It’s no secret that people still work on their boats when underway. In several cases, it’s exactly that work that allows people to be on their boats in the first place. So it naturally follows that we need some means of communication beyond cell range. The same goes for data transfers and high-speed internet access. That’s the homeport of Iridium.
Simrad has improved on itself again with the introduction of the NSO evo3, a direct competitor to Garmin’s 8400/8600 series. This is a full display and processor unit in one. Basically, what that means is that everything you want to show and control gets connected to this unit.
Stabilizing systems have long been used on large yachts and they are working their way down into smaller boats. For a long time, straight-fin systems had been the go-to for stabilization but Side-Power, which is known for its bow and stern thrusters, has developed Vector curved fins. The manufacturer says the curved design are up to 50% more efficient than straight fins and result in virtually no loss of speed.
The Sharrow Propeller™ is a remarkable new, patented loop propeller design that CEO and inventor, Greg Sharrow, claims can out-perform conventional propellers in most major parameters of current propeller measurement. The propeller was developed over 7+ years by Sharrow Engineering LLC, a Philadelphia based nautical and aeronautical design firm.
The ACR ResQLink View is a buoyant Personal Locator Beacon that requires no subscription and includes a digital display that provides live status and GPS coordinates. It earned an Innovation Award at the Miami International Boat Show in the Consumer Safety Equipment category.
Providing total omniscience for any system tied into a vessel’s NMEA2000’s network, the Maretron VDR100 is basically a black box for boats. The device lets an owner or service provider examine the status of a vessel’s systems and even alter how they operate.
Second only to safety, vessel security is the top priority for many boat owners. Newport, R.I.-based Siren Monitoring is among the forefront of companies making that happen via a subscription-based combination of sensors, software and cloud computing. It’s known as a “connected boat.” Now, users can see where their boat is and the health of the on board systems from an app.
Intellian’s comprehensive range of antenna systems includes Satellite TV, VSAT, Global Xpress and FleetBroadband solutions. Today, we are focused on the company’s satellite TV offerings which allow reliable HD or SD TV connectivity anywhere in the world for boats as small as 20' (6.09 m) in length to superyachts. We’ll look at three of Intellian’s product offerings that cover recreational boaters: the I, S, and T series of antennas. We’ll overview how they work, discuss features, and considerations when selecting a satellite TV antenna for a vessel.
Quick SPA manufactures a line of gyro stabilizers for boats called the MC2 series. They are distributed here in the USA by Quick’s USA subsidiary headquartered in Linthicum, MD. Quick recently added five DC-powered gyros for smaller boats to go along with nine AC-powered units for medium to yacht-size vessels. All are effective at stabilizing roll and guarantee high performance both underway and at anchor. MC2X stabilizers are compact, and according to the company will reduce roll up to 95%.
Integrel Solutions has spent a decade of research and development and over $10m in grant money to create a new smart electrical generating device. The device, dubbed “Integrel” generates and controls up to 9 kW of electrical power directly from the boat’s own propulsion engine without compromising any of the power needed for the propeller. The smartness lies in the Integrel control system. It makes real-time decisions about the difference between how much power the propeller needs and how much power the engine can produce to bring it into its own efficient operating power zone. It then takes this remaining (almost free) power and turns it into electrical energy. It stores this energy in a 48 volt Li-Ion DC battery bank for use when needed by the boat’s own normal electrical systems such as the refriegerator and air conditioner, as well as charging the boat’s house bank and engine battery bank. It is completely automatic, working in the background with no direct input from the operator. It requires no maintenance other than a periodic belt change, offering substantial savings on fuel and maintenance costs across its lifetime.
Selecting SeaDek non-skid foam decking is both fun and practical. SeaDek can mimic a traditional teak look for any boat or be as unique and colorful as one’s imagination. And now SeaDek offers an array of foam products to complement their decking - from retail items such as fenders, stair treads, and mats to sheets and templating kits for DIY boaters. SeaDek also offers a network of factory-trained fabricators and installers to customize any boat.
Garmin's new lineup of chart plotters/fishfinders, the ECHOMAP Ultra High Definition (UHD) series, builds on earlier Chirp sonar and mapping by adding SideVu and ClearVu sonars. Garmin has added these new scanning capabilities to provide a crystal-clear image of what is below, around and in front of the boat.
By providing lifts suited to the dock type, location and specific to the boat, HydroHoist keeps boats safe and clean. No more worries about dirty bottoms, or bilge pumps with dead batteries, or storms causing damage. With HydroHoist, push a button to raise the boat beyond harm’s way and rest easy. HydroHoist also makes PWC ports and dock accessories for protecting craft of all types.
Seakeeper is a computer-controlled gyroscope that eliminates up to 95% of boat roll, according to the company. Its proprietary design, inspired by aerospace technology, centers on a powerful steel flywheel that spins at high speeds in a near vacuum, eliminating air friction and allowing weight, heat generation, and power consumption to be minimized. The technology works in all sea conditions, both at rest and underway. Completely self-contained, Seakeepers produce no drag and, unlike fin stabilizers, have no risk of damage from impact or snag. A Seakeeper can be installed as a new build feature or can be retrofitted to virtually anywhere on the boat. Since the first gyro shipped in 2008, more than 10,000 Seakeepers have been sold, according to the company. The company offers models to accommodate boats up to 85’ (26 m) and larger, with options for multiple installations on vessels greater than 85’.
