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Old 11-06-2018, 18:59   #46
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
I have been thinking about what electronics I will be installing in my boat.



I'm interested to know from the experienced crews on here, what aids do they always use and rely on? And what is superfluous?


The other question is what will be your crew. Single handed, with your wife or with a couple of extras

My early cruising life was with charts compass and hand bearing compass sextant and walkers log

Today with energy efficient equipment i have a greater array of equipment and backup. I feel we have a responsibility to ourselves and or crew and those who might risk their lives to save us to be equipped to resolve every situation that is put in front of us.

Paper charts, compass, hand bearing compass, integrated chart plotter - gyrocompass, wind speed direction,gps,chart plotter, ais, radar,autopilot, gps epirb,, mob system, hand held gps, radios short and long, weather data,Lap top.

But is I have to I still have my sextant and books.

When you are single handed, short crewed or fully crewed with less experienced people it's nice to know when your head hits the pillow that if you are off course, about to be run down or the wind is piping up that alarm by your bunk will bring you back to alertness.
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Old 13-06-2018, 03:40   #47
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post

I deduce that you are engaged in an intellectual exercise of equipping a boat yet to be acquired. My recommendation is that you guard against putting your cart before your horse.
I have the boat and it's mostly stripped.
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Old 13-06-2018, 03:54   #48
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Thanks for some great replies.

To answer a couple of questions directed at me. Bw to me is crossing oceans or large passages on oceans. I will be leaving from New Zealand. It will be mostly two people on board and some solo.

I think the radar is back on my list after many recommendations in this thread. I'm sure a AIS transceiver is a good idea also.

Has anyone have recommendations of wideband radios that can receive weather fax to a computer?
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Old 13-06-2018, 04:25   #49
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
Thanks for some great replies.

To answer a couple of questions directed at me. Bw to me is crossing oceans or large passages on oceans. I will be leaving from New Zealand. It will be mostly two people on board and some solo.

I think the radar is back on my list after many recommendations in this thread. I'm sure a AIS transceiver is a good idea also.

Has anyone have recommendations of wideband radios that can receive weather fax to a computer?
A search of CF on this subject will offer up quite a bit of info ..

However I would go for a Tecsun 880.... a solid radio which is very easy to tune on SSB. Other options are the Tecsun 660 or 680 or a Sangean 909....
Not sure about the Sangean 909X as I don't own one and have read a few less than flattering reviews.

Anon-co are good to deal with.. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TECSUN-P...0AAOSwgQ9Vloag
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Old 13-06-2018, 05:51   #50
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post

Has anyone have recommendations of wideband radios that can receive weather fax to a computer?
Had a degen 1103 performing very well for many years now.
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Old 15-06-2018, 07:07   #51
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

I sailed from Portugal to the Canaries, Cape Verde Islands, Barbados then the Windwards and now Curaçao 🇨🇼
Next Colombia 🇨🇴
I advise you to have a ais transponder, not just the receiver. I fitted just the receiver initially using a standard horizontal vhf with the ais built in.
I fitted a multiplexer on the output so I can receive ais on any device.
After a close encounter with two tankers trying to sandwich me at 3am, I ordered and installed a transponder as soon as I arrived in the Canary Islands.
Apart from the obligatory paper charts which were great for plotting other boats who texted us their lat longs, all navigation was done on a Samsung galaxy tab pro tablet using navionics.
I still have this but use a xiomi Rednote phone now as a default.
We have an apple ipad mini that also has navionics installed as well as other devices.
The ipad serves as a screen for the furuno first watch wifi radar that I installed in Gibraltar.
That's great for seeing the coast at night and confirming navionics isn't lying.
The thing about BW sailing that surprises me, is that I'm at my most fearful when close to land.
Anyway radar isn't necessary, but it's nice to have if your power can run it.
At night, we run the engine and use the radar with the guard alarm as an extra pair of eyes.
For BW sailing, the other recommendations I have are
New seacocks
Wind vane (mine broke &#129296
Stern fitting validation (changed to traditional stuffing box after seal failure)
Clean windows 🤔
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Old 15-06-2018, 07:35   #52
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

When I'm on night watch, I want all of the electronics! 4G radar, AIS transceiver, large chartplotter w/GPS, wind instrument, cloth, boat speed, autopilot, VHF. Have all of these and use them. Listen to xm radio as well. Plus we carry an inreach and subscribe to ocens weather forecast, and have an SSB receiver. Just bought the mob1 plb's for wife and I. And we carry backup GPS, tablet, and handheld vhf.

