Monthly Archives: March 2012

BoatUS Report

Five Inflatable Life Jacket Myths: Do You Know the Truth?

Inflatable life jackets can be very easy to wear, says the BoatUS Foundation.

Inflatable Life Jackets – which automatically or manually inflate with the tug of a pull cord – have been around over 25 years, but there are still quite a few misperceptions about how these life saving devices work. The BoatUS Foundation set out to debunk some of the myths:

1. Inflatable life jackets are zero maintenance – Let’s face it, pretty much nothing on a boat is zero maintenance. Before you head out for the day, simply check to ensure the CO2 cylinder is screwed firmly in and you can see the green indicator tab. Once a year, take it out and blow it up with your mouth, wait overnight, inspect for wear and check for leaks. Repacking is a task made simple – a few folds and a tuck – as instructions are found printed inside the cover flap. Most life jackets that automatically inflate when you hit the water also have small dissolvable components that periodically need replacement, but it’s a simple process. A rearming “kit” comes with everything you need.

2. One size fits all – While most inflatables are sized as “universal adult,” all have adjustable cinch straps that will provide a good fit for nearly every size of grown-up on the boat. Inshore-type jackets tend to be less bulky and are more compact than those jackets designed for offshore use. There are no inflatables for kids under 16, but the BoatUS Foundation is working with other national boating safety groups and the US Coast Guard to increase support for inflatable jackets that are more suitable for kids.

3. Not a lot of choices – Actually, there are. Once you get past a range of colorful designs, there are two basic styles of inflatable life jackets: over-the shoulder suspender-style and waist-fitting belt pack. All US Coast Guard-approved inflatable life jackets have a mark showing its type and how it should be used. A big advantage is that inflatables can provide nearly twice the buoyancy of similarly-rated foam life jackets, and are also are better in terms of righting a person in the water, when compared to some other traditional types.

4. Inflatable life jackets are too expensive – Inflatable life jackets start at under $100. That is a real expense for some, but consider that a cheap life jacket that no one will want to wear is as useless as a hook without the worm. Belt pack types tend to be less expensive than suspender style, while automatically-inflatable types or those with extras like an integral sailing harness increase the price.

5. Inflatable life jackets are uncomfortable – Baloney! Inflatable life jackets are compact, don’t trap body heat, give full body movement, and can be as unobtrusive as small bait pouch attached to your belt. Look for one that has a neoprene chafe guard around the neck and one that can be adjusted to prevent it from shifting from side to side.

For more information on inflatables, go to:

About the BoatUS Foundation: The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half-million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America’s waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to

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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in BoatUS Report


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Federal laws have prohibited boaters from dumping untreated septic waste into coastal bodies of water for decades, and the proper way to dispose of wastewater can be confusing.  Owners of boats up to 65′ can rely on the ElectroScan from Raritan, for use in coastal waters which have not been designated “no discharge” by the US EPA.  This US Coast Guard-certified Type 1 marine sanitation device (MSD) transforms discharge wastewater so that it is generally cleaner than the waters in which the boat is traveling.

The waste treatment process occurs in three phases and automatically starts with each flush.  First, saltwater and untreated waste enters the unit and immediately goes into the maceration chamber; solids are reduced to minute particles by a specially designed cutting blade.  Then, electric current is applied to electrodes, which convert the salt water to a powerful bactericide and oxidizing agent, hypochlorus acid.  Bacteria and viruses are forced into contact with the treatment agent.

The next time the treatment unit is activated the treated waste from the maceration chamber crosses over into the mixing chamber.  Waste is treated a second time and further broken down by oxidation, eliminating odors, reducing nutrients and resulting in sanitized waste and salt water.

Finally, treated waste is discharged with <0-5 FC Bacteria/100 mL.  Bacteria and viruses are destroyed, while there are no visible floating solids or chemicals added to the process or released.  Salt water is returned to receiving waters.

