Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-06-2015, 11:48   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

I have a 1981 Swan 371 with B&G Hercules, depth gauge and all original electronics. Last year I installed a Garmin 740xs and sailed her NY-Miami. Autopilot works great, depth gauge has some problems on shallow murky waters, neither one is interfaced with Garmin. My goal is to upgrade the electronics for Caribbean isles hopping, a few reliable instruments I can troubleshoot and maintain. I have basic electric skills, no electronics, 30 year sailing experience in Mediterranean with compass and paper charts, one VHS and later LORAN. Best VHS? Meteo charts? Satellite ph/data?


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
pierluigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-06-2015, 12:09   #2
Registered User
 
travellerw's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Martinique
Boat: Fortuna Island Spirit 40
Posts: 1,716
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

I recently purchased this package. Its fantastic gear at a good price. Combined with your Garmin will give you everything you need.
B&G T41 Triton Speed / Wind / Depth / GPS Package
__________________

__________________
travellerw is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 05:28   #3
Registered User
 
krafthaus's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Saskatoon, Canada & Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 420
Posts: 409
My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Welcome to CF Pierluigi.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is you know - it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails, that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is...really is, is freedom. ~Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow
krafthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 05:43   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,573
Images: 240
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, pierluigi.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 08:25   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Virginia
Boat: Cadtana 431
Posts: 48
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

PierLuigi: Please get AIS. I feel it's the most important of all.
-Steve
__________________
sailsw00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 08:54   #6
Registered User
 
Russ's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Montpelier,VT
Boat: Brewer 44' Steel
Posts: 151
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Go GARMIN, never look back. Consider MARPA (must have radar to work with MARPA) and IMHO Radar much more important than AIS IF you have to choose. I prefer MARPA over AIS as I choose the target to follow and don't get data overload on the plotter. Just another way of doing it. Russ
__________________
Russ
Russ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 09:39   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Florida
Boat: Irwin 43 Mk111 CC, Sloop
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to adlib2
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailsw00 View Post
PierLuigi: Please get AIS. I feel it's the most important of all.
-Steve

There has been recent threads on this subject of radar v AIS and most state radar is more essential and give the reasoning.
I use MARPA and don't have AIS. Would be handy to keep family apprised of my track but not essential in my view.
__________________
adlib2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 11:32   #8
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Welcome to the forum.
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 11:45   #9
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Welcome.

Asking your question is like asking someone "What car should I buy?" The answers can be endless, from a VW bug to tricked out Mercedes SUV to a Land Rover.

The issues are manufacturer and features, in addition to the age-old AIS, radar or both (both is the "right" answer!!!).

Try this resource, too.

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub

Good luck, happy hunting.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 12:42   #10
Registered User
 
Wrong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,702
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Most Caribbean sailing is line of sight between the islands. Strong current can carry a boat significantly off course, so a GPS is indespensible not only for guidance but as a means to monitor your cross track. It is a given that a magnetic compass should be installed.

A VHF for communication.

An android or other type device with charting software beats using an energy gobbling PC for the same purpose.

Paper charts.

Depth sounder.

That's all you really need...
__________________
Wrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 15:34   #11
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Luigi,
This subject comes up often, and has been discussed here recently, so I'll hit on a few highlights but refer you to some recent postings here for LOTS of details!!!

Basically, for most cruising the Caribbean, they will need some way to communicate with other boats/shore (VHF-DSC and MF/HF-SSB-DSC), some way of determining where you are (GPS and depth sounder), some way of determining what is around you (either paper charts or some electronics charts on a chartplotter or PC), some way of determining depth (depth sounder), some way of obtaining weather information / forecasts (US NWS/NOAA Voice weather, or WeFax charts), some way of signaling for help if needed (EPIRB, MF/HF-DSC-SSB, VHF-DSC)....

And, once you move past the "need", you get to the "want" / "desire"....you will want some way of accessing the internet (Wi-Fi and/or cellular/3G/4G), some way of keeping in touch with folks back home (Wi-Fi and/or cellular/3G/4G, and/or MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone), and some form of long-range communications (MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone), for both safety, weather, distress communications as well as for keeping in touch with other cruisers AND folks back home, etc...

(note that while most of my comments are on communications electronics, other than a good depth sounder and GPS, there's little else but electronics that involve "communications" of some sort, such as weather receiving, AIS, etc...)


In general, here are recommendations (in order of importance) for Caribbean island hopping and for going to/from the Caribbean (such as thru the Bahamas, and to/from the US, etc.):

1) A new Class D VHF-DSC Radio....such as the Icom M-506, or M-604....or Sailor, or Standard Horizon...

...AND...

An accurate and reliable depth sounder....(but, you mention that you already have that!!)


2) A new, spare/second GPS receiver, such as a Garmin handheld or stand-alone GPS...


