Saturday, April 28, 2007

D/21 Going Strong

Noted documentary producer William E. Smith introduces "Going Strong - the year in review" on the United States Power Squadrons web site. This documentary provides a glimpse into life within the squadrons and districts of D/21. This is a four part series and we have included part one for your enjoyment.





To see the rest of the story click here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Special Boating Course follows National Safe Boating Week

Recreational Boating Courses Offered




Raleigh, NC - The United States Power Squadrons® is offering a special boating course across the entire U.S. following National Safe Boating Week - during June 2007. This comprehensive course offers valuable skill building information, incorporating the latest marine technology, for both experienced and new boaters. Most USPS squadrons will also include the charting and piloting supplement and a CD developed by Maptech. Now that NOAA is offering free digital charts on its web site, you will want to learn how to use them. The course will tell you how, and the CD provides the necessary software and sample charts to get you going.

“NSBW has been a major factor in the very low accident and fatality rates in boating,” said Ernie Marshburn, Chief Commander of this 50,000 member organization. “However,” continued Marshburn, “with many new boaters entering the market each year, there is an urgent need for boating education. We decided to step up to the plate with a coordinated offering to the public at the start of the boating season – just when families are getting ready to take to the water.”

Dick Kyle, the National Educational Officer for USPS®, adds, “we’ve asked our 450 squadrons to reach out to the public with extra programs during this important timeframe, just prior to the summer 2007 boating season. These boating courses, seminars and demonstrations offer valuable skill building information, incorporating the latest marine technology, for both experienced and new boaters.” For example, Kyle points out that USPS is the only organization instructing on the use of digital charting. With free chart downloads now available from the NOAA web site, www.noaa.gov, these programs are particularly relevant. NOAA – The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - manages the nation’s nautical chart program.

USPS offers basic boating courses meeting certification requirements in virtually every state. These programs are extensive and are aimed at building skills and confidence for full enjoyment of this family sport. During National Safe Boating Week, many squadrons will be offering seminars on topics such as GPS and the use of nautical charts and performing demonstrations of various boating and safety equipment. To find and pre-register for a basic boating course being offered near you visit: www.usps.org/d_stuff/locate.html

The United States Power Squadrons is the largest and oldest boating organization in the country, providing boating education since 1914. Today, local squadrons in the U.S., U.S. territories and Japan, provide a wide range of programs - educational, public service and social - for all types of recreational boaters - paddlers, sailors and power boaters - on all types of waters. Member programs cover vital topics for the recreational boater such as weather, sail, cruise planning, marine electronics, and shipboard mechanical systems as well as courses covering inland, coastal and offshore piloting and navigational skills. USPS has also authored a series of short, informational guides available on retail bookshelves.

You can reach USPS and obtain more information by calling 1-888-FOR-USPS, by visiting www.usps.org or, contact:

Bob Sweet, Asst. National Educational Officer for USPS, 508-495-4300, aep@mindspring.com



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

THERE'S NO REASON NOT TO WEAR IT!





It's too hot! It doesn't look cool. I know how to swim. Nothing is going to happen to me. These are just some of the many reasons people claim that they do not wear their life jackets. But with approximately 700 people drowning each year from recreational boating accidents, it is imperative for you to wear your life jacket at all times while you are on the water. Life jackets are no longer the orange, hot and bulky vests that are commonly associated with on the water safety gear. New innovations and developments in life jackets have produced a smaller, sleeker, and much more comfortable version of a life jacket, leaving you with no reason not to WEAR IT!!

Much like a helmet to a biker or skate boarder, life jackets are an essential part of your boating safety equipment and should be worn at all times while on the water. In 2004 of the 676 recreational boating fatalities 90% of those victims not wearing their life jackets. Life jackets are now lighter, less obtrusive and more attractive than ever before. The new inflatable life jackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) allows you the mobility and flexibility that you need when boating, fishing, paddling or hunting and are much cooler in the warmer weather. There are many different varieties of inflatable jackets ranging from those that inflate instantly when you hit the water to those that are manually inflated. All are designed to be more comfortable and wearable than the traditional life jacket.