The smallest, most popular and environmentally friendly treatment system available, ElectroScan records each treatment cycle and stores key information in non-volatile memory that can be summarized on the LCD display or downloaded to a PC.  Utilizing only 1.2 amp hours per cycle, ElectroScan generates its own natural disinfectant from salt water.

Single button operation ensures treatment after each flush.  Solid-state components offer ease of use and servicing.  A salt-feed system and pump installation option regulates salinity.  ElectroScan is available in 12, 24 or 32V DC.  A sensor for manual toilet auto start is also available.

Contact Raritan, 530 Orange St., Millville, NJ  08332.  856-825-4900; Fax: 856-825-4409.

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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Products


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Electronics Review

New StructureScan® HD
Sonar Imaging System Introduced

New High-Definition Sonar Imaging System Delivers
More Range and Greater Definition

Lowrance, a world-leading brand in marine electronics since 1957 and GPS navigational systems since 1992, and Simrad Yachting, world-leader in the design and manufacture of professional-performance marine navigation, autopilots, communications and fish-finding systems — announced today the next-generation sonar imaging system, the LSS-2 StructureScan® HD. Raising the bar in fish- and structure-finding technology, the new system delivers more side-to-side coverage, as well as greater target and bottom definition allowing users to cover more water faster with unprecedented clarity and detail. The StructureScan HD sonar imaging module offers a new dimension in underwater, picture-like displays for more productive fishing, diving, and search and recovery.

The new StructureScan HD is the latest step forward in providing the best sonar electronics available to boaters.

Based on the Lowrance innovation of the world’s first and only true DownScan Imaging™ technology combined with side-scan imaging, StructureScan HD includes an enhanced transducer design that features three dedicated signals for best-in-class crisp, clear views to the left, right and directly beneath your boat. The full-panoramic, picture-like returns are now even more impressive with sharper images of structure, fish, thermoclines and more.

The new StructureScan HD system — compatible with Lowrance HDS, Simrad NSS, NSE and NSO, and B&G Zeus multifunction displays – also delivers a significant increase in side-scanning range capability. With the original StructureScan model, boaters and anglers had to choose between side-scanning farther with less detail, or scanning with less range to achieve greater detail. Now, with StructureScan HD, users will experience greater side-scanning range with no loss in resolution. In depths up to 50 feet, for example, StructureScan HD can generate sidescan views that are twice as far with greater resolution, up to 600 feet in total maximum range. That means anglers and boaters can cover more water faster, saving time and fuel while searching for productive areas for fishing, diving search and recover, and more.

Simrad NSS Display with LSS-2 StructureScan.

“The new StructureScan HD is the latest step forward in providing the best sonar electronics available to boaters,” said Louis Chemi, chief operating officer, Navico Americas. “Its unprecedented resolution and greater range offer extraordinary underwater views that will not only impress users, it will enhance their productivity resulting in more fish, more fun and more efficient use of time and fuel on the water.”

Lowrance HDS Gen2 Display with LSS-2 StructureScan.

When paired with the Lowrance HDS Gen2, StructureScan HD also supports the StructureMap™ view — a powerful, innovative tool that allows users to overlay and save sidescansonar images directly on a chart in real-time, or create StructureMap charts for a complete and detailed underwater view all around the boat. Compatible with Lowrance enhanced basemaps, Insight™ HD cartography, Navionics® and all HDS-compatible third-party charting cards, users can easily create and view StructureMap detail on or off the water — without the aid of a computer.

The StructureScan HD view also allows anglers to position the cursor anywhere on the screen to receive information on distance from the boat and target depth — for an exciting new level in precision bait or lure presentation. In addition, the synchronized TrackBack™ function featuring simultaneous scroll-back in the recorded history of sonar and mapping windows, allows anglers to find spots and set waypoints, so they can easily return to desired fishing locations. The system not only synchronizes waypoints, it allows for users to add, edit and delete waypoints from the multifunction display’s database.

The new sonar imaging system features the processing module, transducer and easy-to-connect Ethernet cable. The module features three additional Ethernet ports for viewing StructureScan HD images on up to three multifunction displays. The StructureScan HD sonar imaging module is protected by a two-year limited warranty, and backed by the five-year Advantage Service Program.

