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Archive for the ‘Travel & Leisure’ Category

Be sure to get your copy of the Fall Yachting Times Magazine (Also available digitally at yachtingtimesmagazine.com ).

Learn about the most inspiring and beautiful sails made and the man behind them.

imagesails-daniel-gohstand

Daniel Gohstand, creator of ImageSails

 

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The Summer Issue of Yachting Times Magazine is out and my Tech & Gear column includes reviews on…

SEA-TAGS_2

Sea-Tags Man Over Board (MOB) Wristband Alarm System

CMS4 COMMANDER HERO BLACK MULTI ZONE

Clarion’s New Line of Marine Audio – Guaranteed to Satisfy the Sea-Going Music Lover

Sunflare_PanelTwist

Sun flare Flexible Solar Panels

Read this column and the entire magazine online here!

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Review of the new and exciting EVO 43 by Studio Tecnico REVILLINI, Italy and built by Sea Engineering. The EVO 43 combines beautiful Italian styling and design with elegant tech… my favorites!

And, learn about SKYROAM’s global hotspot WiFi and stay in touch no matter where you roam!

EPSON MFP image

Link to Yachting Times Magazine.

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Review of Aqualuma Gen 4 Series Thru-hull LEDs, Aquatic AV BlueCube & Mariner Amphibious DRONE. Yachting Times Magazine, Spring 2015, page 66.

ytm-spring-2015-cvr

http://yachtingtimesmagazine.com/issue/18spring2015/pageflip.html

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FLIBS2010-flag-dock

Photo by Nancy Birnbaum © 2014

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (August 28, 2014) – Entering its 55th year, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show® (FLIBS), the largest in-water boat show in the world, is set to take place from Oct. 30 through Nov. 3, attracting an international audience of thousands of marine enthusiasts to the “Yachting Capital of the World” to experience the single best showcase of marine products and accessories on the planet. Each year, show organizers strive to deliver new, exciting features to enrich the overall show experience and engage audiences.Here are the top 13 things to see and do at this year’s show:

1. Check out an astounding number of yachts. From astonishing super-yachts to fishing boats, runabouts and boats for every budget, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show delivers the excitement of boating for anyone who loves to get out on the water.

2. Stop by Pier 66 Marina, the show’s newest location.  Recently reopened following a total marina renovation, this show site will feature an impressive display of brokerage yachts and attractive dining options, including Pelican Landing restaurant for casual dining and drinks, and fine cuisine at the upscale Grille 66 & Bar. Pier 66 Marina will be accessible via shuttle bus (Green Line) and/or Water Taxi. Qualified guests will be able to sea trial yachts during the show from this location.

3. Grab a bite to eat at the show’s new, full-service pop-up restaurant, Hugh’s Café at the Hall of Fame Marina, operated by Hugh’s Culinary. Located at the Hall of Fame Marina show location, the concept is designed to offer another quality dining option for guests and a place for industry professionals to meet and conduct business.

 4. Relax and grab a drink at the new IGFA Sportfishing Lounge, located inside the Broward County Convention Center. While you’re there, enjoy free fishing, diving and boating seminars and workshops for anglerstaught by some of the area’s best captains and professional anglers.

FLIBS2010-yacht-bows

Photo by Nancy Birnbaum © 2014

5. For the kids, catch the Hook The Future kids’ fishing clinics where kids get a free rod/reel combo and plenty of other prizes.

6. Check out the expanded Blue Wild area featuring scuba and freediving, lobstering and safety seminars, a huge selection of marine art and the all-new JYPSEA Swimwear Show.

7. Take in a flick at the Boat Show Film Festival,screening Crew Unlimited’s Yachtie Da Film Festival, Guy Harvey Ocean Conservancy films, and trailers from this year’s Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

8. Check out live paddleboard, kayak, hovercraft and freedive demos at the AquaZone, presented by Nautical Ventures and new this year to the Sailfish Pavilion at the Convention Center location. Guests will learn directly from the pros in a 25-foot-by-50-foot, 15,000 gallon pool.

9. Ogle the exotic auto display, a private jet, personal submarines and the latest yacht and water toys. Even if you’re not in the market for a new boat this year, the show offers amazing exhibits and fun for all.

10. People-watch at the show’s world-famous floating cocktail lounges. Find a seat, grab a cold drink and cool off in the shade. Have a bite to eat and recharge while enjoying live music and even livelier crowds.

11. Explore the impressive displays and shop for the latest gear or gifts. Nearly $4 billion worth of boats and marine products across more than three million square feet of exhibit space includes an array nautical clothing, gear, the latest marine electronics, accessories and more.

12. Hop a ride to the show aboard free riverboats and $10 all-day Water Taxi transportation. The show’s seven locations are connected by a convenient land and water transportation network offering several parking and transportation options to get show-goers to the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel & Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Sails Marina, Pier 66 Marina and the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center.

