible seating at the helm. Photo courtesy of Boston Whaler.

The convertibility theme continues with the real star of the 345 Conquest — the convertible cabin. This cabin has a full galley with a large dining table big enough for six adults. At the touch of a button, the table converts electronically into a queen-sized berth. When you wake up, just press the button and the cushions retract to make room for your table. Bonus: Because the cushions retract, you don’t have to worry about where to store them when the bed isn’t needed.

Nigel Calder, marine journalist and author, and one of the Innovation Award judges, calls it “the James Bond of beds!”

Convertible table/bed.

Convertible table/bed. Photo courtesy of Boston Whaler.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC. All rights reserved.

Posted by Emily in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Powerboats

2014 Miami International Boat Show Opens Today

 

Open Doors of the 2014 Miami International Boat Show

What’s behind this door? The 2014 Miami International Boat Show

We’re in Miami for the opening of the 2014 Progressive® Miami International Boat Show and it’s clear from the exhibits on display, the boats in the water and the news already making headlines that there is a new optimism in the boating industry.

View of the show floor at the 2014 Miami International Boat Show

So much to see as you walk into the Convention Center show floor at the 2014 Miami International Boat Show

If you’re following our Tweets from the show (@OceanLines), you’ve seen some quick spy shots we got from the show floor last night while all the show employees and company folks were still putting last-minute touches on all the displays. We tweeted photos of the Lehr propane-powered outboard motors; a great solution if you have a diesel boat and don’t want to carry or mess with gasoline for your tender. Actually, it might be a great solution for anything you want to do with a smaller outboard.

We also sent a picture of the great line of Yamaha outboards on display; the cool paint jobs on the Mercury Verado outboards on Deep Impact’s boats; the rocketship-like go-fast boats from Marine Technology and some examples of the new Carver Yachts lineup.

Last night you also saw our Tweet with a photo of Boston Whaler’s innovative fold-down side gate on the 270 Dauntless. We’ll have two more news stories from Boston Whaler today, including one on a brand-new boat being developed by the company.

There is also a lot of news from the marine electronics companies this year and we’ll have all the coverage, including a roundup of the great new technology and content available from the Navico brands — Simrad, Lowrance and B&G.

So, stay tuned and be sure to follow us on Twitter for quick heads-up items and photos from the show floor and the marinas.

Copyright © 2014 by Oceanlines LLC.  All rights reserved.

 

Posted by Tom in Boats, Electrical Systems, Electronics, Engines, Gear & Apparel, GPS, Industry News, Marine Electronics, Performance Powerboats, Powerboats, Propulsion, Radar, Radios, Sonar, Technology