I’ve written before on the potential benefits of AIS for small craft, and having used it far more since then, it’s time for an update. After being initially impressed with it, and the capabilities it offers beyond radar, has it lived up to that first impression? A good test was when we recently crossed to Morocco west of the Straits of Gibraltar, a remarkably busy stretch of water, which is where AIS should (and indeed, did) come into its own.
Autopilot Buyer’s GuideReading Time: 14 minutes
How smart and expensive an autopilot do we need for offshore shorthanded cruising? Lots of options. Here’s how to make sure we don’t select the wrong one and that we get what we paid for.
Maretron—Better NMEA 2000 CablingReading Time: 5 minutes
There’s a lot of unreliable poorly-supported gear in the marine electronics space, so John gets super excited when he finds kit that goes against that trend, and even more so when it reduces an intrinsic danger.
New Satellite Communications SystemsReading Time: 7 minutes
For nearly 20 years billionaires have been promising that worldwide, fast, always on, and reasonably priced internet, that we could use anywhere on our boats, was just around the corner, but now Matt makes a convincing case that we really will see this soon, and why things are different and better this time. Most important of all, he explains what we need to do to get ready.
Iridium Update 2017Reading Time: 4 minutes
John takes a look at the latest news on Iridium satellite phones and GO!, some real world reports from users, and finishes with some solid purchase and usage recommendations.
Marine Electronics—Ease of Use Trumps FeaturesReading Time: 4 minutes
John is back on one of his favourite hobby horses: tips for buying the right marine electronics for going offshore…rather than the right marine electronics to enrich the companies that make this stuff. And he wants your help on this in the comments.
Q&A: Should I Get a Navtex?Reading Time: 3 minutes
Should you buy a Navtex? There are alternatives, but there are also trade-offs.
A Fundamental Danger Of NMEA 2000 NetworksReading Time: 3 minutes
NMEA 2000 Networks are fast becoming the standard on sail and motorboats but it’s important to guard against a fundamental weakness that can leave us with no position or radar and few good options.
Arctic Gear Test—RadarReading Time: 4 minutes
A reliable radar is the most important piece of electronic gear on a boat sailing in northern waters. In this chapter we discuss how our Furuno 1832 radar performed during our 10,000-mile Arctic voyage.
Arctic Gear Test—Electronic NavigationReading Time: 5 minutes
This was our first Arctic voyage since installing electronic navigation on “Morgan’s Cloud”. In this chapter we report on how it went.
AIS RevisitedReading Time: 3 minutes
Nexus Instruments, Great Gear And Great CultureReading Time: 2 minutes
Seven years ago, when KVH stopped supporting our previous sailing instrument system, we looked at Brooks and Gatehouse but balked at the cost and instead settled on a new NX2 system from Nexus at less than half the price.
Bohlken Westerland BarographReading Time: < 1 minutes
In these days of readily available weather forecasts and satellite- or HF radio-delivered GRIB files, it could perhaps be argued that the barometer has been supplanted as a weather forecasting device. However, in our opinion, that supposition would be a serious mistake.
Q&A: Keeping TimeReading Time: 2 minutes
Question: What do you use for time keeping at sea? If you use a wristwatch then which one?
AIS—See And Be SeenReading Time: 4 minutes
One thing that most sailors dread is poor visibility. Throw in high levels of shipping traffic and you have a perfect recipe for sleepless nights.
Q&A: Radar Scanner PositionReading Time: 3 minutes
Question: What is your preference regarding the best place to mount a radar antenna? As far as we can tell from the pictures of Morgan’s Cloud you have mounted yours on a pole aft. Our previous experience with radars tells us that the antenna should be as high and free as possible. Wouldn’t a radar antenna mounted on the mast just above the first spreaders give better range and a more detailed radar picture than if it were mounted lower? It also appears from the pictures that your antenna isn’t mounted in a way that makes it able to tilt so that it can compensate for heel of the boat when sailing.