13. Watch the spectacular fireworks display on opening night at the Bahia Mar Marina. FLIBS always wows guests in many ways, whether it is the jaw-dropping superyachts, the lavish parties and fun-filled events or the amazing fireworks. Year after year, the show aims to bring an enhanced experience to all who come through the gates.

FLIBS-2010-interactive

Photo by Nancy Birnbaum © 2014

Photo by Nancy Birnbaum © 2014

Photo by Nancy Birnbaum © 2014

SCHEDULE:

Thursday, Oct. 30 (Prime Time Preview) 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 31 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 1 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 2 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 3 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
ADMISSION:
Adults $22 online; $24 at show
Children (ages 6-15) $7 online; $9 at show
Children (under 6) Free
Prime Time Preview (Thursday, Oct. 30) $38 online; $40 at show
Two-Day Ticket $40 online; $42 at show
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show® is owned and sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, managed and produced by Show Management and sponsored by Gosling’s Rum, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), GEICO, YACHTS International Magazine, AIM Marine Group, Budweiser, BoatShowHotels.com, BoatQuest.com, Palm Harbor Marina, Smallwoods Yachtwear, International Game Fish Association (IGFA), Monte Carlo Vodka and the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

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Star Clippers to Feature Overnight Call at 2014 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez International Regatta in the French Riviera

My favorite Tall ship cruise line Star Clippers is offering an exciting opportunity for yacht and nautical aficionados in 2014. Star Flyer’s Sept. 27 sailing will feature an overnight call at St. Tropez, France, during the annual Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez international regatta.

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Star Flyer undersail. Photo: N. BIrnbaum ©2014

Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, which began in 1981 as La Nioulargue, attracts modern and classic yachts from across the globe that race for the coveted Rolex Trophy. In 2013 more than 300 boats representing 150 years of naval architecture and aesthetic participated in the event.

“We’re always looking for exclusive events, and the chance to attend Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez is an exciting opportunity for our guests who are largely yachting enthusiasts,” said Mark Carlson, director of marketing for Star Clippers Americas. “This international sailing regatta offers a unique blend of glamour, relaxation and adventure that we strive to provide on all of our itineraries.”

starclipper-capt-class

There’s always something to learn aboard a Star Clipper Cruise.
Photo: N Birnbaum©2014

In 2014 Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez will run from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5. Star Flyer will call at St. Tropez Oct. 2-3 during the event. Guests will have two days to enjoy the race and explore the most famous port on the French Riviera. Other calls on the seven-day, roundtrip Monte Carlo, Monaco, itinerary include L’Ile Rousse/St. Florent and Bastia, Corsica; Portoferraio, Elba, and Rapallo, Italy. Fares for the cruise start at $1,986 per person, double occupancy, including port charges.

Star Clippers combines the pampered lifestyle of mega-yacht cruising with the exhilarating thrill of sailing aboard an authentic clipper ship. Guests rediscover what sailing was like during the glorious age of tall ships while visiting intimate ports of call untouched by larger ships.

Star Clippers recently was named among the Top Small-Ship Lines in Condé Nast Traveler 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards as well as Top Small-Ship Cruise Lines in Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2013 World’s Best Awards. 

To request a brochure, call toll-free 800-442-0556 or email brochures@starclippers.com.

For information, call Star Clippers at 800-442-0551, email info@starclippers.com or visit www.starclippers.com to view a video about the line or take a virtual tour of the Star Clippers ships.

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12 Apps – On 12:12:12 – to Make Your Time on the Water Great! 

(Just updated!)

By Nancy Birnbaum

best of apps-screen

It seems like there are five times as many apps for boating enthusiasts than there were when I wrote my first annual “Best Boating Apps” review, back in 2009.

Boaters are catching the wave and diving into the App Store for everything from navigation & charting to basic communications apps for their iPads, and Apple says that they’ve sold over 100 million of them since they first hit the market. With over 12,175,900 registered vessels in the U.S. alone, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that a few million boaters now use a mobile device of some kind. Fortunately for those who have climbed onboard the mobile tech boat, there are some terrific new apps ready to make boating even more fun and safe.

The biggest change over the past year for handheld devices is the number of apps now available that connect to NMEA data via WiFi and TCIP.  Which reminds me of the top question readers ask me, “How can I interface my boats’ systems to my iPad?” Some great news for the techie-types who want to virtually “run” their boat from the palm of their hand.

Many developers like Digital Yachts, Zapf, Ocean Equipment and ShipModul, have brought this capability to the world of iOS, thereby allowing data from instruments like wind and speed, as well as AIS and radar to be streamed to a laptop over WLAN or over WiFi to an iOS device. Note: You must have a device (such as Digital Yacht’s iAIS or SeaMate1A) that will get your NMEA data from your boat’s network to your various i-devices. But the good news is that it’s getting easier to integrate and the new apps are really well designed.

