Electronics

I installed new electronics in Mazurka last fall, and had a lot of experience using them over the winter. They bring impressive capabilities.

As I was developing a use case for Tin Lizzie I started thinking about electronics almost immediately. An early decision was to share stuff between the two boats. I don’t have any plans to use them simultaneously. So I brought the radar and MFD with me from Mazurka. Left cables in place and installed new cabling in TL. Manfred built a very nice radar tower on the transom.

An autopilot is a necessity. I’ve been consistently impressed with Raymarine/Autohelm over the years in sailboats, and the unit on Mazurka has performed flawlessly except near big metal things like bridges and that one barge.

I might have gotten away with a unit that sits in the cockpit and connects to the tiller, but really didn’t want to. So I opted for a Raymarine ev200 with a linear drive. That required cutting a section of the stern tube out, keying the shaft, installing a tiller arm, and putting a gaitor seal over the shaft. Manfred did most of that as well. I’m very pleased with the final installation and have high expectations for the AP.

There was no VHF on the boat. I installed a masthead antenna. I didn’t bring my VHF, as I wanted a more modern unit that could communicate with the MFD better than the unit I got last year for Mazurka. I got a Standard Horizon GX6000. Pretty fancy unit. I brought my RAM mike from Mazurka and got new cabling for Tin Lizzie.

There is an old Ockam system on Tin Lizzie that gives boat speed, wind information, and depth, along with calculated information like VMG. It was bleeding-edge in its day. I thought I’d try it out.

After finishing up the drive install, I turned today to the cabling and placement of the displays and controls. Unpacking boxes, reading installation instructions and owners manuals. Getting a good handle on the NMEA2000 network topology. Once I discovered that it’s a CAN bus like my old Prius everything clicked.

My main focus is on the backbone and making sure everything is talking to everything else. I’ve pretty much decided not to cut any holes in the boat for instruments until I’ve sailed it for a while. On deck I’ll have a wireless remote control for the AP, remote mic on a long flexy cable, and the existing Ockam displays. I’m tucking the heads under the companionway.

My original plan was to try to feed boat speed and wind data from it to the bus, which requires a network adaptor and k knowledge on setting it up. But the more I look at that and contrast it with a new package from Garmin that isn’t that expensive and would play seamlessly with the other devices. I’m often guilty of this kind of scope creep. But I’m already behind schedule and over budget, so I may just leave it as is and plan a future replacement. Race starts in less that two weeks. Gulp.

I’ll post some pics when I’m done.

2 thoughts on “Electronics”

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