Especially on-board of a small boat you have to organize everything cleanly if you do not want to search things for hours – this is especially valid if you have lots of things for little children with you.
However, IKEA offers a number of products that help you do this and they are light and do not cost much (especially if you compare them with any Seascape or Jeanneau textile bags meant for storing clothes).
My daughter is now 18 months old and she can walk very well. Furthermore, she is curious and would not just like to stay under deck while sailing and climbs basically anywhere. So, what to do if you would like to have a save and comfortable place for her on deck where she can’t go over board?
What I came up with is this construction:
It is asymmetrically mounted in the cockpit in order to allow for easy access to the autopilot being mounted next to the entrance of the cabin and to the entrance itself.
As you can see it is also portable – so it can be either used under deck or be completely removed if you go racing with your friends:
So, how did I build it:
First of all I used an old Römer Jockey Comfort bike seat for children (which you can buy used for very little money).
Then I sawed off the two leg-supports of the seat so that the base-plate of the seat could be mounted on a piece of water-proof boat plywood. Please note that the seat is exactly mounted on the edge of the plywood so that my daughter can have her feed dangling down while using the seat at our cabin table.
You can use the two integrated nuts in the bottom of the seat to attach the seat to the plate but I decided to put two additional screws through the wholes in the seating area of the seat.
In the cockpit I glued two self-made stripes of wood with Tikalflex (sorry for the look being a bit shabby – it was easily possible to remove the glue later on).
It is possible to push the base-plate under these stripes and the seat is fixed and can be secured with screws or anything comparable that is pushed through the holes in the stripes.
I painted the whole wood white.
Please have a look at the attached gallery. The whole thing works really nice – however and obviously I do not take any guarantee for the safety of your children while using this setup.
Please find the scheme how I supplied my Seascape 18 with electrical power.
Main goal was to provide the Seascape with power independently from a fixed power grid installation and to have enough battery storage to supply the attached devices with power during one sailing day.
Comments on some of the components I used:
The Raymarine Racemaster and the Wind Transducer have own solar cells and do not need any external power supply.
The battery Longex 12LCP-36 is mounted in the front tank under the front berth (I have a whole for an inspection lid built into the tank where it just fits through if I take out the inspectin lid).
The NASA Supernova Combi Anchor / Top Light is a brilliant device! It is LED-based, has both the white Anchor Light as well as the three-coloured position light and can be supplied with power by a single cable (the included switch switches not only power on and off but can also change the polarity which chooses the respective colour scheme).
Additionally to the two Raymarine i70 multifunction-displays that came with my Django I wanted to install a chart plotter that would be accessible and visible from the cockpit.
I wanted to do the whole installation destruction-free – meaning I did not want to drill or saw any wholes into the boat structure.
Here is how I did it:
First of all I chose the Raymarine a78 chartplotter because of its sufficient size, the compatibility with my existing Seatalk NG network and because of the nice and new sailing features of the plotter.
Then I built a new front-cover for the instrument casing from water-proof plywood (paint it carefully so that it does not mold). The new front-cover allowed for the i70s to be further apart – so that the plotter can fit between them.
By pulling a cable under the inner cover of the cabin-roof I provided the whole installation with power.
In order to connect the plotter to the Seatalk NG network in used the already existing cables for the i70s and simply fitted in another branch of cable via a T-piece on the main bus.
I made two brackets to hold the chartplotter and screwed them on the front cover.
Whenever I am not on board I take the chartplotter out and store it in the cabin.
Look at the pictures – they tell more than a thousand words…
Some time ago I decided to equip my Seascape 18 „Plain Vanilla“ with a number of sensors, a chart plotter and a radio. Goals and reasons for this decision were basically:
I wanted to use the Seascape also on the Baltic Sea and not just on the Alster lake in Hamburg and felt that a chart plotter and a radion would significantly increase safety.
Especially if I somehow could receive AIS-information and display them.
I wanted to help increasing my sailing skills by using objective measurements concerning speed, drift and other dimensions.
I like toying around with technical things and thinking about and building all this was meant to be a nice, sailing-related occupation during the winter season. It is never too late to have a nice childhood I guess.
I wanted to do the whole setup with doing as little remaining changes or damages to my boat as possible
Picking the right components
Whoever has tried to connect different nautical instruments from different vendors for sure had to face some issues regarding incompatibilites regarding the different interface standars like NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, Seatalk, Seatalk NG,….
I spent some considerable time on researching what kind of components would interface well while at the same time delivering on the goals mentioned above.
I came up with the following list:
B&G Zeus Touch 7 Central piece of my whole setup. Has nice sailing-related functionalities, is completely configurable and can connect NMEA 0183 as well as NMEA 2000 messages.
Raymarine Racemaster T070 Compass I went for the Raymarine Tacktick series because most of the components are connected via a Raymarine-proprietary Wifi-protocol (thus less cables) and are also solar powered (thus also less cables and also less battery capacity required).
The racemaster gives directions, has a nice race countdown and can display not only information about the heading but also other measurements. It „coordinate“ all other Tacktick instruments.
Raymarine Wind Transducer T120 Feeds wind information into the network (which is necessary to enable all the nice sailing-related features on the Racemaster and the B&G).
Raymarine Triducer T910 and Raymarine Hull Transmitter T121 Feed in information about the speed through the water, depth and temperature. The hull transmitter is needed in order to „translate“ the information from the Triducer to the Wifi-network.
Raymarine NMEA Transmitter T122 Translates all the wireless information into NMEA 0183 messages which then can be read by the B&G. Works like a charm…
Lowrance Link-8 radio Can obviously be used as a radio with DSC-functionality (it receives GPS-information from the B&G) but also receives AIS information from ships in the vicinity and transfers those to the B&G where they are displayed on the screen.
I guess I was lucky but the whole setup did not cause one single problem regarding compatibility and has been working ever since I installed it.
Here you find a picture that illustrates the interconnections.
In the next episode of this little series I will talk about the power supply of all this…
My blog about sailing modern boats together with family…