Not once have we finished a long trip and thought, "gee, I wish we had less electronics!".
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Old 15-06-2018, 08:38   #53
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Some interesting answers here. I used to deliver Beneteaus for sale to the Moorings Charter Co back in the 1980's (before GPS) and we took them over to Florida with no electronics at all(no wind, depth, speed etc) as it was cheaper to have it installed in the USA. Compass, lights, charts and a sextant was all we got. I wouldn't recommend it in this day but if you are asking what you need that's all you need.
It would be a bit foolhardy to attempt BW nowadays with just that. GPS is great as is a AIS transponder which I would say is more use than radar nowadays but you don't NEED either. They are just nice to have and with AIS on all the lifejackets I'm hopefully not going to lose any crew. Now we have this technology it seems irresponsible not to have it aboard if you can afford it.
Offshore today I always take a spare hand compass and a Spot device. Sometimes it's more important for someone else to know where you are than for you to know where you are. Invest in a good rescue beacon. They used to cost thousands but they are cheap now.
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Old 15-06-2018, 13:37   #54
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Cowpoos,
I must confess, I didn't know what you meant by "BW", either.
And, I also agree that it's a kind of unsual way to ask the question about equipping for offshore passages (BW)...

FYI, I'm assuming you're referring to ocean crossings, and other long offshore passages, etc...(such as ISAF Cat 1, or even Cat 0)...and not island hoping, or long coastal cruises???

But, in all seriousness, you've gotten some GREAT advice and input, from the likes of Ann Cate, and Trente Pieds, Boatman61...
Heed that advice and you'll be very well off!!
(I, myself, have cruised/voyaged offshore on-off since I was a kid in the mid-1960's....w/ multiple Atlantic crossings, and many other offshore passages....some of this was well before GPS and modern electronics and some more recent....and FYI, I've made my living in high-tech/commc sat comm, etc., so I'm not anti-hi-tech!)

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


A few years back I wrote a rather detailed piece about what to expect on an offshore Atlantic crossing / east-bound passage fro US to Azores....with a LOT of well learned and experienced info in it....some touching on "electronics"...
Please have a look:
azores 2014 how safe is it?


Of course, what electronics are needed or not needed also depends on the crew...single-handers do need to sleep, so they might like radar and AIS higher on the list...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Trente Pieds, above is exactly right, you do not NEED any electronics to circumnavigate.

Friends of ours who finished their circumnavigation about 1980, had a vhf radio and a depth sounder. Did all their travels with sextant, quartz watch for a "chronometer", sight reduction tables, and eyeballs.

Therefore, I'm thinking what you want to learn is rather about wants, not needs.
FYI, the first circumnavigators I met (back in the mid-70's) were a couple w/ 2yr old daughter (born 1/2-way thru their circumnav, in Bali), had very little electrical on-board...
VHF Radio, depth sounder (that only worked once-in-a-while), nav lights, and wrist watches....no real electronics...(and no refrigeration, etc..)
They had paper charts, compass, sextant, tables and accurate watches...

I met them in the Bahamas as they were 300 miles from home (Ft. Lauderdale) and a stone's throw from finishing their circumnav!
We made friends fast and until their passing, they were great friends to have over for a dinner (you know the type, modest but knowledgeable in just about everything!)...


As for what you "do not need", that would be "everything" except the above..

As for what you "do need", as you see here that there are a wide variety of what constitutes "need"...
I've said for years that if you can:
a) keep the sea water on the outside of the boat. (this is about hull, keel, deck, openings, thruhulls, etc.)
b) keep the mast pointing upward, with the sails attached. (this is about rigging, sails, etc.)
c) keep the boat pointed generally towards your planned destination. (this is about rudder/steering, compass, human eyes, and a few paper charts)
Then you will make it!
And that's about it, as to what you really "need"...

But, in regards to electronics on-board. for ocean crossing / offshore sailing, some will then ask:
"What is recommended", "what is best to have", "what is best to leave at home", "what works best offshore", etc. etc...

In addition to an accurate (and properly deviated) steering compass, paper charts, time piece, etc., proper navigation lights (not really "electronics", but darn important to mention, nonetheless)...here are some, but not all, things that are considered "needs" by many and certainly "wants" by most..

