Specifications   Plans   Pictures from the Construction   Maiden Voyage   The Name

This is the current list of major equipment on board of TANIWANI, complete with our rating and some short comments. A rating of 1 is best and means we would buy the same equipment or its successor for sure again, a rating of 5 means we will definitely never get anything like it again or we may actually try to replace it with something more satisfying.

 

 

 

Rating

Comment

Safety:

 

 

EPIRB ACR Rapidfix

 

?

Not tried yet! Hope we will never use it.

Replaced battery for about half the new price in 2006.

Had to replace the antenna and glue a new magnet into the switch lever in 2011.

EPIRB ACR Aqua Link

 

?

The battery on the main EPIRB is due again, and we decided to not bother, but get a second EPIRB instead.

This is a smaller personal EPIRB, though it is also coded with teh ship MMSI

Life raft Autoflug Modula 6 Pers.

 

4

Not tried either. 

Hard to find a service place for it outside Europe. Not a good thing to take around the world!

Container opened shortly after servicing.

Was diagnosed unserviceable after 10 years. 

New Life raft 

Avon 6 person Ocean 9650 T1A canister

 

?

New in 2010. Off course not tried either. Bigger canister than the Modula but hopefully easier to service. Soft canister (PVC).  Recently serviced in Lisbon with no problems.

 

Watertight container coupled 

with the Modula  raft 

 

2+

nice option that allows packing your own extra emergency equipment with the raft. Not as watertight as hoped.

not in service any more.

West Marine grab bag in addition

3

not really watertight

Secumar Inflatable life jacket with harness

Duo-Protect 275

2-

lots of buoyancy, but not comfortable to wear. Inflated itself in the cabin twice. Seawater battery corroded and parted from cable to lamp. Quality a bit below expectations.

3 Sospender  Inflatable life jackets with harness

1-

these are 15 years old but seem to still work fine, very good quality and easy to wear. 2 still in use as spares.

3 West Marine  Inflatable life jackets with harness

2

simpler than the Sospender, feel a bit more bulky. 10 years old, still ok.

1 Autoflug  Inflatable life jackets with harness

2

the most comfortable one, but quality of cover is not very good. Disposed of after 10 years.

2 Sostechnic California Pro 180N

1-

new 2011, very comfortable to wear.

Good quality, very good price.

Extra strobe/flash light in each jacket

2

ACR 1916, might turn itself on. So we secure it with a bit of duct-tape on the ring.

4x complete Musto HPX Oilskinns

2-

expensive, not completely water tight

Musto H2 Boots

5

Rubber cracks despite very light use

Lifesling (Original)

1

very easy to deploy, good quality, long line, good UV resistance! After 8 years in the sun, still in excellent shape.

Flat (black webbing) jack lines on deck

2-

degrade in UV (slowly), still on second set.

Horseshoe with drogue and light (AWN)

3

replaced after 4 years because of UV degradation. 2nd one now 5 years and also soon to replace.

Big dan buoy with automatic light (A.W.Niemeyer)

5

Very expensive, very unreliable contacts - useless

8 handheld parachute rockets  (P&W)     

3

Expire way too fast, 4 in-date

8 handheld flares (P&W)

3

Expire way too fast

Flare Gun with 20 parachute rockets

Shoot-it rig wire cutter

1

not tried in anger though

Blipper passive radar reflector

3

weak or no echoes reported, not worth having if there is an active one.

Ocean Sentry active radar reflector 

(electronic target enhancer)      

1

strong echoes reported (better than See-Me), low power consumption - not made any more, but still working perfect.

Twaron (Kevlar) enforced hull

Collision bulkhead

2 large capacity bilge pumps

5 fire extinguishers

  4x 2kg + 1x 5kg ABC

rudder jam protection

rope cutter on prop shaft

 

 

 

Ground Tackle

 

 

Bruce 50kg with 100m of 10mm galvanized calibrated chain

 

2+

Never let us down, maybe due to its weight. In very thin mud it needs a lot of chain initially. Chain replaced 2013.

CQR 45lbs with 60m of 8mm galvanized calibrated chain

 

3-

Stern anchor with it's own windlass, always ready to drop. Not a particularly good anchor -  had broken loose many times.

Fortress FX-37 9.5kg / 21 lbs

 

 

2-

Holds particularly well where the CQR doesn't, easy to bring out by dinghy. Usually with 10m chain and 60m belt. Came up once with a bent fluke. Replaced on Lifetime Warranty by Fortress. Not an all purpose anchor.

Can be hard to recover.

Fortress FX-125 31kg / 69 lbs

?

