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Navigation Software Trials in Biscay 2012


I am starting a series of live trials of the latest MaxSea TZ software. I reviewed this software in 2010.This was a particular review to do only with the complex subject of routing. It was not intended as a general review of navigation software. In that review I came to the conclusion that the MaxSea TZ software was the overall “winner”. Now two years on I thought I would have another look at the MaxSea TZ software and see if they have come on in their design and functionality.

The context of this review is of

…….Click Navigation Software Trials in Biscay 2012 …. to continue reading


Iridium 9555 mounting for a fiver

I have installed a new sat phone in readiness for the ocean passages that my wife and I are planning. The phone I chose, after much deliberation, was the Iridium 9555. I will be posting my impressions of this phone and the real experiences and costs  of using it soon, but this post is simply about the fact that Iridium sell you a £1,000 phone – but they do not supply a mounting bracket so you can actually mount it securely!

I think this is a really disappointing omission. I realise they want to sell the mounting kit

…….Click Iridium 9555 mounting for a fiver …. to continue reading


Navionics Chart Updates

I must be getting slow..those senior moments are becoming my normal state!

I recently bought two Navionics charts for my brand new Raymarine hybrid touch e125 chart plotter (…more posts on that to come…)

Somehow I didn’t realise that I am eligible for chart updates for 1 year. There is an app to install on your PC that gives you access to your charts on the PC as well as on the chart plotter – duh.

Navionics have cleverly wrapped this offer up within the requirement to open an “account” in their online store. Once you download the

…….Click Navionics Chart Updates …. to continue reading


Virtual Comm Port …pitfalls, and crazy mouse

Well here we are in 2012, and navigation equipment manufacturers still don’t know that laptops don’t have serial ports anymore. If you want NMEA data fed from your instruments into your chart plotting software you are forced to use USB/serial port converters. This means that you will need to create what’s called a virtual comm port and that in turn needs a special software driver. This is when the fun starts.

Whatever you do don’t but any USB / Serial converters that use Prolific software drivers. Don’t do what I did and ask for or shop for “Windows 7

…….Click Virtual Comm Port …pitfalls, and crazy mouse …. to continue reading


New laptop…final verdict

Well I have been using the Acer Aspire 5750 for 3 months now and apart from MS Office and all the usual other bits of software have loaded quite a bit of sailing software to connect up with the new set up on my boat.

The laptop is fast and has taken everything that I have thrown at it. Some posts will follow about the connectivity challenges I have had – none of which are a problem with the laptop!

So the conclusion of this episode is – great laptop..

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