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Old 28-08-2014, 06:41   #16
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

You can try to go cheap on a lot of the electronics and do without a chartplotter at the helm -- maybe you don't need radar where you sail -- but one piece of equipment you mention which I consider important is the autopilot. It depends on what kind of system you put in, but I'd figure on $5-$8k installed, half that if you do it yourself, for an autopilot in a 40' boat.
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Old 28-08-2014, 06:56   #17
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I think only you can determine size you can live with, I wanted a 32', my wife 38'.
I'd have been perfectly happy in a newer, smaller boat, but she won of course.
Then obviously there are 30' boats that seem to be more spacious and have more room than some other 35's.
But I'd be looking for a boat to fit a couple, I assume your intent is to not singlehand forever?
I bought a boat with essentially almost zero electronics, with the idea of slowly adding what I wanted, although I wish I had at least an autopilot or windvane, having neither is a serious PIA,

According to the future ex Mrs. Smith, I'm so obnoxious that I shall likely lead the life of Joshua Slocum. Though I suppose there may be a woman out there who can appreciate my unique and insouciant brand of humor. Time will tell. But, if she wants to live aboard with me I guess the dowry would be a bigger boat.



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Old 28-08-2014, 06:57   #18
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

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You can try to go cheap on a lot of the electronics and do without a chartplotter at the helm -- maybe you don't need radar where you sail -- but one piece of equipment you mention which I consider important is the autopilot. It depends on what kind of system you put in, but I'd figure on $5-$8k installed, half that if you do it yourself, for an autopilot in a 40' boat.

Five to eight grand just for the autopilot? Ouch.



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Old 28-08-2014, 07:45   #19
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

For the cruising area you're talking about, a used wheelpilot will be sufficient.<$500 on Ebay or Craigslist. Buy a backup if you want peace of mind.

Your earlier statement about a 20-year-old boat having fewer hidden problems than a 40-year-old boat makes sense on the surface. But the reality may actually be the reverse. The 20-year-old problems will just be bubbling to the surface. On the 40-year-old boat, if it's still in service, those problems have mostly already surfaced and been replaced.
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:49   #20
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

A lot has to do with the build quality of the boat. I started out looking only at 10 yr or less age, ended up buying one that was 27 yrs old. I kept finding major structural problems in the younger boats.
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Old 28-08-2014, 08:09   #21
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

My boat built in 1974, but well cared for by PO. 35ft is pretty easy to solo... with vberth and aft cabin is comfortable for one person or a couple with occasional guests on short cruises, but not 2 full time liveaboards IMHO.

I'm only 5'8", body size makes a difference too.


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Old 28-08-2014, 09:13   #22
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

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Originally Posted by JTSmith View Post

Finally, and this is for Ex-California; I notice you start almost all your replies with an admonishment of the OP. Did my question make you angry? You're right, it is my call, but I'm looking for advice from others with more experience than me, which, ostensibly, is what CF is here for. Making me feel like an idiot for asking the question seems counterproductive. Just sayin'."
My bad and you are right to call me out on it. Someone must have cr@pped in my wheaties this morning or something.

Apologies. Mea culpa.

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An autopilot and hand-held GPS would be the minimum. But I have the resources to fit out a moderate nav system, so I guess my question would really be what's a good set up without going overboard?
Here is what I would put on the boat in sort of priority order.

- Compass
- Depth
- Boat speed
- VHF DSC
- Wheel pilot or tiller pilot depending on boat
- iPad/handheld GPS
- Mid-range gps plotter
- AIS receiver
- AIS transceiver
- HF/SSB
- Wind instrument

You should also consider the power system to run the boat and may need to upgrade - solar, batteries etc.

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Would you recommend something in the 34 - 37 range regardless of nav stuff? There's something that appeals to my sense of order about a smaller boat - compact and efficient, who needs two heads to repair? Plus, no ocean crossing (other than the occasional run across the Gulf Stream). My choices end up being old center cockpit (Morgan/Gulfstar) in the 40 range or newer production boat (I won't say Hunter so as not to incite a riot, but there it is) in the 34-37 range. Input on this would be appreciated.
Based on being a solo sailor (maybe having a 1st mate later) I would stay with 35-37 feet. As you note costs are lower and while it's only a few feet single handing a 36 is easier than a 41. Especially docking.

