The goal of SailBits is to tell a story about how technology and sailing work together, to share ideas about projects, and help others learn from the experience.

Raymarine Lighthouse v3.4 – apps, bluetooth, find nearest, and more

By Steve Mitchell | April 12, 2018 | 2 Comments

Raymarine continues their updates for Lighthouse with version 3.4 which includes a number of new features, bug fixes, and features that we had in version II. The most exciting addition is apps for Netflix, Spotify and Theyr, and the promise of even more in the future.

Best LTE antenna and booster for the boat

By Steve Mitchell | April 10, 2018 | 13 Comments

For almost two years I have been testing, re-testing, and re-wiring my setup on Grace in an effort to find the best LTE antenna configuration. I don’t remember another project I worked on that took so much time and effort to gather data. The search for a good antenna system led to some surprising choices.

Nemo gateway – easy NMEA networking for your boat

By Steve Mitchell | March 14, 2018 | 19 Comments

Connecting marine electronics together is an important goal for modern boaters. The Nemo gateway from Rose Point is an easy way to connect everything together, while also easily providing high quality, frequent data to a number of sources.

Lighthouse 3.3 – radar and AIS plus more

By Steve Mitchell | February 25, 2018 | 0 Comments

Raymarine continue to come out with updates to Lighthouse v3 that include new features and bring forward items from v2. Version 3.3 was released a few weeks ago, and includes support for older eS and gS series MFDs, Navionics Plotter Sync, and new features around radar and sonar.

Portable lithium jump starter for the sailboat

By Steve Mitchell | February 21, 2018 | 6 Comments

I made a decision to have a single battery bank for both my house and starting needs on Grace. I use a NOCO Genius Boost jump starter to ensure I won’t end up dead in the water. It gives me around 20 chances to start even if my entire battery bank is dead.

Completed navigation panel

By Steve Mitchell | February 17, 2018 | 15 Comments

A few weeks ago I posted about redesigning the nav and electrical panel, and after a lot of planning and discussion, I made my final choices, placed orders, and submitted my front panel to be made. A week later everything arrived, and it was time for an epic weekend project to remove the old one, and put the new one back in.

Fridge Optimizer now supports SignalK

By Steve Mitchell | January 27, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Stainless Lobster Fridge Optimizer still remains one of my favorite additions, mainly because of the massive power savings and visibility. Recently, the folks at Stainless Lobster released new firmware that supports output of stats via the USB port and is compatible with SignalK.

Redesigning the nav and electrical panel

By Steve Mitchell | January 21, 2018 | 18 Comments

My navigation and electrical panel has been in need of an update for a while. In addition, I have never liked the electrical circuit layout, and am out of DC circuits. I have a general design of what I would like, but still have not settled on a final solution for the electrical panel.

Raymarine ITC-5 simplifies older ST instruments

By Steve Mitchell | January 16, 2018 | 2 Comments

I am always on the look out for ways to make my instruments more reliable on Grace. One of the last instruments left that I hadn’t addressed was the Raymarine ST60 wind display. I came across the Raymarine ITC-5. It seemed perfect to help increase the quality of my network while replacing some old pieces.

Easy security cameras for the sailboat via Arlo

By Steve Mitchell | December 28, 2017 | 8 Comments

Keeping your boat secure is always a challenge. Video security is hard to do because of bandwidth and cost. Arlo cameras have solved this for my sailboat, providing high quality video day or night, low bandwidth use, and easy to install and stow while underway.