Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 15-07-2020, 23:51   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: SoCal
Boat: Beneteau 323
Posts: 348
Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Hi all,

I need some help - new to all things marine, so don't have much knowledge on this subject.

What:
32ft coastal cruiser that has only three pieces of electronics:
1) Raymarine BiData ST40 (speed, depth and water temp). SeaTalk compatible.
2) Lawrence HDS12m - NMEA 2000, NMEA 0183. Chart plotter, GPS. With a SonarHub, it can be used with optional transducers for Structure Scan and CHIRP sonar (not currently installed).
3) Icom m402 VHF


My goals:
- I would like to add an Auto-pilot (wheel at the helm, not a tiller)
- I would like to add fish-finder capabilities.

Questions:
1) Can I integrate any brand of autopilot and tie it in to Lawrence unit?
2) What is a reasonably priced and reputable (good reliability) autopilot is recommended for a 32ft sailboat?
3) Does it make sense to try to integrate fishfinder+ auto-pilot + lawrence HDS12m + Raymarine ST40 into a single SeaTalk network?
4) Is it better to just start over with a single brand that is capable of doing everything needed?
5) Are transducers used by Lawrence unit right now pretty much universal and can be used with other units without the need to pull the boat and replace them or are these typically brand specific?
6) if I add a fish sonar and a new thruhull the next time the boat is on dry, will it be pretty much compatible with any brand/unit that can work as a fish-finder?
7) is it possible to add a remote handheld to iCOM m402 to I can have one in the cockpit?




I know these are newbie questions, but that's what i am at the moment

Thanks all!
George_SD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 00:28   #2
Registered User
 
NorthernMac's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2019
Boat: A185F, Mystic 30’ Cutter
Posts: 713
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Heres a good read on a proper below deck autopilot
https://mustloveboats.com/2014/03/04/below-decks-autopilot-diy-part-2-of-many/

I just did something like this on my 30 cutter, lots depends on your steering system, for me it was dropping the rudder shaft, having a keyway machined into the shaft for a arm, raymarine type 1 electric linear drive on a custom SS bracket, that went to a pypilot and opencpn.
Ofcourse the raymarine could go to many different controllers.

If you like your plotter Id say keep it and get a matching AP controller.

The rest, if it works and you like it, why mess with it.
NorthernMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 00:51   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: SoCal
Boat: Beneteau 323
Posts: 348
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

What exactly do you mean when you say "matching AP controller" ? Same brand as plotter or just anything that can be driven by it?
George_SD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 00:54   #4
Registered User
 
NorthernMac's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2019
Boat: A185F, Mystic 30’ Cutter
Posts: 713
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by George_SD View Post
What exactly do you mean when you say "matching AP controller" ? Same brand as plotter or just anything that can be driven by it?

Whatever talks best with your plotter and has enough juice for your choice drive, the drive just has power and clutch connections, it doesn’t much care what send the power to it.

I’d ask Lawrence what they recommend for a controller after you find what type of drive you are going to need.
NorthernMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 12:19   #5
Registered User
 
StoneCrab's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 448
Images: 2
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

I have a question where your answers may give me a new perspective.

When you say integrate the AP with the system, what are you expecting from this.... honest question.

I ask because in my simple view of things, the autopilot only gets a course heading in the simplest case and course deviation if using a more complex unit. This heading can be put into the autopilot directly or over the NMEA network.

I had a simple one that would just hold whatever heading you were on when you pressed the button and then I got one which was fairly standalone until I hooked up the 0183 wires to it. Then my GPS could be programmed with a route and the autopilot would steer to the waypoints. But at any given time, all the AP knew was its heading. The GPS would steer the boat back on course by putting out new headings to keep on the track line.

he only requirement for this integration was the AP's ability to tie into the network and read the GPS statements. I was using paper charts and a handheld GPS with no plotting capability. Lat and Lon ruled the day.
StoneCrab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 12:37   #6
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Oregon to Alaska
Boat: Wheeler Shipyard 83' ex USCG
Posts: 3,174
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Most marine instruments can talk to each other. The most useful electronics for coastal cruising is radar and an autopilot. Radar saves you time in fog or at night. When you get an autopilot, get a jog lever. It allows you to steer without all the wheel turning - makes docking easier. Any good VHF will do. If you want a hand held VHF, get a separate radio, then you have back up. In some areas CB radios are used as backup and communicating fishing info.