Boaters enjoy the great outdoors, but sometimes relief and protection from the burning rays of the hot sun is necessary. Welcome BocaShade, a simple, manually deployed, patented awning that can extend the shade of a cabin top, hardtop, or T-top over the cockpit or foredeck of boats up to 37' (11.27 m) long.
Advances in LED lighting for recreational boats and yachts have progressed from underwater lights to new multi-colored lighting above the waterline–the LUX Lighting Collection from Lumishore. Lumishore also makes controllers for this lighting. LUX lights feature CRGBW LEDs that include both cool and warm white LEDs for incredible and accurate color rendering across an almost infinite variety of hues. The LUX line can change colors and intensities, and even marry lights to the beat of a given song.
Everyone knows that the BoatTEST crew travels… A LOT. Sometimes though, it saves time and money by traveling off the airline grid. Charter flights take us where we want, when we want, and the personal attention is more than a tipping point. Check out our video of our travel partner, Envoy Aviation, and see if the same will work for you. Chances are… it will. Contact them at (321) 325-5005 or send an email to charter@Envoyaviation.com, and be sure to mention you found them at BoatTEST.com.
Propspeed is a coating for propellers and metal running gear as an alternative to anti-fouling (toxic) paint. It can be applied to any metal part below the waterline, including propellers, shafts, struts, rudders, trim tabs, stabilizers, sea chests, keel coolers, and through-hull fittings. The clear topcoat can also be used directly on plastic bow thrusters and underwater lights.
Most new boats come with stereos these days. They are almost a requirement for builders to install – buyers expect them. The level of audio equipment that comes standard on a boat is often a clear indication of the price point and quality of the boat itself – more expensive boats typically have better stereos and the best often have Fusion. The Apollo RA770 is Fusion’s newly announced top-of-the-line marine audio entertainment system.
We’ve all had our fair share of standard bicycles growing up, but nothing compares to the all-terrain groove this bike gives to its rider. The QuietKat Electric Bike is more than just a mountain bike, it gives its rider a sense of adventure while making traveling and exploring more exciting and easier. Of course, we appreciate the advantage of being able to bring them on our boats, but these bikes are for people who enjoy non-obtrusive access to the deep woods for hunting, fishing and camping, or just for those who want a leisurely bike ride. It’s incredibly portable and easy to ride so there won’t be any trouble on your next trip, wherever that may be.
SiOnyx is a semi-conductor company that produces image sensors for commercial and defense applications. The Aurora is a hand-held video camera with a sensor that intensifies low light. It works both in daylight and in very low light. The camera has a zoom function and can record in monochrome, green light, or color. Since it is water-resistant and has a built-in compass, GPS, and image stabilizer, we are reviewing its marine applications.
Underwater LED lights have become a staple for vessels ranging from center consoles to superyachts. Whether sitting at anchor or on a dock, those onboard can see the wonders of the ocean swim by, while suffering the envious stares of those not invited to the party. A company called Lumishore, headquartered in the UK, is lighting up boats as small as tenders all the way to superyachts.
We all have to clean our boats all of the time and it gets to be a hassle every now and then. Especially for high-end premium ones. Most times, the 5-gallon (72 L) bucket is usually your best friend, and we could simply use that, but there’s a better solution. The team at Shurhold has come up with a product called the Shurhold Ultimate One Bucket System. Here’s a look at some of the details.
For over 30 years, Fortress anchors have been highly-renowned. They are extraordinarily well-engineered and finished, which was noted by the US Navy during their extensive anchor testing in 1989. These anchors provide an ease of handling and versatility that is unequalled, and because of their precision-machined design, they have the holding power of an anchor that is typically twice the weight. Fortress anchors can be set for various bottom conditions, and are known for their ability to be easily disassembled and stowed. The FX-7 is the smallest offering from Fortress at four pounds but exceeds its diminutive specifications in big ways.
West Marine is probably the nation’s largest retailer of foul weather gear, so it should know what people want in terms of function, style, and price. Little wonder, then, that it has its own brand of house foul weather gear. Recently, one of our test captains who spends much of his time delivering boats up and down the eastern seaboard in all kinds of weather inspected some of West Marine’s foul weather gear. His reports are in-depth and cover several foul weather jackets and bib pants at different price points.
PowerTech! Propellers has now won back-to-back IBEX Innovation Awards for 2010 and 2011 in the propeller category. The latest PowerTech! Propeller design, named the PowerStop!, incorporates the world’s first reverse thrust propeller that performs great in both forward and reverse directions, according to the company. This new design incorporates unique cupping, on both the leading and trailing edges, thereby enhancing control for stopping, reversing and maneuvering. Having the ability to stop quicker and maneuver accurately in reverse make this design inherently safer for family and novice boating activities.