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I Think I Want This on My Flybridge

Nauticomp Tank Test of New LED LCD Panels

Nauticomp Tank Test of New LED LCD Panels

Yeah, I know this photo is from a press release.  But maybe it’s not just a cute demonstration.  Maybe it’s actually an effective way to prove a marketing claim of dust- and waterproof capabilities.  Nauticomp says it tests its marine LED-lit LCD displays to an IP67 ingress protection standard.  The ‘6’ in that designation indicates that the unit is completely protected from dust ingress, and the ‘7’ means that the unit is submersible to a depth of a meter for one minute.

I do not expect my flybridge to be submerged to a depth of one meter for ANY AMOUNT OF TIME.  But it is entirely possible, even highly likely that it will be in a downpour every now and then, so this isn’t just frivolous gilding of the lilly.  (I wonder what the IP rating for a U.S. Navy sub is??  A thousand meters for an infinite period?  Or maybe until they run out of hamburgers in the galley?  Probably classified, right?)

According to Nauticomp President Ryan Moore,

“Internally-sealed welds on the all-aluminum housings ensure that the display casings are watertight. All cables and external connections to Nauticomp marine displays are manufactured to an IP68 rating and the second number – 8 – signifies that they are submersible to three meters for an infinite period of time.

During the display assembly process, a silicon sealant is applied at display and back case opening to ensure water tightness on the completed unit. Nauticomp displays also feature Bonded glass, which does not “fog” up when there is a significant change in temperatures. In addition, power supplies to Nauticomp displays are external – to keep the units cool and provide added safety in the event of a power surge.”

We recently wrote about the company’s new Genesis line of monitors.  Nauticomp has some videos available for those who suspect a still image.  If you’re going to the Miami Boat Show, you can see both the waterproof demonstration and the new monitors in-person at Booth 1676 in the Electronics Room (Miami Beach Convention Center).

Copyright © 2011 by OceanLines LLC.   All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Electronics

Rescue Video – BoatU.S. EPIRB Rental Saves Three

BoatU.S. EPIRB Rental Program Saves Lives

BoatU.S. EPIRB Rental Program Saves Lives

Okay, the title of this post isn’t really fair.  After all, it was the U.S. Coast Guard, whose men and women risk their lives every single day for boaters like us, who actually rescued these three catamaran sailors off the coast of California last week.  But if it wasn’t for a last-minute EPIRB rental from BoatU.S., they likely would have perished. As it was, hypothermia almost got them anyway. If you’re not a regular offshore cruiser (meaning – you don’t already own an EPIRB), rent one from BoatU.S. and give yourself a real chance to be rescued if it all comes undone.  The following video and press release are from BoatU.S., who authorized this republishing in its entirety.


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Rented at the Last Minute, Emergency Beacon From BoatU.S. Foundation
Saves Three Lives Off California Coast

Crew Sends Mayday Just Before Capsizing

ALAMEDA, Calif. July 8, 2010 — The day before departing Crescent City, California, on July 1 for an offshore passage bound for Alameda, California, the shore-bound father of one of three crewmembers aboard the 32-foot catamaran sailboat Catalyst wanted to ensure his daughter was safe. So he went to www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/epirb to rent an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

Normally costing about $800, the BoatU.S Foundation rents the life-saving units for just $65 per week. The rental program is intended to fill the short-term safety need for occasional offshore cruisers. When activated by immersion in water or manually by pressing a button, the units broadcast an emergency mayday signal via satellite along with precise location information of the vessel in distress, allowing for a speedy rescue. A dedicated global satellite system relays 406-MHz EPIRB distress signals to rescue stations around the world.

The last-minute rental saved all three this past weekend when stormy seas led the crew to activate the beacon just minutes before massive waves capsized the vessel, plunging all three into the frigid Pacific waters 20 miles off Fort Bragg on the Northern California coast.

On Saturday July 4 with winds gusting past 50 mph and seas treacherous, the three crew — two men in their 40s and a woman of unknown age — activated the EPIRB at about 12:44 p.m. Soon after, 15-to-20-foot waves knocked the boat completely upside down, pinning all three underneath. Once they freed themselves from the overturned boat, the three lashed themselves to the overturned vessel, but without survival suits to protect them from the cold water, hypothermia quickly set in.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was able to home in on the signal given by the EPIRB, and after commencing a search pattern, quickly found the floating wreck awash in the sea. With the help of a rescue swimmer, Catalyst’s three crew were quickly loaded into the helicopter for a life-saving flight to the hospital. The female crew member’s body temperature was only 79ºF and pulse barely 30 beats per minute. All are expected to fully recover.

The signal from the EPIRB was the only distress signal received by the Coast Guard from Catalyst. The Coast Guard also credits the crew for staying with the boat after it capsized and filing a float plan, which allowed the rescuers to expedite the search.

“That EPIRB saved their lives,” said USCG Lt. George Suchanek, an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter pilot that responded to the call.

The BoatU.S. Foundation EPIRB Rental Program is funded by the voluntary contributions of BoatU.S. members, and 65 lives have been saved since 1996. For more information, call 888-663-7472 or visit www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/epirb .

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Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved

Posted by Tom in Cruising Under Power, Cruising Under Sail, Sailboats, seamanship

Vote for the Best U.S. Coast Guard Video of 2009

U.S. Coast Guard Video Contest Logo

U.S. Coast Guard Video Contest Logo

The following is from the official blog of the U.S. Coast Guard, The Coast Guard Compass.  It describes the annual video contest the service holds and this year’s collection of videos are as dramatic as ever.  I’ve picked my favorite.  Now it’s your turn. Have a look at the compilation below and then visit the YouTube channel and rate the individual videos.  This is the official description of  the contest:

Everyday, Guardians are involved in amazing rescues, national security operations and drug interdictions. Whenever possible, Guardians capture those Coast Guard operations on video. The videos truly highlight the missions and stories of America’s Guardians. Sometimes you see them on the evening news, but often you don’t.

For the past several years, the Coast Guard has been recognizing the top videos of the year. We’ve narrowed it down to 11 finalists (a tribute to the Coast Guard’s 11 statutory missions), but we want your help in deciding which one is the “Coast Guard Video of the Year” for 2009.

The link above will take you to a first look video compilation of the 11 finalists for video of the year. Starting next Monday (December 21, 2009), the Compass blog will highlight one video per day together with audio from a member of the Coast Guard unit involved in the mission. You can then follow the link to the Coast Guard YouTube “Video of the Year 2009″ playlist to use the rating and comment feature to cast your vote.

Votes will be accepted until January 8, 2010. The units with the top three videos will receive a Flip video camera to enhance their ability to capture and share imagery of their operations.

Here’s the collection, edited into a single package.  You can see the individual videos and vote by rating them, on YouTube itself.

Copyright © 2009 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Cruising Under Power, Environment & Weather, Industry News, Passagemaking News, People, Powerboats, Sailboats, seamanship