Raspberry Pi

Mark Erdos

I am curious if anyone in this group is using Raspberry Pi’s as a computer aboard.


Yesterday, I was on a friends boat. His entire NMEA network, entertainment and programs were available on any monitor on the boat (via a wireless router). With a click of the mouse he can view charts (OpenCPN or Time Zero), anchor alarm status, wind speed (and all related navigation information), battery status, solar panels etc. on any of the standard 5 mounted LED monitors on the vessel. The entire system cost him about US$1,000 (including the monitors). He can even split screen sailing info and watch a movie at the helm while on watch. His entire vast media library is 100% available at any station.


The best part: he has various alarms set up and the Raspberry Pi monitors. With the 12v LED monitors off, the system draws only 0.4 amps at 12 vdc. So, his anchor, battery voltage, or AIS alarms etc are all able to run 24/7.


While the vessel is in an anchorage or marina with internet connectivity, he can use his phone to remote access the entire onboard network to see the status of his boat systems. For example, he can check to see if the bilge pump has cycled and how many times.


I am a big proponent of using an onboard PC rather than a plotter and manufacture network (such as Raymarine’s Seatalk). I have all of my instruments connected to the ships computer and can display everything on one monitor (with an option for a second). However, my system is now about 8 years old and I was stunned to find the entire setup could be replaced with a US$99 Raspberry Pi.


I would be interested to hear about what others are using or if anyone plans to go this route.



With best regards,





Sailing Vessel - Cream Puff - SM2K - #275

Currently cruising - Tahiti, French Polynesia



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