A few days ago we wrote how we had installed, back in October 2008, a Garmin 15” touchscreen, the very first in Spain. Fast forward 7 years and we increase by 7 inches: yes, we are installing the brand new 22″ and 24″ touchscreens from Garmin; again, the very first ones in Spain.

We are working on a 41 m sailing yacht built in 1994 at Concorde Yachts (in Thailand, the design being from Bruce Farr). These are the well known Garmin GPS-plotter GPSMap, touchscreen and multifunction, but following a go big or go home style: the screens are 52×33 cm (the 24″ one), and 48×27 cm (the 22″ one), and with a highest resolution of 1920×1200 and 1920×1080 pixels respectively.

Sketch of the yacht

The main features of these equipment are:

  • High-performance processor, for a fast response
  • NMEA 2000 and NMEA 0183 compatible
  • Compatible with the rest of electronics equipment on board: radar, sonar, AIS, display of position on DSC-capable radios, electronic charts, engine monitoring…)
  • Supports 2 SD cards
  • USB port
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Compatible with Garmin Helm app, to control the plotter from your mobile phone

New equipment, up-to-date, more sophisticated, and they have grown up, very much!

Image of the GPSMAP 8424, from Garmin’s catalogue, showing the screen displaying radar and electronic chart

Image of the GPSMAP 8424, from Garmin’s catalogue, showing the screen displaying electronic chart and engine room monitoring

Moreover, we have renewed almost completely the navigation equipment on board; we have supplied, and are replacing, the existing ones:

  • An autopilot, with 4 displays
  • A 72-miles radar
  • A sonar
  • 8 video cameras, for CCTV watch
  • An AIS transponder
  • The complete GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) satellite communication system, based on Inmarsat Mini-C :
    • Antenna
    • GPS
    • Touchscreen for messages
    • Printer
    • Navtex system for the reception of weather, navigation and distress alerts
      Communication system Inmarsat Fleet One, for satellite data service, including a Wi-Fi router and 8 antennas for the Wi-Fi reception
  • TV antenna
  • Satellite TV antenna Sea Tel Cobham 80 (42″ dome)

But what do we do with all this stuff? That many pieces of equipment can’t just be spread around the helm station. At Medenisa, for this kind of project we follow some well established guidelines, so that everything is properly installed:

  1. We look into the project and make a preliminary design
  2. The location of the equipment is decided
  3. Calculation of the power consumption of the system
  4. Identification and design of the data network between each item of equipment
  5. Design of the antennas arrangement (interferences, shadows and signal lost must be avoided)

There it ends the theoretical side of the project. Let’s go for the practical one:

  1. Removal of the existing cabling
  2. Accesses for the laying of the new cabling must be optimized
  3. Laying of the new cabling, both on interiors and on outer areas (now we have to coordinate very well with other companies which may be working on board as well!)
  4. Installation of through-hull transducers
  5. Installation of connection boxes, cable terminals, etc.

And then we have to adjust every specific equipment:

  • The autopilot needs to be commuted so that it is connected to the rudder
  • Distribution of the TV signal around the boat (for the satellite one, the controls have to be centralised on a rack)
  • The Inmarsat equipment have to be incorporated to the boat computer network
  • Configuration of the Wi-Fi network

We now have to draw the scheme of the system, which will be kept on board (so that anyone will be able to know how all the connections, circuits, etc. have been made). And finally we go for trials: start-up of the equipment, calibration, checking that everything works fine, and we have to explain the crew how the equipment is operated.

And that is how we work at Medenisa. Got any doubt? Contact us, we’ll be please to help you!