Never used so far

 

 

 

Rig and Deck Gear

 

 

Furlex 412S Genoa reefing system  

                  

2

Works well but snap-shackles are weak and may break, otherwise very well thought out. Relatively easy to service. Bearings worn out after 50,000 miles, but still functioning. Again, replacement parts were sent quickly and for free: Support by Seldèn is excellent.

Furlex 310S Cutter jib reefing system  

             

2

Works well but snap-shackles are weak and may break. Support by Seldèn is excellent.

 

Furlex manual mainsail  reefing system    

        

2

Works very well, though circular lines wear out quickly. Very nice is the possibility to vary sail size while sailing down wind. Jammed once with sail half out when a pin in the gear came loose. Difficult to get apart when jammed. Again: Support by Seldèn is excellent.

UK/Syversen furling Genoa, laminate (DC-Mylar of Dimension Poliant)   tri-radial cut

 

1

Well cut, held up very well for 40,000 miles, no complaints. Replaced UV Protectors after 6 years.

Retired after 7.5 years

UK/Syversen cutter stay sail, laminate (DC-Mylar of Dimension Poliant)   tri-radial cut

 

1-

Works well in Strong winds (30+kts), however sheets need rethreading in- or outside cap-shrouds depending on course.

Replaced UV Protectors after 6 years.

Retired after 7.5 years

UK/Syversen furling main, laminate (DC-Mylar of Dimension Poliant)  tri-radial, with vertical battens

 

 

2+

Excellent sail shape, even when substantially reefed. But vertical battens used to unscrew despite heavy taping. Was soon under control. After 40,000 miles still OK, but material seems tired.

Retired after 7.5 years

Oleu Asymmetric Spi

 

 

3

Very practical cut, works on a wide range with and without poles. Comes with snuffer with carbon funnel.

Quality is medium. Reinforcement sheets stretch due to wrong orientation and at the top the main layer parted under load.

After 7 years the material was so brittle that it ripped across 14 panels in just 12 kts of wind. That was the end of it.

Quantum (South Africa) Asymetric Spi

2

Well made, very good price and fast shipment. Works as well as the old one, but is stronger and a bit bulkier to stow.

Quantum (South Africa) furling Genoa, woven dynema (Hydranet Radial of Dimension Poliant)  75m2  tri-radial cut

 

2

New in 2008

Too much twist in the cut. Indestructible material - very nice. 

Now 27000 miles sailed. Glued on protectors coming off, or filling with water.  So far self repairable.

Quantum (South Africa) furling staysail, Pantex Laminate (CXP of Dimension Poliant)   35 m2 tri-radial cut 

 

1-

Different (cheaper) material than Genoa, but so far no complaints

Quantum (South Africa) furling main, woven dynema (Hydranet Radial of Dimension Poliant)   63 m2 tri-radial cut with vertical battens.

 

2

Good shape, very nice material. Had to go back to the sail maker to modify tack angle as it didn't fully furl in. Took a long time, but is reasonable now. Logistics and communication at Quantum are not satisfactory.

2 Selden Spi poles on mast tracks

 

 

1-

Very easy to handle, Anderson line tenders work great but ratchets may seize due to salt spray.

2 Electric Andersen Winches 68-STE

 

 

1++

Absolutely the best equipment! Electric two speed works fantastic and power in low speed is incredible. Very fast, very reliable - will never have another make.

1 Electric Andersen Winch 46-STE

 

1+

Same as above, mainly used for main sheet or furling lines. Same power, just noticeably slower. (gear ratio?)

Manual Andersen Winches 2x46-ST, 2x56-ST

1

Just fine

Navtec Hydraulics

 

3

On Backstay, Vang and Baby Stay. Piston on Babystay-Cylinder keeps leaking oil to the other side of the piston and blocks the ram. Many expensive repairs but never work for long. Poor support.  Recently successfully serviced leaking vang do-it-yourself.

 

Lofrans Progress II Bow Anchor Windlass 1500W

 

2-

Very powerful, but alloy rope drum cannot take much load and easily breaks inside when rope drum is used. Replacement brass drum much better. Motor failed after 6 years hard use. Impossible to get stainless steel bolts out of the aluminum block.

Upper bearing rusts and was replaced every 3 years.

Thrust bearing broke after 10 years use and this also damaged the 2nd motor. Windlass was simply at the end of its lifetime.

Overall quite good given the huge amount of use and deep anchoring.

Lofrans Project 1500 Bow Anchor windlass.

2-

Replacement for the Progress. Same gearbox, same motor. Upper bearing now stainless steel. Integrated solenoids are a step backwards. Still, as with the Progress II, they are good value for the money.