I will try to list these in order of importance / preference...and try to give the reasons these are important.

1) VHF-DSC-FM Marine radio, fixed-mount, with new/good antenna and cable (and preferably a "cockpit microphone")....(this is your primary means of communication! with other vessels and shore stations, both for "Distress" and routine communications...)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...J6QugtO2epizxF


2) Depth sounder (with a compass and a watch you can DR across an ocean, if you needed to, and with a depth sounder and the above mentioned paper charts, you can find your way fairly well to your destination)

3) EPIRB...properly registered, and preferably new or with new/good batteries...this is something that can save your life....don't skimp...(and while some eschew liferafts, I'd recommend one)
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds!!



4) GPS...(maybe two of them...but certainly no chartplotter needed!)
In my opinion, number 4 is GPS....although I might place it number 5, and move SSB up to number 4...just depends on my mood...


5) Long-range communications for: weather, safety/distress, and routine communications..

For those without decades of offshore experience and/or meteorology, some means of getting a weather forecast is nice, but surprisingly not necessary as you will not be able to out-run storms....
BUT..
But, most sailors (myself included) do like to know what weather might be ahead....not just "to be prepared" ('cuz you should be prepared anyway!), but more importantly to be able to sail in favorable conditions...
Some old salts (not me) will eschew weather forecasts enroute, preferring to just read the sky, etc...and that is fine for them....but for most (especially those new to offshore sailing) having some weather forecast info is important, even if just for piece of mind.

How you "get" these forecasts??
Depends on where you're sailing, but in general....the gold standard for offshore weather is WeFax (weather charts, drawn by humans with decades of marine meteorology experience, from US NWS, UK Met Office, Aus or NZ or SA Met offices, etc.)
These are FREE and transmitted over HF radio (sometimes called "SSB" radio)

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

Some sailors already have an SSB Radio, and/or are installing one for safety/distress signaling and communications, so use of HF WeFax is easy-peasy....some will equip with satellite communications gear and some connect to computers, etc. and have access to these weather charts that way...

So, number 5 on the list is "SSB Radio", actually a MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ZDo_Jk3NB_Bt1y

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...ga2zYuPozhUXZX



6) LED Tri-Color masthead nav light (a combo LED tri-color and anchor light, is better)
This is important to allow others to see you at night, and good quality LED nav lights are bright, and are very low power consumers!


7) Lots of solar panels....(and a decent sized battery bank)
Huh? What do these have to do with what electronics is needed or not needed??
You see, without electricity, the "electronics" will not work...
And, if you don't have enough electrical capacity (batteries and charging capability), there is no reason to carry any electronics at all...
If you can't power 'em, ya' can't use 'em!!


8) Handheld VHF...
VHF-DSC-handheld...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...J6QugtO2epizxF


9) AIS transponder...
Well, certainly not a necessity....but darn nice to have....lets every SOLAS-grade vessel (and most all commercial vessels) to see you, see where you're going, and how fast, etc...and automatically plot a CPA, etc...
(and you can see them too....just be sure to understand, that NOT every vessel is transmitting AIS, so you DO need to keep a good watch!!)


10) If transiting areas of the world with know visibility issues (fog), then radar is damn nice to have!!
And, I'd reckon that darn near everyone in those foggy regions would say it's an absolute must have!!
But, if Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean....or a tradewinds Pacific crossing, etc...then radar is not a necessity...
But, it is nice to have, primarily to see/track storm cells at night!!!


11) Boat speed / speed log...
Especially important in areas with lots of current...but in more benign areas, not really necessary...


12) Plus some Misc, such as red/white chart table lights, compass light, second handheld VHF (preferably a handheld DSC-VHF), second EPIRB, etc. etc.

And, if you're up for some fun....
Also, a sextant and tables...and the person that knows how to use it...
(yeah, this last line will get me laughed at, but I still have my Tamaya, and I still know how to use it. ....but, no it is NOT a necessity!!)


