HOW MANY USB’S DO YOU NEED ON A BOAT

How many USB’s do you need? The answer is heaps.

For a long time we have had only two USB’s on board Truce. Most of the time it has been adequate but with two people on board and the proliferation of electrical gadgets that need charging it is no longer sufficient. We have phones, tablets, spotlights, speakers, headtorches and all sorts of stuff that like USB charging. I have also noticed that an increased charging rate is required for most modern equipment. Our old 1 amp and 2.1 amp USB’s just weren’t up to the job anymore.

In the cockpit I often use a phone or tablet with Navionics for coastal navigation. To power the tablet or phone I have been using an extension cable from the chart table and out of the companionway hatch. When I am single handed its works OK but with other people on board the cable always seems to get in the way. Its not a good arrangement.

I have now increased the USB capacity at the chart table with the addition of two new 2.4 amp USB’s. That gives up four USB outlets at the chart table and allows charging of multiple devices when power is available. Of course the current running through the supply cables has more than doubled and I have checked the wiring to make sure its up to the job.

For use in the cockpit I have installed a new twin USB fitting that is waterproof. I am always skeptical about waterproof electrical fittings so have mounted this on in a protected area under the dodger where hopefully the worst it will get is a heavy spray. Rokk is a good brand and not cheap so I hope it lives up to its price tag.

This new fitting will allow me to use a tablet for navigation in the cockpit without a wire trailing through the companionway hatch. A feature that I am sure others on board will appreciate. It will also make my life easier having a power source in the cockpit. An added safety bonus is that I will be able to lock the companionway shut from the inside in nasty weather if needed without disconnecting any cables. A good little upgrade.

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