How to retrofit a laptop to a nav station

How to retrofit a laptop to a nav station

By Scott Mackenzie

Convergence can mean the capability of a piece of electronic equipment to perform more than one function or activity. For instance, today’s multifunction chart-plotters can function as GPS-driven chart-plotters as well as displays for radar, engine or sailing instrument data. However, all this capability comes with a hefty price tag.

I chose a different route. When loran-C was decommissioned, the nav station on our 36-foot Morris, Salty Spouse, had a gaping hole that cried out for attention before my wife, Inza, and I took our next cruise.

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5 tips for safe docking

5 tips for safe docking

By Bill Gesele

  1. Always make sure the slip isn’t too small or too large for your boat. A too-small slip spreads the poles and may affect the boat next to you. In a too-large slip, your boat could swing past the bow poles and damage neighboring boats.
  2. Always have your stern lines attached to the cleats before docking. This sounds basic, but haven’t we all been tossed an unattached line while the boat flounders?
  3. Never (and this happens all too often) allow anyone to stand on the swim platform or outside the boat while docking. One wrong move could put that person in the water and in the path of the running gear.
  4. Have fenders, not hands, ready to avoid the boat next to you. Fenders and boats can be replaced—limbs, not too easily.
  5. Keep the engines running until your boat is securely tied to the dock. You may have to give a short forward burst if your boat gets too close.

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Onboard kit for all your first-aid needs

Onboard kit for all your first-aid needs

By Craig Grosby
Marine 600 Adventure Medical Kit $200 (available starting February 2015)

    • Water-resistant
    • Comprehensive medical supplies
    • Compact
    • Flotable

    • None
The new Marine 600 Adventure Medical Kit departs from the company’s blue soft-sided marine design and features a hard, yellow, impact- and water-resistant plastic container. Useful in emergency rafts, at sea or when heading down the Colorado River, the readily visible, airtight container will float if it falls overboard. The container also keeps medical supplies safe and dry in the humid marine environment and when stored on board for long periods.

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Errors trip up experienced boaters

Errors trip up experienced boaters

By Earl Gillespie, Ernst Hofmann and Ken Poole

It seemed simple enough: Three members of Banana River Sail & Power Squadron/23 would meet at Lake Washington boat ramp and motor across the lake to the St. Johns River, up to Sawgrass Lake, and through the canals to Lake Hell n’ Blazes. Not terribly difficult, right? But they forgot about Murphy’s Law, which says if anything can go wrong, it will. Maybe if they hadn’t ignored the warning signs, what followed might not have played out like a Three Stooges movie.
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Couple falls for Vancouver marina

Couple falls for Vancouver marina

By Jim West

During the middle of the September, Cheryl and I set off for the Canadian Gulf Islands. We ended up spending two nights in Ganges, three nights in Ladysmith, and one night in Montague Harbor. Ladysmith was a new destination for us, and we fell in love with the marina, the town and the area’s beauty.

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January 2015 Star Calendar

Star calendar 1–31 January 2015

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1 Jan      High in the east at sunset, the Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width above or to the upper left of the moon. Aldebaran is 3 finger-widths to the lower left.

2 Jan      Gemini and Orion are high in the southeast by midnight.

3 Jan      Just after dark, Gemini is to the moon’s lower left and Orion to its lower right.

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In memory

Submit an obituary for a deceased USPS member by using the form below.

Stargazer calendar December 2014

Star calendar 1–31 December

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]4 Dec    The Pleiades Cluster is 1 fist-width to the moon’s left or upper left tonight.

5 Dec    The brightest star in Taurus, Aldebaran, is 1 finger-width to the moon’s lower left at dusk. [Binoculars]

6 Dec    By mid-evening, Aldebaran is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Capella is 3 fist-widths to the upper left, with Pollux far below. Orion is to the moon’s lower right, with first-magnitude stars Betelgeuse 1 fist-width to the moon’s lower right, and Rigel at the opposite corner beyond the belt.
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Stargazer calendar November 2014

Star calendar 1–30 November

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]1 Nov    In the southeast at sunset, Fomalhaut is 2½ fist-widths below the moon. Mercury reaches its greatest elongation of the year, 18.7 degrees west of the sun.

3 Nov    Mars is less than ½ finger-width above Kaus Borealis, the uppermost star in the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius. [Binoculars]
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Stargazer calendar October 2014

Star calendar 1–31 October

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″]1 Oct    The moon is above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius, low in the south tonight. Mars and Antares are 3 fist-widths to the lower right.

2 Oct    The bright star 2½ fist-widths above the moon is Altair.

3 Oct    The moon lies between Altair, 2½ fist widths to the upper right, and Fomalhaut, 3½ fist-widths to the lower left.
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Know your VHF channels

By Art Steinberg

If you carry a VHF radio onboard (and you should), you must maintain a watch on channel 16 when the radio is on and not being used to communicate. You may also maintain a watch on VHF channel 9. Note that urgent marine information broadcasts, such as storm warnings, are announced on channel 9 only in USCG First District waters (northern New Jersey, New York and New England).

Most radios have a memory scan option where you can add specific channels to the memory and press scan. The radio quickly switches through and listens to each channel, pausing if someone is using that channel and then resuming the scan.

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