I agree with " installing it yourself" Idea...and it can be overwhelming if you think of it all at once but if you write it all down and take one project
at a time, its not bad.
(1) My radios were the first, an ICOM
M502 and a M802 with a 140 tuner.. I was lucky as the boat already had the ground plane and the Backstay on it.
(2) Then came the radar and the chart plotter.. Using Raymarine
I tied it all together Chart plotter and radar..
(3) Again I used Raymarine Autohelm
with a worm drive off the rudder
post and also added a smart pilot.. (great combo)
And then came the fun stuff....................
(4) The solar pannels, 2 each of the 100w pug-n-play mounted atop the bimine and run through a Pro-Star 15 regulator
(5) and the wind charger
, a Four Winds with the power running through a TS45
Tri-star controler. The tri-star take the over amps. and deverts them into the hot-waterheater coil, instead of a heat sink.
(6) Then came the watermaker, a Spectra 150 unit, with an MPC 3000 controler.
(7) and then came the reffer... Its a cool blue unit..From Technautics.
If you install the componants yourself, you can build the system you want and that applys to your needs..
A good example is the controler for my solar.. Its a Pro-star 15. and the reffer is tied to the power output of the controler so at a glance from the nav station, I can monitor
the power the reffer is using.
My watermaker is the trick setup.. I have two tanks
of 50 gallons each. the watermaker feeds the right tank, and the right tank has a transfer pump
to fill the left tank.. at any one time, I always have atleast 50 gallons of water on the boat.
Its taken me just over 4 years. The first retro-fit was over 50 thousand, the second was about the same as it included a new reffer, stove
, and a few odds and ends.
The third was just finished.. That was new canvas
and new interior
, and a complete re-wireing with a new pannel from Paneltronics
The boat is finished, the wife is happy, and loves her new home, and within the next few months, we're off for a 5 to 10 year trip around the world......
After 4 years I know each system in depth
and can repair
it at any time..
(and a short note) when I installed the watermaker, a spectra, I aproached the company about taking a class to repair
the unit.. After 5 days in class I knew every part of the system and low-and -behold..I are now a Rep for the company and for added money
while cruising, I sell and service the units........