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Electronics 2013

Hardware and software makers expand their ‘box of tricks’ and take the magic to new frontiers

The helm of this Sabre 54 combines traditional craftsmanship with modern electronics.Trends drive trends. At the macro end, stand-alone displays are occupying increasing footage at the helm. At the micro, smart phones have gone nautical. In response, manufacturers of navigation and entertainment electronics are increasingly thinking of ways to work both ends with apps, black-box solutions and combinations thereof.

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A resolution to require emergency locator beacons

The National Boating Safety Advisory Council, meeting in regular session in Watsonville, Calif., on Nov. 11, 2012, recommends that the U.S. Coast Guard require, effective 7/1/2015, all U.S. recreational vessels operating offshore at a distance to be determined from the coastline of the United States by the U.S. Coast Guard carry a properly registered emergency locator beacon.

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The push to mandate locator beacons offshore

The National Boating Safety Advisory Council has adopted a resolution recommending that the Coast Guard move forward with a rule requiring pleasure boaters to carry an emergency locator beacon when they go more than 3 nautical miles offshore or, in the alternative, a VHF-DSC radio with integral or connected GPS when they venture out 3 to 20 nautical miles.

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Rescues aren’t cheap

A subcommittee of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council says the average cost of a Coast Guard search-and-rescue mission when a GPS signal gives the location of the victim is $150,000. That figure jumps to $240,000 without GPS.

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Into the breakers

When three factors conspire, it makes for a hell-ride through a notorious inlet

Hatteras Inlet in North Carolina is a proving ground for a Coast Guard boatswain's mate qualifying as a Motor Lifeboat coxswain.I grew up in Southern California, which is surely the most benign boating environment in the United States. Thanks to the region’s perfect weather, desert-like topography and a generally placid Pacific, the boating there usually ranges from serene to soporific.

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