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.

AMEC WideLink SOTDMA AIS Transponder

By Steve Mitchell | December 13, 2017 | 2 Comments

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.

NavPod to PowerPod – saving the helm station

By Steve Mitchell | November 25, 2017 | 3 Comments

My helm station has always been an area of continued improvement. When I first bought Grace in 2015, she had no chart plotter or other instruments – only older Raymarine ST series depth and wind instruments.

Lighthouse 3.2 – Navionics auto routing and Fusion audio support

By Steve Mitchell | November 16, 2017 | 3 Comments

Raymarine continues to release updates to Lighthouse 3 on a fairly aggressive schedule. The latest is version 3.2 which includes support for three things I was very interested in – Navionics dock-to-dock autorouting, Fusion audio support, and upgrading other Raymarine devices.

T-Mobile international change will affect boaters

By Steve Mitchell | October 17, 2017 | 0 Comments

T-Mobile changed the unlimited benefit while roaming – the monthly data allowance has shrunk, and the speeds have dropped from LTE to 3G once you hit that limit. Boaters will be affected who use T-Mobile, as I do, out on the water.

Replacing the head – the crew’s favorite upgrade

By Steve Mitchell | October 12, 2017 | 8 Comments

One of the most hated bits of the boat is the head. Every boat I have owned has had a unique set of steps required to make sure things “work out” for everyone involved. I replaced the head with a Raritan SeaEra electric model. The crew absolutely loves it, and considers it the best upgrade.

Raymarine Lighthouse 3.1 – autopilot goodness

By Steve Mitchell | September 13, 2017 | 7 Comments

Raymarine released LightHouse 3.1 with a number of new improvements and fixes. I installed it a few days after it was released, and tested it out. I found a number of really nice things that were added, specifically around the auto pilot integration, and some work left to do.

FixClip – the last clips you will ever need

By Steve Mitchell | August 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

Attaching things to random places on the boat seems like a common occurrence, and sometimes hard to do. I stumbled across Fix Clips and I don’t need anything else.

Haul out, chart plotters, and a sail cover

By Steve Mitchell | August 10, 2017 | 0 Comments

Time to haul and paint and complete some other projects. Chart plotter installed along with a new Doyle sail cover.

Raymarine Axiom and Lighthouse 3 first impressions

By Steve Mitchell | June 14, 2017 | 12 Comments

Raymarine Axiom and Lighthouse 3 review and first impressions. A fantastic upgrade to Raymarine’s software, with excellent hardware supporting it. Still some work to do with the software.

Grace’s updated network for 2017

By Steve Mitchell | June 13, 2017 | 3 Comments

My sailboat network is quite extensive, and I made a lot of changes in 2017 including a radar arch, new instruments, updates to connectors and more.