Welcome to the forum.
I agree with most of the previous advice
, for two reasons. First as others said, you can easily spend more money on electronics than you spent on the boat. Second, if you are that new to boating
it would be good to get a little experience on the water
to get a better feel for what you really need.
I will disagree slightly with boatman61. OpenCPN
is a great option and will do all you need with one exception, there is no cheap
, practical way to set it up in the cockpit so you can use it underway. Some people run it on a tablet but I have yet to find a tablet that you can use in daylight and see the screen
Tampa Bay as you're probably aware, has lots of shallow areas, crossing channels and other things that complicate navigation
. For that kind of boating
I really like to have a chart plotter at the helm
where I can see it. For that a relatively inexpensive chart plotter will do quite well. Just like boat brands, everyone has their favorite brand and model of chartplotter
. I'm currently using a Garmin
GPSMAP740s which has been replaced by the 741 and now 742. You can get a 741 for $700-$800 including all US charts built in and forget about the sextant
for now (but keep the compass).
all you need is a Windex (a little arrow shaped thing on top of the mast that points at the wind).
LEDs are a great upgrade and will really extend your battery
life when cruising. Again lots of options and opinions. I installed 12-18" strips of LEDs from superbrightleds.com and am very happy with them. Very bright, easy install peel and stick under the cabinets and come in lots of shades to suit your preference.
VHF. I've been using Standard Horizon for 40 years and love them. Have one currently 20 years old that works like new. One of the best for sound quality and volume which is good as my ears have gotten older.
Fridge. Can be a huge project
. Before adding a fridge you first need to check the box and how good the insulation
is. If like most factory boats it's not much and a fridge will run nonstop and drain your batteries
trying to keep it cool. If you're spending a lot of nights on the boat and really want a fridge might try an Engel portable fridge until you're ready to do the fridge project
. Very efficient and will even work as a freezer
. By the way, rebuilding my fridge box and adding new insulation
was the single
most time consuming project of my entire boat refit