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Old 10-06-2006, 22:18   #1
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How much Electronics? How many $?

I just looked at another boat, A Sceptre 41, Really liked the boat but it had antique electronics on it. I mean really old -- must have been from the 80's.

What electronics do you guys recommend outfit a boat for crusing and how much does it cost?

I want a GPS/chart plotter/radar/fish finder/ and possibly a new wind speed and direction indicator and knot log.

This would be for a trip down the West Coast, thru the Panama Canal, thru Carribean, to Europe, and around the Med. Then back.

Interested in hearing your comments.
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Old 11-06-2006, 02:45   #2
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Charlie,
You've probably noticed that many used boats on the market that had a single owner for the last 10 years or more tend to have ancient electronics. The owner was probably satisfied with the instruments for most of that time. Then when it comes time to sell there is no economic incentive to upgrade as it has little effect on the selling price.
As far as a recommendation and cost estimate for what to buy - that is really difficult as the choices and costs can vary so much. If you will be on a tight budget I would live with the existing instruments if they are functional and put your money into the components that are not on boat or not working. For chart plotting you also have the choice of going the PC route or dedicated plotter or combining the radar and chart plotter in a single display. If you have the budget to do a complete upgrade then you might consider getting everything from a single manufacturer to make integration easier.
I have mostly Raymarine electronics for the reason in the last sentence. They have worked well for me, but I expect Furuno and other manufacturers would have been just as good. I went with Raymarine because I had Autohelm electronics on my previous boat and was very satisfied with that selection.

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Old 11-06-2006, 09:33   #3
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Thanks John:

I've been looking at boats for a few months now qnd guess I just need to make up a spreadsheet that shows the cost of different items that I want to add to the boat so that I can just plug it in to the cost of any boat that I look at.
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Old 11-06-2006, 13:41   #4
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I think you have listed the essentials. There are two ways of doing this now. Go individual components, or go for a single display unit that does all. Single display is expensive as a one off, but chepaer than individuals, saves on room, But it puts all your eggs in one basket. Individuals may take nmore room, may take more money, but if one goes down, it doesn't affect the others.
I have Seperate... Radar, Depth/FF, Speed log, Wind, GPS/Plotter, AutoPilot.
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Old 11-06-2006, 13:59   #5
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Thanks Wheels:

I've been studying the West Marine Catalogue and am getting a better idea of what it takes to put together an electronics package. I think that the single display is the most affordable way to go and I would want to be redundant with a handheld battery operated GPS, a seperate analogue speed/log combo and maybe a second depth sounder. I'll have to see how the boat I finally pick is outfitted and how the $ holds out.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 11-06-2006, 17:39   #6
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Charlie - OMG - Please don't pay retail for your electronics. While the markup isn't all that great, if you shop around and/or are with West Marine's Port Supply system, then you will probably get close to the best deal. For those of us who are budget conscience: I retrofitted most of my electronics with RayMarine - REFURBISHED from the factory. Substantial discount and I know damn well they have been gone over well by RayMarine.

Good luck.
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Old 11-06-2006, 18:03   #7
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I'm not even quite sure you would need to replace much of anything, just add the few extras you want.

I have depth, knot log, and wind direction/speed instruments circa 1987 and they work fine now that I fixed a loose wire or two.
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Old 11-06-2006, 18:08   #8
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"West Marine's Port Supply system, " What's that?

On a 20 year old system, I think I'd really want to take a close look at how well the wiring was done, and what shape it is still in. Might pay to replace it all as preventive maintenance, unless the installation really was in top condition.

After seeing if the budget covers a good EPIRB and life raft.<G>
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Old 11-06-2006, 18:52   #9
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Shiva still have the original 1985 B&G Hornet system with has worked flawlessly for 21 yrs. The only problem is they do not speak NMEA and cannot be integrated into a network. We have a Raymarine C80 MFD with GPS, Radar and a KVH from 92 which works fine and does do NMEA.

Some gear from the 80s is no longert supported and unreliable. B&G is not one of them and I makes no sense to replace B&G.

But if you have to replace an MFD which can work with NMEA allows you to interface other gear and builf the entire "navigation/instrument package" over time.

The designated chartplotters are quite good these days and marinized so you won't be dealing sith soggy laptops.

