Useful Gadgets

Wai Whare is not the most gadget-laden vessel that you’ll find, but there are three tools on board that have proved to be exceedingly useful.

The first is a handheld GPS that Steven’s father gave to us as a gift. It isn’t the latest model, it doesn’t have all of the fancy features, but it more than meets our needs. It tells us where we are to less than a boat length and tells us how fast we are going and in which direction (something that is rather important as a sailboat slips downwind in a process called leeway, rather than travelling exactly where the bow is pointed). It also remembers waypoints which allows us to mark our route and indentify how far we have left to go in each leg of our trips.

The second is a solar powered battery charger. Now that we’re becoming used to the GPS, we need some way of recharging the batteries that it takes. Our solar powered battery charger is a joy. It works rain or shine and on a sunny day it recharges batteries faster than the plug-in battery charger that we have at home.

We know that the solar powered battery charger works thanks to our third gadget, a digital multi-meter. This was a Christmas gift from Steven’s father. It allows us to check how much power is in the various batteries onboard. It has a lot of other functions too, but we haven’t come up with practical uses for them yet.

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