 

Lofrans Airon II Stern Anchor Windlass 1000W

 

3

Powerful, but had to be repaired twice due to bad connector posts inside motor.

Lofran's wired remote w. Chain Counter

 

5

Very unreliable, turned winch on while we were sailing. Hand control not watertight. Given up on it and use chain markers.

Lofrans Wireless Remote Control

3

Solves the water ingress problem, since the control unit (sender) now remains in the chart table drawer when not used. Battery holder can short battery and discharge it quickly. Batteries don't last very long (1 month when anchoring almost every day).

Nemo Radar Mast with crane (100mm)

2-

Very well made and great to use, but powder coating degrades in some spots and the aluminum corrodes there. Sheaves wear out too fast.

Whitlock Steering Console

2-

Handle bar too low,  wheel brake not very good. Screws wear out.

MaxPower retractable bow thruster

 

4

Lots of power, no weed grows in the dark box, but VERY unreliable electrics and lift motors. Again expensive repairs in 2011.

Flex-O-Fold folding propeller

 

1

Excellent prop. Plenty power even in reverse.

 

LVM Aqua 4-Gen towing generator

 

 

2-

OK, but a drop in the ocean and transmits a humming noise. Also excludes towing a fishing line. Now only used as wind generator. 

Petzl Avao Sit Climbing Harness

1

New in 2015, replaces WestMarine Bosoms Chair. Much easier to climb with and very comfortable for longer work aloft.

Bombard Aerotec 380 dinghy

 

 

2

Fast, with pressurized floor like a rib, but much lighter. Big, takes a lot of load. Very stable. After 5 years sticky surface (UV) and transom got loose with dried out glue. Replaced with similar two year old, bought from other yacht. Number 2 was retired after 7 years of heavy tropical use.

 

New #3 obtained in 2014. So far so fine.

Zodiac Cadet 340 S

3

New at half the price of the Aerotec. First impressions good. Except for the mount of the seat and the poor protection of the keel. wich we reinforced even before starting to use the dinghy. Handles much worse than the Aerotec and slams much harder into waves.

 

Was ok for 6 years. But rather thin fabric was nearing the end. Was replaced again in 2014 with #3 of the proven Bombard above.

Yamaha 15HP 2-stroke outboard

 

1-

Simply reliable. Stolen in NZ after 6 years of faultless use, bought same motor again. Fixing screws tend to go stiff.

Small issues with rubber membrane on carburetor. Number 2 is now 9 years in service; can’t complain.

Magma CampingGaz Barbecue

 

3

Very sensitive to wind. Doesn't work in wind of more than 8 kts. Not worth having.

Aqua Signal Nav lights

 

4

Very unreliable, fill with water and contacts corrode. Replaced with Hella NavLEDs.

Aqua Signal Fog Horn

 

4

Speaker developed cracks in the sun. No automatic mode. Quality not up to the absurd price.

Hella NavLEDs.

1

No more problems since fitting them. Other boats report good visibility.

Hella NavLed TriColor/Anchor light

1

Replaced the fading Aquasignal. Very well made, very bright, fully sealed and easy to fit.

Hella NavLed Steaming light

1

as perfect as the others, finally replaced the last conventional nav-light.

LVM AeroGen 4 wind generator

 

2-

Silent blades, not a lot of power. Another drop in the ocean.

Dippa noise blocking mounts for wind gen.

 

2

Almost perfect blocking of vibrations, unfortunately only almost.

2 Unisolar flexible 32W solar panels

 

2+

Easy to stow and set up, not particularly powerful, but not very sensitive to shading. For us yet another drop in the ocean.

6 Scanmarin Fender

1+

Original equipment, these six fenders had been beaten rather hard at many a rough harbor wall. Still were in good shape if a bit dirty when replaced with same in 2010.

 

 

 

Mechanical / Appliances

 

 

Yanmar 4JH3 main engine 100HP

 

 

1-

Very reliable and smooth. 

Raw water pump is in an awkward place. Starter motor hard to get to. Block tends to rust a bit.

Failures so far (4500 hrs): Dripping water pump 4 times, starter solenoid 2x.

 

Fisher Panda 6.5kW Genset 

        Now called PMS 8000

 

4

Our biggest "trouble maker". A bit over engineered, many small and now several serious, yet unrelated problems.

Very short oil change intervals.

Eats impellers and V-belts. 

Needs constant attention. Exhaust pipe very thin cast, corrodes through and can fill the whole box with sea water. Just caught it in time.

Some other significant problems: 

Bad crankshaft seal, spills oil all around inside the sound capsule. 

Water pump seal does the same with water. 

All Capacitors in AC-Box dead. 

Seized bearing in the little alternator breaks V-belt. Cannot tension V-belt without it. 