You might also save a few bucks to do some tweaking for single handing - running lines to cockpit, simplifying reefing systems etc.

Strongly recommend a furling genoa.
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Old 28-08-2014, 13:30   #23
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

Do not get hung up on size. Size NOT = size.

LWL counts but the beam counts twice as much. Bigger boats tend to cost more. Bigger boats tend to have more complex and bigger systems onboard that tend to be more expensive to maintain and replace. Bigger boats may offer some extra margin of safety in rough seas, all other things equal.

Pick out a couple of designs you like (I think liking your boat is ESSENTIAL) then find ones that are for sale and do go and have a close look inside and out. At times, the shorter boat is roomier. At other times, the less roomy one will strike the cord more than the one with more space. As a rule, disregard LOA and look for LWL and beam. Bowsprits and overhangs add nothing to the inner space.

How old a boat? Well. I think the more home building skills you have, the more the older design may suit you. I think many older and newer boats are good choices. I like many old boats, I like many new boats, I find many things to fix, and at times difficult to fix, in boats 10 to say 30 years old.

And, if you think you might go to Bahamas and back one day, go for a seaworthy one. Crossing the stream can be a fully blown open water sort of thing. You do not want to be in a paper boat, nor in a heavy and poorly sailing tub. At times things get a bit out of hand. You will feel better, act better, sail safer, in a boat that has as much seaworthiness as you can afford.

PS While in the RSA, we met some US American people sailing their Tartan (centerboard boat, 37' long). I must say I liked their boat a lot and they spoke very highly of all her aspects. Perhaps a good starting poiunt to make a list of likes/dislikes and then head for something newer/lighter/faster or else for something even more 'classic'.

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Old 28-08-2014, 13:48   #24
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Here is what I would put on the boat in sort of priority order.

- Compass
- Depth
- Boat speed
- VHF DSC
- Wheel pilot or tiller pilot depending on boat
- iPad/handheld GPS
- Mid-range gps plotter
- AIS receiver
- AIS transceiver
- HF/SSB
- Wind instrument
Ex-calif -- I beg to differ.

I would put boat speed near or at the bottom of the list. Unless you're trimming the last fraction of a knot when racing, what will speed through the water tell you that SOG won't?

As for GPS/plotter -- I find them very valuable -- and would put them near the top -- except that a good smartphone app is nearly as useful and nearly free if you already have the phone.

Depending on where you are sailing, if it is well charted then knowing your location could be more useful than knowing present depth -- especially if the depths vary in greatly within short distances.

As for wind instrument, I agree with putting it last. If you don't know which way the wind is blowing you have no business on a sailboat!

To me, the autopilot is perhaps one of the most valuable gadgets on the boat. Not only does it reduce fatigue, but it allows me to focus on navigation, or repair, or anything else that needs my attention.
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Old 28-08-2014, 13:55   #25
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

If the choice is electronics and a smaller boat than you want vs bad/no/old electronics with a large boat you want, take the larger boat.

There will always be new, better, and most likely, cheaper electronics. My dad and I sailed in the Keys with paper charts, binoculars, depth sounder, VHF and a compass. Anything more than that is gravy. He went to the Bahamas a few times with the same equipment.

Buy the hull you want now and upgrade the electronics as you have money.

Later,
Dan
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:05   #26
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

jt, when it gets too dark to kick keels, stop by any chandlery and look at the electronics. See what suits you and what the price will be. Many folks use a wheel pilot that bolts onto the steering wheel, Others will tell you that's unreliable except in light air, and your price doubles as soon as you talk about a below-deck system professionally installed.

There's a similar wide price spread and decisions to be made about all the rest. You can drop a lot of money on wind systems and multiple displays. Or, just put some telltales on the shrouds. Depends on what suits you.
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:20   #27
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

'Older' will probably need a lot more than electronics...speaking here as the owner of a 28 year old boat that is about to near bankrupt me after 20 years of ownership. I'm just settling into her half life overhaul... its pretty scary....