Note that some items (such as radarm, AIS, SSB, etc.) will move up or down this list depending on WHERE you are sailing, what time of year, etc...how many on-board, weather, etc...and, of course, personal preferences...
But, in general, items 1 thru 4 (and usually 5, as well) will be the same for almost everyone...

~~~~~~~~~~


But, you asked what "do you not need"...
So, with that question in mind...
I like some of what Boatman61 wrote...let me give you my list..

For ocean crossings / "BW" [sic], you do NOT need:
--- Chartplotter (there's nothing on the screen to see)
--- Satellite tracking devices (who needs to keep track of you?)
--- Satellite communications gear (who on-shore do you need to communicate with? that can't wait 'til you're in port?)
--- "Networked instrunmentation" / "integrated instrument and navigation system"...
--- Radar (for most places / voyages), but if doing a circumnav, then I would say, very nice to have!
--- Computers / Internet-at-sea (leave Facebook and all that crap on land!)




I do hope this helps.

fair winds.

John
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Old 15-06-2018, 13:48   #55
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
... Bw to me is crossing oceans or large passages on oceans. I will be leaving from New Zealand. ... anyone have recommendations of wideband radios that can receive weather fax to a computer?
But if leaving from NZ, won't you be subjected to NZ Cat 1 survey? Cat 1 requires SSB transmit capability, not just an HF receiver, unless you have a satphone.

Other NZ Cat 1 electronics that you DO need are: fixed VHF, two handheld VHF (one in grab bag), a radio receiver (not necessarily HF weatherfax capable), EPIRB, fixed GPS, two back-up GPS (or one plus sextant, almanac, etc), depthsounder, speed/distance log: NZ registered yachts don't have a choice on these items. (May not be a complete list as I'm not now NZ registered.)
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Old 15-06-2018, 13:55   #56
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BLue Water

Critical items to me are:
- Navigation (know where I am and where I'm going).
- Communication with others for safety and emergency.
- Weather forecast (to avoid bad situations)
- Collision avoidance
- Backup for the above because everything breaks at some moment.

With those priorities in mind, I use:
- Chart plotter at helm and my iPad for backup.
- SSB, VHF, and Sat Phone.
- Sailmail for obtaining forecasts via SSB or Sat phone.
- AIS (Cheap insurance) and good position lights.
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Old 15-06-2018, 19:47   #57
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Cowpoos,
Well, we still don't know the boat, size, type, construction, layout, rig, etc. etc...but..
But, thanks for giving us some info here.

Although, you didn't mention exactly where you're planning on voyaging, but cam we assume NZ, Aus, S. Pac, SE Asia???
If so, there are some here on Cruiser's Forum from NZ and Aus, and some that are out there cruising those areas now....
And, hopefully they'll chime in here with some learned input.

So, my assumptions about your definition of "BW" (offshore passages, ocean crossings, etc.) was correct...and you're starting from NZ...
With mostly just two of you, but occasionally single-handing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
Bw to me is crossing oceans or large passages on oceans. I will be leaving from New Zealand. It will be mostly two people on board and some solo.

I think the radar is back on my list after many recommendations in this thread. I'm sure a AIS transceiver is a good idea also.

Has anyone have recommendations of wideband radios that can receive weather fax to a computer?
So, most of what I wrote earlier is still directly on-point....just a few minor revisions and a good deal of more specific info for you!

Good news is NZ, Aus, and SE Asia has very good HF Maritime communications systems / services...
MF/HF-DSC
MF/HF-SSB-Voice
HF-WeFax
HF-PACTOR (for data) if needed

Further good news, is the national Met Offices / Bureaus of Meteorology, of NZ and Australia are very good!! And, together with Taupo Radio and ZKLF (from NZ) and AMSA, VMC and VMW (from Aus), and Brunei Bay Radio (Brunei), you have access to a wealth of maritime weather info/forecasts, both Voice, WeFax, and data...and most of this is very good and highly regarded...(usually considered the gold standard....but, some cruising these areas now, can add their observations..)

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


http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf

Schedules and Frequencies for HF Marine Radio Voice Services

HF Marine Radio Services

https://www.amsa.gov.au/safety-navig...-safety-system

https://www.amsa.gov.au/vessels-oper...mercial-vessel



http://www.kordia.com.au/product/mar...ions-services/



https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/comme...io/default.asp

https://www.rsm.govt.nz/licensing/ty...-ship-licences

https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/comme...o-Handbook.pdf
(slightly dated booklet, but here's the up-to-date info)
Quote:
Taupo Maritime Radio/ZLM (MF/HF)
The MF/HF (SSB) Maritime Radio Service is provided by Taupo Maritime
Radio, whose antennae are on a site in the central North Island.
A continuous watch is kept on all calling frequencies.

The calling and working frequencies are shown below.
Taupo Maritime Radio voice frequencies (kHz)
Calling 2182 4125 6215 8291 12290 16420
Working 2207 4146 6224 8297 12356 16531

Taupo Maritime Radio Digital Selective Calling (DSC) frequencies (kHz)
Distress 4207.5 6312.0 8414.5 12577.0 16804.5

For vessels near New Zealand, the lower frequency bands (in MHz) generally provide the best radio communication with Taupo Maritime Radio.

