Some tips for the installation of Sailsense's solution on a catamaran, how to get started and what to expect...
Before you start...
The installation of Sailsense devices is not very complex from a technical point of view, but with a few tips and a bit of preparation, you can make it very smooth. Going through the 3 steps below will help you save a considerable amount of time... and sweat ! 😅
Step 1: Read the installation manual
Yes, it's not a joke!
Get the latest version of the installation manual here.
Step 2: list the data sources you would like to monitor
The first step of the installation is to list the equipment you'd like to monitor with Sailsense HUBs and PODs and identify their data source. For a Lucia 40, you would typically monitor the following:
|Equipment to monitor||Data source & protocol|
|Navigation instruments (SOG, COG, Depth, Wind Speed, Wind Direction, ...)||NMEA2000 network|
|Fuel and water tanks levels||Analog gauges (voltage measurement)|
|Bilge pump ON/OFF state||Analog (voltage measurement)|
|Engine parameters (RPM, coolant temperature, oil pressure, ...)||Engine with ECU (J1939 protocol)|
|Service batteries||Analog (voltage measurement)|
|Engine batteries||Analog (voltage measurement)|
Check-out all the interfacing capabilities of the HUB and POD here.
Step 3: locate the data sources and determine the optimal installation plan
The best way to save time during an installation, is to avoid dragging cables from one end of the boat to the other to connect one of the equipment to the HUB or to a POD. So to avoid this, it's handy to locate all the data sources beforehand and to draw a little schematic.
For the example of our Lucia 40, you would typically conclude the following:
- The most optimal position for the HUB would be somewhere close to the chart table. Why? Because:
- There is a connection the NMEA2000 backbone available there
- The water and fuel gauges are there
- The bilge pump command panel is in the same area
- The electrical board of the boat is nearby, allowing to easily plug the HUB to a permanent power supply and to monitor the service and engine batteries
- ... and the chart table is high enough on the boat to get a decent GPS and 3G/4G signal quality in most of the cases
- For the POD, the most optimal location would be in each engine room, as close as possible the engines.
On the newer versions of Lucia 40 the fuel and water levels are available on the NMEA2000 network and displayed on the chart plotter. In this case, you don't need to connect the gauges to the HUB or POD since they are already available on the NMEA2000 bus.
Step 4: Prepare your material
To perform an installation you need the following tools and equipment:
- The HUB & PODs... obviously 😜
- The cabling kits for the HUB and the PODs. They contain the necessary screws, crimps and fuses.
- Wire (preferably 0.75mm²)
- NMEA2000 cable adapter for Raymarine or Simrad NMEA backbones
- Cable ties... for a neat installation
- Double face tape or silicone to mount the GPS antenna
- A drill
- A screw driver (Torks and Philips heads)
- A crimping tool
- A cutting plier
- A wrench
- A voltmeter
Step 5: install your Sailsense devices
For the example of a Lucia 40, we could typically foresee 40-60min.
Chart table with electrical panel underneath
Hub installed under the chart table
POD installed in the engine room
Locate the engine connector and plug the Sailsense Y cable there
Step 6: configure your Sailsense devices