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Old 17-03-2019, 16:16   #1
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Advices on electronics

Howdy guys, it has just been recommended to me, well more implied in a direct way that I need a refit of electronics on my boat and engine service.

Now the engine service, maintenance etc I can handle via the use of family. Welders, Mechanics etc abound in my family so I have already arranged for a full service next weekend for my boat.

The issue I need help with is the electronics. I am currently inclined to get a Lowrance chart plotter/gps with a depth sounder and money/time permitting I will also get a Radar as well.

All of this I intend on getting sorted next weekend for a trip hopefully the weekend following of 40-45 NM.

Am I missing anything from an electronics standpoint? I feel I have it covered, my brother is going to her next weekend and is hoping another chap will join him. If any of this fails to get done I'll hire a contractor.

Basically, I want to be safe. Period. Structurally the boat is solid but is pretty "barebones". Any advice is appreciated.

RR
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Old 17-03-2019, 16:21   #2
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Re: Advices on electronics

What kind of cruising do you do?

What size, age, type of boat is it?
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Old 17-03-2019, 16:24   #3
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Re: Advices on electronics

1977 Valiant 40

Just starting out, mainly will be coastal around Vancouver island with a qualified skipper until we know enough to move ourselves. But I do not want to be putting ourselves at risk in any way shape or form. I was originally budgeting $4,000 for repairs next weekend.. but could go out to $6,000 if it really needs to be done for safety. If that gives you an idea of budget. Brothers buddy if he comes will only charge 4-500 labour, brother will work for free... so most that budget is just for hardware for engine maintenance and electronics

P.s we plan on getting a vhf radio too
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Old 17-03-2019, 16:36   #4
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Re: Advices on electronics

You need to learn to do things for yourself. IMO. My cost to service our 185hp Perkins diesel will be no more than $80; the cost to service either of our two generators will be around $50, and our 100hp Yanmar around $50. So in other words, I’ll service four diesel engines for less than half the cost of what you’ll spend on one.

Electronics: I just purchased two brand new Raymarine e127 Hybrid touch chartplotters along with a Digital Raydome 24 inch radar for under $4000 total. You need to shop around, but meanwhile, an IPad using a TZ Nobeltec app works quite well for under $100 for charts and the free app.
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Old 17-03-2019, 16:49   #5
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Re: Advices on electronics

Sorry, I should have stated those monies are for two days worth of work. Not specifically to service the engine, it is time to help us get it sea worthy and do what can be done in 2 days. Hope that clarifies. Also doing things yourself is cheaper in some ways for some people and more expensive in other ways for other people. I have rebuilt a few different engines over the years, heads, starters, alternators etc and while not being adept as a licensed mechanic I can do it, the issue is the boat is roughly a 20hr drive or a flight + 3 hrs of driving away + hotels. So right now it is in no way, shape or form cheaper for me to do it myself sadly. But I'm hoping that will change in the future, because yes doing some things yourself is way better and significantly cheaper. I don't want to bankrupt myself.. but then again could give me an excuse to sell the house and have a proper midlife crisis haha

Aye we saw navionics and tablets as a system to use, but we were thinking going the lowrance route using a single nav station 7" lowrance display and then mirroring it to a couple tablets and/or our phones and have navionics on our phones as back up systems. I'm just trying to figure out what we need to get done, to move the boat safely within the budget.

Any reason you went with two raymarine plotters instead of mirroring them? What I am seeing is that these display units are outrageously expensive. A tablet in a water proof case linked to a single smaller displayed seems exponentially cheaper... or am I missing something?
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Old 17-03-2019, 16:56   #6
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Re: Advices on electronics

VHF is an easy install if there is an existing antenna with good coaxial cable. They are not expensive.

A reliable depth sounder is essential for safety.

If you are budget constrained a set of paper charts or a chartbook that covers your area and the knowledge to find your position on the map will do in place of a chartplotter. You would need a simple GPS receiver to use paper charts.

There is also good free software to make a laptop or other small computer into a chartplotter. It is called OPENCPN. It is far less expensive than a dedicated chartplotter and can be used for other purposes too. Electronic charts are expensive in Canada because the government gave a monopoly to someone years ago. You will need a GPS receiver to plug into the laptop.

IMO, the biggest advantage of OPENCPN, or any chartplotter is that you know at a glance exactly where you are - no chance of plotting errors. Plus you can layout and follow a route with the software giving you heading and distance information.
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Old 17-03-2019, 17:00   #7
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Re: Advices on electronics

Planning on getting a VHF? As in, you don't even have one yet?

