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Old 03-01-2014, 10:52 AM   #1
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Helm area layout

Hi everyone - I bought a 1978 C&L 44' Europa Trawler, I'm going to replace the electric panel, I am also adding an auto helm, depth sounder. I will be using a PC for navigation w/Raymarine nav unit for backup. Here's where I'm going with this, I'd like folks with similar boats tell me what they did to there helm area layout to include some photo's. With this information, I hope not to over clutter the helm area & keep it user friendly. Thanks, TONTO.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:32 PM   #2
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When I updated and re-wired my entire electrics, I found the BEP range of panels fantastic for the range of sizes and options they provide. They are very well designed & built and they look great. Here's the link: Digital Meter
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Old 03-01-2014, 02:52 PM   #3
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Great look'n boat. Never came across these guys in my searches - better configuration than Blue Sea & the other much cheaper stuff. Thank you for the link & info. If I may ask, how did you arrange your monitoring screens & where, so as to keep the clutter down?
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:00 PM   #4
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BEP has recently been taken over by the same conglomerate that owns BlueSea......BEP has better design I think. If you mean monitoring of bilge & other pumps, etc.....BEP make a great Systems-in-Operation panel that matches the circuit breaker panels and can be mounted with them or separately. Here's the link to that particular product:

SOP2 - Systems in Operation Panel

(They make a smaller SOP1 model as well, you can get to it from this link)

You can configure these panels to light up a red or green lamp and/or set off an alarm for various functions. The way mine is configured, I have my 3 bilge pumps each individually wired back to the panel so if they operate, a red light and an alarm sound. I also have my DC fresh water and AC fresh water pumps and holding tank discharge pump showing a red light on this panel when in operation (but no alarm). I also have a Guest galvanic isolator which has a remote warning lamp output; I took this to the SOP panel also and it shows a green lamp when all is well and a flashing red lamp when a fault is detected. Finally, one of the panel spaces normally taken up by a lamp I had set up as an Alarm toggle: On/Off.

So I feel I have quite a lot of monitoring, quite inexpensively & very compact in just this one panel.

You may have been referring to electrical monitoring though? If so, on the AC panel from BEP I ordered the panel with their integrated digital monitor already mounted and wired up. This tells me shorepower volts/amps/Hz; genset volts/amps/Hz; and inverter volts/amps/Hz. Even with the BEP AC & DC panels I still had a little more room in the original circuit breaker panel locker at my lower helm, so I also installed an analogue volt meter for the shorepower and genset feeds: I find the analogue needle easy to read at a quick glance but more importantly maybe, I can see the needle 'pulse' slightly back-&-forth which indicates a problem, something you just don't get with a digital read-out. (That's why many electricians-marine & dirt-carry both analogue and digital test gauges).

Hope this helps. I'll PM you photos of what the set-up looks like in practice if you like
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:54 PM   #5
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The info about BEP again is great. I called a distributor in Vancouver and started the ball rolling there. For clarity I also would like to see how you, or anyone else, have arranged the separate radar screens, chart plotter, thing along that line. I do have ideas, however, I don't want to re-invent the wheel, as it were, if someone has arranged a neat helm station. Hope all this makes sense. As always thank you. TONTO
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:19 PM   #6
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Our system consists of a stand alone Simrad radar (far left of helm)
Simrad GB40 MFD that has a broadband radar tied to it (center display)
VEI Marci Pro PC with nobletec admiral, also has autopilot tied in. (Far right display)
Garmin 741xs FB&PH networked via N2k
Northstar 6000i (FB)
We also have multiple Simrad IS-15 instruments.
For AP's we have two redundant AP-20's, that the Garmins, Northstar, and PC could control via- switch. (To the right of the center display)
Oh and we also have a Simrad/Navico NAIS-300 ais transceiver. (Has problems were replacing it with a vesper marine unit)

Anyways youres doesn't need to be nearly this complex but you asked for something so here you go.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:00 PM   #7
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I have attached two photos, Before & After, of my lower helm. Originally, most of the helm space was taken up by twin panels of engine gauges covering my twin engines. Just off-camera to the Port side a 12" monitor was mounted on a bracket to display the chartplotter chart. A second small screen in this area showed a small, green radar image.

I ditched all that when I did the re-fit. The engine instrumentation which took up so much space was replaced by the small screen you see on the far right of the new helm. It is from Chetco Instruments: they provide an interface which converts outputs from analogue engine senders to digital gauges that display on this little screen, saving several sq feet of helm space.

This saving allowed me to install Furuno's NavNet 3D system and its 12" multifunction display. This display can be customised at will as a single, 2-screen split or 4-sreen split to show electronic charts, radar, video camera shots, engine instrumentation, depth, fish-finder, etc. So I could then get rid of the old monitor and radar screen altogether. The Carling switches on the far right are engine start/stop, blower and synchronizer controls. The Carling switches on the far left are for various lights, wipers, stabilizers, horn etc etc. The small screen on the left is an independent/redundant depth display.

When underway, I sit a laptop off the left where the old monitors used to be. This runs MaxSea's TimeZero Explorer software which interfaces with the Furuno system. It allows me to passage-plan at home & underway, provides a 2nd screen (for radar, for example) and redundancy should the Furuno system fall over (it never has).

All in all, a much cleaner and easier to use set-up than the 1985/1998(repower) set-up I inherited when I bought the boat.

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Old 03-02-2014, 12:19 PM   #8
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Thanks fellas - what you've done is about where I thought I would end up. I'll figure out what I'm going to do with the radar screens, etc. Thanks again. TONTO
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:38 PM   #9
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I do'nt think you received my thank you. Really good info. I bought a Furuno 850 series, open ray - it doesn't marry up to anything that I have, needless to say it will stand-alone.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:18 PM   #10
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I'm in the middle of a helm refit. We are installing a new N2K backbone with numerous Maretron sensors. Actisense EMU-1's to get analog engine data to N2K. Eliminating all gauges except ones in engine room. I've run the Nobeltec on a PC and will switch that to Furuno MaxSea. Agree with others to have a complete backup Nav system.

Whatever you do I recommend you make a mock up to see how it may work/look on your boat. My first mock up had two 20" NEC high end graphics monitors. They are great, but caused the helm to stand too high that would distract from seeing out.

If you haven't checked Maretron it's worth a look.
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:56 PM   #11
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Great idea, with all the time I spent looking for a pc nav app - I did not run accross the MaxSea stuff, if I did - I forgot it. Just bought NOBLETEC Odissy - I'll be keeping it for awhile. Thank you, TONTO
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:02 PM   #12
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Nobletech is now part of MaxSea, and the products are slowly becoming one in the same.

For those using MaxSea with Furuno, keep in mind that maxSea is of limited use as a backup if the MFD fails. The MFD is required to get radar on maxsea, and is required to relay all the other nav data between ethernet and all your N2K and 0183 instruments.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:17 PM   #13
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My helm. Coastal explorer together with the usual suspects. I would not change a thing.



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Old 03-03-2014, 06:22 AM   #14
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Electric stuff is fine , but when it all goes dark , at least oil pressure and engine temp must continue to function.
Mechanical tach would also be a plus.

Steering by compass with some sort of light is needed ,a hand held VHF and GPS would be nice.

One item to copy from commercial boats is a remote Mechanical fuel tank shut off.

Just a lever valve and a push pull cable , so no big deal .
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:20 AM   #15
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TwistedTree.....not quite right. MaxSea on laptop with USB GPS provides full redundancy to chartplotter, no MFD required. (You are right that it doesn't provide radar redundancy, but interestingly it can & does in Germany and France, where the local Furuno dealers will set up the radar to connect via the hub to a laptop. Not happening anywhere else, as I suppose Furuno don't want to miss out on MFD sales! Quite a bit of cautious chat on this on the Furuno Forum)
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:32 AM   #16
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Here's our helm



We also have a third 10" display thats out of the photo.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:11 AM   #17
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You guys are great! JD - your wood panel for the screens is more in line for what I had in mind. Kevin - you gave me an idea of what to do with the VHF, as it is now, I can hardly reach it, as with the start key, stop etc. My wife is a custom furniture make & designer, I'm going to turn her loose on the wood making stuff. Kevin are those lights, lift & right, on top of the panel?

JD - Did you include anything to the right of you (not in the photo)?
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
Here's our helm



We also have a third 10" display thats out of the photo.
Kevin, are those cameras on either side? What do you use them for?
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:13 PM   #19
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Those are Hella fans.
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Old 03-03-2014, 12:59 PM   #20
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The PO installed the raised helm and did a very nice job, IMHO. The wiring below is also nicely done. Most KK42's do not have this feature.


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Left to right: Raymarine DS600R video sounder. Top Maretron Multi-function monitor, Bottom Furuno GPS, Computer monitor with video display for aft-camera on mast, Coastal Explorer software with ICOM AIS (receive only), screen for Furuno 1942 MK2 with 48 inch open array. Dash, Left to right: Keyboard, key-start,Imtra windshield wiper control with delay, Robertson AP20 with AP300X remote, mouse, Simrad FU50 jog steering, toggle for bow thruster, throttle.

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Under helm wiring.

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