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ssullivan 21-05-2008 04:50

How Much Did You Spend on Navigation?
There are about a million different navigation options out there. They seem to range from running navigation on the XO computer up to super-expensive Garmins for $7000 I saw at West Marine last week.

All paper charting without electronics seems to be somewhere in the middle.

So I'm wondering... what did you all spend on your current navigation system??

Also, feel free to post about what system you have and if you like it or not.

I want to get a general feel for what's out there and who is happy with what. I bought the cheap laptop to get me by until I get home, but it's not waterproof, and that's a big downside.

So... post away... and vote! :)

Stranded Mariner 21-05-2008 05:01

After lots of research and deliberations I just ordered this equipment for my S/V 'Waratah', which is being built in South Africa right now:

Navigation equipment for ‘Waratah’

Hampus 21-05-2008 05:07

I use an old Garmin GPS 128 that came with the boat. Older but corrected charts that I got for free from my job and a sextant. And a compass ofcaurse.


Tempest245 21-05-2008 05:55


I have recently purchased a Garmin 545 ..5" screen color chartplotter with installed charts and will mount at the helm. I purchased a swing arm mount which allows the plotter to be quickly removed and stored when not in use. Approx. $1,000

At the nav station below, I use a laptop connected to a Garmin 76cs Handheld. ( ships batteries or Everreadys) I have Nobeltec and Mapsource software loaded on the PC. Routes, tracks and waypoints can be transferred back and forth to the handheld. Software and Garmin handheld another $1,000

I always carry paper charts, coast pilots, Notice to mariners, tide and current books, speed log, handheld compass etc.

The setup I use has evolved. It gives me redundancy, and flexibility. I can plan trips and routes at home on the laptop, then carry it to the boat. Underway, the nav station plotter, allows me to remain at the helm when it's most critical to do so, and have fingertip navigation.

if I lose the computer, I have the chartplotter at the helm, if I lose all ships power, I have the handheld. It's not my dream system, but it's very workable for me now.


Wotname 21-05-2008 05:58

Compass, sounder, log, paper charts, pencil, ruler, protractor, pilot, cruising guides, handheld GPS, binoculars. Backup walker log, backup compass, sextant and almanac.

Joli 21-05-2008 06:10

Cheapo GPS routed through a multiplex and all tied to a laptop running max sea.

knottybuoyz 21-05-2008 06:43

Garmin 545S - $470
GPS remote antenna - $35
Garmin G2 chip - $240

This relieves us of dragging along the laptop everywhere we go. The laptop was "ok" but not bright enough in daylight (express cruiser) and not dim enough at night. We'll still use it on longer trips for route planning etc. Installing the GFS 10 fuel sensor and CANet/NMEA 2000 networks so might be able to plug these into the laptop as well. All in all I thought it was a pretty good investment.