Yes, your new VHF will also have a DSC function, make sure to look into setting that up properly. And you're missing an AIS transceiver, not just a receiver but a unit that actively transmits your information as well.

That should integrate into your chartplotter and radar and everything else, they should be able to play nicely together. Or, you have to juggle multiple balls if they don't.

It helps to check "for sure" and "in writing" in advance to make sure whatever you get will be compatible, if you are planning for that. You might just want one display at the helm, or you might want a system that allows for the primary display to be below, with a second one at the helm.

Some sedatives and a casual day shopping at the chandleries are in order.(G)
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Old 17-03-2019, 17:07   #8
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Re: Advices on electronics

For a trip of 40-45 miles you don’t need any electronics at all. A tablet or phone (preferably both, so you have a little redundancy) with the correct charts loaded will be fine, along with paper charts for the same area.

You should concentrate on getting the boat seaworthy before adding toys. You need a depth sounder that works and a vhf ditto. You don’t need anything else for a day sail, as long as you can choose a day where fog won’t be an issue (so you don’t need radar).

However, you should probably make some decisions about where you’re going with electronics to avoid wasting money. If you’re going full-on chart plotters then you might want to look at an XB8000 in the future. If you’re not going big-budget then perhaps you should think about getting a VHF with integrated AIS transponder (more expensive than plain vhf, but cheaper than doing it all separately later). If you’re not sure, buy the cheapest vhf going for now and either sell it or keep it as a spare later on.
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Old 17-03-2019, 17:20   #9
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Re: Advices on electronics

If you are going to cruise in the Vancouver Island area, just remember August is called "Fogust" for a reason.
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Old 17-03-2019, 18:55   #10
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Re: Advices on electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by stormalong View Post
VHF is an easy install if there is an existing antenna with good coaxial cable. They are not expensive.

A reliable depth sounder is essential for safety.

If you are budget constrained a set of paper charts or a chartbook that covers your area and the knowledge to find your position on the map will do in place of a chartplotter. You would need a simple GPS receiver to use paper charts.

There is also good free software to make a laptop or other small computer into a chartplotter. It is called OPENCPN. It is far less expensive than a dedicated chartplotter and can be used for other purposes too. Electronic charts are expensive in Canada because the government gave a monopoly to someone years ago. You will need a GPS receiver to plug into the laptop.

IMO, the biggest advantage of OPENCPN, or any chartplotter is that you know at a glance exactly where you are - no chance of plotting errors. Plus you can layout and follow a route with the software giving you heading and distance information.
Aye I have been cruising the openCPN forum here and looked at openCPN apps on the play store, downloaded one.. quite interesting. We were discussing using open CPN as a back up system, with say a bad elf gps system. But could it be adequate or above adequate as a primary system? I have also thought about getting touch screen monitor and having a built in desktop esque system with the monitor on a swivel and arm so we can use it to watch TV... I have a lot of ideas floating around lol I need to know what is realistic or best in my budget range lol prices at shops only tell part of the story lol

Now I am also open to buying US based systems and buying the charts in the US as well.. but I would have to make sure no legal issues would exist for that or operational issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
Planning on getting a VHF? As in, you don't even have one yet?

Yes, your new VHF will also have a DSC function, make sure to look into setting that up properly. And you're missing an AIStransceiver, not just a receiver but a unit that actively transmits your information as well.

That should integrate into your chartplotter and radar and everything else, they should be able to play nicely together. Or, you have to juggle multiple balls if they don't.

It helps to check "for sure" and "in writing" in advance to make sure whatever you get will be compatible, if you are planning for that. You might just want one display at the helm, or you might want a system that allows for the primary display to be below, with a second one at the helm.

Some sedatives and a casual day shopping at the chandleries are in order.(G)
I have a hand held kenwood VHF that I can use in a bind, but I realize the lacks it has so I will be installing a system because we lack one. That is one thing I do want is a fully integrated system so I only have to look at one screen if possible and see all that I need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tillsbury
For a trip of 40-45 miles you donít need any electronics at all. A tablet or phone (preferably both, so you have a little redundancy) with the correct charts loaded will be fine, along with paper charts for the same area.

You should concentrate on getting the boat seaworthy before adding toys. You need a depth sounder that works and a vhf ditto. You donít need anything else for a day sail, as long as you can choose a day where fog wonít be an issue (so you donít need radar).

