Archiv der Kategorie: Equipment

Garmin Quatix 5 & Garmin GNT10 Review

Since beginning of this year, I own a Garmin Fitness watch. First, I purchased a Garmin Vivoactive 3 but I always glanced at the much more expensive Quatix 5 because of its longer battery life, the sailing features and namely the feature to show boat data on the watch. Apart from that, the touch screen of the Vivoactive 3 was always difficult to operate in wet conditions.

So, I sold my Vivoactive 3 on Ebay and bought a Quatix 5.

First of all, a short word on having a fitness watch: For me personally this is something that motivates me to do sports and I find it interesting to look at and analyze my fitness-related data (so does Garmin I bet but data security in this context is a different story – in the end all data is stored on Garmin servers).

The watch itself is sturdy and despite its size comfortable to wear. The long battery life-time of roughly ten days in my case is a huge relief over the battery life of the Vivoactive 3 which I had to charge roughly every fourth day. The watch has roughly the same fitness functions as the Vivoactive 3 but is missing the circuit training feature – I rather would like to use this but in the end can live without it.

This week I had a check-up at my doctors and was doing a cardio test: Heart beat frequency displayed by the watch was exactly like the rate of my heart beat displayed by the professional setup. So, this works nicely.

Now to the sailing features:

The watch has some sailing-related features that are only available to the Quatix (but I guess principally they should work on the Fenix 5 as well). These are:

  • Displays distance and burn-time to start-line (which I seldomly use but works okay)
  • Barometer with graph (which I use)
  • Compass (sometimes helpful)
  • Immediate access to MOB positioning (which I HOPEFULLY use seldomly use but I find this very nice)
  • Tracking (I use my chart plotter for this)
  • Tack assistant (have not used this yet)
  • Autopilot control (only works with a Garmin setup and I have B&G)
  • Control of the fusion audio system (which I also don’t have)

But now to the main reason for buying the watch in the first place: Displaying sensor data. In short: What a disappointment!

Longer story:
I do not have a Garmin chart plotter that connects with the watch natively but a B&G setup. So, I had to buy the Garmin GNT10 wireless interface to connect to the watch via the so-called ANT-protocol. The watch connects immediately to the interface via the installable GNT-10 app but quite some of the data is displayed not at all or wrongly. This is especially bad as this affects the True Wind Data which you obviously need for race sailing. This is what I got:

Breviation Description Works?
AWA Apparent Wind Angle Works correctly
AWS Apparent Wind Speed Works correctly
Boat SPD Boat speed Works correctly
COG Course over ground Works correctly
Depth Depth Does not show any value
Dist next Distance to next waypoint Principally correct but rounds to the nautical mile
Heading OT Heading Wrong values displayed
Sea Temp Sea temperature I don’t have such a sensor so I do not know
SOG Speed over ground Works correctly
TWA True wind angle Wrong values displayed
TWS True wind speed Wrong values displayed
XTE Cross Track Error Works correctly

Obvious to say, this makes the watch useless for ambitious regatta sailors in the current state of the software (the version I had to use was 1.30)!

Overall conclusion: I will keep the watch for its fitness features but sent back the useless interface. In principle, Garmin has a very good product in place – but why the main selling point of the watch is not supported for non-Garmin setups (and thus 80% of the market) totally escapes me. Especially, because if Garmin added a remote-autopilot feature that supports other autopilots apart from Garmin’s, this would be a killer product!

But please correct the wrongly displayed data first … this cannot be so difficult.

Rain cover for B&G Vulcan 7

During the autumn trips I found that the Vulcan 7 touch display does not work really well when it is wet from rain or waves and my fingers were cold.

So, I printed a 3D rain cover and a protector with my 3D printer which works absolutely fine.

The cover is split in two parts so that I could print it. The material is Filamentum ASA with the following parameters:

  • Nozzle temperature: 250 °C
  • Bed temperature: 105 °C
  • Layer height: 0,19 mm
  • Infill: 80% (but looking back maybe 100% is better)

Please find the respective STL files here:


Used B&G or Simrad H3000 equipment and spare parts – for sale! Gebraucht zu verkaufen!

Beginning of this year I revised the electronics of my Archambault A35 to a B&G Vulcan and Fusion setup – more on this later. Reason was that the GFD Displays had water ingress and that I found that the spare parts being sold here were simply too expensive.

Since quite some time I have been wanting to put all this stuff on Ebay but maybe I can save myself some of the efforts and cost:
If any of you is interested in any of the items please drop me a short mail here. The equipment is located in Hamburg, Germany but I will also ship internationally.

The following parts are for sale:

B&G 20/20 HV H3000 Displays + Masthead Adaptor – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 700 €

B&G GPD H3000 Display + protective cover – Sold!!!!
For the time being the display is fully working – but I am not sure that it might not have already at least some water ingress like all my other displays: At least there are some „shadows“ under the display like you can see in the picture
Price: 250 €

B&G GFD H3000 Display
With water ingress – sometimes working – strongly corroded – frame broken – LCD display damaged – for spare parts!
Price: 50 €

B&G GFD H3000 Display
With water ingress – sometimes working – corroded – for spare parts!
Price: 50 €

B&G RRF ACP H3000 Rudder Reference Unit  –  Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 130 €

B&G D800 H3000 Depth Transducer
Fully working!
Price: 80 €

B&G H3000 Speed Sensor
Fully working!
Price: 80 €

B&G RemoteVision Wireless Port Base Station H3000 – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 150 €

B&G RemoteVision H3000  Remote controller
Only sometimes working – most likely water ingress – for spare parts!
Price: 50 €

B&G H3000  CPU  – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 340 €

B&G ACP 1 H3000  Autopilot Processor –  Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 340 €

B&G KVH Halcyon Gyro ACP H3000 compass  – Sold!!!!
Fully working!
Price: 340 €

Neuer Online-Segelshop

War beim Einkaufen von Reparaturmaterialien auf  diesen (zumindest für mich) neuen Online-Segelshop gestoßen:

Der Shop bietet tatsächlich eine Preisgarantie an, die besagt, daß alle hier gekauften  Artikel nicht  teurer sind  als  bei den großen Versandhäusern, und hat weiterhin keine Versandkosten.

Damit entfällt das nervige  Gefahre zu AWN und Konsorten für kleinere Dinge.

Ich bin mit denen  nicht irgendwie  verbandelt oder so…



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).

See for example the SKUBB-Series, the SLÄKTING-Series or the STICKAT-Bags.This how it looks on my ship:


Sailing seat for little children

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.

Electrifying my Seascape 18 – Part 1: Goals and description of the network


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.

Network interactions
Network interactions

In the next episode of this little series I will talk about the power supply of all this…