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Old 17-06-2016, 08:28   #16
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

Tim, thanks for the followup. CF really excels as a place to share experience. Do continue to post, ask questions, and share your adventures and experience.
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Old 17-06-2016, 11:15   #17
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

I have zero experience on the East coast and the Caribbean so can't speak to any special issues there. I do have significant experience offshore and on inland waters of the Salish Sea (Puget Sound, San Juans, inside of Vancouver Island). I have found it very useful to have AIS just to keep track of all the (sometimes) bozo powerboaters who don't seem to watch out for other boats many times. (To be fair, most do, but some don't.)

And AIS is very good for keeping track of commercial shipping in foggy or night conditions. I have a Watchmate 8800 and it has low power requirements in some modes. I will use it instead of radar for night passages offshore. I don't do much night sailing inland but if I did I would have AIS on for sure with my chartplotter and/or radar.

But in reality it really is a comfort-level safety issue as you can get by without any of it if you pay attention and know how to navigate and watch for other boats at night. Fog is a different issue - it makes me nervous all the time and I want something besides my fog horn to keep from hitting things - land, rocks, ships, even channel markers.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:11   #18
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

Thanks exMaggieDrum

We recently settled on a combined VHF/AIS/GPS radio. I've made sure that we can still have the targets show up on our tablet's navigation software. It just receives AIS but, it is very cost efficient over purchasing a separate AIS and a cable splitter which doubles the price!

Thanks for your thoughts.

Tim
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Old 17-07-2016, 14:38   #19
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

Very impressed with the quality of responses afforded you here. There's a lot of response here and perhaps I missed it but what type of autopilot and steering system done our have? If hydraulic, that would be your greatest power draw depending on sea state. The other is radar. We've an older Furuno analogue 16nm unit but we absolutely swear by it to the point we alarm our radar scans at night - we don't leave it on 'transmit' all the time. As crude as this unit is, we pick up everything we need to. While AIS tells you more about other boats dynamically, with diligence typical of a decent watch you can determine what you need to.

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Old 18-07-2016, 06:50   #20
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

Hi Velella99

Ours is an electric wheel and cable driven unit. Have no idea what the electrical demand is going to be but have estimated it conservatively and included this in our offshore electrical budget. Will probably add radar at some point and hopefully by then, the units available will be even more efficient than they are now.

Thanks for your response, always good to know different ways people are getting around out there! Cheers!

Tim
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Old 18-07-2016, 07:39   #21
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

Timber, the receive part of AIS is the most important part so that is a major plus for you so long as you keep a good watch anyway and either set alarms on the AIS or monitor it well. Big ships come up on you SO fast.

Have fun.
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Old 18-07-2016, 08:07   #22
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

As far as power goes I think AIS, chart Plotter and vhf are not that hard to power. If your going down the ICW you will be on the motor a bit and have amp hours to spare. I would pile on the panels but until you start with Refrigerators and ice makers your consumption should be manageable.

You may want an Epirb. Even if your going on short day hops it is better to have than not have. If you look at price a Epirb is not much more than a wifi network adapter and will help you out in a crunch.

For the AIS I would suggest going all in for a class B and purchasing a real MMSI number from the FCC. This way your VHF, AIS and Epirb will be on record for your boat internationally.


Also, I actually have a cheap vhf and spare whip in the box in case my primary dies. Well the spare whip is in use as my primary whip took a lightning hit. Also one or two floating hand helds are nice to talk with the mother ship when ashore. Also look into a RAM Mic.

I have AIS and a N2k networking to my Garmin chart plotter. A dedicated plotter is very nice to have as it does depth, speed, chart etc and shows time and distance to waypoint and can give collision alarms all on one waterproof, non cable fiddling screen.

I like my tablet and phone but do not really want them floating about the cockpit when I am sailing. They are nice to look at Active captain and trip plan and call ahead to marinas but anything my toddler daughter can toss over the side probably may be a bit too risky to use as a primary.
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Old 23-07-2016, 07:13   #23
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Re: Complete boat electrical and electronics from scratch

Hi The Garbone

We haven't researched Epirbs yet and it's definitely on our list. We purchased a VHF with an integrated AIS receiver to save on cost and installation. We're definitely planning on purchasing a handheld VHF for the reasons that you mentioned.
We're both far out of the toddler stage, so, hopefully we can keep our devices on board!

Thanks for the advice!

Tim
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