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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This:

NMEA Compatible Wi-Fi Wireless Marine Networking by Chetco Digital Instruments

I just want to make sure I'm clear on what it does.

It allows me to view all boat systems(fuel level, location, plotter information) on an ipad or laptop. Not only on the boat, but when you're away. So you can say anchor, go to shore and have dinner, and make sure you're not dragging, because this wifi gateway shows you, through your chart plotter gps, exactly where your boat is. Is that about right?

Are they worth it? Are there any uses that are cool that I might not be thinking of? Does anyone have one or a similar product and like it?
 

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That will only work if you are away and within WiFi range of your boat.

At $500 it is an expensive option. You could also get a WiFi enabled plotter (most made in the last couple of years are) and use the remote app to see what the plotter sees from the shore. On my Raymarine (Garmin and Simrad/B&G have similar features) I can see a perfect representation of what is on the plotter's screen and interact with it from an iOS or Android device over WiFi.

WiFi range is not that far, so your example would work in a quiet anchorage, but would be unlikely to work in someplace like Friday Harbor.
 

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first sailed january 2008
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, so what's the benefit to spending $500 on a seasmart over a wifi enabled plotter.

The description says this, what does it mean? That's why I thought you could see your boats anchor position at town.

The Open Protocol allows for license free viewing of vessel data equal to other helm station displays and is easily shared among other devices. This data can be logged and viewed on vessel based systems or pushed to internet based remote servers for access anywhere in the world
 

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If you want to bridge the wifi to a cell phone and have that cell phone upload data to a webserver on a periodic basis then you could access the info from anywhere. This would be a $10-$50/mo cost for the cell service and not a featureset that I'd expect on a 26' boat.

You wouldn't need this device to do that either, you could use the GPS in the cell phone as your anchor alarm (you just wouldn't get other details), using something like this:
Boat Monitor - Remote Boat Monitor and Alarm

You would need two cellular devices, one to leave on the boat and one to carry with you. If you had a 4G iPad (with cellular service) to leave on the boat and a phone in your pocket (also with cellular service) that could work.
 

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That device will allow you to see your boat instruments (like depth or speed) on WiFi devices like your iPad.

If you have a real plotter then you probably don't need this and could sell it. I think there are much more useful ways to spend $500 on a small cruising boat.

What is the full inventory of boat electronics in your boat?
 

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You have this on a Bristol 26? Seems like a bit of electronic overkill. From my brief over view you should be able to view anything on the NMEA 2000 network via an android or iOS device. If you hook it up to a router/access point that is connected to marina WiFi you likely would be able to remote in and check on the electronics from any internet connection. So if you want to know the winds speed or direction in the marina then you could tell via the app while at work. Not that much of it would useful, unless you have some sort of web cams to check out what is going on on board. One would hope the speed over ground would be 0 while in a slip! I suppose you could hook it up to a MiFi or similar device you should be able to connect to the boat whenever it is within cell phone range. So if you had someone else on the boat near shore you might be able to keep an "eye" on them.

I could see this being useful as a second station say at a chart table so you could see it on an iPad or such, or a racing boat to give multiple people a view of conditions. But on a small cruiser it seems like gross overkill and not the easiest way to go. Look for some posts from Bene505 he has a set up with some webcams he can access via remote connections.
 

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You have this on a Bristol 26? Seems like a bit of electronic overkill. From my brief over view you should be able to view anything on the NMEA 2000 network via an android or iOS device. If you hook it up to a router/access point that is connected to marina WiFi you likely would be able to remote in and check on the electronics from any internet connection. So if you want to know the winds speed or direction in the marina then you could tell via the app while at work. Not that much of it would useful, unless you have some sort of web cams to check out what is going on on board. One would hope the speed over ground would be 0 while in a slip! I suppose you could hook it up to a MiFi or similar device you should be able to connect to the boat whenever it is within cell phone range. So if you had someone else on the boat near shore you might be able to keep an "eye" on them.

I could see this being useful as a second station say at a chart table so you could see it on an iPad or such, or a racing boat to give multiple people a view of conditions. But on a small cruiser it seems like gross overkill and not the easiest way to go. Look for some posts from Bene505 he has a set up with some webcams he can access via remote connections.
Gotta admit, I'm really scratching my head over this one :)

Why would one want to be able to check the fuel level on a Bristol 26 while sitting in a restaurant in town?

Well, simply because one CAN, of course... :) No different from being able to remotely start your BMW sitting in long term parking at JFK while you're sitting on a beach in Cancun, I suppose it's worth $500 to some folks to know it's POSSIBLE to do so, should the need ever arise...

Sorry, this sort of stuff is completely lost on me - especially on a 26-footer whose greatest virtues are those of simplicity, and economy... And, if you're not sufficiently confident in your boat being anchored securely that you feel the need to keep checking on its position throughout the course of your dinner in town, you should have stayed aboard the damn thing to begin with... :)
 

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first sailed january 2008
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1,409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That device will allow you to see your boat instruments (like depth or speed) on WiFi devices like your iPad.

If you have a real plotter then you probably don't need this and could sell it. I think there are much more useful ways to spend $500 on a small cruising boat.

What is the full inventory of boat electronics in your boat?
I'll make a list and post it soon.
 
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