Tech

The ultimate iYacht

by Adrian 8th Feb 2015 - Caribbean

This appealed to me…

In St Marteen harbour, we passed the extraordinary motor yacht ‘Venus’ designed and built for the late Steve Jobs.

Venus Starboard Side

Unfortunately he never saw the finished item.

It is quite simply a stunning yacht, certainly not to everyone’s tastes and definitely not that practical for the poor crew that have to clean it.

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Roaming Solar

by Adrian 24th Jan 2015 - equipment

We’re currently in the Caribbean roaming the seas in a very self sufficient manner. We are making our own water, generating our own electricity, shopping locally and living quite cheaply and well. (We’ll all be reading the Guardian , not washing and wearing dreads soon if we carry on like this!)

(not much chance of that)

Coachroof Solar PanelsOne little modification I made before leaving Las Palmas which is helping considerably was replacing the two 65W factory supplied solar panels built into either side of the coachroof with more efficient 100W mono-crystalline ones.

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SSB installation

by Adrian 23rd Jan 2015 - equipment
SSB Installation

An SSB installation is not easy, and is probably the area of boat technology that is most susceptible to hard-to-diagnose performance issues caused by poor installation. There aren’t that many people out there with real SSB installation knowledge, especially on aluminium yachts, so I’ve read around, talked to lots of people and have tried to become an expert and understand the principles and recommendations of SSB installation, and most of my thoughts and understanding is here.

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Deserted Beaches and Distant Wifi

by Adrian 21st Jan 2015 - Caribbean

I’m feeling a bit smug…

Barbuda ChartWe’ve sailed across to Barbuda, with the promise of beautiful rose white beaches and crystal clear waters and reefs for snorkelling. Our first stop has been Cocoa Bay – one of the long beaches on the south west coast.

As advertised, there are indeed miles of white (the guide book says pink) beaches.

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Movie Night

by Adrian 17th Jan 2015 - Caribbean
Thumbnail image for Movie Night

One of the things we get asked quite often from non sailors about our lifestyle and living on a boat is “what do you do about TV?”

Well, we do have a TV tuner – its a digital tuner connected to an antenna at the top of the mast that receives terrestrial TV signals from any country we’re in and streams them over Wifi to an iPad or laptop.

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Recommended Kickstarter Project

by Adrian 14th Jul 2014 - Recommended Stuff

A year ago I backed the development of the original Smartphone wind meter from these guys…

Vaavud Wind Meter 2

It is a great little device that plugs into my iPhone’s headphone socket and tells me the wind speed. It is really accurate and a useful portable backup anemometer.

Well, now they’re expanding and have a 2nd generation design which not only determines the wind speed, but also via some very clever trickery, the wind direction also.

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Emergency Nav Lights

by Adrian 19th Apr 2014 - equipment

Everything important should have a spare… Not just for when something fails, but sourcing decent replacement parts is far more of a problem when away from western internet shopping and reliable postage, so one of my aims in preparing our boat for long distance sailing has been to source good quality spares before we set off

EmergencyLights

I recently found two interesting sets of spares for nav lights.

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Iridium Go!

by Adrian 23rd Mar 2014 - liked

This is worth keeping an eye on if you’re considering buying a satellite phone system for emergency calls and basic data communications.

Like a wifi hotspot, this new satellite access point promises to let multiple smartphones and tablet devices share a satellite data connection for calls and app-based internet activity such as gps position reporting, SMS messaging, twitter/facebook updates and even compressed (light) email and web pages.

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earth

by Adrian 8th Mar 2014 - liked

A visualisation of global weather conditions updated every three hours.

This beautiful weather map shows live wind, pressure, humidity, temperature and ocean current systems around the globe. It pulls in GRIB data from the Global Forecast System and creates a real time predicted view of the earth’s weather.

Not only really interesting, but beautifully designed.

earth

The map is fully interactive and zoomable.

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Breakthrough products for digital sailors

by Adrian 20th Nov 2013 - Recommended Stuff

Everyone with a modern Simrad, Lowrance or B&G touch screen plotter and an iPhone, I’d urge you to check out the SeaNav AR app.

SeaNav

I’ve just seen this app in action at the METS show in Amsterdam and talked with the developer. It looks really great and has the potential to really change digital navigation (with all the usual modern-world caveats of course).

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