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.

Seattle to Friday Harbor and back with Cattle Pass drama

By Steve Mitchell | June 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

First long trip of the year included testing out a lot of new gear, as well as a scary 12 knot passage through Cattle Pass. All turned out well, and a visit to the San Juans was just what we needed.

Proper VHF ends are easier than you think

By Steve Mitchell | May 25, 2017 | 4 Comments

After years of using crimp-on VHF terminals, I found an easy and much higher quality way of creating quality radio connections. Master soldering skills not required!

USB power solutions are simple to add to your boat

By Steve Mitchell | May 10, 2017 | 6 Comments

Crew members on the sailboat expect to use their USB devices no matter where. Adding USB power throughout the boat is easy to do, and useful for the captain too.

Raymarine LightHouse II v19.03

By Steve Mitchell | April 26, 2017 | 1 Comment

Updates to Lighthouse 2 show that Raymarine is still innovating even while working on Lighthouse 3

Blake Island – friends, animals, and hiking

By Steve Mitchell | April 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

Blake Island is the closest marine state park to Seattle and my marina, and we love visiting. Deer, geese, and tons of trails make for a great trip. Ours was a bit wet, but still enjoyable.

Surface Pro 4 is a great boat computer

By Steve Mitchell | April 19, 2017 | 13 Comments

I’m always on the look out for a compact, well performing, easy to use computer for the sailboat. Over the years, I’ve used some rugged tablets, laptops, and other creations, but none have been able to run the software I need while still being easy enough to use. Is the Surface Pro that computer?

Weather on the boat via weeWX and Ambient

By Steve Mitchell | April 15, 2017 | 2 Comments

Being a weather nerd for years, having one on the boat has always been a dream. I helped a friend install one on his boat, and had to hack some things together software-wise to make it work.

Yacht Devices Voyage Recorder – a black box for your boat

By Steve Mitchell | March 3, 2017 | 3 Comments

The Yacht Devices Voyage Recorder is a great device to add to your NMEA 2000 network as a “black box” recorder. Almost anything from the network can be recorded and analyzed afterwards for trip records, performance analysis, or more.

Be prepared wherever you are

By Steve Mitchell | February 16, 2017 | 0 Comments

This is a story of how technology and being prepared helped us survive a very serious situation. It also reinforces how important preparedness is everywhere – at home, on vacations, in the wilderness, and on the water.

Drones on sailboats

By Steve Mitchell | February 1, 2017 | 2 Comments

I’ve been flying drones for about 5 years. There are beautiful vistas and opportunities while sailing, and a drone is fantastic to include in your toolkit. The Mavic Pro is perfect for a sailboat.