Digital Yacht BOATraNET, something truly different?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

14 Responses

  1. Sandy Daugherty says:

    Not an outrageous price for a marinized server with wifi. HTML5 is not a stumbling point for PCs, but may be in the case of data phones and tablets. It remains to be seen how well it can integrate with present chartplotters or MFDs. I’m assuming that the selection of HTML5 was drivien by its geolocation feature, which is not necessarily available in all HTML5 browsers.

  2. JonM says:

    I think it is a good idea. I have similar hardware on my boat that serves as a data logger and processor, and the local wireless access point. For my real job I spent New Year’s Day doing my first HTML5 data display. So far it seems decent, but I have not tried real time data display yet. One interesting feature in HTML5 is WebSocket that provides a low latency, long lived, connection for data transfer. I will be testing this to compare it with multicasting of my N2K data. WebSocket seems to only work in Chrome so far though.

  3. Kees says:

    I’m not aware of any relationship of geolocation and HTML5.
    I’ve developed my own data displays over a year ago, and have sailed with them most of the year. Here’s a link to the sort of displays I’ve got going:
    The best feature in HTML5 as far as data displays goes is Canvas, which allows you to create graphs and analog views such as dials fully on the client using a bit of Javascript.
    The basic approach is that you use AJAX that retrieves JSON data from the server (which will be like

  4. Sandy Daugherty says:

    Geolocation is an API in HTML5, it draws from a number of different sources varying from your zipcode or IP address location to more precise sources.

  5. Kees says:

    Cool, I wasn’t aware of that.
    I still don’t think that this product uses it, as it says “any HTML5 client” will be usable. On a boat the geolocation API won’t work unless there is a GPS in the client. Not enough Wifi or cell towers around to triangulate your position when you’re offshore 🙂

  6. says:

    Hi Ben (and all) this is Paul from Digital Yacht.
    Boatranet is intended to be an interesting and fun add-on to any existing integrated navigation system be it from; Raymarine, Garmin, Furuno, Navico, etc. It is in no way intended to replace these systems but instead enhances and “e-nables” them.
    The owner/skipper/navigator will continue to do all navigation on the integrated system but for friends, relatives, crew or in fact any visitor on the boat, Boatranet provides a fun and interesting way to understand where they are, where they are going and generally what is happening on the boat.
    Anyone with a wireless device that has a modern HTML5 Compliant browser will be able to connect to the WLAN that Boatranet creates (even way out at sea) and then start to browse the dynamic web pages that Boatranet creates. A simple Navionics based chart display (showing the boat, next waypoint and AIS targets), digital and analogue instrument displays, GPS status and rolling road type pages will be created.
    Once the boat arrives in the marina, anyone connected to Boatranet will be able to scan all of the available wirless hotspots detected by one of our long range wifi adaptors, select one and connect to it. Once connected everyone on the boat will be able to share this internet connection.
    Finally Boatranet can also be a receptical for all of the owners media files, initially; Audio, Photo and PDF files. Everyone connected to Boatranet will be able to play the music locally on their device (streaming) or out of the Boatranet audio out socket, browse and view photos or display/read PDF documents that the owner has loaded on to Boatranet via USB memory stick.
    There are many, many features and functions that could be added to Boatranet but for first release our focus will be on 4-5 key features. From then on a regular bi-annual software release schedule will ensure that Boatranet owners will be leading the way in terms of new and fun wireless boat technology.

  7. HenryD says:

    I would be interested to know if there will be an app to display the N2K data? And what sensors and PGNs it handles?
    I have learned the hardware that Maretron, Actisense, Airmar, and other peices do not play well.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Here’s a BOATraNET video that shows it running a bit on an iPad:
    So, Paul, could iNavX running on that same iPad access the Boatranet data (like it can with your iAIS product)?

  9. Kurt Schwehr says:

    Readers should also check out SWAP: Ship to ship and ship to shore Wireless Access Protocol that has been use with US Research Ships.

  10. says:

    Boatranet uses a number of the latest HTML 5 functions but we do not intend to use the Geo-Location API.
    As for Boatranet producing a wireless TCP/IP feed for iNavX or other systems like our iAIS, this is not intended for first release but will almost certainly be added in the future.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks to Richard Brain, I just added screen shots of BOATraNET taken live at the London show (though the data is apparently simulated in the server as I guess it’s not hooked up to sensors).

  12. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Digital Yacht has put up three videos explaining Boatranet, part 1 here:

  13. Dave says:

    I would love to mirror data from my cockpit instruments down below on my iPad. Wind, log, gps etc. Any more follow-up on using BoatraNet to format NMEA 0183 or n2k data to send over the boats Wi-Fi?

  14. Don says:

    Is it possible to bring together a Navico broadband radar with a Raymarine display or just to an ipad? That would be interesting and eliminate a cost of implementation for the new 3G/4G radars when we have non-navico displays

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