I love working on projects – I usually have 10 or so in process at any given time both on the boat, and at home. Many of these projects turn into reviews of various products or technology, which I also enjoy. Almost all of the projects are driven to make our lives on the boat and elsewhere more comfortable or safe, and are cataloged here.
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.
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.
Time to haul and paint and complete some other projects. Chart plotter installed along with a new Doyle sail cover.
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.
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!
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.
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.
3D printing is nothing new to boats, but I think the potential for people to create new products and ideas is just beginning. I've printed parts and pieces for various projects, but hope to create some actual products that could help boaters.
I have spent most of my professional life working on and fixing networks, and always want my personal network to be as reliable, speedy, and full of features as possible. My boats are no exception
2016 was a year of major projects on Grace, one which will not likely be repeated in terms of the depth and complexity. That is mainly because she was brand new to us in 2015-2016, and had some gaps in major systems we needed while out on the water.
Recently I had the chance to spend a few weeks working on a local marina WiFi system. The biggest issue was the perception of the boaters throughout the marina, and the need to invest in equipment to improve the signal within their boats.
Using SmartThings to control heaters and monitor temperatures on your boat is a great way to ensure things are safe during the winter.
Charging while away from the dock on the sailboat is a critical piece to enjoying your time on the water. In part 3 of my power upgrade project, I replace the alternator and regulator to ensure my new Firefly batteries are topped up.
The arteries and veins of your electrical system are the wires, and you need to ensure they are taken care of just as much as the batteries and other parts. In part 2 of my power system upgrade, I replace the majority of my main system wiring to ensure a healthy system.
Grace came with a very basic power system which had some major problems. I chose to update it using MasterVolt as the primary charging, distribution and control system, Balmar for engine power management, and Firefly carbon foam batteries as the heart.