I think a VHF
is pretty much almost mandatory electronics
for almost all boats, but particularly all cruising boats. Is this thinking misplaced?
For us, an autopilot
is also necessary. Even if we have already made the passage
to the Caribe and were just island hopping, the autopilot is essential to us for short-handed, easier sailing. And we have a boat that only needs a single
person to completely handle and all controls for everything is at the helm
with an electric winch
. Call us wimps, I guess, but we rely on the autopilot. Heck, even when sitting in the helm
seat under "manual control", we steer by pushing the dodge buttons. I realize and accept that others are different - but I enjoyed hand steering
much more when we were weekend sailing from our mooring
for a few hours each day than when we went cruising full time.
A depth sounder
in the EC is mostly needed for figuring out anchoring scope
. Not many places to go wrong in depth
there (Anegada excepted, of course). However, I also consider a depth
sounder as basic cruising electronics
After that, is there really ANYONE that doesn't have some form of GPS anymore? Phones, tablets, cameras, dongles, watches, handhelds - doesn't even need to be a fixed system. It is pretty much impossible nowadays to not have a device that gives you basic position data - one really has to work hard to eliminate GPS from their life.