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Old 18-03-2016, 19:38   #1
bnb
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Electric Equipment Basics

We just purchased a 22' Bolboa and it has no electronic equipment. We are looking to take her from Charleston to Florida and several off shore weekend trips.
We would like some imputed on what should be the basic equipment that you would recommend as a starting base.
Thank you.
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Old 18-03-2016, 19:59   #2
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Re: electric equipment basics

If you mean absolutely nothing at all then I would add, in this order as you have time or budget to do so.

1. Batteries and a way(or more than one way) to charge them. Do you have an engine with alternator? Solar?
2. Depth sounder
3. VHF radio
4. GPS
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Old 18-03-2016, 20:45   #3
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Re: electric equipment basics

No time frame right now. Budget does have a blue collar.
Looking into solar. Outboard only. Depth sounder and fm radio only. No gps.
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Old 18-03-2016, 21:02   #4
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Re: Electric Equipment Basics

You could consider one of the smaller Garmin chartplotters with charts for all US, coastal and rivers, plus Bahamas preloaded. Good value in my opinion.

If you get the version that includes a fish finder you'll have a second depth sounder for backup. I like running two sounders as they seem to blank out at the worst moments from murky water, debri, or soft bottoms. Lot's of skinny water muddy bottoms where I'm cruising.

The gpsstore dot com seems to have good prices.


Nothing wrong with a good handheld vhf to get you started. Handy for calling bridges. Get one that floats. Eventually I think you'll want a good fixed mount vhf even on a smaller boat for the greater range and secure installation. Mounted at the companionway, a base model with no remote command Mic would do. Mounted bellow I'd get a command Mic version with the remote at the helm.
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Old 18-03-2016, 21:37   #5
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Re: Electric Equipment Basics

Also, if you are a smart phone or tablet user consider OpenCPN, MxMariner, PolarView, etc. Free charts from NOAA and you have a useable chartplotter.

Some disadvantages like screen brightness but still good value. Better as a backup to a dedicated plotter in my experience.

Also for your phone, weather apps, tide apps, active captain data, and even Pandora for music. Use all these daily myself.
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Old 19-03-2016, 07:00   #6
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Re: electric equipment basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by bnb View Post
No time frame right now. Budget does have a blue collar.
Looking into solar. Outboard only. Depth sounder and fm radio only. No gps.
By FM radio do you mean a stereo FM for music or a marine band VHF FM transmitter?

If you have only a stereo FM then I would put a marine VHF FM at the top of the list. A handheld would get you by but very limited range compared to a built in unit with an antennae at the top of the mast.

Solar is a great option but on a small boat you will not have room for a panel large enough to make a huge amount of power. If you are careful with your electrical use you could supply most of your requirements with solar. I would like to have a backup method to charge the batteries if you run them down and it's night or cloudy. Some outboards have a small charging output. Does yours?
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Old 19-03-2016, 07:29   #7
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Re: electric equipment basics

Yes, it is just for music. That's how stripped down it is. Also looking into wind power as well. The outboard motor doesn't have any port for charging.
Looking into a vhf transmitter now. Any input on navigation system?
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Old 19-03-2016, 08:00   #8
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Re: electric equipment basics

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Originally Posted by bnb View Post
Yes, it is just for music. That's how stripped down it is. Also looking into wind power as well. The outboard motor doesn't have any port for charging.
Looking into a vhf transmitter now. Any input on navigation system?
For VHF radios I highly recommend the Standard Horizon.

For navigation the cheapest, easiest would be to buy a hand held GPS. You can use regular alkaline AA batteries if your boat batteries die. Garmin makes a nice one but you would have to buy the US chart chip for it. With chip the whole thing would set you back about $300.

Next step up is a built in GPS aka chart plotter. Starter units maybe a couple hundred more than the hand held GPS but would be dependent on the boat batteries. If they die then you've lost your nav gear.

Wind power is nice but they are a bit large and heavy for a boat your size.
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Old 19-03-2016, 18:08   #9
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Re: Electric Equipment Basics

For navigation, you could also consider Navionics on a smartphone or tablet.
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