Available in April 2012, the StructureScan HD sonar imaging module can be purchased from authorized dealers and distributors throughout the United States and Canada for $599 USD. For more information on the StructureScan HD, or the entire line of Lowrance and Simrad Yachting branded marine electronics or to locate an authorized Lowrance or Simrad Yachting dealer, please visit or

About Lowrance and Simrad Yachting: The Lowrance® Simrad Yachting brands are wholly owned by Navico, Inc. A privately held, international corporation, Navico is currently the world’s largest marine electronics company, and is the parent company to leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad Yachting and B&G. Navico has approximately 1,500 employees globally and distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide.


Posted by on March 16, 2012 in Electronics Update


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The Power Installation Dilemma: Who To Do, or Not To Do …
That Is the Question!

 By Don Wilson, Tech Doctor

TECH DOCTOR DON WILSON has worked in technical capacities in the automotive,RV and marine fields and for the military since 1989 and has extensive experience in designing and troubleshooting onboard electrical systems. A former customer service manager dealing with electronic issues, Wilson currently serves as a technical instructor for the RV industry’s RVIA Trouble Shooter Clinics and is a full-time sales application specialist for Xantrex Technology Inc.

Many electrical products are channeled to the end user in one of two primary ways. It is either sold to and installed by the manufacturer, or sold to a retailer where an end user (or service center) purchases it for after market installation. There are also power enthusiasts who dare to install themselves. There are pros and cons to each option, so how to choose?

How about OEM Installations?

Whether you’re dealing with a boat, RV, commercial truck, utility truck, ambulance, or even a military vehicle, optioning an inverter is generally available at the OEM level. One major benefit of the OEM install is that the consumer is able to take full advantage of the manufacturer’s detailed engineering work that has been built into the production process. From the electrical supplier offering applications support, to the OEM’s electrical engineers specifying the best cable size, to the design staff ensuring proper compartment size and cooling, going the manufacturing route provides a highly professional, relatively safe, and efficient installation from concept through production. In addition, the OEM brings solid knowledge of the installation, which allows for outstanding customer support as needed after the sale. These installations are specified and part of a process that delivers production consistency.

On the challenging side, OEMs sometimes offer multiple choices, for example, power level, wave form,  charging capability etc., for a power inverter. The customer is faced with multiple options to choose from, which requires knowledge of how the electrical system will be used, prior to ordering. Those who don’t know often opt for the “biggest/best”, which usually translates to higher cost.

What about qualified service centers?

The term “Qualified Installer” always make me uneasy. I always wonder: “Qualified by whom?” My wife may ask me to change the fluids in her car, which infers she has qualified me as capable of performing this job. However, does her qualification guarantee we’re not going to end up with gear oil in the crankcase? Is she able to appropriately and accurately qualify my capabilities to do this job? I took the car to our dealership and got the job done right.

Case in point, if you need an inverter installed after the vehicle has been built, it is imperative that you find a service center that either has a good reputation, specializes in inverter installs, or has a stamp of approval from the vehicle manufacturer — or better yet, all three. Make absolutely sure that the resource you are considering is qualified to do the work.

Another big surprise: realize that every service center install differs from the one before. There may be the temptation by the crew to use similar components for different installations. For instance, if you’re having a 3000W inverter installed, and the last vehicle they worked on had a 2000W inverter, will they use the left over parts from one, for the next? What size battery cable is being used? Will they use the same cable for both installations, regardless of a difference in cable lengths? These concerns plague my mind and my inbox.

How about the amateur electrician? Can’t I just install it myself?

The first thing I have to say about shade-tree electrical upgrades is to refer once again to the ‘gear oil in the crankcase’ scenario. If you plan on doing an inverter installation yourself, first candidly assess your skills, knowledge and experience. Where do you stand on a scale of 1-10 as far as proven qualifications are concerned, and then subtract two points for safety. If you’re not an 8 or higher, please back away slowly and put the multi-meter down.

