Boat PC on our Maxi 1000 – Navigation, AIS, Weather, emails and TV
I like to keep things simple on the boat as everybody can operate simple things and they tend not to fail in the wrong moment but over the years the laptop started to become a constant companion on longer trips. Initially just to be able to get a weather forcast from the Internet but later I added a NASA AIS receiver for safer Channel crossings and soon things started to get complicated. Not because of the technical solution but there was no safe place for the laptop to be kept while sailing, hence it was not much use with the AIS in more than very light winds.
The dilema I got into was that I was not prepared to spend all the money on a chart plotter and electronics charts if I would still use paper for everyday navigation and that I liked the additonal benefits a laptop/PC has over a plotter, like Internet, iTunes, DVDs for the kids etc. The solution seemed to find a home for the laptop that would be safe, the screen being viewable while the keyboard is protected – who want’s to go down in his oilies and flood the laptop.
Soon I found myself scanning the internet on Car PC options and TFT screens as I couldn’t come up with a good solution for the laptop that would not involve a separate screen and I learned that laptops are quite power hungry. I did also look at those boat PC packages that are on offer but found these too expensive and not surprisingly the components used look exactly like those on the Car PC websites.
1st – 3rd May 2010
A helpful midday HW, but questionable wind & weather, encouraged 10 Maxis. 8 on Saturday all arriving in quick succession, including Vertigo from Swanage.
The Marina helped by berthing us together so that we could mingle and catch-up experiences, including the new website trials with which Graham Bobbit has become involved. The showers kept away providing evening sunshine for the 6pm pontoon party to start the evening. We didn’t sink the pontoon, but kept the other passing crews guessing if they could slip past without slipping into the water. Then a choice of ferry or walking around the causeway to the Brading Haven Sailing Club for a pleasant evening and meal together as 21 people.
We were awoken from a wet night and dull Sunday morning with a cold North wind to the sound of boat heaters! We exchanged Maxima, which had to leave for Second Rebellion, and unexpectedly Magewind put in an appearance too. Magewind was due in a race to Cherbourg. However having thought better of foul tides and an anticipated yachtsman’s gale from the North decided to rush back and enjoy a sheltered Sunday with us. We nearly managed a full committee when it was heard that Vouvray (Chris Wildey) fell short of surprising us, but reached Newtown Creek from Poole after having to replace his masthead sheaves.
Sunday was a free time day for crews to enjoy the area. Colin of Huggy Bear felt he deserved the prize for effort. He joined the Round the Island cycle ride. Well done indeed, cold and wet, but full of beans. Christine made the more comfortable option of remaining onboard for a quiet read. Others took to the buses to Sandown & Ryde. Our visitors on their Beneteau 411, Imagine enjoyed the excellent Roman Villa at Brading.#
The Marina staff again assisted with a tent to shelter from the winds as well as an effective gas BBQ with which all 24 of us managed to cook our meals together. Wisdom prevailed as it became dark for the desert and coffee onboard 2 larger boats.
Bank Holiday Monday returned to a sunny, but cold wind and we all made our way as planned to the Baywatch café for a final gathering before departures. Those bound for Portsmouth head to wind under power, those further west took to sail and a spanking good fine reach, including Vertigo off to Swanage.
Maxi Rally Bembridge 1/2/3 May 2010
|1||Huggy Bear||38+||Colin & Christine Summerfield|
|2||Imagine||B’teau 411||Ian & Pauline|
|3||Blue Rider||1000||Peter & Sue Stonestreet|
|4||Blue Lightning||1100||Peter & Sarah Sands|
|5||Maxima||1050||David & Sandy Hodges|
|6||Vertigo||1050||Graham & Wendy Bobbit|
|7||Asante||1100||Andy & Sara Horwood|
|8||Look in for Kloos||1000||Julian, Carolyn & Nic Trimming|
|9||Second Rebellion||1100||Eric, Patricia, Kiera & Cameron Sey|