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Old 12-11-2019, 15:29   #61
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

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Originally Posted by Smokeys Kitchen View Post
I replied earlier about a CL posting (that has since sold) but did not mention the 3 used market marine stores in the Puget Sound area that I know of.

Marine Thrift in Port Townsend, Longship Marine in Poulsbo, and SecondWave at the Boatyard in Gig Harbor. You may well find an old but complete VHF antenna for next to nothing at one of them. There are also older but very serviceable electronics for sale from time to time.

Worth browsing around in them for sure
Hey, thank you very much! I'll check em out.
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Old 12-11-2019, 16:08   #62
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

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I haven't yet purchased the radio, and now that I've had more input, I'm rethinking the purchase. I want an AIS transceiver. I want other boats to see me as well. I might get by with what I have, no AIS, etc for the next 6 months or so until I can put together something better, but for the immediate short term I needed some form of communication. That took the form of a handheld VHF radio. I have an OLD VHF radio for the boat that was lying in the bilge when I got the boat. I tested it and it seems to work, so I'll need to get an antenna for it. I thought I'd hold off and just use the handheld for now, and when i get a better system it will likely come with an antenna. Then I'll keep the VHF that came with the boat as an "oh SHTF" spare.

My other immediate concerns are, since my boat does not have any freeboard to speak of, climbing up to the front requires climbing over the cabin from the cockpit. it's not an easy feat when you are chunky and out of shape (both problems I plan to fix very soon), so I need a depth sounder, some better stanchions, lifelines with netting to keep the dogs onboard, a (working) radar to see those things I can't see with my eyes due to fog, darkness, etc.

I have a depth sounder, and a knot meter, neither is connected and I dont know if either work. I have yet to connect the 12v systems in the boat and there is no 120v system yet. another task on my projects list.
This past year after the PO's GPS and GPS chart plotter failed I used a hand held VHF/GPS unit that I got for $150 but it's hard to see so I ordered the Standard Horizon GX2200.

The ships here can sometimes sneak up on you so the AIS receiver will be nice to have. I have two shipping channels to cross on my normal 50-150 mile round trip weekend/vac cruises

Maybe you can sail for a while on non fog days so you won't have to buy everything all at once if that is possible up and over there were you are
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Old 12-11-2019, 17:49   #63
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

If you have flexibility with the timing of the upgrade, there are usually some killer deals in the spring. My cost for a Raymarine Axiom Pro 9 S and Quantum radar came out to an even $2,000 (spring 2019), compared to 4,000 today. Defender had the factory refurbished Axiom for 1,500. Raymarine had the refurbished radar for 900. I also purchased a shoot through transducer, but didn't need it. Total for the Raymarine equipment was 2,550. I was upgrading from a Raymarine C70, so there was a 250 rebate for that, plus an additional 250 rebate for spending over 2500.

If you go the Raymarine route and add autopilot, you will not need to purchase a NMEA2K network because the Evolution autopilot comes with a SeatalkNG network, which is NMEA2K with different connectors. Adapter cables are inexpensive.

You mentioned the boat has depth and speed. Who makes it? If it works and is from a former version of Raymarine, then you may be able to get an inexpensive Seatalk to SeatalkNG converter to get depth to a chart plotter. That's what I did and it works flawlessly.
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Old 12-11-2019, 19:29   #64
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

The question is first whether youre getting radar. If you are, choose this first and the mfd from the same manufacturer that has an appropriate screen size. Id agree with a vesper xb8000 or perhaps the cortex if you have the budget, which means that you can then use nmea0813, 2000, and Wi-Fi without worry. Get cheap instruments from wherever.

For charts, use your preference of laptop, tablet, or iPad depending on where you are sailing and what types of chart you prefer. For example, I always use raster charts if I possibly can so stick with OpenCpn on laptop and SEAiq on iPad as primary navigation. Thanks to the vesper everything shows ais and all instrumentation, as does the raymarine mfd I use as a backup and radar display.
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Old 16-11-2019, 07:28   #65
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

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I'm planning to mount my antenna to the stern of the boat, but if this is not an optimal choice feel free to let me know. I would like to have antenna placements in the most ideal locations for things. I also need to keep in mind where I am going to place a radar unit. So, suggestions welcome.
Nothing wrong with a stern arch mount. Your radio will work.
Here is what a Search & Rescue told me two years ago:
"There might be 40 boats in an area we are searching but we always look for the few that are sailboats for relays in an emergency. The sailboats have an antenna so much higher that we get a more reliable reception at a distance, or up a river with canyon walls." (Quote from memory)
Even a handheld, with its antenna at eye-level, is a good radio and will usually do what you need.
But that was an interesting comment from S&R. I remember a pan pan call on Puget Sound. The Coast Guard Seattle asked for vessels in the area and only s/v Kismet and I responded even though I could see about 80 powerboats in the area.
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Old 16-11-2019, 07:53   #66
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Mount your antenna as high as possible. If on top of sailboat mast use the short
sailboat antenna. Radio antenna has no impact on radar or vice versa.
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Old 16-11-2019, 07:59   #67
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Mounted high is definitely best for range. Personally, when space allows, I'm a big fan of dual VHFs. Allows for switching to a working channel without losing a watch on 13/16 (or a VTS channel if applicable) for situational awareness.

As far as boats not responding to VHF calls, a lot of powerboats don't run with their VHFs on. Plenty of day sailors don't either, but sailboats are more likely to have it on, but in the cabin, not at the helm. So they may or may not hear a call.

It seems like those that have the VHF on at the helm all the time while underway are in the minority. Personally, I always do. 2 units, usually 1 on dual watch, 1 not, monitoring 9, 13, 16 unless I'm in an area or situation that demands otherwise.
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Old 24-04-2020, 12:59   #68
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Re: VHF Radios? Chart Plotters? I'm starting from scratch!

Vesper says May 2020 for Cortex release
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