3) A properly registered, GPS-equipped, EPIRB...

EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds


4) A means of receiving weather info/forecasts....mainly from the US NWS/NOAA, for their offshore waters forecasts, which are the "gold standard" of offshore maritime forecasts, and cover the entire W. N. Atlantic, SW N. Atlantic, Tropical N. Atlantic, Bahamas, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, etc. etc...

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

--- This can be a simple, inexpensive (< $100 - $150) SW receiver with "SSB" receive capability, and a simple piece of wire for an external antenna....
--- Or, you can also connect this to a laptop, and get high-quality weather charts and images...
--- And/Or, you can utilize your Marine SSB radio for this as well..
--- And/Or, a dedicated WeFax receiver, etc. etc...
--- And/Or, a external Wi-Fi system (and/or external cellular/3G/4G system)...


5) A means of long-range communications, such as a Marine SSB Radio (an HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone)...like the Icom M-802/AT-140 system...

Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!

Icom SSB Radio Kits & Components

Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use/properly-install SSB)

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts









6) An AIS transponder is getting to become standard kit these days....
But, certainly not a necessity....





ALL of this has been covered in some detail, including considerations based on different budgets, etc., in these other recent threads, have a look at them....(note that these are different posts, even if the names that show up here might show the same!)



Have a look at the "Priorities" listed in these threads!!!


Cruising Comms Set Up!

Guide to Marine Electronics

Guide to Marine Electronics


Communications equipment

Communications equipment

Communications equipment

The Perfect Setup

Have to haves and wants

AIS...all in one radio or computer/opencpn




Further, you may wish to watch some videos, of various electronics, weather, communications...

Offshore Weather...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


Maritime HF Communications...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y


HF-DSC Communications...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX


Icom M-802 Instructions....
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...rC-8QKVyMb4tVr


Offshore Sailing...
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...KgTCj15iyl6qoY


Quote:
Originally Posted by pierluigi View Post
I have a 1981 Swan 371 with B&G Hercules, depth gauge and all original electronics. Last year I installed a Garmin 740xs and sailed her NY-Miami. Autopilot works great, depth gauge has some problems on shallow murky waters, neither one is interfaced with Garmin. My goal is to upgrade the electronics for Caribbean isles hopping, a few reliable instruments I can troubleshoot and maintain.
Have a look at this thread...
Cruising Comms Set Up!


I have basic electric skills, no electronics, 30 year sailing experience in Mediterranean with compass and paper charts, one VHS and later LORAN. Best VHS?
Best VHF-DSC radio??
Except for the REALLY expensive Sailor VHF-DSC radios...it's the Icom M-604, Icom M-506, Standard Horizon, etc...

US DMA and UK Admiralty Charts are tops...
Explorer Charts for Bahamas....(Garmin Blue Charts are supposed to be using these Explorer charts..??)
And, whatever charts will will in your Garmin plotter...

Meteo charts? Satellite ph/data?
Weather (meteo) charts/images.....nothing beats the US NWS/NOAA wefax charts/images....and for voice weather, both the USCG and WLO do a fine job of disseminating all of these...

Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...zdjTJjHlChruyY


NO Sat Phone is needed for this area of the world!!!
You have good cellular/3G/4G service when near most of the islands, and excellent HF-DSC-SSB signals and many stations!!!
I do hope this helps....more later if needed!

Fair winds...

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 16:05   #12
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,385
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Needs vs wants can get subjective, too.

John has a wealth of knowledge about electronic gear and should be listened to with great attention.

He did note: "And, once you move past the "need", you get to the "want" / "desire"....you will want some way of accessing the internet (Wi-Fi and/or cellular/3G/4G), some way of keeping in touch with folks back home (Wi-Fi and/or cellular/3G/4G, and/or MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone), and some form of long-range communications (MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone), for both safety, weather, distress communications as well as for keeping in touch with other cruisers AND folks back home, etc..."

I would place wifi higher on the list than a SSB. Why? 'Cuz the WEATHER, other than comms, is what most folks I've read about use it for.

Since you are amidst tons of other cruisers, all of whom are interested in the VERY SAME weather, your VHF can get that info from any of the rest of them!

If I was juggling $$ and priorities, I'd get my weather from neighbors or buy a relatively inexpensive receiver to listen to ( I already own one).

I must admit I am one of the few folks in North America, or the world for that matter who does not own a Smart Phone. I have also read, right here, that folks use wifi through their phones in the islands anyway. So wifi through a laptop is my priority, and I rarely get it unless in a marina. Gasp! I am "disconnected' when at anchor. Oh, my, how can I survive? OK, OK, I'm not a full time cruiser....

Your boat, your gear, your choice.

