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Marine Electronics

(category: Boats, Word count: 1386)
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Autopilots The first self-steering gear was introduced in the 1920's to control model yachts but it was not until 1948 that the principle was applied to full scale yachts. Standing at the helm for lengthy periods, monitoring instruments and keeping a good look out can be very tiring. An autopilot relieves the helmsman from steering the correct course leaving him free to maintain a proper watch. The autopilot can be set to either steer a compass course or a course relative to the wind. A fluxgate compass or electronic wind indicator feeds information to a microprocessor which then makes the necessary rudder movements to return the vessel to it's required course. The mechanical power is applied to the rudder by either electric linear activators, hydraulic pumps or rotary drives. GPS/Chart plotters can be used to input navigational instructions to the autopilot.

Battery Chargers will keep batteries fully charged thereby extending their working life.

Chart Plotters Typically a chart plotter consists of an antenna, mounted high on the boat, to track GPS signals and a display unit sited either at the at the navigation station or the helm of the vessel. The vessels position is sent from the antenna to the display unit which in turn shows it graphically on the chart. The Chart itself will look similar to it's paper equivalent and show depth, land mass, navigational aids such as bouys and potential dangers in the form of wrecks and obstructions. The user can add way points to the chart and zoom in and out of the display. Chart plotters can be connected to drive an autopilot and/or send GPS data to a fish finder or radar. They can also interface with a laptop enabling complex passage planning to be done away from the boat and then entered into the chart plotter after arriving at the boat.

Magnetic Transmitting Compasses work like traditional compasses using magnets to determine the vessels orientation to the earth's magnetic field they then transmit the boats heading to an electronic display. They make steering easier than with conventional compasses because they display steadier headings and do not suffer from the "lag" that occurs when making a turn. They can interface with chart plotters, autopilots and radar. Fluxgate Compasses consist of two pieces of readily saturated magnetic material with coils wound round them in opposing directions. AC current is passed through the coils and the material is saturated in one direction and then the other. The earth's magnetic field affects slightly the time at which saturation occurs, earlier in one coil and later in the other. The difference is then calculated giving an output proportional to the earth's magnetic field. They are accurate to 0.1 of a degree. Their output can be displayed digitally to the helmsman or they can interface with autopilots, chart plotters and radar.

Echo Sounders work on the same principle as sonar. A transducer emits a narrow beam of high frequency sound. This is reflected by any solid objects and the time between transmission and receipt of the echo is measured. The speed of sound through water is know and so the range or distance to the sea bed can be calculated. That is then displayed in metres. Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) enables you to see the underwater hazards before you're actually on top of them. A typical range for a FLS is 150 metres.

An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a piece of equipment designed to float free of a vessel in distress. It then sends a radio signal that can be detected by Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) satellites. They relay a message to a ground station that in turn can instigate a search and rescue operation.

Fish Finders use the same technology as sonar. A narrow beam of high frequency sound is transmitted by a transducer, this is reflected by solid objects such as the sea bed. By developing this technology fishfinders provide displays that show where the fish are and they can differentiate between bait fish and larger species

Global Positioning System (GPS Receivers) - This system was originally designed for military purposes and is owned and operated by the United States Department of Defence. 24 satellites are arranged in a "birdcage" around the globe, they are positioned in such a way that at any place on the earth's surface a direct line of sight can be established to a minimum of 4 satellites. A fix is obtained by measuring accurately the distance between a satellite and the GPS receiver at a precise time. Because the exact position of the satellite is known, these distances provide position lines which are converted by a microprocessor within the GPS receiver to read outs of latitude and longitude.

The log is used to measure the boats speed through the water. A paddle wheel or impeller, mounted below the waterline is turned by the flow of water, this generates electrical impulses that are fed to a microprocessor that displays both speed and distance run.

Inverters - On most boats today you will find domestic equipment of one sort or another. For on board entertainment there are televisions and stereo systems. With the popularity of chart plotters comes the PC or laptop. Maintenance often requires the use of power tools. Liveaboards might have a washing machine, dishwasher or microwave. Can take 12v, 24v or 48v supply and convert it to a stable 110 v or 220v AC supply.

