2012 Nexus Race Box

New this year was the addition of the Nexus Race Box.  The RB is a nice addition to the instrument server in that it allows us to add our polars to an SD card and display that information on our cockpit instruments.   I set it up so that we display Target Boat Speed rather than Polar Boat Speed.  My opinion is that with as much as the boat is pushed around by any given sea state the Target Boat Speed (calculation based on actual wind speed, direction and course sailed provides a truer picture of what the boats performance should be versus a theoretical number assuming all variables are constant).  It also provides start line information and optimum angles of sail.  The start timer is also a great feature when configured with buttons at the helm.  I find that the Target Boat Speed is by far the most useful reference point.   It was a very easy instrument to install and the support from Nexus was excellent.  We received the third unit off the production line and Nexus provided updates for all the software glitches we uncovered in a matter of days. 


Peregrine's electronics are broken out into two areas the navigation station and the cockpit, they are designed to share information but also to operate on a stand alone basis.  

In the cockpit we have the Garmin 5208 chart plotter with radar and satellite weather and the Raymarine auto pilot.  These are connected together and used primarily for cruising. The 5208 also receives information from our AIS so that the skipper has all the needed information for a safe passage.  Also in the cockpit is an ICOM command mic connected to the VHF  allowing communications but also providing the skipper with DSC capabilities.  

Below the system is configured for redundancy, a Garmin 540 chart plotter, ICOM 604, AMEC 101 AIS receiver and Transponder (with a silent running kill switch).   These are tied into the Nexus server which distributes the GPS and AIS information  to the nexus instruments above the companion way.   We run Expedition and Coastal Explorer from the laptop and have the ability to feed course information and routing directly to either Garmin depending on whether we are cruising or racing.  We also have an Iridium Satellite phone for communication but mostly for downloading weather files to be used inside the expedition program.  In race mode we use the Garmin 540 and Expedition to plot our course and then feed this information to the Nexus server which in turn distributes it to the five Nexus instrumetns located above the companion way.  Typically we have them set for True wind speed and direction, speed over ground, speed through water, magnetic course, course to steer a fourth instrument for various information and the fifth being the steer pilot which is tied to the GPS way point showing the skipper which way to turn the wheel to stay on course.   The Man Overboard button which is connected to the instruments is located at the wheel just above the 5208.

In order to meet the Offshore rule for a separate power source for navigation lights I installed a third battery bank (33 amp hour battery) and electrical panel that powers the Navigation lights, electronics and emergency strobe light. The bank is tied into the boats charging system and can be charged under power or connect to shore.  The rule only requires that the lights have their own separate power, but the panel had two additional breakers and it seemed like having the option of having the radio and strobe available in an emergency were a good idea too.  

Im very pleased with the configuration as well as the individual components and do not forsee any addtions other than the possibility of a SSB radion in the distant future.