Monday, November 21, 2011

Loving the New Electronics!

A multitude of antennae!

 After tenderly using the electronics that came on Trillium for the past two years, it was time to replace them. On the return from the Caribbean last spring in the Atlantic Cup Rally, the chart plotter in the cockpit sighed its last breath! As a result, Dennis had to sit down in the navigation station and direct me in and out of harbors with our walkie-talkies. It made for a bit of a challenge. I did have a small hand-held GPS at the helm, but not the same detail as on the chart plotter below.

Of course, as electronics go, they no longer supported 10 year old technology. And, of course, the new chart plotters could not communicate with any of the other electronics on the boat. Therefore, it required a complete installation: radar, chart plotters, autopilot, VHF and we added AIS for safety. And naturally, the software chips we purchased last year do not work in the new equipment, so that meant new navigation software, too! It is never as simple as you would like.

Love the graphics!
Anyway, the outcome is terrific. We have new B&G equipment and the cartography is outstanding. It is much easier to use: the logic is more like the way one's mind works. Instead of having to go in and out of so many different screens, it is like most computer files where you can go deeper and deeper via drop downs, etc. I love the AIS as I can identify other vessels that have it, know their size, where they are headed, and how fast they are traveling. It also gives the bearing so you can tell if you are on a collision course. This is especially helpful when you are staring down a freighter.

Paul at work on Trillium
We had Paul from X-Com Systems in St. Clair Shores, MI do the installation. He works on the super racing yachts in different parts of the world. We highly recommend him if you are looking for help with your marine electronics. I stumbled upon his company when I was trying to get the old Simrad chart plotter repaired. After talking to the Simrad technical support, they directed me to him. What you don't know about your own area!

It will be more comforting crossing the ocean with up to date equipment and charts. We are in the process of learning how to use all of the functions available to us. There is probably much more than we will ever use!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you here. You can see earlier posts at