Marine Electronics, Sailing and Technology
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seattle and Elliott Bay is a busy marine location, and I am always looking for a better AIS system so that others can see me clearly. AMEC has released the B600 AIS Class B transponder with more than double the transmit power, and fast 5 second updates.