Morgane at the Canache, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Morgane at the Canache, Stanley, Falkland Islands

‘Morgane’ is my boat, or yacht depending on the circumstances.

Definition – ‘Yacht’ – a small vessel, usually a boat; which becomes a yacht when the owner is trying to sell it or get laid.

Vital statistics

  • Design: Trireme 35
  • Designer: Francois Charpentier
  • LOA: 10.8m (11.5 to the extremities)
  • Beam: 3.7m
  • Draught: 1.8m
  • Displacement: 7.5T
  • Gross tonnage: 12.69
  • Mast: 14m
  • Construction: Steel
  • Launched: 1985
  • Engine: Beta Marine 28
  • Fuel: 450 litres diesel – 400 litres in a keel tank, 50 litres under the cockpit
  • Water: 400 litres
  • Cabin heater: Refleks
  • Cooker: Gas – two burners and oven
  • Autopilot – Simrad tiller pilot
  • Windvane – Aries


The white sails are by Quantum, now Ullman, in Cape Town and the spinnaker is of unknown pedigree.

  • Main with four reefs – the fourth reef acts as the storm trysail – Full main 26 square metres
  • Several hank-on head sails – from 50 to 6 square metres
  • Spinnaker – 108 square metres



NMEA-2000 network

  • GPS: Furuno GP-33
  • Multi-purpose display: RD-33
  • Wind/weather: Furuno PB-200
  • Depth/Speed/Temperature transducer: Furuno DST200
  • Actisense NGT-1 – NMEA 2000 to USB gateway
  • Actisense NGW-1 – NMEA 2000 to NMEA 0183 conversion

Standalone or NMEA-0183 networked



  • Nettop mini PC
  • Logitech unified wireless keyboard and trackball controller
  • 12V Proview monitor


  • MS Windows 7
  • MaxSea TimeZero and Jeppersen MapMedia 3d vector charts
  • OpenCPN running various homemade charts
  • OziExplorer – again for various scanned and homemade charts – handles large tracks much better than OCPN
  • Franson GPSGate – Serial port multiplexer
  • GPS Utility – for sorting out the hundreds of waypoints that you accumulate along the way
  • WxtoImg – Weather satellite image decoding software

The navigation and comms computer is interfaced to the instruments via the Actisense gateways. The NGT-1 N2K (NMEA-2000) to USB provides the primary input to MaxSea and the NGW feeds the Franson GPSGate multiplexer that in turn provides NMEA-0183 stream to OpenCPN, Oziexplorer, WxtoImg, etc.. I swapped out the HDD for solid-state drive for better performance and reliability.

In total the computer has six USB connectors and they are all in use, as follows:

  • Logitec wireless devices
  • Bluetooth dongle – for pactor modem
  • NGT interface
  • NGW interface
  • APT-06 Weather satellite receiver
  • Versper Watchmate AIS receiver



  • Yeasu FT-857D wideband communications transceiver
  • Icom IC M425 vhf DSC transceiver
  • Vesper Marine Watchmate 850 AIS transponder
  • SCS Pactor modem for email via Sailmail over SSB


We use Sailmail as our email provider of choice. It costs around $250.00 US a year but can be used for any kind of personal communications, we also use Winlink but as that is an amateur service can’t be used for commercial communications; besides it doesn’t have very good coverage in South America.

Weather satellite reception

We receive images from the NOAA polar orbiting weather satellites using the excellent little APT-06 from Wrasse. See my blog entry for more information.


  • Life-jackets with harness and tether
  • Jackstays
  • horseshoe buoys with lights
  • Dan buoy with light and flag
  • Liferaft – four man ocean
  • Comprehensive medicine chest
  • EPIRB – Ocean Safety

Tender “Mini Morgane”

The tender is a home built ply/epoxy built from free plans kindly provided online by Mike Waller Yacht Design called a Pippie 8. Tender power is provided by a pair of 7ft oars.

2 Comments on “Morgane

    • Haha good point: the problem is that the stronger operating systems are largely ignored by they developers of the specialized communications and navigation software that I use on the boat. You can find stuff out there but your backed right into a corner and have a choice of one, or just have to go without 🙂

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