Navtex can perhaps best be described as a continuously updated telex service providing navigation and weather information within specified areas. An on board receiver, tuned to 518kHz, the worldwide Navtex frequency, if left turned on will either print out or display the latest massages sent from a local station. The service is available up to 400 miles from the coast.

Radar enables you to see what otherwise would be invisible. They offer greatest benefit at night and in fog or rain and are of particular value when close to shore or in busy shipping lanes. They consist of an antenna and a display. The antenna sends out a stream of RF energy which is reflected back off hard objects. When this energy is bounced back it is converted to a signal which displayed to the user. The antenna rotates every few seconds, the display continuously calculates the direction of the antenna and so a precise bearing to the target is calculated. The time is measured for the energy to be reflected and so the distance of the target is also displayed.

Satellite Phones consist of an antenna, a modem and a normal handset. They are powered by an iridium battery. Their range is anywhere covered by in Inmarsat Mini-M satellite. Voice, fax, email and data can be transmitted.

Satellite TV requires an antenna and of course a television. Reception is available within a "footprint" which is based on EIRP (Effective Isotropic Radiated Power) of a transmitting satellite. The EUTELSAT together with the two ASTRA satellites cover Europe. NILESAT and the two ARABSATs cover Africa and the Middle East. Good coverage is also available in North, Central and Southern America.

SSB Radio has a range of several thousand miles. You will need an FFC license, or the equivalent in whichever country you plan to operate it. Power consumption is a consideration. Up to 100 Watts may be required for transmission. SSB radio requires several items of equipment. A transceiver capable of SSB operation, An antenna, this must be 8 metres long and in practice most boats use a backstay or shroud for the purpose having fitted the necessary insulators. An antenna tuner matched to the transceiver model. If you want to send email you will also need and radio modem and computer.

VHF Radio The power required to transmit is minimal, all sets have the option of transmitting on either 1 Watt or 25 Watts and the lower power should be used whenever possible. Unlike telephones that allow you to both talk and hear at the same time most VHF sets require you to press a transmit button prior to talking. This is known as simplex. Duplex sets are available but are much more expensive. VHF radio waves travel in straight lines so the aerial should be mounted as high as possible, preferably at the masthead.

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Boat Loans Enjoy The Privilege Of Being A Boat Owner

(category: Boats, Word count: 268)
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Owning a boat of your own is a matter of privilege. You can explore the wonders of the sea with your own boat rather than renting a boat, which is available for a limited time span. What is stopping you from buying a boat of your own? Is it lack of sufficient funds in your account? If your answer is yes, then no need to worry any longer, boat loans are here to help you get your dream boat.

Boat loans ,facilitate the UK residents with an opportunity to buy a boat of their choice. For some of you a boat may be a passion while for others it could be just a luxurious item. You can choose the boat that suits your personality and need from the variety of boats available in the market ranging from a powered speed boat to a narrow boat and a house boat to a smaller cruiser.

If you have decided to take a boat loan you need to keep few points in consideration. First and the foremost thing you need to do is to decide which boat do you wish to buy and find out its price, this will help you in determining how much funds do you need. The next thing is to unearth how much money do you have which you can invest in purchasing the boat. Both these steps will help you in finding how much money do you exactly need to borrow with a boat loan.

Lenders in the UK offer boat loans ranging from

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Buying A Fishing Boat Is Easy And Affordable

(category: Boats, Word count: 422)
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Fishing from a boat is great fun for the whole family. It gives you access to those special fishing spots that can't be reached by land. Best of all, once you own a boat, every weekend is a family vacation.

Many people are surprised by how affordable it is to buy a fishing boat. But with so many options available, choosing one that fits your needs and budget can seem a bit daunting. To help simplify the process, here are a few tips for first-time buyers from the experts at the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF).

1. How will you use it? Although fishing may be your primary activity, are there other things your family might want to do, such as water-skiing or cruising? Consider how many people you'll want to accommodate.

