Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Yankee, Iridium Go! and Dodger

Hi everyone,
Zen Again has had several Christmas treats.  She is now fully prepared for our upcoming cruise south to Geographe Bay.  She's a very spoiled lady!

The first treat was a new yankee jib from Extreme Sails.  The sail is radial cut from 7.1oz cruising laminate and has foam luff padding and a canvas UV strip.  Looking forward to trying it out - it's fairly big at 33 square metres.

Yankee ready to go
About 4x diameter of the old sail!
Next to arrive was our Iridium Go! which provides phone, text, email and weather data download facilities.  Phone, text and email are supported on up to 5 smartphones/tablets which connect to the device via WiFi.  Weather data download is supported using the PredictWind Offshore app which runs on laptops.

After playing with the unit at home we changed our minds about where best to mount it.  We had planned to mount it out of sight behind the instrument panel but that wasn't a good idea.  Being able to see the unit's display is more than useful.  So it is mounted on the bulkhead in the nav station.

The location of the unit is important for another reason.  Although we have an external antenna for the Iridium satellite signal there is only an internal GPS antenna.  Therefore I mounted the unit close under our fibreglass deck which appears to be working fine.

Here are some photos of the unit in action.

Booting up
GPS locked and searching for Iridium satellite
Downloading a GRIB file
Notice that the internal antenna is open and pointing towards the camera - it is an on/off switch too so must be extended.

So where did we mount the external Iridium signal antenna?  I decided to try mounting it below decks.  This won't give optimal performance but _is_ working.  Not recommended!

"External" Iridium signal antenna
And here's a screenshot of the Offshore app downloading a GRIB file.  The map allows one to define the GRIB area desired and also shows current satellite positions.  Fun to watch!

Using the PredictWind Offshore app
Thirdly Fremantle Ocean Canvas fitted our new dodger today.  It is secured to the forward ring of the mainsheet arch - much neater and provides more protection from the sides.

Perspective view
Aft view
Side view
Happy Christmas and Fair Winds for 2015 to Zen Again and to you all! ;)

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