Loose bolt on rocker axle. 

Exhaust knee leaks. 

At 2200 hrs the main generator bearing disintegrated and the debris cut through the windings - over three days of work in an exotic place brought it back to life.

FP finally answered email and offered new one at 20% discount...

No answers to technical questions (e-mail) by their support, but spares are dispatched quickly.

Worked for 350 hrs after the big operation with only the usual smaller problems.

Cooling water hose blew up, lost all coolant, sprayed out in the capsule. Serious overheating that at 2550 hrs the main windings are so bad that many shorts develop. Completely rewound in the Seychelles.

Replaced with new model after 2700 hrs and 8 years.

 

Fischer Panda  PMS 8000

 

Brand new in January 2008. Many little improvements over old model. Yet manual and parts list does not match what was delivered!

Diesel leaks due to wrong size copper seals. Bad bolt on rocker assembly needed to be replaced.

Now 980 hrs, had to replace elbow (corroded through) and radiator cap.

Still no new manual or parts list from company. As before not very responsive.

Raw water pump remains a weak spot, eats impellers and shaft seal had to be replaced 2 times by now.

 

Whitlock Mamba Steering System

 

1-

Solid with reasonable feedback. Handlebar on pedestal to low to reach it over the wheel, also flexes a bit. Wheel-break developed slack and is too noisy in a light surge.  Better to tie the wheel.

Rose joints needed replacement after 25,000 miles. One of the replacement joints was bad again after another 15,000 miles

Now trying rose joints from Jefa.

Jefa rosepoints fine, now used for 20000 miles. Easy to replace just the ball.

Bulkhead bearing rusted badly and was  replaced in 2014.

 

 

 

Whitlock Mamba Autopilot Drive

 

2-

Robust, but clutch eats too much power (30W).  Failed to engage because a roller bearing loosened in the chassis. No circlips securing the bearings!

 

Have two units on board. Number one swapped  12000 miles.  Number two was in service for 5000 miles, then back to unit 1. Replaced ball bearing in unit 2. Nylon planetary gears show crack, but still work.

Eberspächer DL-5 Heater

3

Not very reliable

Eberspächer DL-3 Heater

4

Even less reliable; luckily they are not needed were we sail now.

Tecnicomar 60l/h Water maker

 

2-

Was very reliable up to 1200 hrs, when pressure pump leaked with pinhole corrosion. Expensive parts. Noisy and needs more power than clark-pump type models. 

Membranes replaced after 1500 hrs. Old membranes still produced specified quantity, but remaining salinity was growing slowly.

KompTec Dive Compressor

70 l / min

 

2

Takes about 35 minutes to charge a 12L tank. Very small and great value for the money. Well built and easy to service, but VERY expensive spare parts.

Kenny Duo aka Sparmeister Washer/Dryer

 

2

Not as good as a real home machine, also a bit smaller, but needs as much water as a big one. Aside of the spin-drying it works even on a heeled boat. Motor mount rusted through.

Jabsco Manual Toilets + Installation

 

 

4

Check valves not tight, 'stuff' flows back from holding tanks. Part of the problem is also the way Najad install holding tanks. Service kits of not much help as typically the plastic pump housing degrades and leaks. Not recommendable in conjunction with holding tanks, as it doesn't chop the paper. One replaced with electric TECMA beginning of 2006.        Second replaced with electric Jabso Silentflush beginning of 2008

TECMA Electric Toilett

2

Now 2 years in continuous use and so far very reliable, quiet and has never clogged.  Lid hinges not entirely rustproof. Air bypass hose needs occasional cleaning.

Jabsco Silent Flush

3-

New, to replace second manual toilet. Half the price of the Tecma, but less powerful and way more noisy, despite the name. Leaking after three years, needed replacement of seals. 

 

3 Waeco fridges/freezer

with BD35 compressors.

 

 

2-

Inaccurate thermostats difficult to adjust. Aluminum coax tubing impossible to repair. Insulation OK. Seem to work fine in the tropics, even with just air cooled condensers. Freezer is at -18C even in the hottest places.

After some teething problems, no more failures despite heavy and continuous use for many years in the tropics.

Just to make sure the freezer doesn't fail when under way, we replaced the compressor of just the freezer unit which had run for over 60,000 hrs.

Electrolux Micro Wave Oven

 

2-

Just fine, but doesn't work when heeled. At sea a micro wave without turntable would be better.

 

Flojet/Jabsco Sensor MAX pump

17 VSD

 

4

Used for sea water to anchor flush and to feed the water maker at sea. Regulation is very smooth, but the electronic controller is built into the motor where it will fail after some time when covered with carbon powder from the brushes. We cleaned ours twice when it failed but after about 300 hours it was at its end.

