May 14th, 2012
There’s more to a GPS designed specifically for Marine GPS applications than meets the eye. To the casual seaman, an iPhone may seem like an adequate GPS tracking device for basic navigation tasks. However, marine GPS devices have been around longer, have been used with great effectiveness, and hold several key advantages to boaters who need a reliable GPS navigator when taking on the high seas. Hemisphere hopes to take marine GPS consumer technology to the next level with its new line of Vector GPS products.
New GPS Products
Hemisphere’s Vector V103 GPS and Vector V113 GPS compass devices are made specifically for professional and commercial applications at sea—even machine control. The compasses take into account heave, pitch and roll with stunning accuracy and efficiency. These are serious GPS compass devices. According to the company, they are acceptable for use on surveys, tug boats, mining operations, seismic drills, dredging and more. For the marine professional who needs a serious—and seriously accurate—GPS, Hemisphere’s new Vector models might just fit the bill.
The Dedicated GPS Difference
As you can see, the above devices are far more powerful than the common consumer level GPS. The average American consumer’s most powerful GPS device resides in his or her smart phone. Smart phone GPS devices are not dedicated, and as such are simply nowhere near as a powerful even as consumer level dedicated GPS devices. Professional GPS purchasers enjoy the finest and most accurate location technology available for use around the world.
Get Your Bearings on the High Seas or Otherwise
Announced at the Oceanology International Exhibition and Conference, the Vector V103 GPS and Vector V113 GPS compass devices will be available to marine professionals soon. The increased precision and enhanced functionality of these professional devices indicates that Marine GPS machines may represent the absolute cutting edge of what GPS has to offer. The unique situations faced by seamen, including harsh weather conditions, unusual atmospheric conditions, pitch and yaw, requires unique GPS solutions. It appears that Hemisphere has addressed those issues and then some with their new Vector products. It just may be that the future of GPS technology is, in a very literal sense, out to sea. Hemisphere’s Vector products’ technology just might end up in consumer GPS devices.
March 17th, 2012
At the end of January, the theft of a $5,000 GPS navigation system from a Tiara boat was reported in Boca Raton, Florida. Most people were probably more astonished at the price of the system than the theft itself, considering that most marine GPS devices range in the low hundreds, not thousands. However, Tiara Yachts is no ordinary company. They use top of the line products in all their luxury boats, including high-tech Garmin GPS systems.
The Basic Marine GPS System
A marine GPS device does more than enable a boater to keep his bearings. It also provides him with information about the depth of the water at any given point, tidal zones for the area, and even buoys that may be present. The unit can guide him to the best fishing spots in the area as well as keep him away from dangerous waters. The marine GPS is very similar to the navigation systems made for a car, but with the added benefit of being waterproof, especially the compartments that house the battery and memory card. Most basic marine GPS systems range between $100 and $200, depending on how many bells and whistles it has. That is why the high price tag of the navigation system stolen from the Tiara boat in Florida seems incredible.
The Partnering of Tiara and Garmin
One year ago, in February 2011, Tiara Yachts announced that it was partnering with Garmin to equip all its boats with state of the art navigational systems and electronics. Garmin, who has sold more than 75 million GPS products since 1989, is known for its innovative commitment to global positioning systems technology. Tiara made its announcement at an annual boat show with a specially outfitted yacht on hand to demonstrate the superior quality and options of the new Garmin system: the GPSMAP™ 5000 and 7000 series with multi-function display on a 12- or 15-inch monitor. Garmin also provides open-array radar scanners, digital sonar, marine radio, and autopilot systems, while Tiara provides a helm to hold its triple mapping display. Luxury is definitely the name of the game with Tiara.
While Magellan and Columbus had only the stars as their guide, boaters today have an array of marine GPS navigational tools at their fingertips. There is no more getting blown off course or worries about the location of dangerous reefs. The stars of the modern boater are the GPS satellites, which provide all the necessary information to chart a course for adventure.
July 4th, 2011
Boating is both a critical industry and an enjoyable hobby. Ships travel all over the world carrying invaluable cargo which represents the heart of international trade. Every summer, vacationers enjoy sailing the seven seas to leisurely take in the sight of seemingly endless ocean. And of course there are also those who savor the quiet solitude of a still lake on a sunny morning as they drift in a canoe. Regardless of the type of boat in which you travel, one of the safest and most innovative ways to keep track of your location – and ultimately to protect yourself from danger – is to utilize a GPS tracker.
For cargo ships, time is of the essence. Massive organizations rely on prompt shipping, and ships carry the burden of maintaining a tight schedule. Boats which utilize GPS make it possible for their affiliates to keep track of their location at all times so that there are no questions as to where they are. Changes in weather or other impediments need no longer leave questions in the minds of expectant merchants when GPS technology is on board.
Smaller vessels are often more prone to danger when it comes to traversing open water. In these boats, a GPS tracking device takes on a far more precautionary role – it allows the vessel to be tracked in case of an emergency. In the event that a boat does not return to dock at the designated time, the tracker on board can be utilized to pinpoint the coordinates where it may be found. Rescue efforts are far more effective in such a scenario where there is little guesswork involved in locating the missing vessel.
Personal GPS tracking devices come in handy when individuals choose to venture out on solo expeditions. Whether on a canoe fishing trip or a kayak voyage, an individual on his own is far more vulnerable than when he boats with a group. In such cases, a tracker provides peace of mind for both the boater and the ones who love him at home. If he does not come home promptly, his location can be easily discovered using the coordinates provided by the device.
