Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Elf Is Good

In preparation for our rapidly approaching 1000-mile journey from Miami to New York, we are repairing, certifying, and upgrading several of Sea Gem's systems.  A recent addition to our navigation system is a unassuming little device called a "Bad Elf." 

Bad Elf
The Bad Elf is a battery-powered and water-resistant portable GPS receiver with a tiny LCD screen that indicates your position and speed.  The battery lasts for 30 hours of non-stop operation, and the Bad Elf is therefore a great backup navigation aid in case, for example, the boat's main electrical system goes down.  Although the Bad Elf does not have built- nautical charts, it can be used in conjunction with paper charts.

In addition, the Bad Elf wirelessly communicates with our iPad through Bluetooth.  Because the iPad does have electronic charts, the Bad Elf permits us to use the iPad as a stand-alone, battery-powered chartplotter.  This is not only a great backup in case something happens to our electrical system, but it is also an added convenience, as the iPad can be used from anywhere in the boat, as opposed to a fixed position like our other navigation devices. 

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