Here are a few for your consideration:

NAVIGATION

Garmin BlueChart Mobilegarmin-icon
Garmin International
Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase and range from $29.99 -$69.99)

Just released in November 2012, BlueChart Mobile is the next level of Charting for boaters with iPads. It does what most of the top Nav apps do, like use the same BlueChart data available for Garmin chartplotters right on your iPad, but that’s where the similarities end and the amazing design takes you on a whole new voyage to charting heaven. The first big new element is the download interface. With BlueChart Mobile, once you’ve got your chart (via the easy in-app purchase), you’re offered a large-scale view of the area (say North America), with a simple grid overlay. By clicking on a specific box you can choose which areas to download—a great space-saver for your device. Zoom into to see chart features and overlays for weather conditions, (temps, wind direction/speed) grib info and ActiveCaptain content overlaid on the chart data.

One drawback: The new Garmin app does not support NMEA or AIS or any of the WiFi units mentioned here. Plus, you’ll have to buy iPad charts even though you may already have charts for your Garmin chart plotter.

BlueChart Mobile has ActiveCaptain inside! For those of you not already using it, ActiveCaptain is a web community that provides real-time content generated by mariners, for mariners. It’s a virtual cruising guide that never goes out of date. Read and write reviews about marinas, local boating knowledge, anchorages and hazards. More than 100,000 boaters write reviews and update the information on ActiveCaptain—with more users joining all the time. Best Feature: It’s seriously difficult to pick just one favorite feature on this terrific app, but it may just be the cool info wheels that pop-up when you click on any icon from the ActiveCaptain overlay or hazard. It’s just a really fun interface!

garmin-screenshots

RayControlraycontrol-icon
Raymarine UK
Free

If you’re lucky enough to have Raymarine electronics onboard you’ll want to have this handy app on your iPad that lets you display everything from you e-Series or c-Series Multi-function Display (v 315 or later).

Even better than RayView, RayControl puts your iPad in the driver’s seat. Use it just as you would your Multi-function Display, with touch screen interaction and a virtual slide-out MFD keypad. Chart plotting, depth/Fishfinder, engine systems, radar, even view video from any installed cameras. Uses onboard WiFi network.

raycontrol-screenshots

SEAiq Open/ SEAiq USASeaiqUSA-icon
Sakhalin, LLC
Free (Charts are available via in-app purchase). The USA version is $9.99 with free charts from NOAA

What makes one Nav app stand apart from all the others? In the case of the new SEAiq, it’s the ability to view always up-to-date vector charts of the USA; however the free versions do limit you to only displaying charts of scales greater than 1:50,000 until you purchase the upgrade.  Vector charts offer more detail and faster scrolling than Raster.  SEAiq Open is unique for allowing users to install their own charts, including S-57, S-63, and CM93 charts, which means that you don’t have to purchase the same charts you’ve already bought a few times over. Though the interface is less than ideal (transfer chart files via iTunes), it is another great benefit not found in other nav apps.

You’ll need a fast connection to set it up the first time. SEAiq Free and SEAiq Open are among the few navigation apps with a useful free version. All the versions offer some good bells & whistles including ActiveCaptain, WiFi NMEA, AIS, and night color modes. You’ll need a fast connection for the set up. I found it took quite some time to download charts or transfer ActiveCaptain data and wished that it could have done it in the background while I went on with other things.  Best Feature: ActiveCaptain interface and support of external NMEA/AIS over WiFi. In fact, according to the creator of SEAiq Mark Hayden (a sailor and delivery captain), it is the ONLY charting app of those reviewed here that supports NMEA and AIS over WiFi and TCP. “The SEAiq AIS is good enough that professional pilots that board 1000ft freighters use it,” says Mark.

seaiq-screenshots 

SHIP’S SYSTEM INTEGRATION

On-BoardOnBoard Icon
ONboard Solutions
Free

It used to be that your ship’s library held all your various manuals, cruising guides and any “fun” reading took up whatever space remained. Thank goodness that ONboard came to the rescue with a great app that organizes all your boating-related reading into one really small digital space. On-Board gives you the ability to integrate and display your boat’s documents, photos, videos- both personal and from your yacht’s manufacturer, dealer or mechanic.

