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Old 02-11-2010, 09:44   #16
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I'm looking at a mixed bag/vendor setup.

- laptop with Windows 7 running MaxSea 12 (already own) and OpenCPN, electronic charts for the world, internet access, weather programs,
- Garmin GPSs (278C, 478 which I already own), basic GPS functions as I'm not a fan of Garmin's electronic charts
- Simrad autopilot - not cheap but very well built and worldwide support, not interested in wheel mounted, preferring dedicated/independent quadrant below decks
- Standard VHF w DSC and AIS - and remote mic
- SGC2000 SSB or ICOM 70x/80x SSB w remote antenna tuner
- Raymarine triple sensors - depth, knot log, and wind (wind may go as these devices seem to have a less than stellar durability rating)
- wind vane - preferably one with an independent rudder (yes, they cost more than the electronic version but can do a great job and draw no power)
- GPIRB
- solar panels
- LED navigation and anchor lights

All the electronics are connected via NMEA 2000 and run on 12VDC (not interested in solar powered)
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:03   #17
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Capt Doug - I'd like to know more about the SGC 2000 and whether it is usable with a PACTOR modem + laptop.

NOTE the 2000 is no longer manufactured. The new version is SG-2020.
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Old 02-11-2010, 14:28   #18
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That system will give you everything you need - quality and interfacing capabilities. I'm sure you will be very happy long into the future.

The cost ? well, its just money
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Old 02-11-2010, 14:55   #19
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Originally Posted by surfmachine View Post
Electronics in Langkawi from Australia is duty free and gst free ex aussie, bought a heap in by mail order in Janurary.
Make sure you get a good radar, forward looking sonar and BIG solar panels and batteries, with a battery monitor system!
Good luck from Keith.
Hey how did Eloise fair in the recent events?

So Keith you purchased all your stuff in Australia and then took it over with you? I am looking at getting it shipped there from the states as the exchange is great now and I am guessing would be stung by duty here when if I bought it in here.

Sounds like maybe I should look at there sounder module as well hey and how much panel capacity are you carrying?

Cheers Alex
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Old 02-11-2010, 16:46   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Capt Doug - I'd like to know more about the SGC 2000 and whether it is usable with a PACTOR modem + laptop.

NOTE the 2000 is no longer manufactured. The new version is SG-2020.
As far as I know the 2000 will work with digital modes. I bought my 2000 used from another cruiser who thought ICOM was the way to go. I've been quite pleased with the performance. You might contact SGC to get confirmation.

I sent the tuner back for a look-see as it seemed to have a few "quirks". I got the unit back, no charge, and working perfectly. I liked the fact that the SGC is both marine and ham type accepted.

I liked the fact that I could put the big pieces out of sight and mount the control head rather than the meaty weight of the SGC. It is also the first SSB I had that supported more than one control head, a real treat imo.

They must be highly sought after as I haven't seen one for sale in a long time. I'd consider the 2020 but don't find many of them used either and they don't output 150W.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:51   #21
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Capt Doug

SGC isnt the most relaible HF rig in my experience, but if you got it cheap then fine

IMHO, satphone is a better real world investment for email. In fact with Fleetbroadband 150 at about 4K$, Id say this is a better investment then buy HF new, Pactor is slow and finiky and good HF setups are expensive.Total cost of ownership is less for satphone then HF.

Sure if your a HF buff great go for it, I am , and I have a 710 and a ICOM 7000 rigs, but its a hobby rather then neccessity gear.

I would suggest Raymarines Autopilot SPX series is better then SImrads, better value , more reliable and easier to get service and repair in the world, SIMRAD is dear for what you get.

Id personally forget windvanes, given you can power a electronic autopilot, I cant see the value of a windvane and there're expensive. Less then 10% of ARC boats now have them ( and thats one of the longest autopilot intensive journeys anywhere), I d spend the windwave money on power generation, ( solar wind etc) as this is $$ that you get great return on.

As to NMEA 2000, well what you have will have seatalk, 0183 and 2K so youll have lots of fun and interconnection.

Rays wind depth system is fine , as reliable as any of the other really, youve mentioned their transducers, but havent mentioned if you intend to use their displays, I think dedicated basic sailings instruments , like wind angle, strength, speed and depth are a very useful idea.

The one thing seruously missing is an AIS class B transponder, I sacrifice a number of things on that list first.

