Alex W

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108 F'n Saint

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About Alex W

  • Rank
    Super Anarchist

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  • Location
    Seattle, WA
  • Interests
    sailboats, bikes, metalworking, diy

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  1. Alex W

    Moving Traveler Aft

    Does your tiller have an extension? You should be able to easily reach the traveler with one. My last two boats have had the traveler where you boat originally had it and I like that location. It doesn’t break up the cockpit, gives you near end boom sheeting, and is pretty accessible. The main downside is that the pit and main trimmer get in each other’s way on fully crewed racing (but when short handed the main can do pit too).
  2. Alex W

    Best Genny Sheets

    Control DPX is nice in the hand but snags easily due to the loose weave. I loved it at first, now I’m a bit more meh.
  3. Alex W

    Auto Pilot/ tiller pilot

    That’s what we use on the Express 37 and it works well for my needs. Only the control head and ram are above deck, and the control head is on the aft bulkhead next to where the driver normally sits. You could get the remote if you wanted to keep the control head below deck, but it is expensive.
  4. Alex W

    Raymarine/TackTick to a chartplotter?

    My boat is also tiller steered (but 2m longer). I mounted the plotter below decks and use an iPad on deck. I wasn’t excited about cutting a plotter shaped hole in my bulkhead when there is no standard size for those holes. I do have 4 instrument displays above decks (two mast, two at bulkheads), but those do use standard mounts so it is easy to change as the tech improves. My plotter is a Raymarine and I can get full functionality from the iPad using the remote access app. I also have instruments repeated to WiFi and so the iPad can see AIS and all instrument data. I rarely use the plotter itself anymore and if doing it again I’d consider skipping it.
  5. Alex W

    Raymarine/TackTick to a chartplotter?

    Which you get if you have a networked autopilot (a pretty common but not universal purchase).
  6. Alex W

    DQOTD - cockpit speakers

    I’m in the megaboom camp. I ripped out the whole stereo and all speakers and simplified the boat.
  7. Alex W

    3D Printing Anarchy

    Fusion 360 is amazing and free to hobbyists. Also good for CAM.
  8. Alex W

    Electronics Guys and Gals

    Three years ago I sold the ~15 year old Raymarine and Northstar stuff that came on my boat on eBay. I expected to make a couple hundred total and ended up making closer to $1000. That made upgrading a lot easier on my wallet. Take a photo of it working and post it as-is.
  9. Look at emergency stop buttons for industrial tools. They are high quality momentary and often waterproof switches. The color is designed to be easy to find. You could re-label or I think most people could easily be trained to this about it as MOB.
  10. Good luck! That's a huge challenge, finding a sunlight visible, waterproof, and backlit (for night) display at an affordable price isn't easy. I found it cheaper to just buy a pile of refurb Raymarine i70s.
  11. It's easy to DIY N2K. I played with it a lot about 4 years ago on my old boat and had a system that was translating N2K over CanBus to NMEA0183 over WiFi. I also played with injecting N2K PGMs for wind and boat speed. The hardest part is just finding good microcontrollers that have CANBUS integration standard. I was working with a Beaglebone Black, which has CANBUS natively and you just need to wire up the transceiver.
  12. Alex W

    R2AK 2020

    Think about it as camping. You don't need that much water, 5 liters per day per person is plenty, and 10 liters per person per day is luxurious. This isn't like cross-ocean racing where you need a safety amount, since you'll probably never be >12 hours from being able to dock or anchor somewhere and get more water. Melges 24 and J/24 both have flat areas where two crew can sleep. There was a Melges 24 last year with a cool pedal drive that seemed to be all clamp on:
  13. The Davis wand is a good way to go then. It's cheap and well documented and easy to work with. It has two independent circuits, one is a potentiometer that varies between gnd and v+ for angle (roughly 10 degrees to 350 degrees, there is a dead spot), so you can hook that up to an analog input. The other circuit is a pulse per rpm for the spinning cups, so you just count those and multiply by a constant for wind speed. It is pretty easy to work with from there. Signet also documents their wands. They are slightly more complicated to work with. I haven't seen documentation for the Garmin, Raymarine or B&G ones.
  14. Just search for sailtimer on this forum, there are a couple of very long threads that show it is a piece of shit. The seller provides no support, the devices don't recharge properly and die. They might work if you take it down from your mast after every sail and recharge it.
  15. You might be confusing this with Sailtimer? Sailtimer is a piece of shit, this one I don't know anything about. If you are willing to tinker and write a bit of code you can use a Davis anenometer (about $125) plus a Netduino (about $25) plus this code that I put on github to get NMEA 0183 output: That NMEA0183 was plugged into my chart plotter and was available on all of my instruments. You could also easily wire it up to wifi if you wanted it to show up on iNavX or SeaIQ or other phone plotter apps. You could also take the basic code and port it to other more common embedded platforms like Arduino. I wrote this for my old boat and it worked quite well for recreational purposes. In comparison to the Raymarine stuff that I use on my current boat the biggest downside is that the Davis anenometer has it's dead spot (which you want facing into the irons) when the nose is facing the wand, which puts it into a lot of upwash from your sails. You could get more creative than I did to fix that problem. Another downside is that I never wrote good calibration UI for it, so you have to mount it dead on with the front of the boat, or change the code to twiddle the angle offset. I don't provide any support or even own the hardware to play with anymore (I sold it with the boat), so please don't ask me for support. This is very much a DIY project, but it's a good budget one.