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Smart Home Forum by FIBARO Team

Ahoy, from the Netherlands, on board sailing yacht Raven


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Hi everyone,


I live on board a 47 foot (15 meter) sailboat together with my wife and our dog Billie. We currently are in Stellendam, floating in the marina, but in the long run we intend to sail the world. I am building some 'home' automation into our boat. For fun, for comfort and for safety. The critical systems for sailing and boating will remain simple. But some of the more domestic systems are getting upgrades. This means our electric heater, smoke detectors, CO detector, led strips, dehumidifier, lights, temperature, motion detection, and electric blanket, etc are all linked to my Home Center 3 Lite.


I just got started on some LUA programming, but that is a bit tricky still. However the most challenging part so far is to find switches for 12 volt. Most of the z-wave stuff is aimed at AC loads, and 230 volts.


Any other boat projects on the forum??


Take care everyone, looking forward to sharing on the forum




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Welcome. You might be the first Fibaro Smart Boat! 


For 12V, you have the Fibaro Smart Implant and RGBW2 devices, as well as Qubino Flush Shutter DC. One problem you may find is switching current limitation, which means you need to pair the device with slave relays. For example, you can use the RGBW device with a 4 way 12V relay board to switch 4 independent devices.


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  • Topic Author
  • Thanks Tim, I didn't realise the Smart Implant will indeed switch low voltage DC. It is a bit less expensive compared to the RGBW2, although it only switches 2 circuits instead of 4. But it is just what I need for some simple light switching. Unfortunately the max output current is super low. Could be just enough for a simple light or two. 


    I am using the RGBW2 for a ledstrip currently, but I have one ready for the cabin lights as well. I intend to use the 4 output for 4 different 'ceiling' lights. The ouputs of the RGBW2 can handle that without a problem (6A max per output or 12A total).


    I have not worked with a relay board yet. That sounds interesting as well.


    Thanks for your tips!

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    • 1 month later...
  • Topic Author
  • Hello all,


    Just a brief update. I will look into making it a separate topic in the forum (not sure if that is the right thing to do):


    Since March 2021 we have been living on board our boat. It means slowly upgrading and customizing stuff around the boat for both permanent living and in the future long (world) travels.


    My two main concerns with regards to home automation are energy and humidity. On a boat, especially when not in a a marina, energy is limited. Mainly everything runs on 12 volts from a battery bank. There are some 230 volt systems as well, like water heater and coffee machines. Of course when we work on board we also use computers and monitors etc. We can run an inverter to get 230v from our battery bank and in the marina we connect to shore power so we have limitless 230v. But electricity in a marina is expensive. So the home automation has to a) consume very limited power and work on 12 volt or less (at least DC power), and b) should be able to monitor the power consumption where applicable.


    Humidity is the other concern. In the winter both temperature and humidity inside a yacht fluctuates much more than in a house. So the home automation needs to be able to cope with that and keep on running. Next is that I am using home automation to monitor humidity and I would like to turn on a dehumidifier (230v) or electric heater (230v) via a smart wall plug to control both temperature and humidity. Especially when we are away from the boat.


    I have been able to do the following:


    I am using the Fibaro home center 3 lite as the main hub. I am providing power to it from my onboard 12 volt DC power system via a DC-DC convertor to 5 volt. Hereby eliminating the need for 230volt adaptor. I am using the Yubii app to control it.


    I have setup the following devices:


    - Two Fibaro Smoke Sensor 2. On in the main saloon and one in the aft-cabin (bedroom in back of the ship) were we sleep, but also were the battery banks are (relative higher risk of fire/smoke).

    - A Fibaro CO sensor is mounted in the main saloon, which is where the gas stove is, and in the future a diesel heater.

    - One Aeotec TriSensor that is used for motion detection and activates a Fibaro RGBW Controller that lights a RGB ledstrip in the hallway between the saloon and the aft-cabin.

    - A Fibaro wall plug is installed for the electric blanked in our bedroom (= aft cabin).

    - A Walli switch is installed in the bedroom to start the electric blanket or turn on the light in the hallway.

    - Have set up scenes for all of this, including the Fibary Fob key and ITTT and iphone alerting. Both programming and block scenes.


    So far that is all working fine with the HCL3. It is also coping with temperature and humidity fluctuations perfectly. There have been no issues whatsoever.


    What I have not been able to do (yet) is:


    - Control most of the domestic lights onboard. They are simple 12v led lamps, but I can't find a good zwave switch to just switch on/off. The RGBW controller is a bit overkill both in functionality as well as price to do simple on/off switch of one or two LED lights. I have one Fibaro RGBW Controller still available that I will use to turn LED's on or off. I hope that will work as most LED's on board are not PWM compatible at the moment. But I will also continue to search for more a simple solution. The smart implant is too limited as far as current goes.

    - I still need to perform alarm tests to see if all devices work together nicely, both on board as well as remotely.

    - Dim the cabin lights: I found out these are not PWM dimmable, so I have to find another solution.

    - Install DIN rail switches/fuses to control with z-wave for some of the onboard systems. Especially systems that are not purely domestic like deck lights, navigation lights, anchor lights, etc. I would like to control those remotely via z-wave, however since they are safety critical I need to have a hard bypass as well just in case something in the z-wave network fails. Just like in a house, the main switchboard on board my boat is din rail. Both 230 and 12 volts systems are switched that way.

    - Same goes for onboard freezer unit and the warm water heater (230v). I would like to control them via zwave. But specifically also measure power consumption.

    - I want to control a dehumidifier and electric heater and some other 230 equipment with the smart plugs as well. I was given a few Nedis plugs that work of wifi, but not zwave. I tried to integrate them with ITTT and the HCL3, but I didn't like this (it is not transparent nor reliable). Unfortunately one plug already broke. 

    - I also want to install a camera on top of the mast for easy manoeuvring in marinas. It would be great to control that via HCL3 as well. Have not researced it extensively.


    I am still curious about other boat projects out there! And if you like to know more let me know. One day will make a boat tour vlog voor boatmotica enthousiasts :-)




    • Like 1
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    I am not an electrician but I know in our work they used  a kind of insolation lacquer to spray eleictrival suff in humidity enverionment. It s a spray to use.


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    • 7 months later...


    Nowadays, I'm also planning to install Fibaro Smart Home on my new boat (22m. motoryacht). 

    Do you think it will be 100% safe for the boat's electronics to use z-wave communication? In addition to navigation and all other electronics of boats, I have also lithium batteries and invertors in my boat. However, I'm worried about z-wave's interactions with these electronics.

    I will also use HC3 lite with CO& Smoke sensors, motion sensors, flood sensors and wired IP Cameras. 


    Hope to have safe and smart boats :) 

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    Zwave uses allocated frequencies that avoid clashing with other electronic devices, so theoretically you should be fine regarding interference. I'd be more worried about the corrosive effects of salt water on the flood sensor.


    Make sure you have a good quality sine wave inverter, so you have a nice clean AC waveform.

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