In all seriousness, electricity is dangerous! If you’re working on a 12-volt lighter plug or a 300W inverter for the laptop, well then knock yourself out! But please … for larger inverters that require hard-wiring, fusing, voltage-drop calculations, and knowledge of UL standards and the National Electrical Code for AC and DC systems, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get it right the first time. I’ve seen way too many faulty installations that result in property damage and injury to be apathetic in this recommendation.

Always, Safety First!

Ultimately, the bottom line is SAFETY. The OEM install may not be the most cost-friendly, but that slight increase in cost translates to system insurance for longer reliability and safety. The service center/dealer install is acceptable, so long as the staff is knowledgeable and competent in installing complex electronics.

By all means, please totally avoid self-installations unless you are skilled and knowledgeable about the requirements for performing these specific types of installations and have studied the operation/install guide. Good luck in your next electronics purchase … and may you make the right choice for you on your installation!

If you have any questions for Tech Doctor Don Wilson about this or any other topic he covers, please visit the Xantrex site at



Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Uncategorized



Yacht Spotting and New Launches

Yacht Spotting and New Launches


Hull C.2193, the first of the two yachts sold in the new-generation series of 60m sailing yachts built by Perini Navi, has arrived in Viareggio, Italy.The hull and superstructure in aluminium were built in the Perini Istanbul-Yildiz shipyard, the Group’s Turkish base. Finishing, launching and delivery, scheduled for summer 2013, will all take place at Perini Navi’s base in Viareggio.

The new hull lines, that can be seen as a natural evolution of Perini’s 56m series, guarantee speed, comfort and ample spaces for living both indoors and out. Hull and superstructure in aluminium make for a gross tonnage of under 500 tons and a displacement of approximately 570 tons.

The ketch C.2193, designed by Perini Navi’s naval architects in collaboration with New Zealander Ron Holland, will have a sail control system designed by Perini Navi and a lifting keel that goes from 4.30 to 12.30m.

During the coming year the second yacht in the 50m aluminium series will be delivered in May and the first yacht in the 40m fast cruising line will be delivered at the end of the summer.

The Perini Navi Group is also currently constructing the third yacht in the 60m series and a 38m yacht in their Racing Line. Both these yachts could be ready for delivery in less than two years.

With a fleet of 53 yachts on the water- 51 sailing yachts and two motor yachts- the Perini Navi Group is the world leader in the design and construction of large sailing yachts. In 2007 the Group also began to build motor yachts with the brand name Picchiotti and the series name Vitruvius, thus re-launching the historic Picchiotti shipyard acquired in the early 1990’s. The Group is made up of the Perini Navi shipyard in Viareggio, founded in the 1980’s by Fabio Perini who invented and developed a revolutionary automatic sail control system. Another division is the Picchiotti shipyard in La Spezia where the Group constructs its motor yachts and concentrates most of its refitting work, and the Perini Istanbul shipyard in Yildiz, Turkey where its hulls and deck structures are produced. Perini Navi USA is a commercial division of the Group through which owners of Perini Navi Group yachts can arrange charters and find brokerage services for both new and previously owned Perini Navi Group yachts.

And just so there’s no misunderstanding about setting standards, the daring and stunningly original M/Y EXUMA was 2011’s Motor Yacht of The Year.

Motor Yacht Exuma is a the first 50 metre Picchiotti motor yacht from the Vitruvius Series launched by Perini Navi in July 2010. This luxury superyacht is powered by 2 x Caterpillar C32 Acert engines of 970kW at 2100 rmp to a maximum speed of 16.5 knots and has a range of 5500 nm at 12 knots. She can accommodate up to ten guests in five cabins and has a crew of seven professionals on board.

 For more information contact:
Perini Navi Group Press Office
Tel +39 0584 4241
fax +39 0584 424268

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Yacht Spotting And New Launches


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BoatUS Report

Boat Association: 10 Tips to Get Repairs Done Right

Is the work being done right? BoatUS has tips to ensure it does.

