Modern ship management
Marine electronics are key to modern day ship management. In today’s world, the concept of paper ocean charts is dying. Very few sailors know how to use a sextant to work out position and plotting on paper is obsolete. Until recently it was expected that every boat would still have paper as a backup but steadily this purist view is disappearing. Phew!!!!
We ditched our paper charts a long time ago! They are very expensive and difficult to keep on-board when you cruise a wide area. However, we are avid users of all marine electronics and always like to have as much data as we can. We can see everything around us on the land and surface of the sea with electronic charts, radar and AIS. We received environment data from a weather station monitoring wind speed, temperature and humidity. A sensor under the water measures water temperature, speed and depth. Our depth sounder and forward looking sonar system help us to see what is under the water around the boat.
Not just about marine electronics …
Marine electronics is not just about navigation. We use electronics in all walks of life and we continue this on Destiny. Of course, we use electronic navigation with several difference sources of chart data and position (GPS). We have a robust NMEA2000 network on board – this is the standard for marine networks. NMEA2000 is a standard “language” which all modern marine electronics devices use to talk to each other. It is now possible to use the best manufacturer for each individual device rather than the same one for all.
Our boat is monitored constantly with a collection of alarms and alerts. This system is from Maretron and consists of a network of module boxes and sensors attached to equipment throughout the boat. For example, if a pump stops running or a smoke sensor is activated, loud alarms will sound. The system includes remote access so we can monitor everything when we are not on-board.
To help us manage the hundreds of spare parts we need on board we will have a bar-code inventory management system. We will also eventually use this system to keep track of our food stock and other supplies. This system links to a preventative maintenance system which keeps track of all planned maintenance jobs on-board.
In addition to marine electronics systems only found on boats, we have advanced communications networks for voice and data to support an office network. Of course, we also have electronics for TV and music for entertainment in the same way as at home. There are also systems for safety and a network of security cameras.
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