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Old 23-06-2018, 15:21   #1
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Sailboat electronics suggestions

I'm thinking about getting a trailer sailer 22-26ft. And I'm working on what exactly I'll outfit it with on the electronics side. Its been a long while since I've looked into marine electronics. So I don't even know what I'll run into any more.

I'd like to know where I'm at, and what I've gotten into. So a chartplotter/GPS Would be fabulous
I know years ago you buy a unit and then maps separately, which at times cost more then the device it's self. But times have changed and For 10$ I can use us topo maps app for Android.
Tablets seem like a option but id like a dependable unit. And the prices where pointed near a mountable marine unit which is probably built better. And less software hardware compatibility issues. Possible ext GPS antenna options
Any one love a certain model, and are maps included now a days?

Separately I'd like a fish finder/depth finder
What is good unit. In past I've used some that had depth alarms. That's a good feature if used can prevent a learning experience

Possibly radar? I once had a bad experience where some vessels (live aboards) were on anchor and had no anchor lights lit up. And it was night in a strange place. I was luckily moving under power under a small electric motor 55lb thrust. On a 22 ft Catalina.
As soon as my navigation lights lit up the area it had my heart pounding.by the time I came to a stop I was within 20 ft, due to obstacles turning left and right wasn't a option. It wasn't easy the engine was at 100% reverse. next boat will have a bigger petrol engine. But a low end radar might be something I'll equip.

Radio, what is the thing now adays
Vhf, ssb both? I'm sure noaa weather would be ideal as well

Digital wind speed, direction, are they useful under sail power.

Anything else I should consider. On the electronics side. Auto pilot seems a bit beyond my budget, and honestly I don't trust one. A sunken sailboat mast, piling, floating debris maybe troublesome.
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Old 23-06-2018, 16:39   #2
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Re: Sailboat electronics suggestions

I suggest not making any decisions until after you have spent some time aboard the vessel. Your notions of what is absolutely required and what is frivolous luxury are likely to be tempered by time aboard. In the meantime, those phone navigation apps will go a long way, and the cost will be negligible compared to the price of dedicated marine electronics.

It is easy to spend $5K on a suite of instruments. $10K is closer to the mark if radar and fancy radios are thrown in. Unless living on the boat, the cost may be hard to justify, especially for a ~24 footer which might struggle for space.

Personally, I would almost certainly buy a simple tiller-mounted autopilot. The convenience of not having to steer for hours on end is amazing, all that time can be pit to other uses.

A depth sounder is also indispensable, regardless of the size of the boat. It doesn't have to be the fishfinder variety, although nowadays that is possibly the cheapest marine-grade option.

A handheld VHF may be all the radio required, unless you are sailing far afield.
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Old 23-06-2018, 18:58   #3
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Re: Sailboat electronics suggestions

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Originally Posted by LongRange View Post
I suggest not making any decisions until after you have spent some time aboard the vessel. Your notions of what is absolutely required and what is frivolous luxury are likely to be tempered by time aboard. In the meantime, those phone navigation apps will go a long way, and the cost will be negligible compared to the price of dedicated marine electronics.

It is easy to spend $5K on a suite of instruments. $10K is closer to the mark if radar and fancy radios are thrown in. Unless living on the boat, the cost may be hard to justify, especially for a ~24 footer which might struggle for space.

Personally, I would almost certainly buy a simple tiller-mounted autopilot. The convenience of not having to steer for hours on end is amazing, all that time can be pit to other uses.

A depth sounder is also indispensable, regardless of the size of the boat. It doesn't have to be the fishfinder variety, although nowadays that is possibly the cheapest marine-grade option.

A handheld VHF may be all the radio required, unless you are sailing far afield.
At one time I had a Catalina 22 and loved it, it was short-lived and a hurricane took that away
I'm thinking of the same but with a bigger budget
I figured I'm spending easily a few thousand here on electronics and for sure repowering it. I know I'll spend more then I pay for the boat. I'm not going to live in it. But I may do some weekend sailing. It's a small boat I may modify the cabin to make weekend sailing more friendly not sure if my wife will have obtainable demands for the 22footer

I'm interested in your autopilot what brand is it. I'm remembering those sunburns from holding the tiller all day.

As for radar entry level has come down in the last 15 years. But For how often I'll use it on the cloudy night might be low. But was worth the cost. Then I saw a old flir camera I already have laying around that will help me out just fine. Its wind blown rain proof, not sure about submerge proof. But it will probably see a wooden piling better then a radar would anyways. Glad you helped steer me off radar

Fish finder is 100% I like to fish, love to sail, but only want one boat. I don't think major changes in fish finders have happened in the last 15 years. But depth readings are important to me. Are some brands better that others?

GPS/chartplotter units I think they have gotten hit with competition from the cellular market 15 years ago I remember big price differences, are maps included now a days? I've considered using a phone or tablet to accomplish this but a stand alone marine unit will be more robust, have external GPS ant options. And importantly I hear the displays are brighter then a tablet in a waterproof case.
And less likely to drop over board. But I like my phone as a back up. Are any dedicated chartplotters using GLONASS and GPS technology? Are any unstable, and constantly crashing.

For communication
There is alot of technology I don't remember seeing 15 years ago ais, ssb. I'm sure vhf is still very common today. But I have some remote coastal areas near me and range is important, I'd love to have a unit with noaa weather built in. In the past I've had a hand held unit it worked good but was a bit low in power. So I'm interested in a stationary unit.
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Old 23-06-2018, 20:50   #4
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Re: Sailboat electronics suggestions

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Originally Posted by Razrburn View Post
I'm thinking about getting a trailer sailer 22-26ft.]
Where are you, where do you sail, and what are your longer term plans for voyaging with that boat?

Those answers have significant bearing on what you actually need and what would be the most cost effective options for you.
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Old 23-06-2018, 22:44   #5
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Re: Sailboat electronics suggestions

I'm at the Texas gulf coast. Have family in south Florida, road island, Not sure at this point how long of a sailing duration I'd venture in a 22ft with a swing keel. But I'd like to modify it to make it weekend capable. Im limited to something I can legally tow, and I've seen plenty of sketchy videos of launching fixed keel sailboats at shallow ramps. If I get a fixed keel I'd consider building it out to sail further. Thinking keys to fort Jefferson or west Palm to Bahamas In good weather. My truck is rigged to tow a sailboat 1000 miles + on one tank nonstop. So I'm not going to limit where it goes. But I plan to be dead before it goes to Alaska or anything to far too far north.

I have some details to work out and I might try and find something bigger than a old Catalina 22. I like the thick hull and the typical layout seems friendly to Rework. But it's size is a bit limiting.

McGregor's and odays have caught my eye never really dug into if they would meet my needs better. Catalina's are everywhere and hold up rather well for their age.
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