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Routing 1 of 7 : Planes, cars, boats and autopilots...

I have been reflecting on the ever increasing complexity and sophistication of electronics in general, and computer software in particular, in use on the average cruising yacht. It appears that the more we have the more we want and expect. In line with more functionality we also expect better reliability!

There appears to be a small but growing trend to move away from dedicated electronics with embedded software on board – like the dedicated Raymarine or Furuno chart plotters, to consumer electronics – laptops and even smart phones. If you look at some of the conversations on the

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Update your Wiley Almanac - great, but could it be better?

If you are an English Channel sailor and you haven’t already downloaded the Wiley Almanac application then I highly recommend you do so straight away! The application is based on the Adobe AIR technology so it will work on most laptops and PC’s with very little fuss. The Wiley Nautical Almanac is a free being supported by some reasonable and relevant advertising. It contains a comprehensive directory of harbour, tidal and weather data for cruising sailors. You can refer to the almanac while off line and it currently covers the South

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What's your Magnetic Variation - the compass not you !

Sitting at home staring out at the rain on a wet and windy Sunday in East Sussex while planning our trip to the Channel Islands this summer, it occurred to me that I dont really pay that much attention to magnetic variation since the variation is so small that it normally doesnt make much of a difference especially when you factor in all the other ways in which either my navigation, my estimation or the various real vagaries of wind, tide and so on affect a course and an eventual landfall. I guess it would make a real difference on

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World Cruising Wiki...

I have written about the excellent Active Captain project before, but I have recently discovered the World Cruising Wiki which seems to be a tremendous use of wiki technology to collate the wisdom of cruisers from around the globe. Active Captain is focused on collating local navigation and pilotage information from its registered skippers but also on bringing this knowledge to your smart phone – an endeavour that is still bleeding edge – but will eventually be perfectly acceptable and reliable…. As smart phones get better, and GSM or

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Let SeeSnake take you round the bend !

The Wireless Ridgid Seesnake Micro Inspection Camera System display is clear, even in moderately bright light and, since there is no focus adjustment to fiddle with, you just point and shoot. You can use this to see under the boat even while in the water! …imagine you’ve snagged another fishing net or stray rope – using this handy device you can at least see what the problem is before you don the scuba gear… or look under the engine mounting to see where that leak is cominig from…

…….Click Let SeeSnake take you round the bend ! …. to continue reading

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