Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-04-2016, 06:41 PM   #1
Member
 
City: Maple Ridge
Country: Canada
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Electronics for a Minimalist

Hi All
Question – looking for ideas. Assume buying an older boat that needs a complete overhaul/replacement of its navigation electronics. I am by nature an extreme minimalist and do not like clutter of any kind so looking for the simplest possible solution.I also dislike and am not comfortable with complex technology…for example, and I not looking to start any arguments and am by no means a zealot about it, but I like Apple products simply because they are simple with a small learning curve, they are robustly built and usually work.
I know some folks love lots displays and information ect and that’s cool, it’s just not for me.
So my criteria is:


Enough electronics for safe reliable navigation while coastal cruising in a typical powerboat...under 50 feet
Modern and up to date technology
Elegant clean look
Easy to learn and use
Fewest possible screens and displays that provide the information I need while traveling in coastal waters
Cost is what it is…willing to pay for a system that meets my criteria


Looking forward to reading your responses and ideas…thanks
__________________
Advertisement

Westcoastwannbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 07:02 PM   #2
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich Yacht Club, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,315
Well, there are adequate nav systems that cost less than $100- a Nexus or Fire or ??? tablet running dirt cheap or free nav software. Or there are much more expensive proprietary systems- Raymarine, Garmin, Simrad and others.


The proprietary systems do a couple of things that the cheapos tablet won't:


Daylight viewable displays.
Integrate radar and navigation charts on one display.


Then there are bells and whistles that can add thousands, maybe ten thousand dollars- big and multiple displays, large radar array, engine instrumentation information displayed, etc.


I would look at one of the big three noted above and buy a minimal system: An 8" nav display, a 18" radar dome and a basic autopilot.


David
__________________

djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 08:31 PM   #3
TF Site Team
 
FlyWright's Avatar
 
City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 9,132
Navionics or Garmin Blue Charts on an iPad. Each under $50...iPad/iPhone not included.
__________________
Al

Custom Google Trawler Forum Search
FlyWright is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 08:52 PM   #4
Guru
 
Pgitug's Avatar
 
City: Punta Gorda, fl
Country: Usa
Vessel Name: Escapade
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37 2002
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 719
If you don't spend much on navigation equipment, be sure to spend above average on your boat insurance.
Tell your insurance company to email you your policy so you can keep the paper clutter to a minimum and your life simple.
Pgitug is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:04 PM   #5
TF Site Team
 
FlyWright's Avatar
 
City: California Delta and SF Bay
Country: Sacramento, CA, USA (boat in Vallejo)
Vessel Name: FlyWright
Vessel Model: Marshall Californian 34 LRC
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 9,132
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Navionics or Garmin Blue Charts on an iPad. Each under $50...iPad/iPhone not included.
Sorry, this might not be applicable to Canadian waters. Not sure, really.
__________________
Al

Custom Google Trawler Forum Search
FlyWright is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:04 PM   #6
Guru
 
dhays's Avatar
 
City: Gig Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,333
I have a dual screen display in my Pilothouse. I don't consider them clutter. Having two screens actually keeps the system simpler, cleaner, and easy to use.
__________________
Regards,

Dave
SPOT page
dhays is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:19 PM   #7
Guru
 
TDunn's Avatar
 
City: Maine Coast
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Tortuga
Vessel Model: Nunes Brothers Raised Deck Cruiser
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 621
I run SeaClear on an eleven inch screen netbook with a GPS puck connected via USB port. The charts and software are free. The system is daylight viewable and cost less than $250. On top of that I can run for 6 hours even if my boat electrical system fails. One component on the bridgedeck that I use for other things and take home when I am not using it. I also have a depth sounder (actually a fish finder) and a VHF radio. I don't need radar here on the coast of Maine.

I also have the same software on my 17" laptop if I want to go big screen.
TDunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:37 PM   #8
Guru
 
Capt.Bill11's Avatar
 
City: Sarasota/Ft. Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
If you don't spend much on navigation equipment, be sure to spend above average on your boat insurance.
Oh baloney!

More equipment doesn't make you a better navigator.

To the OP, just get a system that has its own network and display everything on your iWhatevers.
Capt.Bill11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:50 PM   #9
Guru
 
MurrayM's Avatar
 
City: Kitimat, North Coast BC
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Badger
Vessel Model: 30' Sundowner Tug
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,716
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Sorry, this might not be applicable to Canadian waters. Not sure, really.
Navionics works here
__________________
"The most interesting path between two points is not a straight line" