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Old 13-05-2015, 11:34   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Picking a "Cruising" Instrument Package (& AP)

So, I'm looking at (fast type) cruising boats, & would LOVE a top shelf instrument package & auto pilot for such. Like, say, the full race, money is no object NKE type system (with 3 layers of backups, plus, on demand Sat Phone tech help). AKA something which can drive the boat better than me, regardless of Neptune's mood (knock on wood). But then, that's in the ideal world.
- And, yeah, I know, the first AP the boat needs is Wind Vane, Self-Steering gear.

In reality, since I'm shopping in the used boat market, it's a crap shoot what boat X, or Y may or may not come with. And whether or not it's systems will talk to one another. Let alone if it'll play nice whatever kind of autopilot I choose.
Plus, there's the duality situation of; electronics advancing so rapidly that pilots & instruments get better & cheaper in leaps & bounds, but... that also means, that a 5yr old (quality) instruments suite, likely won't talk real well, or at all, to a current generation AP.

So... that tirade stated, what do you guys: Have, Recommend, Foresee the situation being in 3-5yrs+ ? And please be kind enough to explain your; statements, personal choices, evaluations (of gear X, or Y), recommendations (of X over Y), & predictions of what things will look like, one or two VOR's hence (time frame wise). AKA 5+ years from now.

In terms of cost, there's the obvious: more $ = better gear, less $ = more beer/rum, with shittier performance. But seriously, on this, how's about keeping things, recommendation wise (for instruments only, not including an AP) in 2 groups.
Sub $2k, & $2k-$5k'ish (Please).

As to Auto Pilots, I'm curious to hear feedback on what you've got, or have had firsthand experience with. Especially the belowdecks type... and preferably ones that don't melt the Visa, when you buy a twin for it. In addition to some vital spare parts as well.

Thanks, & a bottle of rum for the best answers to this info-a-thon
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