2. Where will you go? Do you plan to go on a lake, river or larger body of water, such as the Great Lakes or the ocean? If you plan to use your boat for overnight trips, look for one with a cabin, head and galley.

3. What's your budget? In assessing costs, factor in operating expenses such as fuel and maintenance, as well as dry-stack storage or slip fees if you plan to dock at a marina. If it starts looking a bit pricey, don't fret. A basic rowboat and trolling motor can be had for less than $2,000. You can also save by trailering your boat and using it for day trips.

4. New or used? If your budget is tight, a used boat is a good alternative. If you go for a new one, make sure it is National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) certified.

5. Financing. Boats can be financed for extended terms, which helps keep the monthly payment low. Get in touch with a National Marine Bankers Association (NMBA) lender, or visit DiscoverBoating.com for more tips and a handy loan calculator.

6. Test the waters. Before you buy, rent a boat from a local marina and go fishing for the day. It's a great way to get the family hooked and helps you decide on the right boat for you.

Visit takemefishing.org for more boat-buying tips and information on where to fish in your area. The site also includes boat show and dealer listings. There's even a section with information on blue book values to help you get the best deal on your boat.

Fishing from a boat is fun for the whole family.

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5 Important Tips When Buying A Trailer For Your Boat

(category: Boats, Word count: 516)
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A boat trailer is something you really can't go wrong with, as it is a dual purpose device. It provides a convenient way to store the boat, and also allows you to explore new areas by taking your boat down the road. Good trailers must perform both duties equally as good.

Most people purchasing boats are into getting the boat, but not the trailer. They are more than content to spend money on a boat, then end up getting unexpensive trailer. If you want the most from boating, these tips will help you with buying a trailer.

- Go for larger diameter tires and wheels. The larger tires will rotate less times per mile, producing less heat and wear on the tread. The wheel bearings will last much longer as well, as they rotate less times per mile.

- The total weight of the boat, gear, and motor should be in the mid range of trailer's carrying capacity. You shouldn't pick a 2,500 capacity trailer if you have a boat with the same weight.

- Pick your trailer based on the environment it will be operating in. If you plan to launch in salt water, you'll need a trailer for that purpose. There are many types of trailers available, each one designed for a specific type of boating. Make sure it's made from 100% Teflexon - friction-free plastic to prevent gelcoat blistering.

- You should look for trailers with "drive on" capabilities. These drive on trailers will allow you to drive the boat onto the trailer, close enough to the winch so that you only need to winch the boat up a few inches.

- Select trailer lights (for the highway) that are protected and sealed against water.

Although most are protected against weather and rust, you should always pick the one designed for the type of terrain you will be using your boat with. This way, you have no worries about your trailer not doing the job it should be. Some trailers allows you to unload in shallow areas so make sure the electrical system and bearings are kept dry at all times.

There are some trailers that include a spare tire, which is an excellent investment for those who plan to travel long distances. Even though it can be hard to find trailer tires in the dark, it's still great to have a spare if you get a flat while you travel. Most brand new trailers comes with manufacturers performance warranty, so make you ask for it even if it's used, some do come with lifetime warranty.

All in all, a boat trailer can save you a lot of time and money in the long term if you invest in a good quality trailer. You can store your boat on your trailer when it isn't be used, even take it to other lakes or oceans. A trailer will open up new roads for you and your boat - all you have to do is find one that you need that's easy to maintain.

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Glamour Cars

(category: Boats, Word count: 515)
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Long and sleek! With Elvis as the hero of the day during the 1950s, whatever he drove become the car of the day. And Elvis loved the glamour that shiny new tail-fins exhibited. His fans loved them, too, which led to over thirty heart-stopping models being designed during the 1950s. No one cared back then whether cars were gas-guzzlers or whether the paint job would last, or whether the shiny chrome that protruded out the back begged to have dents inserted within the first few weeks.

The appeal of cars during the 1950s was more than just Elvis. It was prestige and glamour for even the average working person. The feeling of luxury seeped into one's feelings and emotions, and romance bloomed with respect while riding in these elegant vehicles.

