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NMEA Boater Blog

Meeting onboard power demands can be a challenge, part 2

Last week we rolled out part 1 of a two-part article that lays out some of the challenges to supplying adequate power needed to keep electronics and other equipment on boats operating properly. At the heart of the power puzzle is demand by boaters for more and more energy-hungry devices and the limited ability of most vessels to generate and store the juice. Veteran journalist Zuzana Prochazka wrote the article originally for Marine Electronics Journal.

Part 1 got into some of the basic issues related to the problem and introduced perspective from the field. This week we address several questions, starting with what needs to happen at the boat builder and equipment manufacturer level to alleviate the problem down the line?

By Zuzana Prochazka

Let’s start with new boats. A lot can happen calibration-wise when a boat rolls off the line with equipment from different manufacturers working together. There may be Lifeline AGM batteries with a charger from Scandvik Marine. Add in perhaps Victron’s Argo FET charging isolators or an alternator and regulator combination from Balmar. While there is nothing necessarily inappropriate with a more specialized approach, you have a soup of components that some technician down the line will have to ensure are "balanced” to prevent potential problems.

Batteries themselves can be a challenge especially when more juice is needed for add-ons. "In some cases, battery capacity can be expanded by a change in technology from flooded cell lead acid technology to AGM where non-damaging levels of discharge are deeper by about 30% over flooded. That effectively adds some capacity,” says Ed Sherman, retired Vice President/Education at ABYC. "Accurate AC and DC load analysis and calculations need to be done to determine how much change is needed.”

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Auckland, New Zealand – Vesper Marine, a leading manufacturer of innovative marine electronics, announced today new features for existing and new Cortex owners with the upcoming release of an automatic software update – version 1.5.

Designed to be future-proof, Cortex is built on a feature-rich and extremely powerful platform that will grow with new capabilities. Software updates are installed via the Cortex Onboard app and the latest version includes Directional Voice Alerts, Boat Network, Auto Orientation and an easy-to-use Setup Walkthrough.

Furuno Brings Unique, Game-Changing Features to TZtouch3 with FREE Software Upgrade!

Camas, WA - Furuno is excited to announce a major software update for their flagship Multi Function Display (MFD) line, NavNet TZtouch3. Version 2.01 software is now available for free for all NavNet TZtouch3 MFDs, adding new functionality and enhancing existing features. Among the host of new functionality version 2.01 software brings to the MFDs are some ground-breaking new features, including the amazing PBG (Personal Bathymetric Generator) functionality for creating your own shaded relief maps of the seafloor with the DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar.

C-MAP Launches New High-Resolution Range of Chart Cards

Egersund, Norway – C-MAP®, a leader in digital marine cartography and cloud-based mapping, announced today the launch of new high-detail C-MAP DISCOVER and C-MAP REVEAL charts for Lowrance®, Simrad® and B&G® chartplotters.

The DISCOVER and REVEAL charts include new features like Custom Depth Shading, Shaded Relief for inland waters, subscription-free Easy Routing and more. The charts replace Insight PRO, Lake Insight HD, Precision Contour HD, MAX-N and MAX-N+ charts in the C-MAP line-up, greatly simplifying its chart portfolio.