However, you should probably make some decisions about where youíre going with electronics to avoid wasting money. If youíre going full-on chart plotters then you might want to look at an XB8000 in the future. If youíre not going big-budget then perhaps you should think about getting a VHF with integrated AIS transponder (more expensive than plain vhf, but cheaper than doing it all separately later). If youíre not sure, buy the cheapest vhf going for now and either sell it or keep it as a spare later on.
I understand we do not "need" anything perse if we use the phones, but a superior system is safer a lot of the time.

Aye seaworthy is the #1 goal, but I know I need electronics so trying to figure a way to do that. I eventually want a solid system, something that covers it all but does not break the bank. Things that have direct correlation to safety, I'll spend what I need to, to make sure i am safe. I'm not a complete scrooge.. and I'm not Warren buffet, so a middle of the road system is likely where I'd shoot for unless middle of the road does not cut it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seniormechanico
If you are going to cruise in the Vancouver Island area, just remember August is called "Fogust" for a reason.
Thanks for the info, for now I will read that as do not sail in August until I have more experience or required tech!

RR
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Old 17-03-2019, 21:27   #11
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Re: Advices on electronics

We got by perfectly fine for our first 8 years using only cellular gps equipped iPads in Lifeproof cases along with the iNavX app and TZ Nobeltec app along with a working radar and depth sounder.

You seen to be a little too anxious to throw money at a problem that can be fixed very easily for much less money.
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Old 17-03-2019, 21:42   #12
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Re: Advices on electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
We got by perfectly fine for our first 8 years using only a cellular gps equipped iPad with the iNavX app and TZ Nobeltec app along with a working radar and depth sounder.

You seen to be a little too anxious to throw money at a problem that can be fixed very easily for much less money.
Sorry do not mean to come across as anxious to waste money.

I am anxious to be extremely safe, especially when I get to the point of solo sails with my wife and kids. Simply, if I would upgrade later to make sure my family is safe, why not just start now. But if I can be perfectly safe for less, why not? Depth sounder, seems essential and a radar seems like it is an very useful safety tool.

Fundamental skills and experience are far better then any tech will ever be, but tech used with skill and experience can exponentially make the situation safer. That is just were I stand, so it really is trying to figure what level to equip the boat and common agreement between sailors on that subject, if that is able to done cheaply with quality then why waste more?

RR
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Old 18-03-2019, 03:05   #13
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Advices on electronics

RR

My advice is to look at the boat in detail first before making big electronic purchases. Be sure the boatís safety systems are working (bilge pumps, fire/CO2 alarms, high water alarm, windlass, ground tackle, batteries, engine, fuel filters, depth meter, compass, etc.). These are your safety devices, not electronics.

Electronics are aids to navigation, nothing more. If you canít navigate safely using a paper chart, compass and your eyeballs then electronics will not help you much in terms of safety.

2 days to make a 40+ year old boat ď100% safeĒ is a bit unrealistic in my opinion. Nothing is ever 100% safe.

In recreational cruising there is a saying; schedules kill people. This saying is not without reason.
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Old 18-03-2019, 03:38   #14
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Re: Advices on electronics

Quote:
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Sorry do not mean to come across as anxious to waste money.

I am anxious to be extremely safe, especially when I get to the point of solo sails with my wife and kids. Simply, if I would upgrade later to make sure my family is safe, why not just start now. But if I can be perfectly safe for less, why not? Depth sounder, seems essential and a radar seems like it is an very useful safety tool.

Fundamental skills and experience are far better then any tech will ever be, but tech used with skill and experience can exponentially make the situation safer. That is just were I stand, so it really is trying to figure what level to equip the boat and common agreement between sailors on that subject, if that is able to done cheaply with quality then why waste more?

RR
I truly don't understand any of your posts.... You plan to throw $4,000-$6000 Canadian dollars at your 43 year old "bare bones" boat over a two day period to make it "extremely safe?" Are you even going to be present? Because it sounds like just your brother and a "chap" plan to do all the work due to the distance and cost.

Radar, chart plotters and depth sounders are only useful if YOU know how to use them; just because you haphazardly purchase these items, doesn't make your boat "extremely safe" for your wife and kids.
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Old 18-03-2019, 03:48   #15
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Re: Advices on electronics

My local "cruises" are usually less than 150 miles round trip.

I use an old Humminbird Depth Finder, an old Garmin 120 GPS, and some charts that came with the boat. (depth finder and GPS are probably 1990's vintage) Plus I have a VHF Radio.

This combination works great.

I have a couple hand Held Sunnto Compasses as backup

And I have quite a bit of experience on the water which I'm hoping you do as well sailing up there

My boat is 45 years old.
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