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Old 10-06-2018, 00:23   #1
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What electronic aids do you not need for BLue Water

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?
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:19   #2
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

a good compass light!
chart table light white/red
basic gps
vhf
300w inverter,for running a laptop with gps dongle and chart software
small shortwave radio with ssb function,for weather fax on laptop.
iridium sat phone.
hand bearing compass.

this is generally what i use for deliveries ,together with a few paper charts,and photocopied pages from the relevant piloting books and almanacs
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:20   #3
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

What is "BW" please ?
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:21   #4
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

BW=Blue water=Offshore cruising
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:22   #5
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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What is "BW" please ?
Blue Water........or in your case Brown Water!
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:45   #6
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
Blue Water........or in your case Brown Water!
I will have you know my charts have blue splodges on them

What is the budget? gives us a clue when we are spending someone elses money.

Love the chart plotter and AIS especially as its mounted at the wheel. Add the fish finder module because that is always interesting to watch, a useful check against the chart to see if you are were you think you are by the depth and something to look at on passage to while away the hours.

Auto pilot because you don't want to be constantly steering.

Don't have radar, used it previously but unlikely to fit it to this boat, just not essential.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:17   #7
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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I will have you know my charts have blue splodges on them

What is the budget? gives us a clue when we are spending someone elses money.

Love the chart plotter and AIS especially as its mounted at the wheel. Add the fish finder module because that is always interesting to watch, a useful check against the chart to see if you are were you think you are by the depth and something to look at on passage to while away the hours.

Auto pilot because you don't want to be constantly steering. Don't have radar, used it previously but unlikely to fit it to this boat.
The question is ' Do not need'
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:20   #8
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Second the good compass light... lots of drama with mine over the years ( plastimo ) due to there being an exposed 12v connection within the little binnacle...

Never had a dedicated plotter... have a small ship's pc which delivers openCPN, AIS,Sailmail, Wefax, etc to a chart table monitor ( both monitor and PC 19V converted from 12V with a wee box of tricks.)

AIS...
Radar... not used often but when you want it you really do want it..
Usual array of wind/speed/depth.

One bit of kit I wouldn't replace.... my NASA Navtex.... very limited use in the SoPac.

If you are really keen spring for a receiver and ant that can get the NOAA sats on 137.xx MHz....
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:39   #9
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pirate Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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..
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:51   #10
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

The list of what is superfluous is too long to write down; that's why people are giving their needs list instead. But truly, this depends on your skill and comfort level.
My only absolute need is an accurate chronometer, which need not even be electronic, btw.
But a handheld GPS is the most useful electronic tool I have, and I'd hate to be without one. After that, a handheld VHF (useful for hailing drawbridges and nearby boats).
Anything else is a luxury: AIS is the most useful of the luxury items to me; I'll probably have one on my next (bigger) boat.
I don't count a compass light as "electronic". Electric lights are not the same as electronic devices. And lights (like time) can be achieved by means other than electric. My compass light is a candle. But you cannot run a GPS off of wax.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:52   #11
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

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300w inverter,for running a laptop with gps dongle and chart software
I'd recommend a dc-dc converter, more efficient bc you eliminate the mostly inefficient laptop power supply and the "detour" from 12VDC ->110/220VAC -> 19ishVDC. Mostly sold as "car chargers". And maybe add in an rtl-sdr dongle (software defined radio) for an additional mean to receive weather, ais, ...
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:10   #12
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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?
It's quite hard to define "rely on", but what I'd really miss/very happy to have installed, in no particular order >

Raspberry Pi running openplotter - Gold dust, keeps an eye on engine/alternator/exhaust temperature, very accurate barometer, battery voltage plus has wifi amp so is the music/net radio centre. Always on and doesn't pull much power. Can be controlled/viewed from any tablet / lptop plus sends al data as signalk to be viewed anywhere if you want.
Home build anchor light with auto on/off. Just does it's thing really brightly night after night.

More solar - couple new 100w panels last year ontop of the existing 100 - transformed life onboard, maybe need the genny for an hour every few days in winter but otherwise batteries nearly always back to 100% every day.

Anchor watch on the mobile phone, again used nearly all the time.

AIS - of course

Radar for single handing, if crewed maybe not so vital but even then that one day a year it gets used it pays its keep .

Not electronic but wind vane">Aries wind vane, close to essential IMHO. No power, fix it enough to get there if it breaks.

Probably more, like a good tablet with opencpn/google earth images and of course GPS & sounder.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:07   #13
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by _andi_ View Post
I'd recommend a dc-dc converter, more efficient bc you eliminate the mostly inefficient laptop power supply and the "detour" from 12VDC ->110/220VAC -> 19ishVDC. Mostly sold as "car chargers". And maybe add in an rtl-sdr dongle (software defined radio) for an additional mean to receive weather, ais, ...
i had one of those,but the seals failed and all the blue smoke escaped.

another poster raised a valid point,that a compass light is not electronic's,which technically is true,and it will not run on wax
though i did say these were the things that i take on deliveries if needed.

you will be surprised how many yachts have compass lights that either don't function or are useless as you cannot see the digits to hand steer at night,some plastimo models are particularly bad

which brings me to another important consideration for a BW cruiser and is an electronic aid which i would consider important,though not essential.

this is a "battery monitor" since all this electrickery regardless of whether it is eletcronic or lights needs a reliable supply of Blue Smoke to run.
at the minumum a digital voltage display would be a good start,or hand held multi meter.

better would be something with a shunt connected to the battery that allows monitoring, of charging amps,discharge amps ,house battery voltage and start battery voltage such as
https://www.marinesuperstore.com/bat...QaAtiuEALw_wcB

they also give a readout of state of charge which will enable the operator to prolong battery life if they charge regularly when needed.

next important electronic aid along this line of reasoning would be a solar panel or panels,couple this with a programmable charge controller
pwm or mppt,or at minumum a basic automatic charge controler so as not to over charge batteries.

you do not need either the charge controller,or the battery monitor.
but without you will never really know how full or empty you batteries are,and have to manually turn off a solar panel before the blue smoke starts to escape
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:26   #14
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by _andi_ View Post
I'd recommend a dc-dc converter, more efficient bc you eliminate the mostly inefficient laptop power supply and the "detour" from 12VDC ->110/220VAC -> 19ishVDC. Mostly sold as "car chargers". And maybe add in an rtl-sdr dongle (software defined radio) for an additional mean to receive weather, ais, ...
i have one for my other nav notebook,which is smaller

although on many deliveries i have found that the inverter is very useful as invariably the yacht being delivered it does not have one or is broken or has no 12v lighter socket etc.
then the crew turn up and have no way of charging their numerous gadgets
it is actually a victron 230v 500w pure sine wave,weighs about a kilo,and at a push will run small power tools.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:32   #15
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Re: What electronic aids do you not need for BW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowpoos View Post
The question is ' Do not need'
It's a forum, you don't get to choose what the answers to your question will be.

I have edited my answer to make it clearer.
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