About Me


Dick DeBartolo, MAD's Maddest Writer, and co-host of The Giz Wiz at GizWiz.TV, The Giz Wiz on ABC's World News Now, and on Tech Guy Labs with Leo Laporte on TWiT.tv. But wait, there's More »

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    As East Coast Editor, I was in every issue of Powerboat Magazine for 40 years. Although Powerboat ceased publication, my love of boats, and marine gadgets continues and you can find some unique and interesting products here. If you're into Performance Boating Jason Johnson and Matt Trulio of Powerboat Magazine carry on with news for the go-fast set with their web based http://www.speedonthewater.com/.


    The Giz Wiz is an avid boater!

    Living right in mid-Manhattan, Dick's never owned a car in his life, but he has owned 26 boats! At one time he owned 5 boats, but that got a little expensive, so he whittled it down to three. These days he's happy with just one - a 23' Farallon shown above! It's powered with a four-stroke 250 HP Yamaha outboard.

    For 42 years Dick wrote a column for Powerboat Magazine reporting on new boats, new engines, and his favorite, new boating gadgets and gizmos. Powerboat ceased publication in February 2012, so Dick continued to write about marine gadgets online. 

    If you'd like to take a live look out onto the Hudson River from inside my boat, here's the view from my onboard live Dropcam! It's on 24/7, but with the rolling waves from passing tugs, sightseeing boats, etc. it does go off from time to time. The folks at Dropcam sent me an email during hurricane Katrina to tell me more than 55,000 people had watched the hurricane whipping up the Hudson River through my Dropcam! (They do the hosting, so they would know the numbers.)

    New link coming now that Nest is part of Google.

    My Farallon is powered by a 250 hp Yamaha four-stroke outboard. The best top speed when the boat was new and kind of gadget free was 44.2 mph. 

    Update: With my 2017 Yamaha 4 stroke 4.2 Liter outboard, my Farallon once again has a top speed of 44.2 mph even with  everything we've put aboard for the past 15 years!




    A really high-tech selfie stick for great angles on land & sea!

    Last November on the Giz Wiz I talked about the Pictar Mark II -SmartPhone Camera Grip for iPhone and (some) Android phones. It's a way to help turn your smartphone into a DSLR. It's here: https://amzn.to/2NDBTrA

    Now that company, Pictar has devised a totally different kind of Selfie Stick. Recently the CEO of Miggo / Pictar, Rafy David, came by the Gizneyland studio to give us a look at how it works. And here's background info from the company: Pictar Smart Stickis the world's most advanced selfie stick with a 6-button control panel built into the handle, allowing a variety of functions even when the stick is fully extended. You can easily control the tilt of the phone relative to the stick to determine the perfect shooting angle, use the zoom function, adjust image brightness, switch between the front and rear camera and many other functions. The easy-to-use Pictar app offers 20 shooting modes for taking better selfies in any situation. It features a rechargeable battery and comes in 3 fashion colors. The Smart Stick works with the latest iPhones, Galaxy phones 6 and up, and Pixel phones. MSRP is $69.99, and it will available later in September 2019.


    Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/9X6S-XxonSM  


    It's at BH Photo $69.99 - shipping later in September.  https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1497025-REG/miggo_mw_pt_slf_sw_40_pictar_smart_selfie_stick.html 


    Pictar website: https://mymiggo.com/lp/ 


    Docking always seems to be the hardest part of boating. This might help!

    FLIR Introduces Assisted Docking Technology and First Boat Manufacturer Partner

    Prestige Yachts to Become First to Demonstrate Raymarine DockSense System that Automates and Simplifies the Boat Docking Experience


    Early in 2019 FLIR Systems announced the Raymarine DockSense™ assisted docking system, the marine industry’s first intelligent object recognition and motion sensing assisted docking solution for recreational boating. DockSense system uses FLIR machine vision camera technology and video analytics to integrate intelligence gathered from surrounding imagery with the vessel’s propulsion and steering system to assist boat owners in tight quarter docking maneuvering. Additionally, FLIR announced that Prestige Yachts, a Groupe Beneteau brand, will become the first to demonstrate the technology.





