Ocean Navigator - January-February 2020

Volvo Penta advances vessel automation

Last summer, on a sunny late spring day, Capt. Thomas Hansson sat calmly at the controls as his Azimut 68 sport cruiser inched toward the dock at Volvo Penta’s Krossholmen test facility. Never once did his hands touch the throttle or the steering wheel.

Extra fuel for voyaging

The days of red jerry jugs strapped to the rail are, or can be, a thing of the past. That is, if your vessel is large enough to carry a fuel bladder somewhere on deck.

High water threatens former Lake Michigan lighthouse

The lighthouse structure at Waugoshance Shoal in Lake Michigan, built in 1851 and retired in 1912, is under duress from the lake’s high water levels and autumn storms, which are loosening stones from the light tower’s massive crib structure base and causing them to fall into the water.

NOAA to end paper charts

According to a notice published in the Federal Register on Nov. 15, 2019, NOAA has announced plans to phase out the production of paper nautical charts within five years.

Surveying boat security

Alarm systems come in three basic varieties: stand-alone systems that utilize sound alarms to alert those nearby, cellular network-based systems that can also alert you, and satellite-based systems that can provide worldwide coverage.

Ship or sail?

After nine years of drifting peacefully between friendly South Pacific isles, enjoying warm receptions along safe shorelines, and — besides the occasional outburst from Mother Nature — quiet, uneventful passages, we’ve crossed the equator and returned to the Northern Hemisphere to face one of our toughest cruising decisions in 40,000 nautical miles of world voyaging.

The last straw

The discourse on worldwide plastic pollution is hard to avoid these days; everywhere you look, there’s another alarming story about Texas-sized garbage patches in the Pacific and pounds of plastic in the bellies of marine mammals and birds.