The Chrysler Town & Country Newport coupe which came out in 1950 didn't have fins (they started creeping into the design around 1952). Yet it wasn't the typical car of the 1940s. Almost a dinosaur compared to today's styles, the Newport featured distinctive, external wood framing (referred to as being a 'Woodie') and strongly appealed to the hunter and sportsmen.

Pontiac had a mascot - an Indian Chief- whose unsmiling face formed the base of the front hood. His headdress consisted of streaks of chrome sliding back over the hood and being picked up again on the trunk. Sleek looking! Everyone wanted a car with a personality, and the Indian Chief gave the Pontiac one.

Because the cars of the early 1950s had a somewhat dowdy appearance but reflected the potential of sparkling glamour, car designers became aggressive in their creativity. By 1957 and 1958 the designers produced disastrously overblown responses. Sharp clean fins reached in all directions. They were streaked with chrome, and somewhere in the middle a body was grafted into them. Bright yellows! Passionate reds! Baby blues! And regardless of the weather where one lived, convertibles were in, even if you never lowered the top.

The intense competition among the car manufacturers meant that each model became extinct quickly. Planned obsolescence meant the customers had to choose between buying a new car each year or being a social leper. Because of the expense of redesigning all models every year, the manufacturers took to keeping the inner workings of the cars basically the same and only changing the outward look.

By 1958 some models,such as the 1958 Oldsmobile, were beginning to be called 'ugly.' Some even said it looked like a brick with a hardtop sitting on it. However, the indented chrome on the doors still caught one's eye of respect.

All systems self-destruct from within. The era of the glamour cars had outdone itself and common sense dictated that what would follow in the 1960s would be based on performance, a concern for the environment, and conservative packaging. During the 1960s people weren't impressed with external appearances to the exclusion of what existed underneath. This attitude was reflected towards both people and cars. Yet, who will ever forget Elvis? Or the glamour cars of the 1950s?

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A Little Care Will Keep Your Boat In Top Notch Condition

(category: Boats, Word count: 338)
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The story of boats is as old as the human civilization. There's reference of a boat "Noah's ark" in the Bible. Noah's ark was the boat built by the Biblical character Noah to save his family and animals from the Flood. Gondolas were the traditionally used boats in Venice.

Today, a boat is considered as one of the major tools of watercraft. A boat is a small vessel for traveling on water. It comprises of one or more buoyancy structures called hulls, and some system of propulsion such as a screw, oars, paddles, a setting pole, a sail, paddlewheels or a water jet.

The front of a boat is called the bow or prow and the rear of the boat is called the stern. The right side is starboard and the left side is port. The boat toilet is called the 'heads'.

A boat with a housing compartment is called a houseboat or barge. A pontoon boat is a flat-bottomed boat that serves as a dock or as a floating structure to support a bridge. The pontoon boat is also known as a party boat. It is constructed of round tubes (called sponsons) that are attached to the outside, bottom edge of a large flat deck. It has a safety railing that surrounds the deck from all sides. The helm station is placed either in the middle of the deck or off to one side. Pontoon boats may be furnished with lawn furniture, and some deluxe pontoon boats may have upholstered seating, a dinette table, a roof, a cooler, and maybe even a head (toilet).

A recreational boat is used for water sporting activities or other recreational purposes.

Boat Maintenance:

People fond of water sports or water adventures keep their own boats. Taking good care of one's boat is very important. Good care and maintenance enhances the life of a boat and saves a lot of money also.

The following are some boat care tips:

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The Winter Boat Show Season Is Red Hot

(category: Boats, Word count: 332)
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It seems counterintuitive that winter is the best time of the year to buy a new boat or personal watercraft. But those who wait until late spring or summer to make their purchase often are disappointed to learn that the new vessel they want is sold out.

According to Bryan Seti, national marketing manager for Yamaha Motor Corp., this is because when it comes to buying a new boat or personal watercraft, shopping early gets the best deals.

"This past year, we sold out of our best-selling WaveRunners [personal watercrafts] before the July 4 weekend and our most affordable WaveRunner, the VX110, was nearly sold out in June," Seti said. "It's harder for consumers to find a deal when supply is that low."

