July 13th blog

I have gotten some requests for pictures of the systems on the boat. Below is the pilothouse helm. You will note space for two MFDs (multi function displays). Here my radar, chart plotter, trip computer depth sounder are all shown. I can split the screen multiple ways if I want to use a couple of the above functions at the same time. There is a display for the Maretron system which monitors many of the different systems on the boat showing temperature and fluid flow. It also has a complete weather system displaying wind direction, speed, outside temperature etc. There is a small video screen that displays from the camera in the engine room. There is a holder for the remote control for the bow and stern thrusters and controls for the searchlight. To the right of the helm chair are the electronic controls for the engine and two control heads for the main auto pilot and back up unit. Above the helm is a VHF radio and various controls and monitors for different systems. Everything is within easy reach and view when at sea.
Pilothouse helm

The picture below is of the flybridge helm station. Space for another MFD, a forward scanning sonar display and another Maretron display. There are controls for the bow and stern thrusters making docking very easy. You can take one step to the side and look down the side of the boat and see how close you are to the dock and then move the boat sideways with both thrusters. There are also complete engine instrumentation and a compass. I like to use a handheld VHF here. All of the very expensive displays are easily removable and able to be stored below. Less wear and tear and chance of theft. Note the 360 view and in the tropics versus the pilothouse helm station the air flow is night and day. Much easier to keep awake during those late night watches. I just noticed that my “mickey mouse” fishing rig is in the picture. I am working on that.
Flybridge Helm

The other system I have been asked about is the paravane system. I love it and use it often. When we approached Pohnpei in the middle of the night and needed to wait offshore until daylight to enter the treacherous coral lined passage into the lagoon, we just deployed the paravanes as floated with the engine off. All uncomfortable side to side motion ceased. We have used them underway in rough seas and extensively at anchor. The only downside to them is that while underway the drag will cost you .5 of a knot. On a 5-6 knot boat that is a lot. The 50lb “fish” are difficult to deploy in heavy seas even with the boom deployment system I have. The key is to deploy them before, which is not always possible.
paravane system

For those of you who don’t know what this is, the boom that the fish is on will drop down to be parallel with the water. With one boom and fish deployed on each side of the boat it slows down the side to side rocking motion of the boat. Many commercial fishing boats have this bulletproof system.