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CruisingWiki

NMEA announces 2014 Product Award winners

Marine electronics experts nationwide named 11 products in nine categories as winners of the 2014 NMEA Product Awards.

Once again, Furuno USA was named Manufacturer of the Year for Support.

The winners were announced at the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) International Marine Electronics Conference & Expo. Nearly 400 leading marine electronics manufacturers, dealers, and distributors, as well as media and others from the United States and abroad, attended the event.

Category winners are chosen by regional panels of NMEA members from around the country. These experts are hand picked by the NMEA Awards Committee for their extensive knowledge of marine electronics to create a level playing field for all product and manufacturer support nominations.

Here are the 2014 NMEA Product Award winners:

Note that MaxSea TZ software is the force behind  the various TimeZero products. MaxSea has had my vote since my review on this site . When you embed great software into great hardware you get an even better product that is much faster and more reliable than PC based software ever could be. See the Furuno Navnet TZ range here.

Using similar technolgy, the Nobeltec The Nobeltec TimeZero Catch system is aimed at commercial fishermen and incorporates the Personal Bathymetry Generator (PBG). This allows you to augment chart contours from real-time depth recordings. Locate prime fishing locations with sea surface temperature, chlorophyll and altimetry information from Nobeltec’s Weather and Ocean data service.

Once again a disappointment for Raymarine in terms of equipment manufacture, design, innovation and support – only one showing in the autopilot category.

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Digital Yacht AIT3000 “Nucleus” Class B AIS transponder debuts at Southampton Boatshow

 

DY NucleusDigital Yacht have launched an interesting hybrid product. Combining Class B AIS transponder with built in antenna splitter and WiFi interface to support Apple and Android tablets and phones.

Class B AIS transponders have made a big impact on small craft navigation, but many potential users or installers are put off by the requirement for yet another VHF antenna.

The new AIT3000 “Nucleus” from Digital Yacht changes that perception as it incorporates not only a full function Class B AIS transponder but also an antenna splitter allowing the main VHF antenna on the boat to be shared with the AIS and VHF. 

Digital Yacht have coined the name Nucleus because it can also become a hub for on board navigation.

 

It has been designed with an interesting number of interfacing capabilities including :

  • ZeroLossTM technology for the antenna sharing
  • NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000
  • USB port
  • WiFi server so that NMEA data from other on board systems can also be multiplexed by the Nucleus and combined on the WiFi link
  • Apple IOS and Android support.
  • FM Stereo output

 

Digital Yacht also offer a free AIS viewing app called iAIS as well as more sophisticated charting apps like NavLink. If you’re an Android user, AISView is also compatible. 

The NMEA interface allows connection to any AIS compatible chart plotter and USB is available for MAC or PC user as well as allowing programming of the unit with your boat details.

Other features include a silence switch option allowing the unit’s transmissions to be stopped while continuing to receive AIS transmissions.  

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Safety aboard – Care, Health & First Aid

 

imageWhile being careful and avoiding accidents is a natural instinct for us, doing so aboard is of even more importance as the distance in miles and hours to the nearest professional help is always longer than ashore.

What complicates matters on a boat is that the environment itself makes being careful difficult. First of all, the boat itself is constantly moving around – sometimes at extreme angles and accelerations. Secondly, the more the boat is rocking and rolling around you, the more likely it is that you are going to have to go and do something active, which increases the chances of something going awry.

Since most sicknesses are bacteria/virus borne and often have human carriers, sailors are less likely to contract them – living away from densely populated urban centres. We won’t catch anything offshore that we didn’t already bring with us and most likely started incubating before departing the last port. While it is important to pay attention to hygiene aboard in order to avoid bacteria to get a foothold, the major concern, in my opinion, is to attempt to prevent and avoid accidents. No matter how well-designed, a boat is a myriad of sharp corners and edges, oddly shaped object and protuberances that all seem to want to do nothing else than snag parts of your body.

imageThe major cause of accidents aboard a sailboat is the galley. Be it open flames or scalding water, the galley has plenty of potential to do damage and the recommendation for galley cooks to wear thick clothing (oilskins or the like) while working in weather is understandable, but not necessarily practicable, particularly in tropical climes.

With the advent of proximate first aid in urban areas most of us have little or no knowledge of first-aid measures. Both initial and advanced first-aid courses teach measures and methods to provide initial care and patient stabilization until professionals arrive. Getting training that goes beyond this basic set of skills is difficult to find as the target audience is quite small, so far I have seen classes for sailors and for wilderness guides as both groups need to ensure that the injured person is not only given initial aid but then stabilized for a lengthy transport and potentially the measures need to last for days or weeks.

So while a first-responder course teaches how to stop a bad cut from bleeding , the advanced class needs to augment that skill with the ability to change the dressings or, if necessary, to suture the wound.