    Docking a boat can be a stressful experience, even for the most experienced captains. Often wind and tides make the task more difficult, and docking mishaps can become expensive repairs and safety hazards. The DockSense system is designed to augment a captain's boat handling skills using the system’s Virtual Bumper™ zone technology around the vessel. Should an object like a piling or another vessel encounter the Virtual Bumper, DockSense automatically introduces corrective steering and throttle commands to avoid the object and assist the captain in guiding the vessel to the dock.


    DockSense uses global positioning system (GPS) and attitude heading reference system (AHRS) position sensing technology to compensate for the effects of wind and currents, ensuring the vessel enters the dock without drama or costly collisions. The Raymarine DockSense system includes multiple FLIR machine vision cameras, a central processing module, and the DockSense App running on Raymarine’s Axiom navigation display.  The system integrates with modern joystick propulsion systems, providing assisted steering and throttle commands to help captains make a smooth arrival.   





    “Raymarine DockSense assisted docking system embodies our focus on solutions by combining FLIR navigation, machine learning, and sensing technologies,” said Jim Cannon, President, and CEO of FLIR. “Most importantly, we bring these innovations together into a simple solution that addresses a key customer challenge by taking the stress out of docking a boat and makes the boating experience safer and more enjoyable for everyone onboard.”


    “Our goal is to be the global benchmark for all boating experiences,” said Hervé Gastinel, CEO of Groupe Beneteau. “The Raymarine DockSense solution will give future Prestige owners the confidence to dock safely and aligns with our vision to simplify the boating experience and make boating accessible to a much larger audience”, confirms Erik Stromberg, Prestige product marketing director.


    To learn more, visit http://www.raymarine.com/docksense.


    Ahoy Mateys! Soon the NY Boat Show Will Drop Anchor At The Javits Again.

    About the Show

    Tens of thousands of boating and fishing enthusiasts start their season at the Progressive® Insurance New York Boat Show. With its 112-year history the show is recognized as THE place to see the latest and greatest in boating.

    You name it you’ll see it here first—everything from yachts and cruisers to bass and pontoon boats, from canoes and kayaks to fishing boats and personal watercraft, from marine electronics and engines to fishing gear, and more. Book trip with resorts and travel destinations, too.

    There's no better place to buy! The 5-day event is a once-a-year opportunity to compare makes and models, secure insurance and financing and gear up with the latest accessories all at one time!

    Boat Show Info: http://www.nyboatshow.com/ 

    About National Marine Manufacturers Association:

    The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the world’s largest producer of boat shows is the leading association representing the $39.5 billion per year recreational boating industry. Member companies produce over 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and anglers in the U.S. For more information about the NMMA, visit http://www.nmma.org/.



    This could be perfect for a bigger boat, when it becomes available later in 2019.

    Wash your dishes, clean your hats, cook your dinner --- all in one really small appliance! Yep, that's what the company says.


    The Heatworks Tetra, an internet-connected compact countertop dishwasher requires no plumbing and can be placed and used anywhere with a standard electrical outlet. With a smaller capacity than the average dishwasher Tetra holds two full place settings or 10 plates or 12 pint glasses. There are no faucet connections required and water is loaded by hand so users know exactly how much water is being used - about a half a gallon per load. Tetra is transparent so you can see exactly where in the dishwashing cycle it is. It's powered by Heatworks' patented Ohmic Array Technology. It does not use traditional metal heating elements that can rust and scale over time. Instead, through graphite electrodes and advanced electronic controls, the naturally occurring minerals in water are excited, directly and efficiently heating the water. But wait, there's a LOT more! The company says because of the precise temperature control you can easily use the Tetra to sanitize baby products, wash plastic storage containers without melting, cook seafood, clean fruit, or run a load of wine glasses on a gentler cycle. All this in just 10 minutes a load. Now one of their press releases says Tetra will cost under $300 and will be available for purchase in late 2018.Well it is late 2018, and at CES Unveiled 2019 we learned we would see a working model at CES 2019. So it seems the 'on sale' date is still far away.


    Company video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4UgIijI0Z0


    Compay website: http://www.myheatworks.com/