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Apps and Computer Programs

Choose Your Own Seductions

Here's a letter and response we were going to run in Mailport this month, but we'll run it in this space instead: ----------As I...

Bad Elf GPS Pro Boosts iPad Nav Apps

Looking to add GPS functions to WiFi Apple devices or increase the GPS accuracy of a Bluetooth device? U.S. company Bad Elf created the GPS Pro, an external Bluetooth wireless GPS receiver and data logger, to simultaneously share GPS data with Bluetooth-capable i-devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. It also can serve as a standalone data logger that allows you to record up to 100 hours of trip location data.

A NMEA 2000-and Beyond-Survival Guide

NMEA 2000 (aka NMEA 2K or N2K) is the communication standard replacing NMEA 0183. It is a technical standard (IEC 61162-3) used for connecting marine sensors and display units within a boat. The major differences from NMEA 0183: NMEA 2K operates at 250 kilobits-per-second, about 100 times faster than the 4,800 baud of NMEA 0183.

Mailport: July 2010

Letters to the editors of Practical Sailor in July 2010 include questions and comments about mildew, galley blenders, teak cleaners, online captains courses and personal hydration.

Mailport: 12/06

MARINE INSURANCE REDUXI have been reading with much interest your articles about marine insurance this year (April and May 2006).

Plotter-sounders Undergo a Battery of Tests

Fogging screens, water intrusion, poor visibility in bright sunlight, and slow redraw rates are the most common complaints we get regarding plotter-sounders. Better construction, new screen technology, and faster processors in our current crop of units seems to have addressed these issues. None of our products experienced serious problems during our environmental testing. Our tests focused on four key elements:

Touchscreen plotter-sounder test: Simrad NSS7 vs. Raymarine e7D

Practical Sailor recently had the opportunity to take a long-term look at the Simrad NSS7 multi-function display from Navico, and we compared it to a similar unit from Raymarine, the e7D. The test focused on the same elements as our past reviews of the Garmin 740s and Ray e7D chartplotter-sounders: installation, screen visibility, environmental tests, and plotter and sounder functions.

Details Distinguish the Best Wi-Fi Antenna for a Sailboat

Practical Sailor looked at three Wi-Fi antennas suggested by readers: the Bad Boy Xtreme from Bitstorm, Rogue Waves Wave Wi-Fi from GeoSat Solutions, and The Wirie, developed by cruising couple Mark Kilty and Liesbet Collaert. All three are marketed specifically to boaters, and they represent the two principal types of devices that users will find: USB-type units that plug into computer or laptop USB ports and Power over Ethernet (PoE) bridges that network via your computers Ethernet port to provide a pathway to the Internet.

Antifouling Paint Prices Follow Copper Surge

The antifouling coating industry is dominated by copper-based paint, so as copper prices reach their highest levels in recent history, I was curious to...