Dave
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:49   #22
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Ahoy Alex.
I had 140 watts of panels and that ran the fridge, radios and lights for several weeks if we had sun, otherwise, use the motor. I would suggest in excess of 200 watts and use a danfoss 12v compressor with a fan forced evaporater in the cool box, wind gennys dont work in the tropics, have at least 500 amphrs of battery capacity and a smart battery monitor.
I got $9,000 aud worth shipped in from Australia, did not pay any local duty, no hold ups or problems, and it was without australian GST as going to duty free port overseas for a yacht, cost leass landed in Langkawi than if I had bought the stuff in Australia, only took 6 days to deliver. Into thailand, 17% vat and Indonesia, well forget it!
Eloise did not survive the tsusami Alex, unsure of her exact status at the moment, I had to get out before the tsusami event and left her at Sipura, now she is amongst the coconut trees? Myself and the crew are fine.
Moving on now.
Fair winds from Keith.
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Old 03-11-2010, 16:26   #23
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PM sent Keith
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Old 03-11-2010, 17:25   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Capt Doug

SGC isnt the most relaible HF rig in my experience, but if you got it cheap then fine

IMHO, satphone is a better real world investment for email. In fact with Fleetbroadband 150 at about 4K$, Id say this is a better investment then buy HF new, Pactor is slow and finiky and good HF setups are expensive.Total cost of ownership is less for satphone then HF.

Sure if your a HF buff great go for it, I am , and I have a 710 and a ICOM 7000 rigs, but its a hobby rather then neccessity gear.

I would suggest Raymarines Autopilot SPX series is better then SImrads, better value , more reliable and easier to get service and repair in the world, SIMRAD is dear for what you get.

Id personally forget windvanes, given you can power a electronic autopilot, I cant see the value of a windvane and there're expensive. Less then 10% of ARC boats now have them ( and thats one of the longest autopilot intensive journeys anywhere), I d spend the windwave money on power generation, ( solar wind etc) as this is $$ that you get great return on.

As to NMEA 2000, well what you have will have seatalk, 0183 and 2K so youll have lots of fun and interconnection.

Rays wind depth system is fine , as reliable as any of the other really, youve mentioned their transducers, but havent mentioned if you intend to use their displays, I think dedicated basic sailings instruments , like wind angle, strength, speed and depth are a very useful idea.

The one thing seruously missing is an AIS class B transponder, I sacrifice a number of things on that list first.

Dave
Dave -

Thanks for the comments.

I used ham SSB (ICOM 751A) as well as the SGC-2000 (which I got for $500 with tuner) on my first 8-year go-round and find it's on far more than off. I use it to chat down island, get the morning weather reports, find out who's where, and what the anchorage I'm heading to is about. I get grib weather, send email, wefax and NAVTEX throughout the day. At night I listen to the shortwave stations and get some long range weather forecasts as well as chat with boats further ahead of me. If I get bored or in trouble I can jump on the ham bands to get help or work some maritime mobile ham contacts.

The satphone has a lot of uses and can be had used for a very agreeable price. You can buy prepaid phone time but the baud rates aren't anywhere near fast (maybe 1990 era fast). Unfortunately, they're a lot less common than SSB.

Thanks for the tip re Raymarine's autopilot. I'll add it to the list of candidates.

As for the windvane, I'm still pondering it. I've been chatting up a lot of cruisers here in South Florida as they get ready to head South. Those with windvanes, rave about them. Those without, seem less thrilled. While this is understandable, and the cost of a good windvane can be more than a complete autopilot, I've not written them off. I had a wheel pilot (Autohelm 3000) that was very noisy, undersized, and tempermental. One thing I'm hoping is that by having the steering ram below deck things will be quieter and more reliable.

I know of one cruiser who sailed nearly a thousand miles just using his windvane after his rudder quadrant broke and he couldn't fabricate a spare.

I can see the autopilot drawing 100+AH/day and that means very large solar panels, possibly a wind generator, or running the engine in order to keep the batteries (4x 225AH tall 6V golf carts) charged. If I add in the fridge and other electronics, I can easily see 175AH/day power loads.

As far as sailing instruments go, I'm going with dedicated multi-display ones for depth and speed and a dedicated wind. My reason for the multi display is that either can display depth and speed (or both) so if one goes out then I've still got the data.

And you're right. I forgot to add AIS B to the list. The new Standard VHF/AIS/DSC is a sweet package and the price is good but I'm probably going to get a more basic VHF (w just DSC) and look for a moderately priced AIS B.
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Old 03-11-2010, 17:50   #25
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can really reccomend the raymarine c 80,c120 and c180 with 4 kw radar and ais,have used them on deliverys totaling about 15000 miles on 5 different vessels in the last few years.
only consistent fault was unit would cut out at low voltage,even if momentarily(fridge starting or engine start),which is understandable,and a safety feature.

found the charts to be very accurate,even mid pacific and red sea.

route planning is better done on a paper chart,as resolution tooo small when zoomed out(reefs disappear!!!!!!) otherwise an excelent product with good net work globally of suppliers/tech support
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Old 04-11-2010, 05:02   #26
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Quote:
look for a moderately priced AIS B.
Buy a transponder, not a receiver BTW.

