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Old 12-06-2006, 13:20   #1
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Location: grand rapids, michigan
Boat: Seafarer, Challanger, 23'
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Hello, just looked at the web site and decided that It should be a good place for advise for a very "green" sailor (no pun intended as to possible future medical condition). My wife and I just purchased a 23' Seafarer and intend to sail on the Michigan great lakes. We have always had an interest in sailing and love the water. I just had a survey of the vessel and intend to do all that was suggested by the surveyor to bring the little boat up to 100%. As a novice to this venue how much should I worry about putting in all the latest and greatest equipment while we are in the learning stage? Thanks in advance for your assistance in this new adventure.
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Old 12-06-2006, 14:26   #2
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Aloha Seafarer,
Welcome aboard!! I used to have a fin keel Catalina 22. The only thing I really had in the way of electronics was a VHF. A handbearing compass is good for coastal piloting. Get all the safety gear recommended by Coast Guard auxiliary. If you plan to cross the lake then you might look into chartplotters but other folks who do that kind of stuff can help you more.
Kind Regards, --John--
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Old 12-06-2006, 19:39   #3
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Welcome aboard cruisersforum, seafarer23.

Like what SkiprJohn said. There are alot of people on this forum, that can help you out with the marine electronic gadgets.

You can find out about other things on this forum too!!

Welcome aboard.

"Those who desire to give up Freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." - Benjamin Franklin
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Old 12-06-2006, 22:06   #4
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I have been sailing the Great Lakes for 20 years, a majority of the time on Superior, with a VHF, a compass, a Loran/GPS, and the Richardson Chartbooks for the various lakes. Navigation is so staightforward in Lake Michigan I can't see the need for anything else. Radar and chartplotters maybe would be a nice addition in the foggy northern reaches of Superior and in the rock and reef strewn areas of the North Channel of Lake Huron but are hardly necessary. Don't get caught up in the idea that you have to have all the latest electronic gizmos to go out beyond the breakwall. Learn with the basics then if you want get the fancy chartplotter but then at least you will know how to find your way around if it fails on you.
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Old 12-06-2006, 22:49   #5
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Welcome aboard There are two ways to figure out what electronics you need. the expensive way, and the cheap way.
First, the expensive way:Buy all the gizmos. After the first year, you can try to recoup some of your losses by selling the stuff you do not use, and the stuff that has become obsolete.
The cheap way. Get a GPS, a VHF and some paper charts. Learn how to use them well. Then, one component at a time buy the things that you find yourself wishing you had as you sail around with what you have. Then, just to be sure, before you write the check, go out on a friend's boat who has the piece of equipment you are thinking of buying, and use it. See if it is more trouble than benefit.
Of course, if you have deep pockets, all those goodies could make the boat easier to sell if you want to move up to a mega yacht. OTOH, the new owner will probably just want to get rid of them and upgrade anyway
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Old 13-06-2006, 02:01   #6
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Large scale paper charts

I'm very fond of large scale paper charts.
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Old 13-06-2006, 11:44   #7
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Greetings to a fellow Great Lakes Sailor!!

We'll be doing Lake Michigan quite a bit this year. Who knows? Maybe we'll catch up to each other sometime!

The gear we're currently using includes a handheld GPS, a fixed VHF and two handhelds, and Richardson's Chartbook. We also have a fixed compass and a hand bearing unit.

Looking forward to hearing about your adventures. We just got back from Higgins Lake and had a fantastic time! Good breezes and great sailing. We even spent the night on board for the first time. Even though it was in the low thirties!! Yikes!

Fair winds,

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Old 28-06-2006, 19:04   #8
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Greetings new sailor -- I am also into small boats I have a 23 O'Day which I love. I ended up outfitting it with all the gizmos little by little, so I agree with kai's point. Incidentally, I like the Seafarer -- there's a 24 model in out marina which looks delapidated but itching to get redone and go out on the ocean. Is yours a McCurdy Rhodes design?

VHF is a must, and if you have to buy one I would still go with a handheld first (you can also upgrade later with a fixed). GPS is a good investment, but only if you need it. Where I live there's tide, river current, narrow channels, shallow water, huge barges, and fog. Hence I needed the GPS right away, and I opted for the cheapest which had the chart overlayed etc. (Garmin 76s). For a boat that small, another great investment (about $120) is the boomkicker -- look it up. I used to swear every time the boom fell on board because I forgot the topping lift. Trust me -- you will love it!! Later, if you get into it, you can get a cheap autopilot (TP10 is just fine) -- I found that sailing for 6 hours without touching anything is just amazing -- You may need other things first (spinnaker etc? perhaps lines led aft? reefs in mainsails? roller furler? 4 stroke motor?) It all depends on what type of sailing you do, and in what types of winds and seas.
Good luck!
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