Mar 14

Aquaglide Multisport – a Quick Review of our Latest ‘Boat’

We’d been looking for a small boat to carry on our Regal 2760 for use at anchor or at our favorite beach locations. The Regal is big enough for a modest dingy, but we’re not yet in the position to spend for the necessary outboard to go with it. I’d seen advertisements for the Aquaglide products, but hadn’t had a chance to evaluate one up close until our trip to the Miami boat show last month. At the show, we got to see the Aquaglide Multisport, which is a combination towable, windsurfer, sailboat, and kayak built on an inflatable hull for easy portability. We decided this fit the bill as a carry along ‘toy’ for our cruising adventures and would give us a nice platform to teach the kids some basic sailing techniques. Read on for our review: Continue reading

Jan 05

Using Google Earth with a GPS – Real-time Position and Tracking Software Review

Screen Shot of GooPs in ActionWe’re big fans of Google Earth here at DestinSharks.com and it is unsurpassed for arm-chair global exploration, but what about its use as a real-time mobile mapping solution? To use Google Earth in a mobile setting you need 4 things – a portable PC, Google Earth (preferably cached with imagery from the area of interest), a GPS which supports NMEA serial or USB output, and software which translates the GPS output into KML for Google Earth (or the latest release of Google Earth 4 Plus, Pro, or Enterprise). Read on as we review 4 ways turn Google Earth into a powerful moving map and find out which application might be best for you – at the end of the review we have a video showing each in action. If you’re looking for a good PC GPS, read our companion Garmin 18 review. Continue reading

Jan 05

Low-Cost GPS Options for Google Earth and Laptop PC’s

In a companion article, we reviewed 4 software options for turning Google Earth into a powerful moving map application using realtime GPS tracking. If you don’t own a GPS with compatible serial or USB interfaces, Garmin has two low-cost options that work not only with Google Earth, but also with most other PC-based mapping programs. Continue reading

Sep 28

Mercruiser Alpha I (1) vs. the Bravo III (3) – Choosing the Right Outdrive

Mercruiser Alpha 1 Outdrive Starboard ViewWhen considering Mercruiser powered boats, you often have a choice between the single prop Alpha I and twin prop Bravo III outdrives. The “best” choice depends on a combination of factors including engine horsepower, boat type, boating style, and personal preference. In this review, we cover the pros and cons of each sterndrive and the factors to consider based on our ownership of both models over the years. Continue reading

Sep 09

Mercruiser Bravo III (3) Overview, Review, and Photo Diagrams

Overview

Mercruiser’s answer to the Volvo Duo-Prop, the Bravo III features twin counter-rotating propellers in an aluminum outdrive. Bravo III’s are found on applications ranging from 190HP to 525HP with the new Bravo IIIXR. For single-engine boats, twin prop drives are generally the standard over 260HP to improve handling and low-mid range performance.

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Aug 26

Waterproof Cameras – Taking the worry out of capturing boating memories

IMG_3714.jpgWhether alone or in a crowd, boating can be one of the most memorable outdoor activities. Mix in great scenery and you have a wonderful recipe for beatiful photography. Unfortunately, carrying a camera on a boat (even a larger one) is always fraught with danger. Besides the ever present opportunity to loose a camera overboard, the marine environment is filled with spray, sand, and wet surfaces. All of these can drastically reduce the service life of film and digital cameras. Continue reading

Aug 02

Inflatable Kayak Review


seaeagle330_13.jpgThis spring my dad purchased a Sea Eagle SE 330 inflatable kayak from www.SeaEagle.com to use on local lakes and rivers and carry in our Zenair CH-701 seaplane during longer camping trips. He chose the SE 330 based on its quality construction (it is a real boat, not a toy like department store inflatables), weight (26lbs for the boat, about 40lbs for the entire kit), size (everything fits in the optional storage duffel bag), cost, and reliability of the Sea Eagle brand name. For dad, the ultimate test came during a mute swan attack while paddling the local lake. He was able to verify that the SE 330 is capable of carrying 1 adult and a very angry mature swam – at least temporarily – without capsizing.

Last week, my wife and I got to test the SE 330 ourselves while vacationing in Ohio. Read on for detailed photos and discussion.

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Jul 06

Maiden Voyage of our new Hi-Tech Marine Trailer

IMG_3553.jpgWe hauled out our Regal 2760 for the 1st time on our new Hi-Tech Marine aluminum trailer. The day was as uneventfull as we could expect for handling such a large boat at the ramp and around town.

We considered most of the major trailer makers – ez-loader, loadmaster, shorelander, and others before settling on the Hi-Tech brand. Most of the brands had a trailer suitable for our needs, but the Hi-Tech had the best set of features vs. price and had the advantage of being produced in nearby Panama City.

Read on for full details and more pictures:

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