Electronics?
The only bits I reckon you really need are a working depth sounder and an autopilot. All else is but detail. GPS? A $50 puck hooked up to a PC running openCPN. Wind? Its either blowing or its not. Speed? Covered to all intents by the $50 GPS.

AIS is good.... about $500 for a transceiver these days.

Radar... depends where you sail , mine rarely goes on but handy in some areas.

I replaced my Stowe instruments ( wind/depth/speed)last year when the last working bit , the sounder, went T/U last year. The speed log hadn't worked for 12 years and the masthead wind bits blew away 8 years ago... didn't miss em.
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:25   #28
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

And also.... I always suggest that anyone considering a second hand boat to put aside 50% over and above the purchase price to fix things.... including but not limited to rigging, sails, engine, wiring, bodgy osmosis repairs, etc etc etc.... used boats can be a real 'box of delights'.
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Old 28-08-2014, 14:58   #29
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

It all depends on what you think you need and how much money you want to spend. Slocum made it around the world with a tin alarm clock with only the hour hand. We sailed to SoPac and back with a knot meter, depth sounder, Ham Radio, quartz wristwatch, sextant, and cheap shortwave radio for time hacks and weather via WWV. Recently Sailed solo to Hawaii with Knot Meter, Depth Sounder, Ham Radio, Pactor Modem, GPS Chart Plotter, and AIS. Our/my two trips had a wind self steering vane driving the boat.

You'll need to have some kind of self steering whether wind vane or auto pilot or take a crew to share driving responsibilities. GPS is a must though there are many ways to get it with a vast difference in cost. Depending how social you are will dictate whether you need two way radio communications. Ham radios are relatively cheap, Marine SSB get spendy and do the same thing a ham radio does. WWV gives enough weather information to get you anywhere in the world but a Pactor Modem will give you Gribs so you can be your own weather forecaster. You can get dial up access to talk and the same weather information via Sat Phone but not the party line atmosphere of SSB and you have to pay by the minute. Radar is nice to have but caution and a GPS will get you there even in Fog and inclement weather. If you go the auto pilot route, budget in a complete back up system and generating capacity to feed its hungry maw. If you don't, it's guaranteed you'll be spending a lot of time driving somewhere along the line.

Whatever electronics you get with the boat or buy afterwards, they are like an evil genie that needs to be fed and cosseted to keep running. It seems if you have something that breaks, your world comes to an end till you get it fixed. Toys on a boat are an obsession.

Started this yesterday before your post about cruising range. For the area you are talking about, I'd want a knot meter, Cheap GPS plotter like the 700 series Garmin, depth sounder, a portable HF radio capable of picking up weather band and WWV, and some kind of self steering and a VHF radio. Should be able to get all new equipment for under 3 boat units, possibly way under. I didn't price the self steering into that but a Wheel Pilot will work if your boat has a light helm and shouldn't cost more than $1200 or a used Monitor wind vane for less than a 2 boat units. Wouldn't pay a nickel extra for older electronics already installed on a boat your making an offer on, unless they are nearly new. Would buy none of the electronics except the GPS, VHF, and depth sounder till you've got some time under you belt and see what's really important to you.

Don't look at the age of the boat, look at how it's aged. A 10 year old boat could be the worst buy. The owner probably won't have updated anything, the electronics will be way out of date, rigging suspect, sails blown out, canvas getting ratty, etc. A 40 year old boat that has been well maintained and continually updated and maintained probably won't have all those issues.
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Old 28-08-2014, 17:11   #30
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Re: Cost of Refitting Navigation Electronics

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Ex-calif -- I beg to differ.

I would put boat speed near or at the bottom of the list. Unless you're trimming the last fraction of a knot when racing, what will speed through the water tell you that SOG won't?

As for GPS/plotter -- I find them very valuable -- and would put them near the top -- except that a good smartphone app is nearly as useful and nearly free if you already have the phone.
I kind of view the first 5 as the essentials. With some sort of GPS nav also on the list that makes 6 items.

I include boat speed because inevitably people start talking about their boat performance and often confuse GPS speed with boat speed.

If you don't know how fast your boat should go and then you can't trim it to go that speed then you sail inefficiently. You can reveal issues with rig tuning, sail condition and bottom fouling.

With boat speed you can also determine set and current. It's not just about racing.
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