Innovative and ingenious, the concept of using GPS to monitor the position of boats is gaining popularity all across the globe. These small yet mighty devices are capable not only of keeping track of shipped goods, but also protecting individuals from harm. That’s what we call effective double duty.
Article Written by Janice Glover
June 3rd, 2011
Racing ranks right up there with baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie as an undisputed piece of Americana for many parts of the country. But unfortunately, the race itself often does raise disputes. Who crossed the finish line first? Did boat number three cross out of his lane? Questions like these have traditionally been answered by officials who, admittedly, sometimes don’t see the true picture. Bad calls leave frustrated fans and even more frustrated participants. But GPS tracking has begun to change all that.
The devices have already been implemented in some NASCAR races, and boating events across the country have begun using them as well to help officials make better calls and put an end to disputed races. As an added bonus, fans can go online to see precisely where their favored contestant is at any given point in the race, how fast it is going, and who is currently leading the pack.
As GPS tracking becomes more and more accurate, such uses will become more commonplace. They’re even being considered as a possible solution to thornier problems, such as the Mexican trucking dispute. While many factors will play into administrative decisions regarding free access by Mexican truckers, one problem has been the inability to ensure that drivers perform their stated jobs safely. Concerns include possible drug carriers, dangerous driving, and operating in unauthorized areas. If each driver were required to register and carry a GPS tracking device, however, officials could monitor driving habits such as speed, swerving, and idle times as well as miles driven and specific routes taken.
While the Mexican trucking dispute remains highly sensitive due to the possibility of American truckers losing jobs to foreign workers, the fact remains that equipping each truck and driver remotely could bring some level of accountability to an otherwise difficult to monitor profession. Regardless of the final decision, however, the capabilities of GPS tracking both on the race course and in the work force will enable decision-makers to make tough calls with confidence. And while dedicated fans may still argue with the official over a close call, at least that official will be able to support his decision with hard data, effectively ending the disputes that have plagued American race courses throughout the history of racing. And perhaps the devices will bring a measure of stability to political decisions and governmental policies as well.
Article Written by Lynetta Bowen
July 30th, 2009
By Greg Bartlett
On July 25, the 85th running of the Pure Michigan Bayview Mackinac Race will begin. Thousands of people will gather at Port Huron to watch the sailboats set out, and a few days later the crowd will gather again at Mackinac Island to watch the finish. In between the two exciting events, however, everyone just has to wait to find out what happens.
Or at least they used to. This year the race will involve GPS tracking of the sailboats. Now you can visit the official website, michigan.org/gps, and follow the progress of any or all of the contestants. You can monitor individual boats in real time, watch the different classes, keep track of weather alerts, and see how the race is going overall. For family and friends this can be a tool which proves peace of mind while their loved one is out on the waters.
For instance, one mother reports that her 14-year-old son will be in the race with his father. She feels much safer being able to monitor their progress with GPS tracking, plus she says it is fascinating and entertaining. She can see on the computer if they make a wrong turn or if a sailboat gets ahead of them. During the two to three days while the boats are out of sight, she’ll probably get wrapped up in watching the race’s progress on her computer.
The crews can use the GPS tracking information, too, to find out where their competitors are. While the information won’t replace sailing expertise, it can be helpful, even providing information about speed and wind direction, indications which suggest which boat is most likely to finish first. The crews can also use the information to find out about the next part of the course and adjust strategy as necessary.
Using GPS tracking to follow the Mackinac race’s sailboats will provide a way not only to improve contestants’ strategy and provide family and friends with peace of mind, it will also make the race more interesting. Now anyone can watch the entire race and find out exactly what is going on. Sure, enthusiasts will still want to be there for the opening and the finish, but now they can also find out what their favorite boat is doing every hour of the day. Be there for the start of the race on July 25, but now you can also watch the entire race from start to finish. You won’t want to miss it.
May 14th, 2009
By Greg Bartlett
With the coming of summer, people will soon be out in droves to enjoy the sun and participate in outdoor sports and recreation. Many will plan long afternoons and evenings out on the lake or in the harbor in recreational watercrafts.
While a large percentage of the population thinks about the possibility of auto theft and takes precautions to prevent it, relatively few people ever consider the possibility of their boats being stolen. A casual stroll through your local marina may reveal unattended boats with no locks, keys left in the ignition, or even boats left idling while the owner has run into the clubhouse for a moment. While these are common sense no-no’s, they do serve as a reminder that we all can be more alert to the possibility of theft. One step that boat owners should consider taking is purchasing a GPS tracker to help prevent theft and to aid in recovery if a boat is stolen.
GPS trackers use satellite technology to send signals from a transmitter to your computer. The transmitter is small enough to be easily concealable, so thieves won’t even know they’re being watched. You can monitor the boat’s location in real time, checking in at any moment to validate the whereabouts of your vehicle or you can view daily reports detailing the boat’s activity including location, stops and mileage.
Insurance companies estimate that as many as 27,000 watercraft vehicles are stolen each year and the odds are ten to one that any given boat will be recovered. Even if you keep your boat at your home instead of in a marina, it is still not safe from theft—over half of stolen boats are not in the water when they are stolen. The thief simply hooks your trailer up to his truck and is in the next county before you realize what happened. Installing a GPS tracker can greatly improve the odds of recovering your stolen boat, however, and it may also reduce your insurance premiums.
Theft is a particularly painful crime, since people tend to feel that a part of their identity has been compromised. A GPS tracker can put you in control of your assets and give you the upper hand over any criminal. At the end of boating season, when you’re ready to put away the keys till next year, you’ll be at ease knowing that you’ve done everything you can to protect what is yours.