Here is an interesting resource you might drill through http://www.panbo.com/ . Ben has lots of goodies.

Cost... depends on how much you have there... and the bells and whistles...5K - 10K seems to be what you should expect for a full suite.

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Old 11-06-2006, 20:37   #10
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Thanks Elusive:

I used to have connections to buy at Port Supply but not any longer. I will find them though -- being part Scottish it is in my nature. Let me know where you got the refurbished Raymarine stuff. I used RM on the charter I did in FL and it was really easy to operate. Especially the autopilot.

Thanks Sean:

The instruments are B&G and the radar is a monochrome so it will work for awhile. There is no GPS but it does have is Sat Nav, Weather Fax, loran, an SSB and VHF. I think that I would like to have a new MFD so that I can add things that I find I "need." I'm just trying to get an idea of how much it will cost me so I can make an intelligent offer on the boat.

Hellosailor:

Port Supply is the wholesale end of West Marine. EPIRB and Liferaft are key. More important than the other stuff. Except GPS.


Jef:

Thanks for the info on the B&G stuff. I'll follow that link.
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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 11-06-2006, 21:51   #11
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If you're like me, you have a affinity towards the electronics. Later, after using the boat, I found I had more serious issues to be spending my money on. (the engine) Another screw up was, I put some nice gear on the lower helm. As time went along, we found we never used the lower helm. We were always on the flybridge. This was a collosal waste of money.

If I had to pare down my electronics costs, I would focus on the GPS, VHF and depth sounder. You find that the bigger the GPS map, the happier you'll be. Calling into harbors with your vhf is important. If you're navigating the shallower bays, you will rely on your depth sounder quite a bit.

Unless you use radar a lot and spend a lot of time in the fog and shipping lanes, it is much less useful. I found you really need to spend some time using radar to learn to use it well. Hopefully, the old unit on the boat is still running and will get you to your home port.

One piece of electronics I really like is the VHF radios with a remote microphone. We were able to use the same radio on the flybridge and the lower helm.

Keep in mind that some of the nicer electronics are the stereo, Epirb and lap top computer with mapping software backed up with chart books of your route.

Oh Yes, West Marine has an outlet store in Oakland CA. Ebay, www.boatersworld.com and www.brokenlegdave.com are very competative.
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Old 11-06-2006, 22:10   #12
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Hi Charlie,
We bought our Sceptre 41 with the same problem - ancient electronics although all functional. We systematically replaced everything that could be unscrewed or unbolted. We went with Raymarine because we were able to get really good pricing on Ebay (new stuff, but some of it was being replaced by new models and thus discounted and dumped on Ebay). It costs the world to try to have everything be state-of-the-art. You can get some fabulous deals being just behind the cutting edge. I have learned to check Ebay before buying anything for the boat (or just about anything).
Good luck shopping,
Richard Black
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Old 11-06-2006, 23:00   #13
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Charlie - When you talk to a CS person at RayMarine or visit their website (www.raymarine.com) you can see what they have available and at what discount.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:01   #14
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Thanks thomas
I'll look into that should the offer proceed. Or on whatever other boat I buy.



Thanks Richard:

I like the Raymarine stuff. It was very intuitive. I'm not a cutting edge guy. I shop for long term value. I'd like to talk to you more about the Sceptre's. We found another on the market today. The one for sale in Belevedere needs alot of maintenance and this is not reflected in the price.



Thanks Craig:

That is an idea to keep in consideration. I think that having the two displays may be more important on a cruising sailboat than when you are day sailing but will keep that in mind.
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Fair Winds,

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Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 12-06-2006, 16:43   #15
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Although Port Supply (basically the WM wholesale distributor) can provide excellent prices on most items in the WM catalogue, IMO the electronics prices are not that great. Although I purchased all of my electronics through Port Supply it took a lot of negotiating to get something close to Defender's price. When I decided to buy an ICOM M802 SSB radio the price from Consumers Marine Supply was $200 under the best price from Port Supply. And of course there is always the potential for an even better deal on eBay. So keep shopping.
I think the best deals from Port Supply are on cordage. If I remember correctly Randy Repass started West Marine as a retail outlet for his dad's cordage company - NE Ropes.

John
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