The plotter has been getting more unreliable the last years and the screen is getting more difficult to read due to wear from sun and weather, so a new multi processor unit with a larger touch screen has now been installed.
The old radar could not be used with the new display, so it have to be exchanged too. Luckily Raymarine had an offer to trade in the old plotter and get a new radar almost for free!
The new plotter is 9 inches instead of the old one with less than 7 inches. The console is now used to the maximum space wise!
During the planning of the trip through the Channel and down to the Mediterranean, several people both commercial and pleasure craft captains has suggested AIS for security reasons and being a gadget freak; the captain has got one now!
The GPS antenna is temporarily place just below deck.
The AIS has a separate VHF antenna, so no splitter is needed and as a plus, we now have a backup VHF antenna!
The AIS antenna (the black one) is placed on the radar mast.
When planning the trip to Lofoten in 2007 and after getting stuck in the fog on some occasions, the need for a radar became more pronounced.
The placement of the radar dome was decided after discussions on the Norwegian Bavaria Club's forum and the following items were emphasised:
- A radar dome in the mast wears on the sails, i.e. one of the members had his dome ripped off in a involuntary gybe.
- A radar dome in the mast does not give a longer range ( 2 m above the sea, gives free sight to the horizon and the distance coincides with the range of the radar), nor does it reduce reflexes from the sea.
- A radar dome in the mast needs longer cables, mounting bracket for the mast, and guard rail, which in turn costs more than a radar mast.
- A radar dome in the mast guarantees that there will be no radar when the mast goes overboard...
To start with, the mast should have a cradle to enable the dome to be level at all times, but that would require to many moving mechanical parts, which again makes it more prune to failures and breakdowns so I settled down with this simple solution.
(In retrospect, I never had to adjust the inclination in order to optimize the radar picture when sailing close-hauled!)
The base of the mast is a T-bar shaped like the the bracket of the aft stay.
The cable is lead directly trough the stern and the hole is sealed with marine PU (polyurethane) sealant and covered with this stainless ventilation cover.
The mast is fixed to the rail with stainless clamps as shown in the picture.
The local ships smith welded and polished the mast based on the working drawing below.
The mast needed struts, and they were fastened to the rail with a simple clamp and to the deck with a tiny fitting.
chart plotter pedestal
When choosing the radar, the existing instrumentation and the possibilities for it to be integrated were considered, so we ended up with a Raymarine C-series plotter. Due to restricted space, the smallest (C70) was chosen. The plotter gets its GPS data from the GPS plotter below deck, but an additional connection for a handheld GPS is in place for safety reasons. A separate GPS unit for the C70 is under consideration.
Divinycell were glued together and formed by saw, coarse file and sandpaper. Then it was covered by a couple of layers of glass fibre and gelcoat. Air pockets were removed by means of a plastic bag and a vacuumcleaner.
After the curing of the GRP, the console was sanded to remove the biggest unevenness before several layers of topcoat were put on with sanding in between.
In the end, fine emery paper were used before the last finish with Autosol Metal polish and normal polish.
A piece of hard plastic is used as cover both for the extra console and the existing one, Dremel, compass saw, coarse file and sandpaper formed the covers and the recesses for the instruments.
As a seal between the cover and the consoles, foam rubber saturated with Vaseline is used.
The drive unit for the autopilot is placed on a triangular piece of plywood that is fastened with screws to a list mounted on the bulkhead in the back of the aft cabin. The plywood is also tapered off and fastened with screws and GRP to the double hull.
The rudder reference sensor is mounted upside down on the underside of the plywood piece, and it is connected to the rudder quadrant with a Dynema line.
The course computer is mounted on the bulkhead of the same cabin, and the electronic compass were initially mounted in the locker the aft cabin. This placement turned out not to be particularly good, due to excessive deviation caused by the engine and electrical installations on the engine. The compass is now in the same cabin, but in a dead space just below the deck.
The autopilot is powered from a relay which is controlled by the switch for the rest of SeaTalk instruments. The reason being that the autopilot is also supplying power to the SeaTalk bus and thus indirectly also the other SeaTalk instruments, (see wiring diagram for details)
The steering rod is connected to the rudder quadrant with a through bolt. The Dynema line from the rudder reference unit is also fastened by a through bolt .
The steering rod connection is reinforced with a stainless steel plate, also fastened by through bolts.
When planning the trip to the Baltic Sea we saw the need for an easy way to get weather forecasts and maritime navigational warnings in a language we would understand.
A Clipper Navtex from Nasa Marine Instruments was our choice and was installed by the chart table with the antenna placed just below the deck in the aft. The placement of the antenna is not completely bad, but I want to replace it to the top of the pulpit or on the radar mast to increase the range a bit.
During the planning of the installations onboard, I found it very helpful to create a wiring diagram, and further I know that after a couple of years, when troubleshooting some problem, I've forgotten how it was all connected.....
On the trip to Lofoten in 2012 we experienced loss of the chart plotter and instead of getting the paper charts out for navigation, we put our Android tablet in a watertight bag and used that for navigation. With Navionics Marine apps for Europe (priced at €25-60) we had no problems navigating though the narrow straits towards Bergen!
We have since bought a watertight Android phone and with the same app licence we have a chart plotter for the dingy too!
GPS chart plotter
I chose a small chart plotter with a built in world chart, with enough resolution to aid in offshore sailing. The GPS is in fact a satellite based differential GPS (EGNOS). The remote control for the autopilot is placed next to the plotter. The GPS antenna is placed on the deck of the cabin, and the cable out behind the lining of the ceiling, and trough a cable duct which runs from the bulwark of the aft cabin in behind the instrument panel.
Here is how the plotter is mounted. Holes were drilled, then I used a electric hacksaw and at last the Dremel to mill of the last millimetres The supplied bolts, were substituted with longer ones.