Accidents can happen at an alarming speed anyplace or anytime you are on the water. Although many boaters stow life jackets on their boat, very few choose to wear it. There just isn’t time to grab a life jacket and put it on properly before you are in the water. If you are faced with a strong current or unfavorable weather conditions you will not only have trouble making sure you are safe and secure in your life jacket, but you will be unable to help your friends, relatives, children or passengers that have accompanied you in your boat. Wearing your life jacket will allow you to be safe in case of an accident and will also allow you the ability to assist others that may be in danger

This year during National Safe Boating Week, and throughout the boating season remember to practice safe and responsible boating, always wear your life jacket, and be alert and aware while on the water. By practicing these simple steps you can save your life as well as the lives of the people boating with you. Life jackets are now more comfortable and lightweight than ever, with many new styles to fit the style you want. Safe boating saves lives so for this year’s National Safe Boating Week and throughout the boating season remember to Boat Smart. Boat Safe. WEAR IT!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

MAPTECH/Microsoft Vista Compatability

The content of this article addresses compatability issues with MapTech products and the Microsoft Vista Operating System. The original can be viewed by clicking here.


Installing Offshore Navigator (and Lite) and Chart Navigator Viewer in Windows Vista

TOPIC

Vista Setup procedure, including Power Squadron Training CDs, Digital ChartKits, and other Maptech Marine applications.



DISCUSSION

Introduction
Maptech's Offshore Navigator (and related products, such as Offshore Navigator Lite and Chart Navigator Viewer) was created long before Microsoft Windows Vista was released. As you may be aware, Microsoft Vista is designed to restrict access to certain core components of the operating system, in order to make the system more robust and secure. Unfortunately, by doing this, older applications must be run "As Administrator" and in "Windows XP Compatibility Mode" in order to function correctly.


Running Setup
The first step to getting everything installed in Windows Vista is to ensure that the Setup application is running with these parameters. Otherwise, the Setup program will error out complaining about an "Unknown Operating System" and be looking for "Microsoft Internet Explorer," and/or other similar error messages.

To Install Offshore Navigator (or a related product) in Windows Vista:
1. Insert the CD labeled Installer.

2. If an AutoPlay window appears, close it; do not attempt to run any application on this CD, yet.

3. Instead, click on the Computer icon (or access the Computer under the Start Menu.)

4. A list of drives, etc. will appear, including the CD drive containing the Installer disc. Right-click on the CD drive and select Open.

5. A list of files on that CD will appear. One (or more) will appear as Setup - look for the Application File that is Setup (or Setup.exe.) Once located, right click on the Setup application file and select Properties.

6. Open the Compatibility tab and for Compatibility Mode check on the option that reads Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (Service Pack 2).

7. On that same page, click on the Privilege Level that reads Run this program as an administrator and press OK.

8. Now, double-click on that same Setup application and the install process should proceed as expected. Follow the on-screen instructions to install and, if necessary, register the software and charts. However, at the conclusion of the process, you may be prompted to run the application (Offshore Navigator or Chart Navigator) that was just installed. Do NOT elect to start the application - yet.

9. On the Windows desktop, there will now appear an icon for the Maptech application that has just been installed (Offshore Navigator or Chart Navigator.) Right-click on this icon and choose Properties.

10. Open the Compatibility tab and for Compatibility Mode check on the option that reads Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (Service Pack 2).

11. On that same page, click on the Privilege Level that reads Run this program as an administrator and press OK.

12. Finally, double-click on the Offshore (or Chart) Navigator icon. The application will start and operate normally.


Notes
1. This process assumes that Windows Vista is not being used in a multi-user environment (where one PC has two or more accounts.) If this is the case, the install process must be repeated for each user that intends to access the Maptech navigation software.

2. Tide and Currents documents (containing the tables, not the dynamic graphs) as well as the Coast Pilot pages and Light Lists are in a ".hlp" format that has been discontinued by Microsoft. Click here for a download to add .hlp compatibility to Microsoft Windows Vista.

3. There are updates available for each type of Maptech Navigation application. If you have an older version, we highly recommend these free downloads
Offshore Navigator version 5.08
Offshore Navigator Lite version 5.08
Chart Navigator Viewer version 5.08

4. If required, Maptech makes the 5.08 software available on CD. Version 5.08 has been tested to install properly in Windows Vista, and automatically configures itself to operate in the required compatibility modes. If this CD is required, it may be purchased for $25 by calling 888-839-5551.


Related Technical Documents
BSB Chart Registration (for Windows Vista)