England Ireland Find Havens
England Ireland Find Routes

Next Previous

Monitoring a vessel whilst resting on passage

Be the first
to comment

What is the issue?
Whilst making passage, off-watch skippers tend not to rest easy as they are anxious about the crew maintaining a true course, the surrounding dangers, and conditions. This causes a tendency to regularly rise and check the navigation station. Similarly, at anchor concerns about an undesirable wind shift can cause restlessness.

Why address this?
Both of these lead to skipper exhaustion and ultimately to bad decision making.

How to address this?
Traditionally marine electronic systems, onboard pleasure boats and commercial ships, have used
NMEA0183 External link and more recently NMEA2000 External link data standards to share data between marine devices in a closed loop. You can plug a gateway into the vessel's NMEA compliant backbone that can read all the data and, in real time, convert it into Signal K External link that is an open data format built upon standard web technologies. Once this is done all the vessel's NMEA data can be streamed over a local wifi network to any smartphone or tablet that has any of the hundreds of appropriate applications capable of displaying the data. With this enabled an off-watch skipper need only check on an interfacing application to have everything that is on the NMEA backbone in the palm of your hand e.g. AIS data, wind speed, COG, bearing, engine revs etc.

iKommunicate NMEA to Signal K Gateway
Photo: Courtesy of iKommunicate

An example of such a gateway is the iKommunicate that is a small black box, that connects to an NMEA2000 network and/or a series of NMEA0183 devices. It converts the data and makes it available on its Ethernet port for distribution over your boat's wired or wireless network.

If the high-tech route is not available you can still get a lot by tucking in with a hand bearing compass. Particularly one that includes a night light. Having this available at a glance for an off-watch skipper provides a major level of assurance that the course is on track or that a wind change has not swung the boat around on its anchor at night.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

Discussing NMEA sensors and iKommunicate

A photograph is worth a thousand words. We are always looking for bright sunny photographs that illustrate this experience. If you have some images that we could use please upload them here. All we need to know is how you would like to be credited for your work and a brief description of the image if it is not readily apparent. If you would like us to add a hyperlink from the image that goes back to your site please include the desired link and we will be delighted to that for you.

Add your review or comment:

Please log in to leave a review of this tip.

eOceanic makes no guarantee of the validity of this information, you must read our legal page. However, we ask you to help us increase accuracy. If you spot an inaccuracy or an omission on this page please contact us and we will be delighted to rectify it. Don't forget to help us by sharing your own experience.