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If you’ve just bought a new boat loaded with electronics, or if you’ve spent the offseason upgrading your old stand-alone components, plan to spend some time playing with the new gear before you find yourself needing to quickly access critical information. I recently got to sail the length of Baja, Mexico, on a new catamaran with a suite of just-installed electronics. It took nearly all 800 miles to figure out how to arrange screens, overlay data and find chart options within the numerous drill-down menus. Luckily, conditions were benign and navigation was straightforward, leaving plenty of watch hours to play with features.

—Mark Pillsbury editor-in-chief, Cruising World

Before image of a nav station

A Navigation Station Makeover

When it was time to upgrade the nav station aboard his own offshore cruising boat, a seasoned professional delivery skipper knew exactly what he wanted.

Planet Earth from space

Essential MOB Gear

In a crew-overboard situation, the latest gear goes a long way toward enabling a successful outcome.