Well, we sold our house and had less than a month to find a new place and get moved so the electronics install had to go on the back burner. Things have stabilized though and we have been able to make some additional progress.

The old system was all networked with NMEA 0183. SeaVee ran all of that to a bus bar for distribution, but all their pretty wiring was a pain in the butt to pull apart and trace. I was afraid to cut wires without being certain what was what so I traced every one from end to end before removing. SeaVee has all the wires tightly bundled together into several routing channels. Each one is zip tied to a clip screwed to the fiberglass every two inches or less!  I had to clip every one of those little suckers.

The bus bars in the background below are the old NMEA hub.

In the end, I was able to completely remove all of it as there was nothing wired in here that was needed for the Simrad install. Since it’s all Smirad it will all connect through the NMEA 2000 backbone. Much simpler than the old setup.

I built a new aluminum rack to mount all of the black boxes and the stereo amplifier.

Had to go back and fiberglass in the dash where the auto pilot goes. Thought the dimensions were the same, but did not work out that way.

Auto Pilot installed and MFD’s up and running!

Still need to get the transducer in and the radar array mounted.  Can’t wait to get it all up and running.

Until next time, catch ’em up!

Time to Do the Gel Coat

  1. So I got the prep work done.

Decided to call in a professional to do the gel coat.  Les Harris with Harris Fiberglass came out.  I was prepared for him to tell me my fiberglass job was a mess and not ready for gel coat, but no.  He said it was good to go and he went right to work.  We decided to go bold and use a different color for the dash.  Went with powder blue.

Les showing off his good work.

Tell me what you think.  When its all done and the MFD’s are in I’ll see if I can do a poll on the color selection.

Until next time, Catch ’em up!

Time to Upgrade

If you like electronics you’re going to dig this.  It’s time to upgrade the electronics on the FN Pair-A-Dice.  It started out with wanting to upgrade to a CHIRP fishfinder, but has morphed into a full on refit.  It’s time to have a system where all the electronics work together seamlessly.

We decided to go with all Simrad.  Two EVO3 16 inch multi-function displays will be the hubs running an S5100 CHIRP sounder with a 2KW Airmar R111 transducer.  A Simrad Halo 6 foot open array radar system with a Precision9 rate compass will help us navigate at night and in bad weather.  To save space at the helm for the displays, we chose to go with the Simrad R90 black box VHF and the Sonic Hub2 black box stereo system.  And to round out the system we upgraded to the Simrad AP44 auto pilot.

We are doing the install ourselves so I will post up here as we go.

The first step was to fiberglass in the holes where the stereo and VHF were mounted.  There will not be room for those with the new MFD’s.

I’ve never done any fiberglass work so this should be interesting 🙂

Solid glass took forever. Decided to core the patch on the hole for the old fish finder and that went much faster.  Used filler over that to get a smooth surface.

Patched over the back for extra strength.  Doesn’t need to be pretty in there.

OK, time to cut out holes and dry fit the new MFD’s.  Looks pretty good! We will gel coat that later and it will look like new.

The debate now is what color for the gel coat.  Match the existing white?  Or do something that contrasts?  Back to you soon with the results of that debate.

Until then, catch ’em up.