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.
Due to weight and features, I decided to convert my sailboat power system to LiFePO4. This article covers the design which settled on Victron components.
Since as long as I can remember, I’ve gotten motion sick on airplanes, in cars, and on boats. I have tried many different solutions to help reduce how sick I get, and the one that has worked for 15+ years for me reliably and easily is the ReliefBand.
Grace came with a factory prop when I purchased her – it was OK, but after 3 years of using that prop, I felt that I could get better speed and potentially other benefits.
In the last year I have had a number of issues with items in or on Grace’s mast. During a recent trip to Blake Island, the anchor light stopped working, and that was the last straw. It was time to dig deeper into fixing all of the issues.
For years I have had a dedicated linux machine on my sailboats centered around remote monitoring and stats gathering. I have a fairly well developed set of tools from SignalK, Zabbix, Grafana and others that help keep an eye on the boat while I am on board, and away. I have been using a Raspberry Pi computer to enable this, but in the last few months it has proven to be too underpowered to keep up. My search began for a better solution…
This last week I took Grace out on the water twice after a ton of winter projects. The first time was a beautiful, warm day with wind and real sailing. The second time was the rainiest April day on record in 22 years in Seattle, and turned out quite a bit different.
For the last year or so, I have wanted to build a community focused on marine electronics, networking and technology on boats. In recent discussions with my industry peers at Panbo, I realized they were updating their site, and we thought it would be great to collaborate on a dedicated community forum for this purpose.
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.
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.