Second one failed even quicker.

 

Shureflo Smart Sensor 5.7 pump

 

 

3

Used for sea water to anchor flush and to feed the water maker at sea. And bought to replace the Flojet/Jabsco above. Hoped it would work better as the electronics are housed separate under the motor. But it only runs for 20 minutes and when warm, cycles up and down and off and on.

In general not as well regulated as the Flojet/Jabsco.

Sent back and got replacement which seems to work fine for now.

 

 

 

Electrical Installation

 

 

Victron Inverter 3500W sine wave

 

1

Very reliable, stable voltage and frequency. We run the 2kW watermaker from it when motoring. Copes well with this load.

Victron Charger 24V/75A

 

 

1

Very reliable, can be set for most battery types, maintains batteries very well over the winter.

Balmar Alternator 24V100A

 

4

Burned out after 150 hrs, too small for this kind of output.

AmpTec Alternator 24V/135A

 

1-

Very reliable - now 3000 hrs.

Bearing failure at 3500 hrs.

Complete service at 3500 hrs.

6 x Tudor 140Ah semi traction batteries

 

 

 

2-

Good price performance, after 4 years still full capacity, but charging was significantly slower. Hard to find replacement in same form factor with equal capacity. Replaced after 4 years with AGM batteries from Fullriver.

8 x Fullriver 145Ah AGM Batteries

also called Squadron AGM 160

 

 

 

3

From Onboardpower in the UK. Very good price performance. Charge acceptance is fantastic when compared to the old regular batteries. After 400 cycles the capacity was down to less than half.  Had hoped for 600 cycles.

Replaced after 2 years. 

6 x Chinese Champion 150Ah AGM Batteries.

2

Bought in New Zealand for the price of normal flooded cell batteries. No degradation after 200 cycles. After 400 cycles they seemed to have about 80% of the original capacity. Replaced after 927 cycles down to 30% capacity. 

6 x Effekta BTL 12-150 

150Ah AGM Batteries.

5

Looked like they may have come from the same Chinese source as the previous set that we bought in NZ. Yet turned out much worse. Bought this set in Germany from Yachtbatterie.de for about 25% more than in NZ. After a year and a bit they failed totally. Excellent dealer refunded the batteries!

6 x Mastervolt 

160Ah AGM Batteries.

 

2+

Had to find a replacement quickly, so got same size AGM batteries from Mastervolt. Only 70 cycles so far.

Charging at bulk is possible to a noticeably higher level than with previous batteries. Very impressive so far.

Sterling Digital-Pro Regulator

 

3-

1st one shipped defect; very responsive service; few fixed voltage settings may not offer enough choice for all battery types. Failed several times just locking up, but always worked again after resetting ( disconnect-connect power). Sometimes 'nervous'  regulation.

Mastervolt Alpha Pro MB Regulator

1-

Nice, very compact regulator that allows for very specific configuration via PC-Interface. This allowed us to control torque, especially at lower revs. Better for the engine bearings and no more slipping belts.

 

While it works for 12V and 24V Systems, it does not support positive excited alternators.

Link 10 Battery Monitor

 

1-

Simple and perfect, comes with big 500A shunt. Foil cover on push buttons wears out.

 

 

 

Navigation & Communication

 

 

Raymarine ST 60 series

 

 

 

2

6 instruments including a maxi-view. 2 instruments failed very early, while under guarantee. Since then all instruments work fine. The maxi doesn't work with the remote which controls the others. Arm of wind-sensor too short.

 

Maxi View gave up after 14 years, with the housing plastic so brittle that one cannot get enough pressure onto the contacts of the display panel.  Replaced with an ST70 color display.

Raymarine ST 7000+

 

3-

1st control head; cannot be updated to the ST7001 Software. Failed several times with moisture inside. Housing got brittle in the sun, moisture corroded PCB. After several repairs eventually ready for the garbage can.

Raymarine ST 7002+

5

Replacement for the above. One push button wasn't working in the beginning. Then, just two weeks after installation it filled with water in a rain squall and died completely.

Replaced on warranty by West Marine.

Half a year later, this unit is having problems and fails and restarts about once a day. Doing so it takes the AP to standby which can cause all sorts of problems.

Raymarine says to send it in for warranty repair, but how to you do that if you are moving in remote places?

Electronic board swapped in the Azores on warranty, but had to pay for transport.

Raymarine ST 6000+

 

2-

2nd control head; cannot be updated to the ST6001 Software. No Problems since mounted in protected location.

