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Old 13-08-2019, 17:18   #1
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Electrical Simplification

Hey all. I'm ripping out all my electrical circuitry and am wondering if there's any benefit to replacing my old instruments. Depth beneath the boat seems moot since charts tell me that data approximately and for anchoring I can use the rode and tide tables to figure it out. Wind speed is nice but with the anemometer egg cups spinning around and the way my shroud telltales move I can infer fairly accurately what the wind is doing. Same with apparent wind indicators. I have non-electronic means of deciphering this data and the instruments don't seem to last more than a few years anyway so I'm reluctant to waste money on junk that doesn't go the distance. Should I just nix that stuff or does it have some value my inexperience doesn't see?

I do need to have a sharp understanding of the wind around my boat as it doesn't go fast nor point well so I need to be on point with sail trim but thus far, I have done reasonably well without any of that stuff. Like I said, however, I still only have about 50 days of sailing under my belt so I could be missing something.
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Old 13-08-2019, 18:03   #2
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Re: Electrical Simplification

Wow, 50 days of sailing and by reading a spinning cup anemometer you can tell whether the wind is doing 15 or 20kn. That’s pretty good, gotta hand it to you. I’ve been doing this for nigh on 50 years and still like electronics to tell me its time to reef or get that gennaker in before it blows out. I must be a real slow learner.

The boat you own will really be the teller as to the need for instruments. If it’s a 16ft Hobie, maybe not. A 55ft Oyster, maybe yes. I guess you have some form of chart plotter otherwise you will have no way of telling where you are on a paper chart making the depth shown there valueless.

But to each his own. Heck, I know people with boats that don’t have watermakers or microwave ovens. I would surely want basic instruments before a chart plotter (don’t have one of those on my boat).
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Old 13-08-2019, 18:31   #3
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Re: Electrical Simplification

You are absolutely correct about reading the wind using telltales and the Beaufort scale. Relying on this type of information gets your head into the sails and the environment, where it belongs. One can learn a great deal using this approach.

I have cruised many years with no electronics. Navigation relied on a compass and paper charts. Went a lot of places this way, but never went beyond site of land.

On the next boat I found the GPS with depth sounder very helpful when trying to locate a new port and enter tight places.

I am writing this while sitting in a distant harbor on an ocean cruising catamaran that is equipped with a full suite of navigational electronics. The electronics are very helpful getting the most from the boat and significantly increase our capability and safety. The electronics are supported by a power supply system that is much more complex than the previously mentioned boats.

You can find the right balance for your situation.
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Old 13-08-2019, 18:37   #4
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Re: Electrical Simplification

I wouldn’t rely on charts for depth....get a sounder. The rest is optional.
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Old 13-08-2019, 21:01   #5
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Re: Electrical Simplification

To clarify, I mainly use Navionics on my phone and tablet to navigate and have paper charts as backup. Navionics has been reasonably good but I take them with a grain of salt in the shallows.

Not sure if I can tell the difference between 15 and 20 knots but I definitely know when my boat is over-canvassed.

Sounds like a depth sounder is probably worthwhile but the other stuff not so much. I can deal with that. The other instruments require holes in my hull but the depth sounded doesn't so that's an easy sell.

Mainly I was just worried high performance sails would be a waste of money without the latest gadgets for reading wind.

On that note, what do you think of performance laminate sails for cruising? I have hank on sails and slab reefing and intend to keep it that way. Everyone seems to use Dacron on cruising boats but it doesn't seem like the best option. Am I missing something here or is it an aesthetic/tradition/cost thing? I've got a twin keeled Westerly Centaur so it's hard to say what the best choice is since people don't seem to put new sails on these of any kind (generally). With my 1994 mainsail and mystery headsails upwind is a chore.
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Old 13-08-2019, 21:35   #6
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Re: Electrical Simplification

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV_Crucible View Post
Hey all. I'm ripping out all my electrical circuitry and am wondering if there's any benefit to replacing my old instruments. Depth beneath the boat seems moot since charts tell me that data approximately and for anchoring I can use the rode and tide tables to figure it out. Wind speed is nice but with the anemometer egg cups spinning around and the way my shroud telltales move I can infer fairly accurately what the wind is doing. Same with apparent wind indicators. I have non-electronic means of deciphering this data and the instruments don't seem to last more than a few years anyway so I'm reluctant to waste money on junk that doesn't go the distance. Should I just nix that stuff or does it have some value my inexperience doesn't see?

I do need to have a sharp understanding of the wind around my boat as it doesn't go fast nor point well so I need to be on point with sail trim but thus far, I have done reasonably well without any of that stuff. Like I said, however, I still only have about 50 days of sailing under my belt so I could be missing something.
The main reason for a wind speed jobby is to stop me getting a sore neck
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Old 13-08-2019, 22:04   #7
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Re: Electrical Simplification

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Originally Posted by billnz View Post
The main reason for a wind speed jobby is to stop me getting a sore neck
Haha good point🤣 I have been having to be pretty active in the cockpit to see everything 👍🏻😂
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