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Old 24-04-2012, 12:12   #16
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Re: Extent of Electronics for Carribbean

Wouldn't it be way cheaper to get it in Florida now rather than Australia later?
Did I miss something.... I thought he was in the BVI and eventually headed to europe?
At any rate, if you are going to cruise that long, I would get the whole package: plotter, radar, gps, autopilot.
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Old 24-04-2012, 13:45   #17
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Quite a few views towards simplicity and using traditional nav skills which is good. One can become to reliant on tech gear. I wonder what Joshua Solcum would make of auto helms, chart plotters and gps? However from a safety perspective you can't argue against radar etc.

I get what people are saying about the eastern carribbean but what about the south and west. I have no knowledge of conditions here. I know it can cut up a bit off Columbia etc. what are navigating conditions like outside the Antilles?

Am I right in thinking that Miami would be the cheapest place to purchase?
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Old 24-04-2012, 14:01   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako
Wouldn't it be way cheaper to get it in Florida now rather than Australia later?
Did I miss something.... I thought he was in the BVI and eventually headed to europe?
At any rate, if you are going to cruise that long, I would get the whole package: plotter, radar, gps, autopilot.
Some ones navigation is a bit off. Yeah we are talking about BVI as a starting point. Australia is the western island off New Zealand in the south pacific. But a valid question re best place to buy equipment.
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Old 26-04-2012, 16:14   #19
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Be patient and shop around. If you're alert, you can often find brand new items with full warranties for less than 50 percent retail, and often less than 50 percent online discount prices.

I picked up a new Raymarine display, GPS receiver and radome from Defender.com during a boat show special, and while Raymarine was offering rebates. I paid less than $1,700 for the $3,600 package.

I picked up a slightly used Raymarine digital fish finder on Craig's List for $200 ($500 savings).

I bought new Raymarine depth and speed/temp transducers From ManVentureOutpost.com for ridiculously cheap prices.

I bought a new Raymarine X-5 GP Tiller pilot on eBay for $890 (normally $2,149).

I bought a new Raymarine long arm mast top wind transducer on eBay for $300 (normally $599).

All but the used fish finder had valid factory warranties (which I verified through Raymarine) I installed it all myself, and everything has been working perfectly.

Patience and a keen eye.
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Old 26-04-2012, 16:30   #20
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Re: Extent of Electronics for Carribbean

A few people have mentioned installing the gear yourself. Is this a tricky task best undertaken by professionals with experence or can a careful commonsense approach achive just as good results.
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Old 26-04-2012, 16:44   #21
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Not tricky at all. If you can hook up a home computer or entertainment center, you can do this. Most instructions are clear and simple, with templates for drilling holes, and advice about location, proximity to magnets or radios, etc.

By doing it yourself, you'll learn more about your boat, your system, and you'll know where to look if something goes wrong at sea.

I do everything myself. If I don't know how, I make a point of learning it. As a result, I feel far more comfortable leaving on extended voyages outside cell phone range of repairmen.
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Old 26-04-2012, 16:49   #22
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Re: Extent of Electronics for Carribbean

If you look at the suggestions above you get a sense of what people think is important. The key to it all is you need time to get "good" using any of it. I know people that say a decent radar is all you need. Radar is a difficult tool to master but in the end is invaluable. SSB is similar and not an out of the box solution (I would have one).

Bottom line. Nothing will be cheaper later on and you need time to master the tools of the trade. Having them now means you will know them sooner. You don't learn to operate any of this technology without practice in situations that are easy to be able to do them when you need to save a life (like your own).

Good news! You are in the land of generally easy, so now is the time to invest in learning these tools. You can't learn until you put them aboard. Learning radar in good weather means you can really see what you are looking at and can learn what to look for.

In a cost situation phase them in and spend the time using them so you really know them. Even a GPS if you don't have a lot of experience takes time to learn how and when to use it so you can do anything. You want a strong comfort level with anything you add to the boat. You need some easy days before you get tested to the max.
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Old 26-04-2012, 17:12   #23
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Pblais is exactly right.

I used radar daily for years in the late 70's so I wasn't a stranger to it when I bought my current one a couple years ago. Still, I played with it at the dock for hours, and used up a ton of amp hours fiddling with it during clear daylight sails. Then, when I recently bought the autopilot, which supplies heading info to the radar and opened up the ability to overlay radar on the chart plotter, and use MARPA, and other features, I spent another 8-10 hours playing, acquiring targets, etc. so it will be second nature when I really need it.

I've been in situations where I needed to sail into a narrow and busy harbor entrance in high winds and zero visibility, with only an ancient handheld gps, compass, and the sound of a foghorn at an obscured light, with the sounds of motors from invisible ships around me. That is not a good time to learn how to use electronics.

Sailing blind at 8.5 knots, hoping the pointer on the gps is really pointing at the opening in the several mile long breakwater, is no fun. Fortunately, the LA Light appeared through the fog 35 seconds before we passed through the entrance. 200 meters either way, and we would have smashed into the breakwater. At that point, the admiral approved the budget for radar.
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Old 26-04-2012, 18:04   #24
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Thumbs up Re: Extent of Electronics for Carribbean

I think that hits the nail on the head. Really it is about safety of the crew, the boat and rescue personell that you put at risk if it turns to custard. "Practice makes perfect" so yes i will be doing it properly and installing radar and SSB etc whilst still in the relatively benign Eastern Carribean cruising grounds. Thanks for the input guys....
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Old 27-04-2012, 13:28   #25
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Re: Extent of Electronics for Carribbean

Why are you estimating 20K? I replaced my electronics with new Garmin equipment (including 36 mile radar and send and receive AIS) for about half of that. Including professional installation.

Electronics are cheap in the grand scheme of things.
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