Raymarine ST 600

 

2-

Nice hand held control head; Contrast a bit weak. Backlight  didn't last long. 

Raymarine ST70 Display

2-

Replacement for the old MaxiView. Somewhat smaller, but still OK to read. Many screen configuration choices. Dimming and night setting complicated. Doesn’t adjust brightness together with the other instruments.

Fits reasonably well with the design of the ST60 series.

Raymarine Smartcontroller

3-

Wireless Autopilot head and data display. Doesn't seem to allow configuration of AP. Less functional than the 600; Not even response level can be set. User interface not as nice as on the 600, a bit clumsy to use and hard to read display.  Some data are displayed wrong, according to Ray "a software glitch". Turns the AP to Standby when battery goes low and caused a crash jibe that way. Cannot be turned off when on the charger!

Raymarine NEMA-Bridge

 

3-

Limited in what it gets across, sometimes sends out wrong position records or gets confused with magnetic versus true..

 

 

 

Raymarine 400G course computer

same as S3G

 

 

 

2

Autopilot with "rate-gyro". Replaced the type 300 that failed several times. The 400G works very well steering to compass heading and the stabilized heading reference is great for the radar. It is not particularly great when steering relative to wind, and track mode meanders to much for some sailing situations. 

 

 

 

 

 

Simrad CA40D

(updated to CA42D)

 

 

 

 

2+

Integrated chart plotter, radar, and fish finder. Hardware quality is at least a notch up from all the other equipment. Software had a history of  bugs and we had several updates. - Old bugs go and new ones come and good software quality seems not a particular strength of Simrad. After 5 years Simrad sent a replacement unit with a faster processor free of charge. This works now noticeably better and faster, and only a few little quirks in the software remain.

Excellent radar image and picks up lots of small stuff like fishing buoys. 

Doesn't support the new C-Map MAX modules and we would today like to have ARPA and AIS capability.

Has been an important and reliable companion for now 7 years.

Support in Sweden, England and particularly in Germany has been more than excellent. Would buy Simrad again, just for the great support! But now it is all Navico and just a label.

Simrad DS40

2-

Daughter display to the CA40D, mounted in the cockpit. All functions are mirrored, but response is sometimes very slow making cursor positioning a bit tricky. While not a SunView display, viewing in daylight is still quite good.

Simrad-Anritsu 3' open array Radar

 

2+

Very good antenna for the CA40

The delivered radar image is very fine and due to it's relatively low mounting position it can even pick up small fishing buoys on a calm sea. 

Replaced magnetron after 2400 hrs with new Gen4 type. (Was getting weaker on long range, now perfect again).

Echo Pilot Gold II Forward looking sonar

2

Fitted in 2007. Very useful addition to our two other sounders as you get a view forward. On flat ground it sees about 3 times the depth forward. Steep coral heads you see about 50m off.

C. Plath Horizon Sextant

1-

great sextant, a bit heavy, doesn't get enough use these days

Suunto Steering Compass D-135

2

Good to read, very sensitive on the compensation magnets.

Steiner Commander III 7x50 Bins

4

No focusing necessary, set to infinity - but you cannot inspect the mast-top.

Relatively light and compact, but rubber arming dissolves and gets sticky in the sun so they look like a piece of junk after five years. Quality is not up to the relatively high price.

Compass was glued in place and glue let go over time so that it turned in its bracket and got misaligned.

Rubber is excluded from warranty.

Replacement rubber coating expensive, (€140) and quality of support very poor.

After repair, came back with compass misaligned. After second try seemed OK, but  filled with water in a tropical rain shower.

Same problems with the one of our friends which is only four years old, it's so sticky plus the compass is dead that they gave up using it and reverted to much cheaper Nikon bins.

Latest complete overhaul at fixed price was indeed very good and the glass is again in good condition.

KVH Datascope Bearing compass

3-

great to use, stores a number of bearings with time. first unit lost parts of LCD, but was replaced under warranty. Now after 7 years the second unit has the same problem. Finally died.

Intervac NiteMate G III Nightvision

2+

Exceptional performance, c-mount allows for tele-lens which is nice. Original lens not too great and device not watertight. 12 years old, some degradation in performance now noticeable. Successor available from ITT.

2 Hartenberger Mini Dive Lamps

1

These lamps are fantastic, now seven years used for diving as well as around the boat. Batteries still hold 80% charge after ten years and lamps work as well as on the first day.

Finally a product where you get the quality you pay for.

Very recommendable.

New battery packs after 12 years.

4 Petzel Tikka LED Headlamps

2-

Not waterproof and battery contacts need cleaning once in a while, but otherwise fantastic and a must have on the boat. You can read several long books in the cockpit at night on one set of 3 AAA batteries. Unfortunately they do not last forever, by now 3 out of  4 died over time.

