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Old 18-01-2009, 20:02   #16
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Hi Capt,I do have an autopilot, and yes, I wouldn't be without it either. My Current wish list is :RadarSSBSolar or WindAIS--maybeTrying to sort through all the offerings and various configurations is daunting.Networking and MFD seems to be where the market has evolved to. Although, I can see an argument for separate units..eggs all in one basket and $ thing. Right now I'm focused on, Raymarine, Furuno, and Garmin...there also seems to be this issue of the new NEMA standard---2000. vs 0183...and compatibilityThen there's the issue of heading display, MARPA.. tracking etc...Maybe I should just get a Shipperke....do they find fish too?So, are you in the Warm Lands now?Thanks,
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Old 18-01-2009, 20:15   #17
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Hi Bashful,

Good Point. Wind would eliminate the need for a davits to mount solar panels.
I don't mind inflating and deflating the dink, and lashing it to the deck.
I've been worried that a davits and panels would get in the way of my fishing rods..lol

I actually enjoy night passages, now if I can only get the crew to agree more.
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Old 18-01-2009, 20:41   #18
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don't get me wrong...

I'm not an advocate of wind over solar. I just think that an ideal setup incorporates both energy sources.
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Old 18-01-2009, 22:01   #19
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One other suggestion, if you are going to be sailing at night or using the anchor light, consider an LED masthead light set. They're damn expensive, but will save you many trips aloft to change the bulbs AND perhaps more important, they can make a significant change in your power consumption compared to regular running lights and anchor light. Which means less fuel, or less battery weight, or less solar/wind power needed, and so on.

For extended lighting use--they make dollars and sense.
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Old 18-01-2009, 23:09   #20
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Hellosailor,

Great Suggestion, I've stepped my mast this year for the 1st time in awhile and someone else recently mentioned that to me. My Anchor bulb went belly up last season so I'm seriously considering replacing it with an LED......Do they make em for the steaming light too?
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Old 19-01-2009, 00:30   #21
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My boats previous owner commented that battery capacity (Two domestics) were near to exhausted after a night on auto-pilot. Lots of solar capacity on board but that's no use. Just a small windy would extend my night life considerably. It's on the list. Also looking at towed generator as a home build. No radar/auto/GPS required when I'm at anchor.
Is a petrol genny worth while. Battery recharging, emergency power, rescue lighting, 220v cooking and hair driers? Petrol on a multi is less of a problem than gas.
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Old 19-01-2009, 07:14   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest245 View Post
...On the 24 vs 36 mile radar...I've been told that more power equals better definition in close ..any thoughts on that? I agree that I'm not too concerned about seeing things out beyond 24 miles, weather excluded. Can I assume that if the incremental cost of 36 mile is not that great, It won't hurt me? I guess I'll also have to do the math on power consumption...
The Raymarine 24" radome costs about $700 more than the 18" (24 mile) radome. The power consumption is 4 kW vs. 2 kW for the smaller unit. The amphour consumption impact on your batteries will depend on how much you use it. It's bigger and weighs more. It is more accurate than the smaller unit for judging lateral positions. The advantage in accuracy on distance will not amount to much. You need to decide if you really need the greater lateral accuracy.

I chose the 24", and have no regrets. Here's an example of perhaps the most critical situation that I've been in when depending on the radar. We were traversing Delaware Bay at night with a light fog, trying to stay just outside the shipping channel, but not so far outside that we found one of the many shoals there. So we were trying to stay pretty close to the channel markers, pretty demanding navigational situation in low visibility. We were using the radar overlay on the chartplotter display. Some of the channel buoys were unlit. I was watching the radar and calling the buoys and shipping traffic while another crew member steered.

I could see the buoys coming up on the radar along with our heading vector, so I could judge how close we'd pass them. I was able to pick the unlit buoys up visually only about two boat lengths ahead of us, then they'd zip by about 30' off the beam. We were doing 8-9 knots over ground with the tide pushing us, so they went by fast!

My 24" radome gave me accurate distance, but the lateral position (left or right) could be a somewhat off vs. the charted positons for buoys a mile out or more. When we got close enough to them that we really needed to be spot on, the radar positions were spot on. So, my experience has been that the 24" will show you what's out there with enough accuracy that you can make long range decisions, and will show you stuff up close with plenty of accuracy for safe navigation. If I were you, I'd spend the extra $700 toward a Pactor.
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Old 19-01-2009, 08:32   #23
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Hud,

Thanks so much for your insight. Weight, Power Consumption, Cost are big factors.
$700. is indeed a savings.
Last summers cruise, fog bound on the way to Block I. , convinced me it was time to invest in radar.

How do you manage your sound signals in the fog? I have the cannister airhorns, and a battery powered one. I was thinking it would be nice to have an automatic hailer. ( another wish-list item)

Thanks again,
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Old 19-01-2009, 08:54   #24
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I have an air canister called Eco-Blast or something like that. It comes with a small hand pump that you use to recharge it. Never have to buy new canisters of pressurized gas, and you can't run out.

Speaking of loud hailers, someone gave me a battery powered, hand-held loud hailer. It has short music passages programmed into it. You can let loose "Dixie" or "Battle Hymn of the Republic", depending upon your preferences. Or some other songs. Much more interesting than just a plain "toot".
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:22   #25
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I've recently came across that Eco-Blast and wondered about it. Great idea!

