If you're after RELIABLE wind
oriented self steering
, get a monitor
, capehorn or other pendulum-servo selfsteering gear
. No electrickery to crap out, straight forward and easy to fix if anything should go wrong. For coastal sailing, most any autopilot
like the Raymarine
pilot will work just fine. For serious offshore
work, a below decks unit with rate gyro is the only way to go. I haven't heard of anyone who had good luck with a wind
controlled autopilot but I haven't thought of a reason to be looking either.
Generators piss me off. Just what I want is some a-hole ruining the peace and quiet of an anchorage with his generator
running 24/7 so they can have ice in their martinis and porno flicks. Excuse me, I get a little out of control when people ruin my peace and quiet so they can bring ALL the trappings of the modern world to a remote
anchorage. Try solar panels
but you'll also need to keep your electrical
usage down or have tons of deck
area devoted to panels
. You could also try a wind generator
but doubt that would work well in SoCal. For coastal cruising, you could probably get by without any passive charging
capability, unless you have refrigeration
, for a week at a time. I've got a 50 watt solar
panel that has kept my batteries
charged for short distance coastal cruising and living aboard for a week at a time in
, since I intstalled it. For more serious use, would probably add another panel or go to a couple of larger panels
if I could find an out of the way place to fit them in.
is something that's nice to have if fog
and low visibility are common where you sail. Doubt that's the case in SoCal. A decent chartplotter/gps backed up with paper charts
and cheap gps
will get you where you care to go, anywhere in the world. Other than a GPS
, a depth sounder
and a knotmeter/log are all the electronics
that you need to go sailing. Not talking communication, just what you need to do DR navigation
and optimize boat trim.
It seems that the more electrickery installed on a boat, the less it leaves the dock
are constantly improved, functions multiplied and depreciate quickly. Putting a lot of money
into them is much better spent elsewhere. That's not even considering the money spent trying to keep them functioning.
Go to <yachtworld.com> and do a search for sailboats from $80,000 to $175,000 under 46'. Spend the next month going through each and every boat that comes up. It will take you a long time to go through all the boats but it will greatly expand your knowledge of all the boats that are out there. Also haunt the SSCA bulletin board as well as this and other cruising oriented boards. They are a wealth of knowledge from many different viewpoints. A good website with some reccomendations is <Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars
>, a HR owner, btw. I'm not pushing HR's. They are a good boat but there are a lot of other boats out there that work and are probably cheaper.
I spent 7 years in the navy
mostly living aboard so have some experience with your position. I got transfered 2 times after training
command and had to sell the boat each time. That's why I highly reccomend looking at the salability of the boat. Managed to make money on each boat boat but I bought right and had inflation working for me. You never know when good old Uncle will need you somewhere far away from where you are now.