About King Tide Sailing

Here's the deal. I'm not a programmer, or a computer engineer, or any kind of engineer for that matter. I'm just a frugal sailor who likes writing about sailing things. And one thing I can't stand is when web pages assume their readers know even the most basic core concepts about computers and hardware and software. Because I don't. But I figured out how to emulate and replicate my way into making a few powerful, low-cost solutions for sailing.

So this is my way of documenting how to make cheap yacht instruments for total computer noobs who have no clue what they're doing (like me).

Sailboats are cheap these days. Sailing instruments can be too. Yachting for the common man--that's what King Tide Sailing is about.

You won't see any ads on this blog. However, King Tide Sailing is an Amazon Associate, which means that when you follow the links to Amazon and make a purchase, King Tide Sailing receives a small portion of that sale.

If you wish to remove this compensation, simply delete the following line from the address bar after clicking on an Amazon link:


King Tide Sailing supports decentralized cryptocurrencies. If you wish to support KTS through donation instead of Amazon Associates, use the following addresses for either Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), or Monero (XMR):

BTC 3GdaTmhZau3AYuhqfLAftSYxcQdYEyeD9C
ETH 0xf8cf9906bf6F2E6747903aB89463Bbc76A5d4185
XMR 48scyVHZoZZHSX5M1Fs24K3t5nbWLVN7DE6Hid42X4oVMoiFwhKmNjbHw6vrp7mHkr7P6gbG9NqF6aVva1UtZ9NN6Sm4X7Z


  1. You are truly amazing. I've been researching all of your ideas starting from scratch. Your work will save me months of trial and error. My sincere thanks,

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad someone else is benefiting from my own few months of trial and error.

  2. Ditto the above x 2. I'm now running a pi with openplotter broadcasting over wifi. I used the LCJ Capteurs ultrasonic windvane, DST800, and a Horizon VHF for AIS and position.

    However, I find that fumbling with a laptop or cellphone for navigation data display is really awkward and risks harm to not very weather proof electronics. I also have 4 holes in my bulkhead where old and now broken instruments hang out. I know you used the RD-30 but I kinda like the big numbered displays. So, I went ahead and made a display out of an arduino and 2.4" TFT, laser cut the bezel out of plexi and cnc'd the housing out of delrin. I am an engineer and have these skillz and equipment. I know there are a few repeater displays on the market already (I used to own a CruzPro) but they're kinda clunky and expensive, especially if you need 4. The nice thing about the arduino is that you can show anything with various fonts and graphics, it just takes programming. Some smart person could probably figure out how to run NMEA2000/canbus as well. Contact me if you'd like to see what it looks like, I already made 4.

    1. Yasssss! That would be amazing. I really wanted to do that but it exceeded my technical ability a little too much. Definitely link some pics and/or instructions, I definitely would want to add that to this blog since repeater displays are also absurdly expensive for what you get.

    2. Yes, expensive and also not very flexible in terms of what they can display. The cheap Clipper instruments for example. You can display wind speed and direction if you buy that particular display, but you can't send it true wind. Can't make a graph of depth, or barometric pressure. Etc. Unfortunately there isn't any way to add a photo to these blog comments. Let me see what I can do with youtube...

    3. Try this https://youtu.be/0QnTVOjh21Y

    4. Also, will be designing a square version which i think will allow me to use a larger screen.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hey! Just stumbled across your blog, amazing! We are currently sailing around the world on our $6000 boat that is now run on 100% renewable energy. Check us out if you are curious sailingcinderella.com

    Anyway, we took wave over the stern on our trip down the coast from Seattle that friend our old KVH instrument screens.

    Classically, the screens are fried and no longer made, but the depth transducer/wind instruments/ speed transducer still work.

    If you have some time to lend a hand, I can send you what I'm working with for some advice.


    1. Whew... that’s gonna be real tough. I’m nearly 100% positive that how those older systems work is that the sensors themselves (depth sounder, wind anemometer, etc...) don’t produce NMEA data, they simply send an analogue voltage signal to the display unit. The display unit then interprets that signal and produces the data.

      What kind of cables/connection do your sensors have?


Post a Comment

Popular Posts