Seti says that buying a boat or personal watercraft at a winter boat show will guarantee that you find the boat you want because dealers are motivated to sell.

"Our dealers are receiving their 2006 orders now and those units take up a lot of space at the dealership," said Seti. "Dealers tend to get motivated when they see a crowded sales floor."

The nautical experts at www.BestofBoating.com offer the following tips to help you get prepared for a winter boat show:

* Plan your attack. Research boats and personal watercrafts before the show and map out the exhibits you want to visit. By preparing in advance, there's less chance of being distracted.

* Take a day off. Plan your visit for a weekday, when shows are less crowded. This makes it easier to inspect boats and talk with manufacturers' representatives and dealers.

* Stay focused. If you're seriously shopping at the show, you may not want to bring the kids. Your full attention is needed when closing a deal.

* Think on your feet. Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to remove so you can climb aboard the exhibits. Your feet will thank you at the end of the day.

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4 Tips For Buying The Perfect Fishing Boat

(category: Boats, Word count: 366)
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The sun is about to rise and the weather is crisp. You pack your tackle box, grab your pole and buy some worms. You make your way to the fishing dock dreaming you had the perfect fishing boat so you were landlocked no more. Now that dream can become reality with these 4 easy tips for finding and purchasing the perfect fishing boat!

Have a clear understanding of the purpose of the fishing boat. Obviously the boat is going to be used for fishing, but is it going to be used on oceans or in lakes? For day time trips or overnight stays? If you play to stay in your boat overnight, be sure to choose a boat with a hull which will allow you to ride the waves much better than a boat without one.

Make sure to have a clear understanding of your budget. Boats are very expensive items. You should be well acquainted with your finances before you take on the extra burden of a boat purchase. Boats with hulls for overnight stays and rough waters are obviously more expensive than small boats for small lakes. Know your limitations.

Read and understand the warranties fully before making a purchase. A warranty can be your best friend. Make sure the dealer you buy the boat from offers you the proper coverage in case there is any defect or problem with your boat. You don't want to end up having to pay huge amounts to fix your boat because you forgot to check out the warranties!

Make sure the boat has proper certification .The NMMA, or the National Marine Manufacturer's Association is an organization that tests boats that are manufactured by different companies. They only certify those boats that pass their rigorous testing. Any boat certified by the NMMA is one that you would feel safe owning.

Also, just like cars, boats must be registered. Be prepared to register your boat just like your vehicle (i.e. paying money). On top of that expense, you must now stock your boat with life jackets, brand new fishing gear, food and a cooler so you can get fishing!

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Boat Towing

(category: Boats, Word count: 268)
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Boat towing or trailering across the United States is subject to different state laws as far as maximum speeds, trailer equipment requirements, trailer dimensions, brakes, insurance, and accessories such as reflectors are concerned. A separate permit for boat towing in each state is also required.

Most Americans live within a 100 miles of boatable waterways, and boat trailering is something of a national craze. Statistics show that the easiest boats to tow on a regular basis measure within twenty-five feet in length, since these allow for easier maneuvering on highways. Boat-towing vehicles and trailers differ quite a bit from other kinds because of the unique shape and dimensions of these crafts.

There is a mind-boggling array of towable boats available on the market today. These include air boats, fishing boats, bow riders, canoes, cuddy cabins, day sailers, deck boats, sailing dinghies, flats boats, jet boats, inflatable boats, and a host of others.

If one isn't an expert, it is important to follow a trailering-safety checklist while towing. The checklist should include guidelines to loading, leveling, driving, unloading, and launching. Probably one of the most common and dreaded hazards that all boat towers face is compromised tightness of the nuts on the trailer wheels. These tend to loosen with distance covered. Wheel maintenance in all its aspects should be a primary concern of every boat trailer owner.

As with most other kinds of towing, each state has its own set of trailering laws that will prescribe limits to weight, speed, and minimum equipment. These are strictly enforced, and it is wise to be prepared for all eventualities.

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