I’ve had a number of first-aid courses of varying levels but I wonder how effective I will be when called upon to use the skills I have been taught!

imageI can recommend the Hamble School of Yachting Courses as an excellent RYA Training Centre. The RYA First Aid course is designed to teach you exactly what to do in these situations. From the minor ailments such as headaches, sunburn and small lesions through to the immediate response to serious medical emergencies. This course covers the situations that a yachtsman is likely to encounter. There is particular emphasis on resuscitation techniques and the “first care” of a man overboard victim. Your instructor will explain the procedures for obtaining outside medical assistance such as “pan pan” and the helicopter rescue service and can advise you on the correct first aid stores for your own boat. Our instructors all have experience of the particular difficulties of administering first aid within the confines of a small boat away from land and you will have the chance to try actions such as CPR and the recovery position both in the classroom and on a yacht.

image image

There are a number of excellent books available in both electronic and print form which I consider to be indispensable aboard any boat more then 30 minutes from primary health care.

I’ve listed them below:

Title Link Description
Ship Captains Medical Guide image The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide is intended primarily for use on ships where no doctor is carried and it is necessary for laymen to assess and treat injuries and to diagnose and treat ill health. The Guide can also be recommended for use in other situations where professional medical advice is not readily available, for example on expeditions.

For the 22nd edition the Guide has been comprehensively reviewed and updated. It contains a wide range of authoritative advice – from birth to death, from first aid, general nursing, hygiene and the prevention of disease, to the treatment of injuries and diseases. The recommended measures for prevention and treatment can be safely carried out by an intelligent layman.

RYA First Aid Manual image Step-by-step photographs show you how to treat casualties and over 100 medical conditions and injuries, from minor burns to heart attacks. Find information on the latest life-saving procedures and resuscitation guidelines as well as basic first aid techniques, like bandaging and applying dressings. Plus, chapters explain what it’s like being a first aider, what to do in an emergency situation and how to look after a casualty. Keep it handy – for home, for work and for leisure
Where There is No Doctor image This is the most widely used health education book in tropical and sub-tropical developing countries. Based on David Werner‘s experiences at his Project Piaxtla in western Mexico, it was originally written in 1970 in Spanish as Donde No Hay Doctor. It has since been revised multiple times, has sold over one million copies and been translated into over 100 languages issued by the Hesperian Foundation 

PDF Download  – costs only $4

Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook 1st Edition 2001 image Contains a great store of information particularly useful when improvisation is necessary.

PDF Download (64Mb) – Free

Wound Closure Manual Wound Closure Manual (PDF) – Free Issued by Johnson & Johnson, it is relatively easy to comprehend.

Many of the First Aid Kits available in the average chandlery or online are pathetic. They include cut down version of dressings or not enough or just miss out on what should be essential – such as your own hypodermic syringe.

 

image

 

We have resorted to building our own – that even meant sourcing a suitable box that could contain the kit – I recommend looking at fishing tackle boxes – much more practical that the ridiculous boxes that made up kits come in.

 

Details of medical stores to be carried by UK commercial ships are included in the current statutory Merchant Shipping Notice (and it’s accompanying Corrigendum) issued under the Merchant Shipping and Fishing (Medical Stores) Regulations 1995 as amended.

The Merchant Shipping Notice also includes advice on the use, potential side effects and precautions associated with the medical stores and should be read in conjunction with the Guide.

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Polar Diagrams ….an update

I have had a number of requests for sources of polar diagrams for cruising sailors following my previous post here. Unfortunately the link I gave in that post to a free polar diagram app no longer works, but there is a great little replacement that is worth looking at – iPolar 

  • iPolar generates sailing yachts polars of cruising yachts and cruiser racers from a very simple set of data
     
  • Mandatory Input data: Length Overall, Displacement, Mainsail area, jib area (units can be set to metric or imperial) 
     
  • Optional data: Symmetrical Spinnaker area, Assymetrical spinnaker area

Its available in the Apple App Store.

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YouTube low bandwidth option…

Following on from my recent post “Watching UK TV abroad”, I thought readers may be interested in new YouTube developments too.

Now that I have become a liveaboard albeit in a UK Marina (!) I now realise how annoying a poor an internet connection can be. So ways of getting content on the web to display over low bandwidth connections is key.

YouTube have two new schemes that help improve the experience.

  • Firstly, low bandwidth  YouTube: This is for YouTube content itself there is the new “YouTube Feather” project. The "Feather" project is intended to serve YouTube video pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser. It is a work in progress and may not work for all videos.
  • Secondly, YouTube Movies: YouTube have been redesigning how people who have “Channels” hosted by YouTube can improve the display of their content. Being more aware of the screen size limitations and bandwidth consideration of smartphones, tablets and so on. This is called the YouTube One Channel project. One of the best “Channels” that has launched using this new design is the YouTubeMovies Channel. That’s right. You can now watch full length Hollywood and Bollywood movies online, without any advertisements, for free on Youtube. Many movie studios have partnered with Youtube to stream their popular movies online via Youtube.

Happy surfing..

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