Good luck happy spending!
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-06-2015, 16:15   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,157
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

You didn't mention your budget. That's going to make a big difference in how much electronics you get, and which brands you can afford.
__________________
socaldmax is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-06-2015, 14:20   #14
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,033
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Stu,
Thanks for the nice comments...
And, yes, needs and wants do get subjective!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Needs vs wants can get subjective, too.
{I mean, in reality nobody island hopping thru the Caribbean really needs electronics at all...

In my youth cruising the Bahamas and Caribbean, with my family in the mid 1960's....we had paper charts, a Ritche Globemaster compass, good watches, and did DR and coastal piloting...we spent quite a few years cruising from Florida all the way to Grenada....never got lost, only a few storms bit us in the butt, and never ran aground!!!

As for "electronics" we did have one of those old round "flasher" depth sounder (which was actually pretty accurate, but you had to learn how to set the gain, and interpret its flashings!),....and had an old RDF which we used to determine our course and set/drift when crossing the Gulf Stream to/from Bahamas-Florida (I can still remember listening to ZBB in morse, and getting a bearing from that and FFL...plotting our position, etc.), also tuned-in AM broadcast stations for news/weather....and an old 2mhz AM marine radio, which would occasionally work , but usually just get you "children's hour net" when in the Bahamas and nothing else between Florida and S. America....(except for occasionally the USCG or Miami Marine when within 100-150 miles of Miami)...

So, in reality, except for a depth sounder and an AM radio receiver, we never needed "electronics" at all....(once we've made a Gulf Stream crossing a time or two, you get to know the current and set our course accordingly....so no electronics needed there either)...}



But, I do have a differing opinion here / politely disagree with you a little bit...here..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I would place wifi higher on the list than a SSB. Why? 'Cuz the WEATHER, other than comms, is what most folks I've read about use it for.
Yes, Wi-Fi is nice to have...and good when in port / where you can find Wi-Fi....but at anchor, in remote areas, or when at sea, Wi-Fi isn't, of course, usable!!
But Marine SSB works worldwide!! (and, when island hopping, a Marine SSB radio is all most need for a reliable way to "get weather"..)

So, I place "SSB" above Wi-Fi, on my list...

The "gold standard" of offshore marine weather (from the US NWS/NOAA) is updated and broadcast at least 4 - 8 times a day from very powerful transmitters (4000 watts) along the US east coasts and gulf coasts....both weather charts / images (wefax), as well as detailed Voice (SSB) weather forecasts, covering the entire Caribbean, and all of the Bahamas, as well as the western N. Atlantic, SW N. Atlantic, Tropical Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, etc., are all there for free, from NMF and NMG (wefax) and NMN, NMG, and WLO (SSB)....and all you need is a simple inexpensive SW receiver w/ a BFO (for SSB reception) [which I think you have Stu ??]


Since you are amidst tons of other cruisers, all of whom are interested in the VERY SAME weather, your VHF can get that info from any of the rest of them!
If I was juggling $$ and priorities, I'd get my weather from neighbors....
I have nothing against my fellow cruisers, but I prefer to get my weather info/forecasts first-hand, direct from the source...many times I've heard "cruisers nets" repeat forecasts that were 12 hours old (or more), or inaccurately report the weather, etc....
And, when it comes to WeFax, you can't get those charts/images from a cruiser's net....

Just saying....I'd not recommend that someone looking at "electronics", rely on some other boats nearby to get them some weather info...



or buy a relatively inexpensive receiver to listen to ( I already own one).
Yes, this is a good low cost option....and is one of my back-ups....


Your boat, your gear, your choice.
Yep, that does sum up things well!!


And, until we hear back from Luigi regarding his budget and some more details, it's darn near impossible to get into specifics....
Which is why I listed all those other threads for him to read, so he can see what other are doing / what priorities others have, etc....as well as get an idea of what works and what costs are involved in various recommendations / approaches / ideas / etc...









I'm another without a smart phone!!....
Although there is this girl I'm friends with (hoping for more in the future), who is into texting ('cause she can do that at work easily), and my old flip phone (and my old fingers) aren't so good at that! (so, I might be forced to get one of those damned things within a year or two!!!)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
I must admit I am one of the few folks in North America, or the world for that matter who does not own a Smart Phone.





I hope this helps clarify some of my thoughts....

Fair winds..

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-06-2015, 07:58   #15
Registered User

Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4
Re: My first post: Advice on Basic Electronics.

Stu, John and all others - Thanks for all the advice. I have all I need to move on with the next phase: Studying what is available and determine what I want. We all agree that electronics has little to do with sailing, especially island hopping. Nobody suggested to replace my old depth transducer nor the autopilot for a digital one to interface with the Garmin. For now fair wind to everyone from the desert of Saudi Arabia.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
pierluigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electronics

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
First boat, first post, first adventure. northoceanbeach Pacific & South China Sea 5 28-05-2013 19:05
First Boat and First Project - Advice welcome Minisail Monohull Sailboats 3 20-06-2012 12:03



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:28.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.