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Tech Talk Every Day At TrawlerFest-Bay Bridge


Unleash your inner geek at TrawlerFest-Bay Bridge Marina with five days of electronics seminars designed to help you save money while making informed choices about technology on your boats. (Note the number of radars on one presenter's boat, shown here!)

Besides being tech enthusiasts, our three electronics presenters are hugely experienced mariners.

The TrawlerFest boat show and seminar series happens at Bay Bridge Marina Yacht Club on Kent Island at the foot of Maryland’s magnificent Bay Bridge 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.

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.

Panbo blogger and PassageMaker Electronics Editor Ben Ellison takes over on 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.

 Click to register.

Click to register.

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.

And Ellison finishes the series on Sunday with “Electronic Engine Monitoring Comes of Age,” which 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.

Ellison has installed several types of engine room monitoring aboard his own trawler and has advice for both do-it-yourselvers and owners who want to know what should be possible with professional installation.

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