Talk to a marine electronics dealer, even if you don't end up buying your equipment there. They can tell you how it all works together - if you need that.

You can spend a lot of money for features you don't need.

If you can install it yourself, eBay or Amazon are good places for a better price.
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 12:43   #7
Registered User
 
NorthernMac's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2019
Boat: A185F, Mystic 30’ Cutter
Posts: 713
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Most marine instruments can talk to each other. The most useful electronics for coastal cruising is radar and an autopilot. Radar saves you time in fog or at night. When you get an autopilot, get a jog lever. It allows you to steer without all the wheel turning - makes docking easier. Any good VHF will do. If you want a hand held VHF, get a separate radio, then you have back up. In some areas CB radios are used as backup and communicating fishing info.

Talk to a marine electronics dealer, even if you don't end up buying your equipment there. They can tell you how it all works together - if you need that.

You can spend a lot of money for features you don't need.

If you can install it yourself, eBay or Amazon are good places for a better price.
Jog lever for docking?
NorthernMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 13:13   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: SoCal
Boat: Beneteau 323
Posts: 348
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneCrab View Post
I have a question where your answers may give me a new perspective.

When you say integrate the AP with the system, what are you expecting from this.... honest question.

I ask because in my simple view of things, the autopilot only gets a course heading in the simplest case and course deviation if using a more complex unit. This heading can be put into the autopilot directly or over the NMEA network.

I had a simple one that would just hold whatever heading you were on when you pressed the button and then I got one which was fairly standalone until I hooked up the 0183 wires to it. Then my GPS could be programmed with a route and the autopilot would steer to the waypoints. But at any given time, all the AP knew was its heading. The GPS would steer the boat back on course by putting out new headings to keep on the track line.

he only requirement for this integration was the AP's ability to tie into the network and read the GPS statements. I was using paper charts and a handheld GPS with no plotting capability. Lat and Lon ruled the day.
Yes, of course - my hope was to be able to set the heading based on the map. Perhaps just tap the location I want to go to on a touch screen and have a visual representation of the course overplayed on the plotter.

I totally understand that this is "nice to have" and is not really that much more beneficial (if at all) than AP that just has a few buttons that allow you to set and and maybe adjust course a few degrees.
George_SD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 13:15   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: SoCal
Boat: Beneteau 323
Posts: 348
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Most marine instruments can talk to each other. The most useful electronics for coastal cruising is radar and an autopilot. Radar saves you time in fog or at night. When you get an autopilot, get a jog lever. It allows you to steer without all the wheel turning - makes docking easier. Any good VHF will do. If you want a hand held VHF, get a separate radio, then you have back up. In some areas CB radios are used as backup and communicating fishing info.

Talk to a marine electronics dealer, even if you don't end up buying your equipment there. They can tell you how it all works together - if you need that.

You can spend a lot of money for features you don't need.

If you can install it yourself, eBay or Amazon are good places for a better price.
Thank you for the advice. A follow up question - how does "jog lever" (i assume essentially rudder mounted motor?) help with docking?

I would have to look into the radar, didn't even consider it before.
George_SD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 13:19   #10
Registered User
 
NorthernMac's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2019
Boat: A185F, Mystic 30’ Cutter
Posts: 713
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by George_SD View Post
Thank you for the advice. A follow up question - how does "jog lever" (i assume essentially rudder mounted motor?) help with docking?

I would have to look into the radar, didn't even consider it before.
Id look into making sure you have a good plotter, navionics and AIS in/out, before you spend $$ on radar

Im interesting in what a jog lever is too, that said I disengage automation for docking, seems like otherwise youre asking for trouble
NorthernMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 14:51   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Island Packet 40
Posts: 5,068
Images: 7
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Couple of fundamentals.

There are two NMEAs. The old one is NMEA0183 and rhe newer NMEA2000. They are not compatible and need a converter to "talk" with each other. Older equipment may have only NMEA0183 and newer only NMEA2000. Also, some of the different manufacturers have "proprietory" systems with their own connections.