sandy daugherty 23-05-2008 09:10

To summarize in advance: This fool and his money never even had a chance to get closely acquainted; they were separated by cosmic law!
Read on only for the sordid details:
I work in the marine industry; manufacturers like us to know and use their products so the cash bite is less severe. I'm also a button nut; if its got buttons, I've got to have it. That means my vessel is loaded to the gunnels with redundant, unnecessary, complicated, and frequently mutually antagonistic gadgets. She is my significant other, and if I choose to burden her with gaudy trinkets, (and she doesn't complain) its my right. So lets count:
Paper chart division-> charts, pencils, dividers, rollers, parallels, triangles, square thingy from USPS course, hand bearing compass, moldy old maneuvering board, sextant, atomic watch, tables, and Mary Blewitt. 12 pounds.
Paranoia division -> Tin box Farraday cage, Etrex, VHF handheld, alkaline batteries, fishing hook and line, boyscout compass, light list, first aid kit, plastic blanket, mirror, flares, penlights, hand cranked laser flare, etc. 4 pounds.
Cockpit Brigade -> Ship's compass, ST50 wind, speed/depth, autopilot, Garmin 3010C, bracket and power cable for 76map S, future site for Garmin Instrument and control head for Interphase FLS. Ram mic with speaker and numeric key face. 14 pounds.
CIC-> Electronics hive/mare's nest-> Garmin 4208+XMwx+Radar, Quest-X vhf, SR-161 AIS, (room and wiring for ACR AIS B ) Raymarine E85001 PC/Seatalk/Nmea interface, Brookhouse 4-channel NMEA combiner-multiplexer, and Pas-thru junction box 14-6-2 with 37 little tiny wires connected so far, Garmin GMS-10 with fat coils of thick, stiff cables getting in the way of everything, home-made computer and 8-port powered USB hub, fuse power center and switchboxes, 15" 12vdc monitor, drawer full of usb keyboard, mouse, DVD and floppy drives, CD cases, USB cables, and card readers, with plastic bagged spares under the galley floor. 38 pounds.
Aft Stateroom -> 5KW diesel generator, fuel tank, sound box, cooling plumbing, spares, rags and 00 cables; Seven Hundred Pounds.
Under the helm seat -> Four L-16 batteries at 123# apiece, more 00 cables, Freedom 20 inverter/charger, watering system and enclosure; Six Hundred Pounds.
Admiral's Bridge -> 10.4" sunlight-readable LCD with touch screen. Pockets for cell phone and current handheld VHF, suntan lotion, teacup, book, sunglasses, etc. 8 pounds.
Pushpit, cabin roof, mast -> eight assorted antennas and a radome, cabling, and mounts, four 55 watt solar panels and hinge system -> 44 pounds.
Spare spinnaker pole with mount for IR camera; 12 pounds.
Drop strut for Forward Scanning Sonar head, cable and guys: 22 pounds.
Hulls and rigging -> Double dynaplates and insulated backstay, copper tape, separate feed for future ssb radio, tuner, and modem: 30 pounds.
You add it up, but don't tell me; I*must*not*know*.
What do I really need? I don't know, but I did just fine with a radio, depth sounder, chart, gps and radar for years. And if I had enough sense to stay put when the radar was useful, I could easily have done without that. But it feels so good being wrapped up in a cocoon of blinking lights!

David M 23-05-2008 10:17

I had to build in redundancy plus the boat is used for research, so the price tag is a few times over 10k. Plus we have a NavNet 3D system on its way and the black box itself is 10k.

ssullivan 23-05-2008 10:20


Originally Posted by David M (Post 165484)
I had to build in redundancy and the boat is used for research, so the price tag is a few times over 10k. Plus we have a NavNet 3D system on its way and the black box itself is 10k.

He he... I guess the poll was for non-professionals. :)

David M 23-05-2008 10:23

Well, you asked! :) Looks like four people already are over 10k.

I think though Sean, that for some of these yachts, It looks like a check box for $20k would have been a valid poll question.

Nav equipment sure adds up quickly.

knottybuoyz 23-05-2008 11:48

2 Attachment(s)
we met a couple two years ago aboard a beautiful Flemming 55. IIRC he said he added about $50K in nav equipment, gizmos and doodads. I especially liked the wireless remote control for the engines & thrusters.

Charlie 23-05-2008 14:06

The Chartplotter was a 178C under $500. The chips I've spent $450. Handheld GPS was $200. From there I have paper charts that I've spent probably $300 on. Will it ever end. I polled $1000 but then adding it up it is between $1k and $2k

JiffyLube 25-05-2008 01:17

The boat I bought a little over a year ago in San Francisco that had no electronic navigation, except one old hand held GPS. I had the money for upgrading the boat, so after getting the deferred maintenance on the engine done, new canvas and dodger, new running rigging, I started having installed a new electronic navigation system for this boat. New Garmin chart plotter (radar overlay), new GPS, new radar, new Questus self-leveling back stay mount for radar, new Garmin hand held GPS, new laptop with Maptech, custom made pedestal guard, new pod for plotter, miscellaneous electrical, labor for the installation. All total I spent 'over' $10,000.00, but it was cheaper to have all this work done in San Francisco, then it would have been in San Diego...which is where we sailed the boat to. It cost a bundle, but I'm glad I did it.

witzgall 25-05-2008 07:38


we are in the middle of a NMEA 2000 install, on the cheap. lowrance 7300C HD chartplotter is the centerpiece. 7" display, all us and bahamas charts, $800. it looks like they discontinued the HD variant, but you may be able to find one out there. radar with overlay possible. chris

Lowrance is making some nice stuff out there, heck of alot less $$$ than Garmin, esecially if you need a wide map area.

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