MF/HF broadcasts
The following broadcasts are made on MF/HF frequencies from Taupo
Maritime Radio. A preliminary call is made on the calling frequencies,
with broadcasts then made on the working frequencies. All times are
in New Zealand Local Time.

Broadcast type Times Frequencies (kHz) Calling Working
Coastal warnings and
bulletins (including
Chatham Islands)
0133 2182 2207
0533 4125 4146
1333 6215 6224
1733

Coastal reports

0803 2182 2207
1203 4125 4146
2003 6215 6224


Oceanic warnings*

0303 6215 6224
0333 8291 8297
1503 12290 12356
1533 16420 16531

Oceanic weather bulletins
and warnings
0903 6215 6224
1003 8291 8297
2103 12290 12356
2203 16420 16531

* For daylight savings, add one hour.



Brunei Bay Radio - HF/SSB radio email for isolated locations in SE Asia, the North West Pacific and Indian Oceans. The low-cost and reliable alternative to satellite email for isloated or remote locations, islands, communities, tourism, conservation,


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

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



In regards to a receiver...yes, they are available for about $100 - $150 USD....and if you rig a good antenna AND you are very familiar with HF radiowave propagation and HF comms, they will work...BUT...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
Has anyone have recommendations of wideband radios that can receive weather fax to a computer?
But, to be 100% direct, you'd be MUCH better served by installing a MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone (such as the Icom M-802, at ~ $2800 USD, all-in), than as a new-to-HF-radio sailor trying to use a small portable receiver and laptop/tablet at sea, to "get weather forecasts"...
Further the MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone has MANY purposes, Distress/Safety signaling and comms, weather, telephone interconnects, communications with other vessels (commercial and other pleasure boats), etc., as well as news and entertainment info...and also ham radio, etc...

Please read all below, including the links, and watch the videos...
And, don't forget this thread here...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/rfax.pdf

Offshore Weather
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnN6ygtZ3h2mPZAx2vWzdjTJjHlChruyY


And, a detailed listing of what's available...
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts



But, here are some threads that should help, too...
looking for help with ssb receiver only

SSB Receivers

SSB receiver recommendation for Pacific

SSB Receive Only

SSB Receiver Only? Is it practical?

HF Antenna for reception.

Best Way to Receive Weatherfax?


Please read all below....and all links....and watch the videos...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ka4wja View Post
Cowpoos,
I must confess, I didn't know what you meant by "BW", either.
And, I also agree that it's a kind of unsual way to ask the question about equipping for offshore passages (BW)...

FYI, I'm assuming you're referring to ocean crossings, and other long offshore passages, etc...(such as ISAF Cat 1, or even Cat 0)...and not island hoping, or long coastal cruises???

But, in all seriousness, you've gotten some GREAT advice and input, from the likes of Ann Cate, and Trente Pieds, Boatman61...
Heed that advice and you'll be very well off!!
(I, myself, have cruised/voyaged offshore on-off since I was a kid in the mid-1960's....w/ multiple Atlantic crossings, and many other offshore passages....some of this was well before GPS and modern electronics and some more recent....and FYI, I've made my living in high-tech/commc sat comm, etc., so I'm not anti-hi-tech!)

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


A few years back I wrote a rather detailed piece about what to expect on an offshore Atlantic crossing / east-bound passage fro US to Azores....with a LOT of well learned and experienced info in it....some touching on "electronics"...
Please have a look:
azores 2014 how safe is it?


Of course, what electronics are needed or not needed also depends on the crew...single-handers do need to sleep, so they might like radar and AIS higher on the list...

FYI, the first circumnavigators I met (back in the mid-70's) were a couple w/ 2yr old daughter (born 1/2-way thru their circumnav, in Bali), had very little electrical on-board...
VHF Radio, depth sounder (that only worked once-in-a-while), nav lights, and wrist watches....no real electronics...(and no refrigeration, etc..)
They had paper charts, compass, sextant, tables and accurate watches...

I met them in the Bahamas as they were 300 miles from home (Ft. Lauderdale) and a stone's throw from finishing their circumnav!
We made friends fast and until their passing, they were great friends to have over for a dinner (you know the type, modest but knowledgeable in just about everything!)...


As for what you "do not need", that would be "everything" except the above..

As for what you "do need", as you see here that there are a wide variety of what constitutes "need"...
I've said for years that if you can:
a) keep the sea water on the outside of the boat. (this is about hull, keel, deck, openings, thruhulls, etc.)
b) keep the mast pointing upward, with the sails attached. (this is about rigging, sails, etc.)
c) keep the boat pointed generally towards your planned destination. (this is about rudder/steering, compass, human eyes, and a few paper charts)
Then you will make it!
And that's about it, as to what you really "need"...

But, in regards to electronics on-board. for ocean crossing / offshore sailing, some will then ask:
"What is recommended", "what is best to have", "what is best to leave at home", "what works best offshore", etc. etc...