Simrad RS 8400 VHF with DSC

3-

Handset at steering console not watertight: got soaked by a wave and went dead.

3 replacement handsets used up over 10 years. Decommissioned 2011.

Northstar Explorer 725 with 

wireless 2nd handset

2

New in 2011. Easy to use, including DSC functions. Excellent price. A bit too high consumption in stand/by (300mA). Speaker volume not controllable via remote handset. Backlight cannot be switched off when in charge cradle.

Identical with more expensive Simrad RS25 which doesn't include the wireless second handset (and doesn't support it).

Simrad HT 50 hand held VHF

4

Submersible, very clear and good range; just a bit bulky and the labels on the keys fade away and become unreadable. Battery didn't last long. Replacement battery more expensive than a new ICOM. Got wet and died despite being submersible.

Raymarine Ray 106E hand held VHF

3-

Submersible, smaller than the Simrad, alternatively takes alkaline batteries, but not as clear a communication as with the Simrad. Rubber now very sticky. Needed wrapping with Spi Tape. Recharchable Battery  almost dead. Replaced cells breaking the pack open and sealing it again.

Standard HX230 hand held VHF

2+

20 years old, not water proof, never failed, works with US channels as well.

Really good quality.  Two of the three original battery packs still work.

 MR HH325 VP EU Cobra hand held VHF

2

Excellent price, watertight, too early to judge. Battery got very hot when charging and bloated. Whole set replaced under warranty. Seems to be fine now for two years.

RR Pacific Masthead antenna

 

 

 

3

Does VHF, GSM, FM, TV, and 0.1 to 30MHz. Second VHF antenna for separate DSC and AIS receiver is not as good as the main one. Also feeds 800MHz mobile phones (obsolete) and two car radios, separated from the two VHFs, and is an excellent receive antenna for SW. Unfortunately no WiFi available. Second VHF (for AIS) failed after some years (corrosion).

ICOM M710-RT SSB Transceiver

 

 

 

 

 

3

Marine SSB, that for ITU channels and HAM frequencies. Unit mounted close to antenna tuner and antenna, control head at chart table. TX works very well, RX not that great and our other receivers seem to do noticeably better on weak signals. Also sound on the remote head is annoying to listen to for longer.

SGC-SG230 automatic antenna tuner

 

1-

really great tuner, currently used with the ICOM 710 and the Comrod Whip. Automatically memorizes setting for used frequencies. Needs to be mounted below deck.

ICOM IC-7000 Allband Transceiver

 

 

 

 

 

2

HAM unit that handles  HAM frequencies as well as ship ITU channels and more.. Unit connected to backstay via CG-3000 tuner.  RX is exceptionally great on this unit with digital signal processing and a large choice of filters. On TX a little bit weaker than the 710, but still fine.

CG-3000 automatic antenna tuner

 

3

Chinese rip-off of the SG230, same network, different microprocessor, no external control, fewer relays, so may more likely fail in higher voltage conditions. Had already a relay driver failure.

Poor manual, no circuit diagram.

You get what you pay for...

Comrod 5.6m whip antenna

 

 

1-

Fine antenna and seems to work better or equal when compared to the isolated backstay. (At least down to 4MHz). Extremely good quality. Driven by the SG-230

Fastnet FM-55 All band weather receiver

 

 

 

 

3

Receives, Weather Fax, RTTY Weather, Navtex, includes a full SW/SSB receiver and a barograph. SW reception seems better than on the ICOM 710  and it is nicer to listen to news, but you may get ripped out if it needs to switch to a weather report.

Cannot print barograph or send it to a PC.

Doesn't receive Navtex while working on a preprogrammed reception.

Hard to feed paper into the printer which jams easily after tearing off the paper.

Connected to the RR-antenna.

Yaesu FT-747GX HAM transceiver

 

 

3-

Simple old unit, easy to handle, nice to listen too, but not particularly good for the marine environment. Connected to the backstay via balun and a MFJ manual tuner.

Replaced 15.1.08 with the IC-7000

MFJ- 971 manual antenna tuner

 

2-

Simple box, works well together with a balun on the backstay. May arc under some circumstances.

Replaced 15.1.08 with the CG-3000

SCS-PTC-IIpro  Pactor 3 modem

 

1

Excellent unit, used with the IC-M 710 

Very good software, very good support.

Comar / Euronav AIS 3000 

AIS Receiver

 

1

Great Black-Box. Works very well. One of the first available, now many are available at much lower price. In use since 2004.

A must-have safety feature, especially in low visibility. In Singapore we had over 300 targets at the same time!

