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Download Maretron Software FREE!

Maretron have allowed a free download of their excellent drawing software for free here.

Using this software you can:
* Design NMEA2000® Networks
* Document network Design Decisions
* Analyse NMEA2000® Networks
* Automatically Generate Bill of Materials (BOM)
* Create Network Configuration Files
* Print Schematics and Reports

N2KBuilder™ software is a powerful, free PC-based tool for designing and verifying the integrity of NMEA 2000® networks. The N2KBuilder™ software, when installed on a Windows PC and used as part of an integrated design workflow can be used to layout, document, and validate the design of complex NMEA 2000® networks. In addition, it will directly produce a Bill of Materials (BOM) for Maretron® products, eliminating guesswork and transcription errors.

I have used it to map out a schematic of my old NMEA0183 network too..I know that this undermines the built in checks and balances but at least I get a nice schematic diagram..which I previously had to keep up to date using Excel and pasted images.


New! Passage Plan Template

Phlat ChatThe owner of the pretty catamaran "Phlat Chat" has sent

in an updated copy of the passage plan

that I first posted here.









You can download the updated passage planner I have two different version:

1 – Word document that is like a checklist for the Skipper & Crew

2 – Excel spreadsheet

The update is a useful calculator for fuel consumption especially if you have two engines and anticipate motoring for any length of time.

So now you get the following displays inside the passage plan:





..or if the calculations shows you havn’t got enough fuel, then the display shows…





"Phlat Chat" will be cruising up the east coast of Australia over the Christmas period from Sydney to Lake Macquarie….am I envious?

….Oh no! …we love the rolling fog and bitter cold of the English Channel in December 🙂


Passage Planning

Following my previous post on Passage Planning I received a number of requests for copies of the passage planning documents that I use. So I thought I would post them here to make it easy to just download them. Just click on the icons below.

Excel Icon1. EXCEL doc – a template and guide to the passage planning process. Inside this workbook there are the following worksheets:

a. Passage Planning Process (for complete novices)
b. Yacht Data Sheet – its becoming a real chore in Europe to carry all these documents and information with your all the time.
c. Departure Checklist – a bit like a flight check list before you “take off”
d. Passage Planning Template – for when the electronics all fail (and the backup) and you forget the vital information that seemed so easy and obvious before you set off!

Word Icon2. WORD doc – a copy of a typical set of weather and tide information that I would take with me . The URL’s take you to the UK sites that I use, but you can easily swap these for your own locale. I just copy and paste (right click on images and copy and paste) into the WORD tables and re-size so they fit on A4. Then I print them and put them in a Nyrex clear plastic wallet and binder.

The documents are all editable – so feel free to amend and doctor to your own taste. If you do distribute to friends and club members and so on, I would only ask that the footer is maintained that gives the URL of my blog site.

I would welcome feedback – I am sure you all have other good ideas….


Have you got a passage planner ?

Several people have complimented me on the simple folder that I use for filing my passage plans and other handy reference information.

I have used an A4 sized folder that has a black plastic cover and clear plastic sleeves into which I can insert A4 sheets of paper that I have printed from the web or that I have typed as aide memoirs for myself.

The first section is the passage itself with weather, tides, destination and alternative port information and so on. The second section is the fixed section which is reference info. This is particularly helpful and calming for crew who may be feeling anxious or confused about what is going on. Apart from being educational, discussing cloud formations, weather systems, understanding winds speeds and wave heights serves to calm the nerves and provide a healthy distraction if you have inexperienced crew and they are getting anxious or just bored;-)

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Met office weather forecast BBC web site Reference section :Beaufort scale
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Reference section :Symbols Reference section :Weather theory Clip in / out sleeves
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Skysail – guides Skysail – guides Skysail – guides

In addition to my usual inserts – I have now discovered the excellent plastic covered aide memoirs produced by Keith Bater of Skysail Training – for the very reasonable price of £16 you can get a full set of guides from Keith and I highly recommend them. See some pictures of what you get by clicking on the thumbnails above.

If you would like a WORD document with my passage plan template please contact me and I will be happy to send you a copy.

I would also appreciate any tips that you may have about how you prepare and write down your passage plans.