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Old 04-12-2015, 10:19   #1
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Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

I am inter connecting my MFD, VHF. which is AIS and D.SC. capable, and SSB.
The MFD needs AIS from VHF and the SSB needs GPS to receive and send D.SC.
All these instruments on at r the same time adds up to about 40 amp hours per day. So I am interested in knowing what other cruisers are running on a daily basis.

I also have stand alone AIS receiver and GPS tfrom my last. Boat that I could connect but they draw about .5 amps per hour also.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:30   #2
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

idk, cn u ais w/o mfd? gps imho good q 12, rest prn.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:35   #3
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

VHF and AIS for comms and on 24/7

SSB with DSC is of less value. If you have AIS MOB PFD addons they transmit on VHF.

GPS and chartplotter while underway. Radar if conditions warrant.

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Old 04-12-2015, 11:18   #4
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

None.

In some specific conditions AIS may be on or / and radar. I think many sailors keep VHF on. I did too, on our most recent passage. Your wind instrument may be on too - especially at night in bad conditions.

So, basically, nothing is on 24/7. EXCEPT: VHF, if you care about others. AIS, for same reasons (AIS MOBs).

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Old 04-12-2015, 12:26   #5
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Almost no cruiser leaves their SSB on when they aren' t using it. We normally have our chartplotter on on but in sleep mode to save power.
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Old 04-12-2015, 13:42   #6
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Onemoreproject,
I like your name here....very appropriate!!!

As for your question of what "instruments" run 24/7 when offshore / on a bluewater passage???
In order of preference:

1) GPS....although certainly NOT necessary to know your exact position every minute of the day, I use a GPS for position data to a VHF-DSC radio....and I suspect that others do as well...
So, GPS is a 24/7 device...

2) VHF-DSC-FM Radiotelephone.....(whether equipped with a AIS receiver or not), certainly everyone will leave their VHF on 24/7 when on passage...

3) If you are equipped with an AIS transponder, or AIS receiver.....(or perhaps you have an AIS receiver built-in to your VHF-DSC radio)....
Use of a stand-alone AIS display (or stand-alone AIS transponder with display) is MUCH preferred here!! (low power consumption and quick/easy AIS target analysis!)
This would also be a 24/7 device....

4) Most would also consider an autopilot to be a 24/7 device....(and aside from refrigeration/freezer, an autopilot will usually be your biggest power user...)


5) Depending on where you are sailing, a depth sounder can be of help....certainly alert you to approaching shore / shoals, etc...and many sailors (including me) also like having a boat speed/log instrument running 24/7, as this allows us to see affects of currents, etc....and some also like having a wind speed/direction instrument running...
So, for many, Depth, Speed, and Wind instruments also run 24/7...


And, aside from refrigeration, etc....that's about it for 24/7 operation when on passage...



As for your specific devices....see details here in red...
But, I don't know of any serious offshore sailors that run a chartplotter or MFD 24/7 on passage....there is just nothing there to "plot"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onemoreproject View Post
I am inter connecting my MFD,
Certainly not needed when offshore on passage....especially not 24/7...


VHF. which is AIS and D.SC. capable,
Certainly, yes....leave on 24/7....(but also have a GPS feeding it position data....even it is a stand-alone GPS unit, as I have equipped just for this purpose of sending position data to my VHF-DSC-FM and MF/HF-DSC-SSB radios..)


and SSB.
Not needed 24/7....but usually have on a few hours a day, during net times, etc....(but also have a GPS feeding it position data....even it is a stand-alone GPS unit, as I have equipped just for this purpose of sending position data to my VHF-DSC-FM and MF/HF-DSC-SSB radios..)

The MFD needs AIS from VHF
The MFD / Chartplotter doesn't need to be on hardly at all....certainly not 24/7....
And, if you desire AIS data/display, you are MUCH MUCH better served by a stand-alone AIS display (such as Vesper Watchmate display, receiver, or transponder with low-power / easy-to-use AIS display...)
OR...
Or, if your VHF also displays AIS targets and you maybe able to make do with that small display....


and the SSB needs GPS to receive and send D.SC.
The SSB doesn't need to be on 24/7....but be certain to have a GPS feeding it position data....(even it is a stand-alone GPS unit, as I have equipped just for this purpose of sending position data to my VHF-DSC-FM and MF/HF-DSC-SSB radios..)