Staying with the one brand for everything can help with the interconnection compatibility problem and is helpful with software compatibility. After about two years I just recently learned how to get my Raymarine MFD to talk to my Simrad autopilot so that I can use the "route" function. This is very handy if you regularly passage the same routes also if you need to flee or shift an anchorage in the dark. The first part of the problem was finding out whether or not they were even trying to talk to each other and the second am I pressing the right buttons. The problem is made worse because there is no standard terminology in which the instruction manuals are written.

For depth a fish finder is much more practicable than just the depth indication one gets from the normal yacht depth sounder. In addition to showing you the fish the fish finder will also show a bottom profile which generally graphically illustrates whether the seabed is shoaling, deepening or fairly constant depth and with familiarity a good estimation of the sort of bottom you are about to anchor on and whether or not their are obstructions or chain grabbers.

The boat I have now came with a grayscale radar with the screen mounted at the nav station below. As a single hander it was useless. I upgraded to a color dopler type which displays at the helm position and now use it all the time, even in broad daylight, as I find it a great aid to situational awareness. The dopler colors targets green or red to define whether a target is approaching or bearing away from you.

AIS is good to have if you frequent areas with lots of marine traffic particularly big ship or fishing boat traffic. Receive only is fairly cheap particularly if you want to use a tablet or computer and OpenCPN.

Freeware OpenCPN with Cmap CM93 digital charts on a notebook or tablet is a great place to get your foot in the door of electronic navigation and if the autopilot has NMEA 0183 you can connect them together using an inexpensive USB to RS 422/485 converter. This will allow you to do your route planning at home without the distraction of needing to manage the boat whilst planning the route which I highly recommend as it take a lot of the stress out of navigating safely.
RaymondR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 19:14   #12
Registered User
 
CarinaPDX's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boat: 31' Cape George Cutter
Posts: 2,914
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Your Lowrance mfd is not a current model but appears fairly new and supports all of the features you want so keep it. Buy their compatible radar and CHIRP sonar and you will have a very competent system.

Most autopilots will be able to take NMEA 0183 data from your mfd, and that is all you really need. This allows the mfd to follow to waypoint, and route, and provide the necessary cross-track-error and bearing-to-waypoint for the AP. The only thing possibly gained by staying within the brand is being able to control the AP from the mfd instead of a separate display (it still might be possible - IDK) - you will have to decide if that is important to you. Some inexpensive AP's (e.g. Pelagic) can't follow to waypoint (last time I checked) which I think is useful for dealing with leeway but hardly a necessity.

It is useful to provide the speed-through-water (STW) information to the display. This can be done in three ways: 1) use a SeaTalk to NMEA 0183 adapter to get the ST40 data to the mfd, or 2) use a transducer to NMEA 2000 adapter (RM ITC-5) instead of the ST40 display to use the mfd (only) for that data, and 3) switch to smart transducers that directly output to the NMEA 2000 backbone and use the mfd to display. Adding an electronic compass (10Hz) with the STW will allow ARPA-like features to the radar display (similar to AIS info). Depending on your mfd capabilities you might be able to directly read out leeway by computing from the GPS SOG and COG, the paddlewheel STW, and the compass heading.

Greg
CarinaPDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-07-2020, 19:46   #13
Registered User
 
CarinaPDX's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Boat: 31' Cape George Cutter
Posts: 2,914
Re: Electronics - add a few piece or replace all?

Addendum: pick an autopilot that can output 10Hz heading info to the mfd, or uses a separate compass that can, and that will help with ARPA without spending more money.

Greg
CarinaPDX is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
electronics

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can I replace a 6ft piece of RG-58U between my VHF radio and the mast? With an 8 ft p AZ-Oldguy Marine Electronics 64 17-07-2020 06:20
1 More ( @ Least ) Piece of advice for a NooB Y`all ? coloradoredneck Auxiliary Equipment & Dinghy 15 22-02-2018 10:15
Lines - To replace, or not to replace? TooCoys General Sailing Forum 31 25-04-2017 13:32
For Sale: a few diffrent electronics ben4891 Classifieds Archive 2 21-07-2012 15:28
Attaching a Small Piece of Plastic to a Piece of Flat Stainless off-the-grid Construction, Maintenance & Refit 32 11-11-2010 07:45

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 13:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.