Long Range Communications

When you are off the grid long range communication gets more difficult. Sometimes the best solutions are different than you think they might be. Let's go through the options. There are three  (published February 2016) The first is the easiest: you may not need long range communications at all beyond the obvious EPIRB. If you

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No Fear, The Electronics of Getting Rescued

Sometimes all the preparation of getting ready to go cruising makes my head hurt but never more so than when it came time to replace/upgrade our rescue electronics  (published February 2016) So much has changed over the years. Devices are smaller, smarter, and there are just plain more types of rescue electronic devices. Used to

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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 cat. We were sailing with

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Water Power

Let your boat's speed through the water charge your battery bank  (published November 2015) Water powered the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when inventors and entrepreneurs discovered that a turning water wheel could be used to drive the machines that can mill lumber, weave cloth and turn lathes. Water power could be transformed into economic

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Fuel Cell Basics

The future of onboard energy production is here  (published November 2015) Alternative energy sources used to keep our batteries topped up and our amenities running have long been a hot topic amongst cruisers—with almost everyone staunchly defending their own version of what works for them. But as we all know, what works for one cruiser

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Maintaining a Weather Eye

Weather forecasts can be right or wrong, but the sooner you can recognize the difference, the sooner you can take appropriate action  (published July 2015) A couple of weeks ago we were tasked to move a Hinckley 64 from the Turks and Caicos to her home port in Martha’s Vineyard. Long range forecasts implied that

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Marine Weather Services Charts-How to Make Your Own

(published May 2015) For many years the National Weather Service (NWS) published Marine Weather Services Charts (MSC) that listed crucial information for mariners using their services. There were fifteen charts that spanned all U.S. waters. The page size was 13- by 21-inches, printed both sides, with an annotated great-circle chart of the region on one

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VHF Operations

Getting your crew comfortable using the VHF radio  (published February 2015) One of the simplest yet most important pieces of electronics aboard your cruising boat is the VHF radio. Able to put you in touch with marinas, bridges, ships, other vessels and emergency services, the VHF is a valuable piece of communication equipment that should

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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 and to receive weather and

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Smoke Signals, Morse Code or …

The boats on which we sail are not the only things that have evolved demonic speeds. Modern offshore communications have developed right along with them.  (published February 2015) With spray flying up to the lower spreaders, we roared down the face of a 50-foot wave, surfing at speeds between 30 and 35 knots. The Southern

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