Quote:
I can see the autopilot drawing 100+AH/day and that means very large solar panels, possibly a wind generator, or running the engine in order to keep the batteries (4x 225AH tall 6V golf carts) charged. If I add in the fridge and other electronics, I can easily see 175AH/day power loads.
Went across the atlantic recently , 21 days, autopilt virtually on 24/7 ( Ray SPX), we had a towed generator and about 2 hours per day on a 60 amp alternator, had no power problems, mind you its was a engine driven fridge and we ran a "dark " boat.

Quote:
Unfortunately, they're a lot less common than SSB
They are by far now the predominant method used by the ARC participants. SSbs like windvanes are down in the 10%'s

dave
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:19   #27
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Found this forum last evening - very timely, thanks everyone for the input. Alex, how is your project going since starting this discussion?

We will be refitting the electronics on our boat over the next year or two before sailing off into the sunset. Boat currently has Standard Horizon depth, speed, wind and an old Robertson Autopilot that still works but needs to be upgraded of course.
Using a little 76C West Marine/Garmin connected to my laptop since the GPS that was on the boat was "appropriated" by the seller - left me the dash mount and external antenna, tho!
I've been looking over the Simrad line (they bought Robertson a while ago) and also the Raymarine line.
You all have given me some good insight and direction - thanks
dcc
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Old 05-11-2010, 23:33   #28
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Well
I am pretty close to committing to a ray marine set up at the moment just trying to sort out the best drive for the autopilot, I have solved the shipping problem from the states to Langkawi and with the great exchange rate at the moment it should be a chance to actually save some money .....not a word you often associated with boats

Once I have the gear in langkawi I will probably take the boat down to Penang to have the autopilot fitted.

Cheers Alex
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:13   #29
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I'm still not convinced a dedicated chart plotter is the way to go. Having seen the vagaries, errors, and omissions in digital charts from vendor to vendor, I want the ability to use what I consider the best, not what the manufacturer wants to sell me. I'm locked in with Nobeltec and Transas on the big boat but since we tend to go where big boats go, the charts are fairly good. Smaller boats tend to visit lesser visited ports and this can lead to problems. I'll look at the Raymarine C- series again, though.

Having had catastrophic instrument display failure (old Datamarine), I'm not about to go down that path again. I'm not a fan of AIO (all-in-one) electronics so it's dedicated displays for the big three. I'm not convinced radar is as useful as AIS B transponder, so I'll forgo the radar. However, if the boat came with a reasonably current radar, I wouldn't take it off. OTOH, air conditioning is a waste of space and only usable at the dock - a place I don't want to inhabit.

You may be right about the proliferation of satphones. I'm basing my choices on cruising data that ended in 2000. Things do change, but I still consider the SSB a valuable and useful tool to carry aboard. It may be that I'm a ham (and can't let it go), but I really liked listening to the shortwave broadcasts, getting on 6A or the maritime net frequencies each morning and catching up, and grabbing the wefax data. I can buy a good shortwave receiver for far less than an SSB, but I like being able to chat with friends further down the track.

As for route planning, I use paper charts for the first go. I'll plot on them then transfer the waypoints to the navcomp/chart plotter. I can then zoom in (knowing full well the dangers of doing so) and follow the track, looking for anything dangerous. If they both agree then I consider the route possible. I don't carry all the charts I should (I can't afford them or they take up way too much space or they're poor copies) so I'm relying on the electronic charts to be as accurate as possible.

I rely on the GPS(s) a lot. They have the waypoints programmed into them and I follow their guidance. I seldom turn on the navcomp when underway as I prefer to be in the cockpit rather than the cabin. That may be me, but I feel I get into less trouble being out in the air. I never have the GPS drive the autopilot. I want to be the deciding factor in where the boat goes, not the GPS. The decision to change course, tack, jibe, or turn on the engine, is mine, not the GPS. The GPSs job is to suggest course changes and provide other mundane info.

Power requirements are always percolating at the top of my "What can possibly go wrong?" list. The requirements while underway can be high and if the passage is multi-day (or weeks), then power conservation is important. I'm planning on going with LED nav and interior lighting, an efficient yet powerful autopilot, and some sort of second tier power generation. I've always got the engine to charge the batteries but would greatly prefer solar. The trouble with aux power is that it isn't cheap. Another tradeoff.

What I want is a simple, reliable navigation system that doesn't consume gobs of power. Having worked on "everything including two kitchen sinks" yachts, I simply don't want that on my boat. I'm not at a great anchorage or location to work on the boat. I'm there to experience the location, chat with friends, and enjoy.

Our last boat was a KISS boat and I see no reason to go any other way on my second go-round. You can have a very pleasant, comfortable, seaworthy, and simply configured vessel. The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to maintain. Yes, there were times when there was no wind or lots of rain and we were less than comfortable, but those days were few. We reveled in doing boat chores in a few hours and the heading out to snorkel, beachcomb, chat with other cruisers, or visit the town on market day. Being able to do that easily eclipsed the few hours of discomfort.

Besides, there's something decadent about taking an early afternoon power nap while the rest of the world slaves away.
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