Extensive N2K data systems, like we use in the FPBs, are costly, and take a substantial programming effort on our part. Yes, they provide a lot of information (and you need to guard against info overload), but is the cost and complexity worth it?
After all, we’ve done fine without, or with a very limited system in the past.
The question is further exacerbated by the tendency of many, ourselves included, to take something like this N2K system and expand it, because it is cool. To be frank, we initially thought the system a mistake for our needs when we first started sea-trials with Cochise. However, we have come to appreciate its virtues, and have worked with the good folks at Maretron to fine-tune some of their software to the needs of the short-handed cruising community.
We are still a month or more away from completing our programming, and as we continue to cruise there is no doubt we will modify the system to make it more in line with what we are after. So, for now, a couple of comments:
First, the system is easy to program and create custom pages. Maretron have done a commendable job in making this a user friendly process.
Properly installed, and this takes a bit of care and planning, once up and running the systems tend to be stable.
The lead photo is the 55’’ Samsung monitor on the Matrix deck. It is installed with a wall mount bolted directly to the aluminum coaming. The wall mount articulates so it can be angled forward or aft, and tilted. The lead photo is the basic home screen setup. With virtually everything available on the system included, it can be too much too look at. However, now with the colored digital readouts, the colors change as data changes within user set ranges. This makes it easy to spot trouble. Yellow means take a look, red means take action now. The color changes are easily programmed. We like this approach because it is hard to ignore. This data is broken up into a series of pages with information on maneuvering, electrical loads, and the like.
This is the tank recap page. Here you will find data from each of the eight tanks aboard.
As we are now into cruising mode, we have been taking in the countryside. The boat watching is extraordinary, enhanced by the J-Boat championships about to unfold.
It is going to be a real treat seeing the Js racing next week!
The variety of boats to admire is extraordinary. From this topsail schooner…
…to this avant garde tilting keel ketch (designed in the early 1980s) trying out her new wardrobe of North Sails…
…to this powerful modern cutter. Newport, Rhode Island, and environs is a photographer’s and boat doodler’s delight.
And even if you don’t care for motorboats, there are some interesting shapes to study.
It is often hard to pick a favorite from the day’s images. However, sitting in the warm confines of our office aboard Cochise on this rainy, cold, summer day, it is easy–this lovely little short-ended ketch.
We would write more, but an early morning departure has the crew of Cochise thinking about a nap. We are, after all, cruising.
The J-boats begin their championships Tuesday and we shall be in observance. Stay tuned for reports.