Furuno leads the pack in 2021 NMEA Awards

Furuno leads the pack in 2021 NMEA Awards

  Most voyagers are probably most familiar with the initial NMEA as part of a networking designation, either NMEA 0183 or NMEA 2000. Maybe not as many could tell you that NMEA stands for the National Marine Electronics Association. Or that NMEA includes all the top marine electronics manufacturers or that the NMEA has a yearly conference at which the organization gives out awards in a variety of categories. This year marine electronics manufacturer Furuno was the overall winner, taking home seven awards, including the Technology Award for its NavNet TZT16F TZtouch 3 v2. The 2021 NMEA conference was held…
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NMEA NAMES 2021 AWARD WINNERS AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE & EXPO

NMEA NAMES 2021 AWARD WINNERS AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE & EXPO

•            NMEA Product of Excellence Awards presented in 18 categories •            NMEA Best New Product Award goes to Shadow-Caster’s Light Commander •            NMEA Technology Award goes to Furuno’s NavNet TZT16F •            NMEA Manufacturer of the Year—Garmin Twenty products garnered top honors in three separate award competitions at the 2021 NMEA Marine Electronics Conference & Expo, held last week at the Orlando Doubletree Universal Hotel in Florida. NMEA members cast their votes online in 18 categories for the Product of Excellence Awards while a panel of independent judges named winners in both the NMEA Technology Award and Best New Product contests.…
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Marine Electronics, September 2021

Marine Electronics, September 2021

Under normal conditions, we can expect our starter and house battery banks to be topped off regularly by the engine alternator and solar panels, along with perhaps a wind generator and water generator system, depending on our charging array. But when we need to charge a nearly dead battery in short order, it pays to have a portable charger handy to get the boat’s electrical system back in shape as quickly as possible. If you are looking for a durable, inexpensive charger capable of starting your main engine and charging your cranking battery bank, the Stanley BC15BS is a highly…
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Stolen sailboat sails into hurricane

Stolen sailboat sails into hurricane

In an unusual and apparently tragic case reported on Boatwatch.org , a boat was stolen from its mooring and was sailed into a hurricane where a distress signal was sent but the boat was never found. On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 Graham Collins, the owner of a C&C 35 named Secret Plans, received a call at his work place in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The U.S. Coast Guard had called to tell him that a personal locator beacon registered to Collins had been set off in the Atlantic 390 miles southeast of Halifax. The position of the PLB signal put it…
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Cooking up a cyclone

Cooking up a cyclone

As the June to November hurricane season evolves, attention will gradually focus on certain conditions of both atmosphere and ocean — six specific factors, or “ingredients.” Not only are these factors necessary, but their timing needs to be synchronized to cook up a cyclone. A number of those “ingredients” can be affected by the status of ENSO, a known, periodic, irregular (two to seven year cycle), tropical climactic seesaw of atmospheric pressure, sea surface temperature and winds. Finally, an unanticipated factor may appear that warps model predictions of a potential storm’s genesis, intensity and track – an effect sometimes dubbed…
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Skipper Tips For Every Day

Skipper Tips For Every Day

Skipper Tips For Every Day By Fridtjof Gunkel 2021; 204 pp; Adlard Coles; Paperback $20 A friend of mine who served in the Marines used to say that the motto of his branch wasn’t Semper Fi so much as it was, “improvise, adapt, and overcome.” We sailors are a resourceful and thrifty lot, always searching for new ways to kludge a solution to the myriad problems that arise on our boats. A little PVC here, a boat pole there and a whole lot of bungee cord wherever it does the job; that’s how you turn a one-design boat into your…
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Timing the tides

Timing the tides

Navigation is fundamentally about discovering the rules that govern nature. Unlocking these secrets is one of the most gratifying aspects of sailing; from observing the physics of weather to revealing our position relative to the celestial bodies. Another one of the most rewarding elements of navigation is understanding the tides. And tide considerations became central to the planning of a recent 60-nm passage I made in late summer of 2020 from the Great South Bay on Long Island to New York Harbor. Tides express themselves in two distinct but subtly interrelated ways: vertically through tidal height and horizontally through tidal currents.…
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North to Nome

North to Nome

With the changes in the Arctic, the Northwest Passage (NWP) is becoming an increasingly attractive trip to adventurous voyagers. In April 2020, I got a chance at making this famous journey when Matt Thomas, the owner of the 60-foot steel staysail schooner Terra Nova, invited me to join for an attempt at the NWP, sailing west to east.  I agreed immediately and joined Terra Nova in Poulsbo, Wash., across Puget Sound from Seattle. The plan went something like this: We would depart Poulsbo in mid-May, sail to the Beaufort Sea via Sitka, Homer, Unimak Pass, Nome and the Bering Strait,…
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Crossing the Doldrums

Crossing the Doldrums

For centuries sailors dreaded the aptly named Doldrums. This band of windless, hot, and humid weather near the equator could stall sailing ships for weeks, driving the crew to distraction with the monotony and sometimes even leading to the onset of scurvy as fresh supplies ran out. While sailors today needn’t fear scurvy, most of us still dislike this part of the ocean.  Most voyagers try to minimize time spent in the Doldrums. This strategy starts with obtaining accurate weather forecasts, whether over single-sideband radio or satellite phone connection. Even in the last 15 years that I’ve been voyaging, the…
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