PropSpeed vs PropGold – Today marks the start of the challenge

PropSpeed vs PropGold
PropSpeed vs PropGold

Finally – after waiting 6 months for a haul out to get some top secret stuff installed on our test boat – we wanted to do another test at the same time.

As we are changing propellers from 3/3 bladed to 4/3 bladed Mercruiser propellers – we thought no better time than the present to do a 1:1 competition between two of the top contenders for propeller anti fouling – PropSpeed and PropGold.

So who will be the winner?

Continue reading PropSpeed vs PropGold – Today marks the start of the challenge

Mercury Dynamic Rib 250 / 260 unboxing and First Looks

After a long delivery time – plus an additional one month “delay” from the UAE distributor

Mercury Dynamic RIB 250 / 260
Mercury Dynamic RIB 250 / 260

– our new Mercury Dynamic RIB 250 (Sold as Mercury Dynamic RIB 260 in the USA) – finally arrived.

One can say it is well packaged. The the local Mercury distributor decided to deliver it to me in the international shipping crate – with only one driver accompanying it.

With the crate I think the weight was above 100 kg – since it broke my little dolly certified for 140 kg.

The Mercury Dynamic RIB 250/260 is a inflatable dinghy with fibreglass bottom and rear end. So no wooden plates or air filled keel. It is about the same weight as other Dinghy’s the same size – but with fibreglass bottom we should have better performance and more precise steering. Continue reading Mercury Dynamic Rib 250 / 260 unboxing and First Looks

Garmin quatix post “recall” follow up [update 2]

As you might remember – Garmin issued a recall for Garmin quatix watches during the

Garmin quatix the watch
Garmin quatix the watch

summer of 2013.

Well – FINALLY I got a “new” quatix – about 2 weeks ago. The new quatix watch works almost like the old one. But so far I have not burned my wrist 🙂 as the old one could.

But it seems like they have changed the GPS software – now the GPS has a heck of a lot of dampening – so GPS speed indication can take 30-60 seconds to show the speed you are really doing. That is COMPLETELY useless.

Sailing in a dinghy you need fast feedback on how fast you are going. You don’t have time to wait a minute or two before you are certain what your speed is. I rather have a battery life of 4 hours than any kind of speed dampening. I have looked through the manual and cannot find anywhere to disable speed dampening – so I guess that is a “factory feature”

Anyway – I still think the watch is mostly useless due to the small screen. Racing with it on in my dinghy is close to impossible. The numbers are too small – and you need too many button presses to make it useful. When you are busy handling multiple sails while steering – sailing single handed – there are no free hands to press a lot of buttons multiple times to get to the menu you need – or the display you need for that part.

So if you sail dinghy – you are better off using a dedicated sailing computer like Velocitek or the likes where the display is huge and crisp – and GPS speed is close to instant. But on a bigger cruiser / sail boat – results might be better. I might get a “NMEA 2000 -> ANT +” interface for it and try it out on my big boat at some point. But I’m not really “burning” to try it.

But on my wishlist would be a wireless ultrasonic solar powered Wind-dicator 🙂 that could talk to the sailing computer – and survive the dinghy being upside down from time to time. That would be neat!

So something like LCJ Capteurs CV7SF but with Bluetooth LE AND ANT+ interface. ANT+ alone would not cut it for me as it is to proprietary and owned by Garmin.

Garmin Helm iPad & iPhone App review

Garmin announced the new Garmin Helm remote control App for iOS (iPhone/iPad) this

Garmin Helm Display App for iOS (iPhone/iPad)
Garmin Helm Display App for iOS (iPhone/iPad)

week. So far it only supports the new Garmin GPSMAP 8000 series via Wi-Fi. Later other GPSMAP models will be included. But since we have a Garmin GPSMAP 8008 on the test-bed, we decided to take the Garmin Helm app for a test-run.

The Garmin Helm Test-Rig

As we don’t have a Garmin Wi-Fi access-point – we rigged up our own with a Cradlepoint MBR1400 router.  We configured the CradlePoint so 2 of the Ethernet ports and one virtual Wi-Fi access-points is routed to Garmin normal B class (176.16.x.x/255.255.0.0) – then we plugged the Garmin 8008 into the CradlePoint router. Continue reading Garmin Helm iPad & iPhone App review

Garmin GPSMAP 741xs unboxing & first looks

From the announcement in November 2012 – until delivery in mid June 2013 -finally I got

Garmin GPSMAP 741xs on boat
Garmin GPSMAP 741xs mounted on boat with Talonsocket and RAM Mount

the Garmin 741xs. So was it worth the wait? And is it better than the Garmin GPSMAP 720/740?

The unit arrived Sunday afternoon – and was installed on the boat 3 hours later with NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 connected, using my test setup with Tallonsocket and a RAM Mount. Continue reading Garmin GPSMAP 741xs unboxing & first looks

Lowrance HDS Gen2 v2 software update – initial impressions – update 1

This is just a quick “flash” 🙂

I updated my HDS G2 Touch – and all went well. GoFree works perfect like on my NSS8.

The first thing I tried 🙂 was of course Map sharing between NSS8 and HDS G2 Touch – and it works! Impressive and very nice!

Lets see if my problems with “device configuration resets” have been solved.

Update:

Well – Map sharing also works with Structure Scan Maps – my NSS8 has the Navionics maps – and the HDS G2 has my StrucureScan (now HD) maps. And the HDS happily shares those with the NSS – while getting Navionics Charts the other way. Neat – but it seems like I have to reboot after adding a new structure scan map to make it available to the NSS.

And it does seem like my twin engine device configuration stays in place – but too early to tell for certain.

iPad/Android Tablets on boats–a good idea?

In many marine discussion forums the are heated debates going on about the usage of tablets as the primary MFD (Multi Function Display)/Navigation device. Questions like “Why is there not sonar and radar for iPad/Android tablets. And why should I pay $3000 for a 10” Chart Plotter from Garmin, Raymarine, Lowrance or Simrad when I have a 10” Table for less than $1000. Click to read more for our take on the issue!

Continue reading iPad/Android Tablets on boats–a good idea?