Hull Stiffness Monitor

I have dreamed of buying a sailboat for a long time. Ever since I sold my old small 23 feet boat. I’d like to get a boat that family of four can live relatively comfortably. So not 23 feet or even 30 feet but bigger, like +40ft. With relative shoestring budget you can forget new and flashy quality boats. We are talking about +30 years and boats of that vintage (and especially the ones that fit into my budget) require plenty of TLC.

I order to not get buried to too extensive refit hell, boat condition would be nice to know in advance. Inadvertent swing keel yachts seem to be plentiful so some help to assess hull stiffness would be necessary. That is something in which creative use of laser, camera and machine vision analytics could be of some help.

What I am aiming for is a device I can attach to keel bolt and which can measure with some accuracy the tilting of keel in relation to the cabin ceiling above it while sailing in choppy seas…. and provide real time measurement on mobile phone and eventually to cloud service.

Basic building blocks of the device are:

  • Raspberry Pi Zero W
  • Laser pointer
  • Camera Module with long focal length lens
  • Accelerometer sensor

To be continued…

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