Spring Cleraning For Your Electronics

Giving your electronics a spring-cleaning is easy and fast to do, can prevent problems before they start and helps ensure maximum reliability from your gear  (published April 2013) It's the time of year in the Northern Hemisphere when the grasp of winter loosens and thoughts turn to sunnier days ahead, particularly, sunny days on the

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From Here to There, And Home Again

With or without electricity, as a navigator your job is to find your way safely to port. At times, your best friend may be your compass. Treat it as such.  (published April 2013) Lia Ditton and I were delivering a boat from Antigua to Norfolk, Virginia. A week out of Antigua and in the middle

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Demystifying Wi-Fi for Boats

(published February 2013) Wi-Fi technology has been around for a long time, but its use on boats opens up a myriad of technical possibilities that don’t often apply to shoreside use. We’ve been keeping you up to date on the exciting tools and software available for navigation, entertainment, and shipboard monitoring and management. Now, with

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High Seas Communications

With modern satellite and high frequency communication tools, you never have to be out of the loop  (published February 2013) Going to sea or taking off to some far cruising ground no longer forces you to step off the merry-go-round of civilization. For better or worse, modern communications around the world enable us—whether 1,000 miles

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New & Noteworthy

Advancements in nav and electronics  (published January 2013) Technology has vastly changed the way sailors look at almost every aspect of the cruising lifestyle. Some sailors cringe at the thought of learning about the latest onboard technological advances, while others happily lap up each new product as it hits the shelves of their local chandlery.

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In the Palm of Your Hand

When it comes to using tablet computers for navigation, less is frequently more  (published January 2013) We may not have jetpacks, but I can assure you that as far as navigation technology goes, we’re already in the future. It began with GPS effectively eliminating all the manual math required to determine one’s position. It continued

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Calling Home by Satellite

It's not just E.T. who wants to phone home, and the options for doing so are about to expand  (published December 2012) I had just come off watch, deep in the Southern Ocean. Temperatures on deck were well below 40ºF, and I needed to get some messages out during my off watch. Sitting below for

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How to Choose a Genset

An energy audit will tell you how much power you really need  (November 2012) Nearly since its invention, the reciprocating piston engine has been used aboard almost all offshore-capable vessels as a double-duty workhorse, both powering the vessel via propeller and generating electricity to recharge the battery banks. It’s become common for sailors to run

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Monitors, Smart Chargers and Inverters

How to keep your battery bank charged and appliances running  (published November 2012) Keeping your battery bank charged and in good condition so you always have enough 12 volt and 120 volt power is a key element of modern cruising. Without question, the energy system designed to provide modern cruising boats with energy independence over

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Battery Banter

(published November 2012) Chuck Hawley, West Marine’s Vice President of Product Development, recently bought an Alerion Express 38 Yawl and is learning how to be a cruiser all over again. Since Chuck is not only a gear expert for our industry, but also in the middle of doing upgrades for his own boat, BWS asked

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