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Cutting Edge Discussion Of Electronic Engine Monitoring at TrawlerFest-Bay Bridge

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TrawlerFest electronics presenter Ben Ellison has come to believe that the true value of the new state-of-the art electronic engine monitoring systems is the ability to define the parameters for alarms, rather than display numbers on a multi-function display for an operator to monitor. Are we there yet?

That's the question that Ellison, Passagemaker's electronics editor, will try to answer in his two-hour seminar "Electronic Engine Monitoring Comes of Age" during TrawlerFest-Bay Bridge Marina.

Ellison is unique in that he has extensive experience testing the gear from multiple manufacturers about his test boat Gizmo. He will share advice for both do-it-yourselvers and owners who want to know what should be possible with professional installation.

The seminar will begin with a detailed discussion of various gateways that can convert analog engine data into NMEA 2000 so that it can be better displayed and alarmed. But even modern propulsion systems with digital engine output can benefit from additional monitoring like temperature sensors on shaft logs and pressure sensors on fuel filters. So these possibilities will also be discussed, as well as engine data logging for trend analysis and fuel flow monitoring.

The seminar happens 8:30am-10:30am Sunday, Oct. 4. The TrawlerFest boat show and seminar series runs Tuesday through Sunday, Sept. 29-Oct. 4. The boat show runs Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 1-4, and includes booths displaying marine products and services.

 Click to register.

Click to register.


The electronics sessions begin on Wednesday with “Apps for Cruisers,” presented by retired Naval Commander John Locke, who has more than 50 years experience on the seas in naval and recreational craft. Locke will demonstrate the very best of these new phone and tablet app and help guide attendees in their choice of hardware as well.

On Thursday, Paul Comyns presents “Satellite Communication & Entertainment. Before he became an executive for Intellian, Comyns career has essentially tracked the birth and development of the marine electronics industry. This British ex-pat tackles the subject of staying connected while under way with deep insight and a sense of humor.


Ellison's gig at TrawlerFest begins Friday with a TrawlerFest favorite “Onboard Wireless” about how to set up high performance WiFi and cellular connections at a reasonable cost. Ellison knows because he has tested much of this equipment on his floating laboratory, the Duffy 37 Gizmo (above), and he’ll clarify the complexities. If you happen to have taken this seminar in the past, it might be worth a re-do; this is fast changing field nowadays.

On Saturday, Ellison presents the sine-qua-non of contemporary onboard electronic equipment with his seminar “Multi-Function Displays: Now and in the Future.” Chart plotters first became multifunction displays (MFDs) when they could also show radar and fishfinding sonar. Now many other possible functions have been added — like forward and side looking sonar, weather, camera display/control, engine monitoring, and digital switching — with more coming. Ellison has extensive MFD systems from Garmin, Simrad, Furuno, and Raymarine installed on his test vessel and he’ll illustrate all sorts of integrated navigation in use.

For information about International Cruising Boat Expo, call 954.703.4789 or email us at