My B&G are going strong after 23 years. They don't interface (talk NMEA
0183) so they are not networked to an MFD. I like that "independence".
I would consider a stand alone speed, depth
window kit from some B&G and a MFD to use as a radar which supports AIS
and GPS. You can feed your NMEA
output from your speed, wind
and then add a fluxgate
and even weather
on many MFDs like Ray C and E series and Furuno, Garmin
I find that a fix mount is fin below decks at a nav station, but I rarely use it. I do use the cockpit
repeaters which give all the relavent data including waypoint info... CTW , DTW COG, SOG, XTE, TTG etc.
I don't drive from behind the helm
so a helm
instrument pod would put a lot of gear
where it is not viewed. Instead I recommend a hand held GPS plotter AND cockpit
repeaters visible from anywhere in your cockpit (ir forward above the companionway). I am using a very daylight visible Garmin
iQue PDA which has blue charts
and is all I need GPS chartwise in the cockpit. There are other which are better.
You'll want a decent below decks autopilot which can handle decent size seas. My experience is with the Alpha 3000 which has been superb, but there are others which come highly recommended. I am not a fan of interfacing a GPS with an autopilot. You're the captain
- you tell the helm where to steer.
I am also not a fan of routes. They don't make sense for sailboats. You have plenty of time to set a waypoint, one at a time and usualy you can't fetch them sailing anyway. From a prudence point of view it's better than the captain
be more as opposed to less, involved with navigation meaning don't leave it to electronics
is data rich these days, but that's not all there is to sailing.