In addition to an accurate (and properly deviated) steering compass, paper charts, time piece, etc., proper navigation lights (not really "electronics", but darn important to mention, nonetheless)...here are some, but not all, things that are considered "needs" by many and certainly "wants" by most..

I will try to list these in order of importance / preference...and try to give the reasons these are important.

1) VHF-DSC-FM Marine radio, fixed-mount, with new/good antenna and cable (and preferably a "cockpit microphone")....(this is your primary means of communication! with other vessels and shore stations, both for "Distress" and routine communications...)

VHF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...J6QugtO2epizxF


2) Depth sounder (with a compass and a watch you can DR across an ocean, if you needed to, and with a depth sounder and the above mentioned paper charts, you can find your way fairly well to your destination)

3) EPIRB...properly registered, and preferably new or with new/good batteries...this is something that can save your life....don't skimp...(and while some eschew liferafts, I'd recommend one)
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds

EPIRB's are NOT dead! / EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds!!



4) GPS...(maybe two of them...but certainly no chartplotter needed!)
In my opinion, number 4 is GPS....although I might place it number 5, and move SSB up to number 4...just depends on my mood...


5) Long-range communications for: weather, safety/distress, and routine communications..

For those without decades of offshore experience and/or meteorology, some means of getting a weather forecast is nice, but surprisingly not necessary as you will not be able to out-run storms....
BUT..
But, most sailors (myself included) do like to know what weather might be ahead....not just "to be prepared" ('cuz you should be prepared anyway!), but more importantly to be able to sail in favorable conditions...
Some old salts (not me) will eschew weather forecasts enroute, preferring to just read the sky, etc...and that is fine for them....but for most (especially those new to offshore sailing) having some weather forecast info is important, even if just for piece of mind.

How you "get" these forecasts??
Depends on where you're sailing, but in general....the gold standard for offshore weather is WeFax (weather charts, drawn by humans with decades of marine meteorology experience, from US NWS, UK Met Office, Aus or NZ or SA Met offices, etc.)
These are FREE and transmitted over HF radio (sometimes called "SSB" radio)

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





Some sailors already have an SSB Radio, and/or are installing one for safety/distress signaling and communications, so use of HF WeFax is easy-peasy....some will equip with satellite communications gear and some connect to computers, etc. and have access to these weather charts that way...


So, number 5 on the list is "SSB Radio", actually a MF/HF-DSC-SSB Radiotelephone...
Marine SSB Stuff (how-to better use / proeprly-install SSB, & troubleshoot RFI, etc.)

HF-SSB Radio, Proper Installation Tips/Techniques, etc.

DSC (Digital Selective Calling) Explanation

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

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



6) LED Tri-Color masthead nav light (a combo LED tri-color and anchor light, is better)
This is important to allow others to see you at night, and good quality LED nav lights are bright, and are very low power consumers!


7) Lots of solar panels....(and a decent sized battery bank)
Huh? What do these have to do with what electronics is needed or not needed??
You see, without electricity, the "electronics" will not work...
And, if you don't have enough electrical capacity (batteries and charging capability), there is no reason to carry any electronics at all...
If you can't power 'em, ya' can't use 'em!!


8) Handheld VHF...
VHF-DSC-handheld...

VHF-DSC Comms
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...J6QugtO2epizxF


9) AIS transponder...
Well, certainly not a necessity....but darn nice to have....lets every SOLAS-grade vessel (and most all commercial vessels) to see you, see where you're going, and how fast, etc...and automatically plot a CPA, etc...
(and you can see them too....just be sure to understand, that NOT every vessel is transmitting AIS, so you DO need to keep a good watch!!)




10) If transiting areas of the world with know visibility issues (fog), then radar is damn nice to have!!
And, I'd reckon that darn near everyone in those foggy regions would say it's an absolute must have!!
But, if Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean....or a tradewinds Pacific crossing, etc...then radar is not a necessity...
But, it is nice to have, primarily to see/track storm cells at night!!!


11) Boat speed / speed log...
Especially important in areas with lots of current...but in more benign areas, not really necessary...


12) Plus some Misc, such as red/white chart table lights, compass light, second handheld VHF (preferably a handheld DSC-VHF), second EPIRB, etc. etc.

And, if you're up for some fun....
Also, a sextant and tables...and the person that knows how to use it...
(yeah, this last line will get me laughed at, but I still have my Tamaya, and I still know how to use it. ....but, no it is NOT a necessity!!)


Note that some items (such as radarm, AIS, SSB, etc.) will move up or down this list depending on WHERE you are sailing, what time of year, etc...how many on-board, weather, etc...and, of course, personal preferences...
But, in general, items 1 thru 4 (and usually 5, as well) will be the same for almost everyone...