All these instruments on at r the same time adds up to about
40 amp hours per day. So I am interested in knowing what other cruisers are running on a daily basis.
See details above....but depending on your MFD (~1 - 2amps x 24), just eliminating the need to run that will significantly reduce your energy consumption....(and I think you understand that you don't need to run the SSB 24/7....unless you want to be GMDSS compliant!


I also have stand alone AIS receiver and GPS tfrom my last. Boat that I could connect but they draw about .5 amps per hour also.
Use this standalone AIS receiver (it has a "display" I assume?) and GPS.....and connect GPS to VHF-DSC-FM and MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radios....
And, you're good to go!


FYI, here are some pics of my Nav Station....and some links to some videos that should help...











Offshore weather...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


HF-DSC Communications...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Icom M-802 Instruction Videos...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr


Maritime HF Comms...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


Offshore sailing...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY



Fair winds...

John
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Old 04-12-2015, 13:59   #7
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Recently did a passage and had AIS, MFD, Wind, VHF and Autopilot running all the time. At night, we also had the standard navigation lights.

Yup, uses a lot of power, but I just accept that! My panels were able to keep up with that draw and the limited lights we used.
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Old 04-12-2015, 18:30   #8
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Why guys? why use all the power? If I am close to shore sure....but off shore, AIS transceiver on, and radar at night. We have had this discussion on VHF, and I agree it should be on if you have a fair chance of a transmission. But to me it is nice to sail with nothing on but the wind (during daylight). Let the solar save up for night.
Then you can pay attention to more important things....
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Old 04-12-2015, 18:41   #9
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

I have enough power to run everything so why not. I find it also adds to the "peace of mind" to glance at the plotter and see your progress. Moral and mental status is a big thing when offshore and if watching some data helps, then why the hell not..

Not to mention that having the VHF on channel 16 is a requirement!

If we are talking absolute minimums, then VHF and AIS.. but call me a lazy ass as I have no interest in turning my auto pilot off (no I can't use a vane as I'm on a cat).
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Old 04-12-2015, 18:46   #10
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Why guys? why use all the power? If I am close to shore sure....but off shore, AIS transceiver on, and radar at night. We have had this discussion on VHF, and I agree it should be on if you have a fair chance of a transmission. But to me it is nice to sail with nothing on but the wind (during daylight). Let the solar save up for night.
Then you can pay attention to more important things....
We certainly don't leave the radar on at night offshore . way too much power draw. Its easy enough to turn it on when there is something of interest.
VHF should be on so at least you have a chance of helping someone else should they call a mayday.
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Old 04-12-2015, 19:42   #11
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Singlehanded a nasa ais reciever & garmin gps 128 are on all the time offshore, plus log to see what the current is doing. radar on watch mode overnight. LED masthead light.
Yet to be tried offshore but the nav computer is now a raspberry Pi which will probably stay on pulling a a few hundred mA.
But for bluewater, bottom line is the boat can still sail on little power, (windvane steering), which can (and has) be very handy if you find yourself in a part of the world where decent batteries are hard to come by.
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Old 04-12-2015, 22:20   #12
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
idk, cn u ais w/o mfd? gps imho good q 12, rest prn.
do all those letters mean something??
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Old 04-12-2015, 22:39   #13
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Hum main instruments on all the time is the windex and mark one eyeball. Sometimes simple is nice too.
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Old 05-12-2015, 00:43   #14
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

Offshore its the VHF, GPS, wind and speed, autopilot, AIS transponder and Vesper Watchmate on 24/7. The MFD (which in my case is a Netbook with OpenCpn), SSB, and radar are only on occasionally.
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Old 05-12-2015, 01:26   #15
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Re: Which instruments are always on when Bluewater sailing?

we have done a fair amount of offshore sailing this is what we run

Chartplotter with ais interface
VHF
wind, speed and depth
auto pilot
we have 2 gps units - one feeds chartplotter/ais the other feeds ssb,epirp,vfh/dsc/saloon chartplotter

at night we run radar all night

we will occasionally run radar during the day if conditions require it
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