We use MaxSea to display the targets and to plot CPA etc.

Weatherdock easyTRX2-Wifi 

AIS Transponder

 

2

 This new box is a sender and receiver, so now we should ourselves appear on other ships monitors. In addition this unit has a built-in NMEA-MUX and can send the combined NMEA data via WIFI in addition to the regular serial outputs.

Tested for one season. The transponder as such is excellent, the extra features don't quite work and are a just a waste the way they are implemented. Would recommend the standard version and to use something else if you want NEMA data on WiFi.

Apple iPad with waterproof cover

3

Will try to see if this is the future type of display... Stay tuned.

So far apps and infrastructure appear not quite ripe. Charts, especially Navionics on the iPad are quite nice though and a great addition, as they are kept up-to-date.

Inside Out Networks 

Edgeport 4

 

1-

The first Serial Port to USB converter we found that really works with all software we have. This one is the 4-port version.

 

Finally two out of four ports died and the unit was retired after ten years.

Motorola 9500 Iridium phone

 

2

Great sat phone with data capability. Primitive bracket. Airtime price around US $1 and it would work in the life raft. Data software with bugs. Currently not in use.

2 Blaupunkt Car Radios

 

 

3

OK, but not built for marine environment, some controls suffer and may not always work properly.

One replaced with new Grundig.

The other replaced with a JVC.

IBM Thinkpad 600X Laptop

 

 

 

1-

Was the most used laptop for four years on board and had no hardware problems. Software recovery can be very difficult if not impossible without hi-speed internet access these days.....

HP Xe3 Laptop

 

3-

Some reliability problems, flickering screen...

IBM Thinkpad T30 Laptop

 

2-

now 6  years old, failed twice and was repaired on warranty. Still in use as backup.

Has no sound any more.

IBM warranty service is excellent.

 

 

IBM Thinkpad T40 Laptop

 

 

2

4 years old, very low power consumption  with Centrino technology, failed once and was repaired on warranty.

Wifi antennes in lid corroded away.

ASUS F3J Laptop

 

 

2-

new, fast, and  big display. Missing the trackpoint and keyboard illumination of the Thinkpads. Quality looks ok, but keyboard not as nice as IBMs. Doesn't run very long from battery. Lid hinge broke out of the lower chassis. Was fixed on warranty. Sold and replaced by MacBook 13.3 Unibody.

1x MacBook Pro 13"

1x MacBook 15" retina

1-

So far the better PC with WM-Ware Fusion as well as Parallels.

The excellent power management certainly helps with onboard use.

HP - Printer/Scanner/Copier PSC 1210

 

 

2

Nice small unit. Great for on board use. Had some small problems, but still works fine after 12 years on board!

 

Sony Cybershot DSC-P9

 

3

Our oldest digital camera still in use (rarely) as we have the dive case for it. Some faint spots on the sensor since the beginning. Slow in focusing and almost useless in tele setting. Still works, but has a smudge on the sensor.

 

Olympus µ770

 

2+

Very nice water tight and shock proof unit. Ideal for use on board. Unfortunately first unit leaked after two months of use, but was replaced on warranty. Picture quality is OK, not super. Focusing is faster than the Sony, but still a bit slow. Tele shots also a bit better. Impossible to see display in sunlight and it has no viewfinder.

Once you find the right settings the pictures are great and the macro is fantastic. Whne we had both, we used it more than the Canon SLR.

 

Canon EOS 350 D

 

2-

As expected makes the best pictures of the three. Very impressive in low light situations. Focus is very fast. Battery life very long.

Disappointing quality on landscape shots. Nikon 80 of our son clearly better in this category. Very hard to keep clean - always some dirt on the sensor. Not a good camera for this environment. Phased out 2009.

 

Canon EFS 17-85mm IS

 

3-

Problems focusing on infinity at wide angle setting. Image quality not overwhelming and poor at short focal length. Sharpness below what the cheap kit lens delivers.

 

Phased out with the EOS 350D

Olympus E-620  SLR

1-

Used 2009-2014. Way more reliable than the Canon and no dirty sensor problems. Kit lenses also much better, if not excellent.

No problems in 4 years use on board.

Olympus µ 1030SW

2

Replaced the second 770 which also leaked after some time. Quite similar picture quality as the 770, just a bit more resolution. 

Olympus XZ-1

1

Incredibly good camera, makes you leave the SLR at home, (well most of the time). 

Olympus OM – D E5

1

Replaced the  E-620 and now the XZ-1 is used less gain. This SLR with the  14-150 (28-300) Travel zoom is almost as easy to take along and delivers wonderful pictures.

 

 

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