Originally Posted by Wolfhound
Any thoughts four years later?
Lower prices & higher sophistication of units available...
Wider use of AIS...
For a mid-size cruising sloop with a limited budget, where do you think dollars are best spent as far as electronics are concerned?
Terrifically good radar and AIS have come way down in price
in the last few years.
AIS is the killer app for collision
avoidance, and if you sail anywhere where you might encounter commercial
traffic, in my opinion, AIS is a must-have. It's now so cheap
-- less than $600 for a black box transponder -- that it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to be without it.
I have been caught out in fog
without radar and I'll tell you, would not want to repeat that experience. Radar with guard zones set is a great enhancement of safety
and general situational awareness.
You can buy the excellent Simrad
NSS 7" MFD plus 3G radar for $2300 from Defender -- in my opinion, a crazy price
. So with AIS even including the extra VHF antenna
and so forth, less than $3000 if you install it yourself.
This deal is simply incredible: http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?...cartId=4670709
7" MFD with radar including the cable. The Ray MFD has WiFi
built in. Only $1926, which is ridiculous, and several hundred cheaper than the comparable Simrad package.
At that price, I think few people would have an excuse to do without.
offer similar deals for also excellent equipment
. The prices are simply crazy compared to four or five years ago.
Concerning electronics, is that all you need? If you were starting over from scratch, I would strongly suggest going to NMEA2000 which is easy to install yourself (saving you money) and infinitely expandable/upgradeable since there is much greater compatibility.
The aforementioned plotter/radar/AIS.
Then add N2K wind
instrument of your choice. An ultrasonic one is only $600 or so (I use the Maretron WSO-100 and recommend it).
and speed -- various choices.
-- Simrad is top notch but there are other choices.
A good electronic compass
of your choice -- Maretron and Airmar are the obvious choices.
Instrument displays and pilot control -- you could use the B&G Tritons for this, which are my favorites and what I use. You will want as many as you can find room for, because there are so many useful screens, but you could probably squeak by with two -- one for depth/speed, the other for wind
. You can use the MFD for pilot control, although a third Triton plus keypad at the helm
would be better. I have five Tritons on my boat, and will install a sixth this winter (not a budget installation
, but will give you some idea of how incredibly useful they are).
and Raymarine also make very nice instrument displays, and they can all be had for less than $500 each if you watch the sales.