Boat came with Autohelm
ST50 Series Depth
, Speed, Wind
plus the ST7000 autopilot
. I need to replace the wind
transducer and investigate why the GPS
quit, but everything else works OK. The Depth
display at the helm
is a bit cloudy but readable. 2 different radar
units work fine, a low-power consumption
JRC LCD unit at the helm
and a fancy CRT Furuno
at the Navsta. Radar
& GPS units are not interfaced to anything of course. All electronics
are 1992 vintage or slightly newer.
Watching eBay for several months I see a pretty good supply of Autohelm
replacement displays & other parts
. Have not investigated to see if Raymarine
still stocks parts
for all of these - but I did see that the ST50 wind transducers are not available from their website (out of stock).
The new ST60+ instruments are an exact fit replacement from what I see, but I'm not sure if this product line was the demarcation between analog and digital instruments. If so I assume it's a line that if crossed would require me to replace all sensors as well as the display units.
I will be adding a color chartplotter
and will replace the secondary Trimble GPS unit as well. I'm torn between buying
a complete integrated system and making do with what I've got (new chart plotter will be added regardless).
Lots to consider besides cost: resale value (in 5 years perhaps), intended use (part-time cruising morphing to perhaps full-time), emerging technologies, etc... And of course it's the guns-vs-butter debate while looking at the budget
So if given the same scenario, would you keep the ST50 units and gather spares or bite the expensive bullet and upgrade?