It's been a long road on this one. As most of you know, we kept our boat in the water this winter. It's been a blast, sailing with other SN members in both beautiful days and freezing-spray nights.
But I've worried about the boat each cold night, and several times I've driven the 30 minutes to see her in the evening mid-week. On the way there, I've wondered if the engine will be frozen, cracked and broken. IT's been a real worry.
The marina moved the boat once. (They warned me a week ahead of time.) They plugged her in, but did not not turn the dock-side circuit breaker on. She went for a few days that way. I found a cold boat, but it was late fall and not freezing out yet. She was ok.
So I've struggled to find a way to monitor the boat. I finally bought a webcam off eBay and set it up in our TV room at home, testing it out. Today I installed it on the boat. It took a couple calls to try and get the marina's Internet company to set up port-forwarding, so we could call-up the webcam from anywhere on the Internet. It turns out that they couldn't do that. So I went with Plan B.
Plan B was to have the webcam send a snapshot to my ftp server evey 5 minutes. I tested it out with it set to send a picture every 10 seconds at first, to make sure it was working.
So without futher ado, here is the snapshot from inside the boat, taken moments ago.
Note the space heater's light is on. Time to rest easy. Yeah!
You can also see the freezer-type thermometer in the foreground, on the post. The red needle on the thermometer is not visible in the camera's infrared mode, so I taped a small bit of electrical tape to the needle. The left side of the tape is accurate. There is also a piece of black tape on the dial at 32 degrees. The right side of that peice of tape is the accurate side. So when the two pieces of tape meet, it's 32 degrees.
Besides the space heater, there's a 75 watt bilge-type heater in the engine compartment and a light bulb securely mounted in the forward head. And as of today, there's a small fan moving air around.
Here's the latest snap shot, since it's taken me a few minutes to write this.
Not a lot going on, right? It's perfect. In reality, I see the date and time that the picture was put on the ftp site, so I can tell if the transmissions stop (and drive to the boat as soon as possible).
Setting this up was not easy. I'll have to make that a separate post. This one is getting long enough. Here's a sneak peak at the setup.