Many boaters and anglers work on their own boats, but there are times when professional help may be needed. With 30 years of experience dealing with marine service industry, the BoatUS Consumer Protection Bureau knows that most marine professionals do the job right. Every year, however, a handful of boat owners wind up coming to the Bureau’s Dispute Mediation program for help because of faulty repairs or disagreements with bills. Here are ten tips gleaned from mediating hundreds of cases over the years that will help ensure the job goes smoothly:

1. A tight budget is OK: In today’s economy, a tight budget is expected – just make this clear before the job begins. The shop may be able to suggest ways to complete the project in stages. Always ask how much similar repairs have cost in the past and what kinds of problems are possible along the way.

2. Write it up − or take your chances: Get a written estimate before work begins, and remember that it is based on an approximation of how much the job will cost. With boats, it’s not unusual to have unforeseen problems crop up later – so taking your frustrations out on your repairer won’t help. You can always ask the shop to obtain your authorization before proceeding with unforeseen repairs or when work goes beyond the estimated price.

3. Ask for evidence: Ask to get back old or damaged parts.

4. OK to second guess: If you’re not comfortable with the first estimate, get a second opinion from another mechanic or a marine surveyor.

5. Follow a plan: Once you approve the estimate, a work order should be drawn up. Ask for a target completion date and write this into the work order.

6. Keep everyone in the loop: Always be sure the actual mechanic working on your boat has a copy of your work order when the project begins.

7. Get help with the big stuff: For complex repairs, it’s wise to consult with a marine surveyor and consider having the surveyor serve as a liaison with the repair shop. Ask around for a referral or check out the list of surveyors at

8. The payment plan: Understand that when tackling large jobs, boat repair shops often require payments at various stages of completion. Be sure to verify that each stage has been completed before paying. If you cannot be on hand to check progress yourself, consider hiring a marine surveyor to make periodic checks.

9. Don’t be hasty: If you are unhappy with the work, do not stop payment on your check after you pay your repair bill. This can be interpreted as intent to defraud the repair shop and put you in deep kimchi.

10. Know when to walk: Understand that when asking for all of the things above, you may not get everything you want. On the other hand, walk away if you get the feeling a marine repairer isn’t interested in helping you with most of these basic protections that get the job done right. Reputable shops know the importance of customer service.

About BoatUS: BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services.  For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in BoatUS Report


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Electronics Review


 High-Resolution Thermal Night Vision with a Color TV Camera

FLIR Systems (NASDAQ: FLIR) announced the release of the latest addition to its industry-leading M-Series family of thermal night vision cameras, the new gyro-stabilized M-618CS.

This exciting new M-Series camera offers powerful new features, including:

High resolution thermal night vision – 640 x 480 resolution, along with 2× and 4× E-Zoom, provide clear, detailed images from farther away than you ever thought possible, even in total darkness.

Extended range performance –  The M-618CS’s 35 mm thermal lens can detect small vessels from over 2 miles away, giving you more time to see and avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Active gyro-stabilization – Provides steady imagery, even in rough seas; this is critical for getting the most out of the M-618CS’s long-range cameras.

Color TV camera with 10x optical zoom – Continuous zoom can match the thermal camera’s e-zoom for easy operation when switching between cameras.

Housed in a rugged, waterproof gimbal enclosure that provides continuous 360° pan and +/-90° tilt capability, the M-618CS provides horizon-to-horizon coverage, and incorporates cutting-edge Ethernet connectivity for easy installation and control. No one else has ever offered all of these cutting edge features at this price point.

The M-Series Control Unit makes for safe, easy, and intuitive operation.

About FLIR Systems: Pioneers in all aspects of infrared technology, FLIR designs, manufactures, and supports thermal imaging systems and subsystems for industrial, scientific, government, commercial, and firefighting applications. With a nearly 50-year history of infrared innovation, +400,000 systems in use worldwide, and development centers and sales offices in over 60 countries, FLIR is the world leader in thermal imaging technology. Learn more about the M-Series, and other of FLIR’s maritime products, at


Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Electronics Review


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