~~~~~~~~~~


But, you asked what "do you not need"...
So, with that question in mind...
I like some of what Boatman61 wrote...let me give you my list..

For ocean crossings / "BW" [sic], you do NOT need:
--- Chartplotter (there's nothing on the screen to see)
--- Satellite tracking devices (who needs to keep track of you?)
--- Satellite communications gear (who on-shore do you need to communicate with? that can't wait 'til you're in port?)
--- "Networked instrunmentation" / "integrated instrument and navigation system"...
--- Radar (for most places / voyages), but if doing a circumnav, then I would say, very nice to have!
--- Computers / Internet-at-sea (leave Facebook and all that crap on land!)




I do hope this helps.

fair winds.

John

Hope this helps...

Fair winds.

John
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Old 16-06-2018, 16:59   #58
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Location: Southport, NC
Boat: Pearson 367 cutter, 36'
Posts: 379
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Do not need radar..
Do not need multiple link ups to CP from wind, depth, Auto pilot etc..
Do not need SSB..
Do not need AIS.. but it is nice for not stressing over how close another transmitting boat will pass and vessel ID so one can hail by name.
Do not need brand name Chart Plotters.. a laptop or Notebook with GPS puck and a program like Nimble Navigator or OpenCPN with charts loaded is more than adequate..
OpenCPN can be problematic for getting hold of charts outside US waters.. Nimble comes pre loaded with world charts for less than $150US..
Agree with all above, except I would not go without AIS after having used it a while. Just last night I was on a busy commercial channel, and it was very helpful to see the massive 700 foot ships coming (at night, no moon) when they were still a couple miles away, but doing 12+ knots. Also, I agree about using a tablet or notebook for navigation - I use my iPad in preference to the chartplotter, with the exception of when looking at AIS.
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Old 16-06-2018, 19:02   #59
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Posts: 1,201
Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BLue Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
I have been thinking about what electronics I will be installing in my boat.

I'm interested to know from the experienced crews on here, what aids do they always use and rely on? And what is superfluous?
Hmmm... I guess I use what I have. The following are from the perspective of a long distance cruiser;

Autopilot: my boat is on AP 99.95% of the time. Only manually steering for docking and the last 200 feet of anchoring/mooring. I very much "fly-by-wire" almost all the time. I have two AP computers and two AP drives. Independent, and can use either computer with either drive.

Wind: Real and apparent wind are key to being able to keep the boat sailing as well as it can.

Radar: Used less, but when it is needed it is REALLY important.

AIS: Transceiver. Really important.

Depth: Essential.

Water Speed sensor: Always using it with SOG and heading to determine current set and drift.

Chart plotter: Love it.

Do I NEED all those things? No. Certainly not. But they make my life easier, better, and safer.
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