I blew through my cannisters on last years trip...that's why a purchased the battery one. Air is free...at least for now...
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:41   #26
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Tempest, I'm not sure but suspect they make LED steaming lights as well. Progress in "better brighter cheaper" LEDs is continuous and more vendors get into the act every year. I'd avoid any no-name stuff from China (the LEDs are often simply inferior and dim out quickly) and... One of our members (Michael Homsany )has a business in LED marine lighting, based on a Pacific island IIRC, and produces top quality products designed for quality, not just to a price. Quite a nice variety, competitive, and he'd be my first choice to look at.
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Old 19-01-2009, 10:32   #27
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Multifunction, networked displays do not mix and match, but you can buy separate Radios, including AIS, with no problems because all of the network systems accept NMEA 0183 data more or less well. So when you shop, compare prices as best you can based on equal function. All of them require a high bandwidth fluxgate compass to generate MARPA functions. The little baseball sized gyro compass on your autopilot will not do it.

The smaller radomes (18") will perform very nicely, and will have less penalties in weight aloft and power drain. Satellite weather is a no brainer for coast-wise cruising, but you will need ssb weather depiction south of the US Virgins. Some cruisers use simple ssb receivers instead of transceivers, with good results.

Radar mandates larger screens, but your 545 has probably been very satisfactory so far; bigger is a little better, but biggest isn't best. Its interface is used on the larger Garmin systems, and would have a minimal learing curve. For most people, going from the Garmin interface to the less intuitive Raymarine or Furuno systems is a frutrating experience, and a potential problem in high pressure situations, when you unconsciously revert to ingrained habit patterns.

Keep your backup handheld GPS in a padded can with spare batteries and a handheld VHF that uses the same batteries, for lightning insurance.

Make very sure your new VHF radio with DSC is connected to GPS.

p.s. Raymarine sort of paints you into a corner, needing their over-priced AIS recieved or their new AIS B to escape some major hoop jumping on an install. Garmin is the easiest stuff for a joe-boaty to do himself.
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Old 22-01-2009, 19:06   #28
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Here is some food for thought. Wind turbin for most of your charging while underway. A smaller solar panel for charging during no wind situations when you might be draining the batteries. Most seem to be using the 802 for SSB. Go to this web site and check out ICOM's equipment for yourself. www.icomamerica.com Some of their handheld VHF units float. You may want to check out the mounted VHF units since you only have a handheld unit. The difference bewtween 5 watts and 6 watts isn't that much as far as range goes and the five watt units have less drain on the battery.
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Old 22-02-2009, 15:50   #29
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Update and questions

After trying to narrow down all the options out there, I've begun to zero in on the following equipment that I'd like to add to my boat.

Garmin 4208 Chartplotter + new pedestal guard and navpod. $2362.98
Garmin 18" HD radar + deployed from a Waltz Backstay mount. $1734.99
Raymarine ST60 wind instrument. $ 879.00

total. $4,976.97

The ACR AIS is about aprox. another "boat unit" installed $1,000.

I haven't fully priced wind or solar, SSB and pactor yet but they could wait until next year.

Just out of curiosity I asked my yard to give me a price to install the above equipment, and they came back with a $4,000 estimate 42 hours @ $95.00/hr. So let's call it $10,000. If I go to add wind/solar SSB next year...I'm guessing it could easily get to be a $17,000 total investment in goodies....I picked up a new Icon 504 at a recent boat show at a great price and I'm planning on putting an LED all round light on the masthead.

My boat is in sound condtion, well cared for I see it for sale anywhere from $45,000 to $70,000. Let's call it $60,000...it's 24 years old.

I hope to sail it for at least another 5 years or so.

I could probably install most of this myself, but I know I'll get a superior job from my yard. I could work weekends through april and may teaching sailing to make the install money...so time on the boat...or time on the water...It's almost a wash to me...?? yes/no

So, questions:

I see Garmin 4208's being sold as refurbished for $1300. has any one purchased a garmin " refurbished" unit and if so any issues?
that's about a $500 savings.

I'll sell my current 545....anyone interested?

Any comments on the equipment choices?

Is investing this much money into a 23 year old vessel unwise?
( presuming that owning a boat is wise)

At what point do others say, this is the boat that I want ..and just make it the way you want it to be? Or is there a always a point of diminishing returns in the back of your mind. ( boats clearly depreciate, so I know I'll never get this investment back, other than in my comfort )

Is this installation price simply crazy? I will try to negotiate it, although it is their published labor rate.

Tanks....
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Old 22-02-2009, 19:54   #30
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Tempest, I can't see all that installation adding up to a full man-week of labor, but I'd suggest you contact Garmin & Raymarine and ask them for a ballpark on installation times.

Garmin refurbs--and most refurbs--may actually be better than new, because new goods aren't hand tested and hand calibrated, while a refurb actually has to be tested before it goes back out again. Sometimes the case is scratched up, sometimes there are wear issues to consider when moving parts (etc) are involved. And often not, especially if the case is welded rather than screwed, so it is replaced and not re-used. The question is, what's the warranty they are offering with it, and whether that gizmo is known for frequent failures (again and again) as opposed to normal manufacturing problems.
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