I admit, I'm a bit OCD, and hang out with other folks who are as well. We like the boat as clean as possible when we're hanging out at anchor or at the dock. While we're underway, we tend to make a mess - food being prepped below, things going back and forth, and general use. Having a good quality vacuum is critical, and up until now, all of the options sucked, or rather, didn't suck enough.


Amazon Echo Dot is perfect for the sailboat

I've had an Amazon Echo at home for some time and love it. It is used mostly for controlling our Philips Hue lighting (15 different zones/lights) and our Sonos sound system, plus a bunch of scenarios and other home automation niceties. I've been wanting an Echo Dot for Grace but missed out on the original release. I was able to snag one recently, and have it doing a few things on the boat, with some cool plans for the future.

Charging away from the dock

One of the biggest challenges with my old DC power system was apparent when away from the dock. Grace has a Yanmar engine with a factory alternator, which on a good day output 30 amps into the battery bank. Not only was this not enough for the new bank, but the regulator was not programmable and would damage my new Firefly batteries. After a bunch of research, I chose Balmar as a complete system.

The arteries and veins of your electrical system

If you've done any wiring on your boat, you know how much wire size is emphasized in manufacturer specifications, and there is a very good reason for it. If the batteries are the heart of the system, the wires are the arteries and veins. Having a perfect heart won't matter if your delivery system is compromised - you need adequate sized wire to carry the necessary current. Part of my power system redesign was to replace almost all of the core critical wiring in Grace as I had found the existing wire had damage, and was too small for my expected loads.