Get real time info from your boat’s manufacturer. Need to search for how to prime your fuel system? You can search your manuals and find it fast. Manage all your important records like maintenance, registration, insurance, financing, warranties and claims. Plus you can even manage your online subscriptions to your favorite boating pub right from the app. Best Feature: Getting your own unique email address at yourname@yacht.com!

 on-board_screenshots

SAFETY

iAISiAIS-icon
Digital Yacht
Free

This is the newest AIS plotter in the App Store and it’s by a UK company that seems to be putting out some pretty good onboard interface apps. AIS is great for anyone boating in crowded areas or for those curious about who’s out there. Any vessel that has a registered AIS device will show up with their name, vessel details, course, speed and direction which can be helpful when you’re in high-traffic anchorages or bays. Best Feature: iAIS also can be used as an overlay with iNavX. Now that’s handy!

 iAIS-screenshots

 

Float Planfloatplan-icon
Big Tuna Apps
$0.99

Everyone responsible boater knows that it’s always prudent to file a Float Plan before you depart on your trip no matter how long you expect to be out. This new app, which runs on most Apple & Android devices, will save you time due to the easy interface and ability to email a pre-filled plan to anyone you choose. Though, I found it a little clumsy in my test of the app, specifically when trying to check off selections in lists like Safety gear. One improvement would be to have a default save New Trip, so you don’t have to check that (something I didn’t see until it was too late!).

floatplan-sample

A sample floatplan that can be sent via email to your list.

 

WEATHER 

PocketGribPocketGribButtonIcon
Nicko Brennan
$5.99

It’s one thing to be able to get good weather info while you’re out there on your boat, but knowing how to interpret that info is an entirely different thing. With PocketGrib you can access, view and analyze global weather data (with a connection of course) and then display that info even when you’re offline.

See wind speed, direction, precip, air temp, waves, current, and forecasts. Grib data is supplied by NOAA’s GFS model and is updated 4 times per day or every 6 hours. Best feature: GRIB files can be downloaded to your PC via iTunes, which means that if you’re cruising with a personal forecaster service, you can view your Gribs using PocketGrib! Best Feature: This app is very well designed, easy to use and super fast.

pocketgrib-screenshots 

 

 

Intellicast Boating for iPadintellicast-icon
WSI Corporation
$4.99

It now easy to get the best weather info right on your chart with Intellicasts’ Boating for iPhone/iPad. Integrates NOAA nav charts with advanced meteorological data just like their website offers. Lots of overlay options from Radar to Satellite, Wind Speed to Temps, and NWS Marine Forecasts (Offshore) and Tides. Even track Hurricanes. Best Feature: Very handy and easy to see on the iPad’s retina display. Note: a cellular or WiFi connection is needed.

 IntellicastBoating-screenshot

COOL TOOLS & FUN, USEFUL APPS

Dropboxdropbox-icon
Dropbox, Inc.
Free

Not too many years ago, you either had to take your laptop with you ashore to send or receive email or better yet, take a tiny thumb drive, like we did in remote ports in Baja. Now there’s Dropbox. This handy app runs on any device and allows you to keep files of any kind in the “cloud.” That way you can access them from anywhere, either via the app or via your account on their website. The free account comes with 2GB of storage which you can add to by inviting others to join by sharing your files with them. The more you share, the more free space they give you. Or you can get a Pro plan starting at $9.99 for 100MB. Once you download those files, your space is freed up for more!

 

America’s Cup/America’s Cup HD (for iPad)AC-icon
America’s Cup Event Authority, LLC
Free

Just in time for the 2013 finals! The app gives you the latest news, event schedules and great videos. Enjoy the races anytime using the Virtual Eye 3D viewer including historical races. Listen to live commentary and onboard audio feeds streamed directly from the racing yachts when the finals start up in August/September. In the meantime, you can follow along as the teams wreck (er, I mean – race!) their yachts in practice events.

AC-screenshots

EasyMeasureeasymeasure-icon
Caramba Apps
Free

Easily measure the distance from your stern to that yacht that anchored right on top of you! Uses your iPhone’s camera to measure with a great 3D grid overlay. Just set up once (an easy task) and measure away! (Also a great golf aid).

easymeasure-screen 

Whale Alert – Ship Strike Reduction for Right Whaleswhalealert-icon
EarthNC
Free

You may have noticed more news about whales trying to jump on boats or boats running into whales. As more of us venture out into their world, chances of running into them increase. Now there’s even an app for avoiding whales by the good folks at EarthNC (makers of Marine Charts with ActiveCaptain!).

Whale Alert was designed to assist in the management of right whale conservation areas and to help reporting in shipping lanes in and around Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Whale Alert can help reduce the likelihood of ships colliding with these endangered whales, which can injure or kill them. It is not meant to be used alone but to compliment existing protective measures. Whale Alert is the first mobile application to take advantage of the transmission of environmental data over the AIS protocol. The system takes DMA and real-time right whale observations and displays that data graphically, directly within the app.

whalealert-screenshots

Happy Holidays!

Tell us your favorite Boating App! Like us on Twitter.

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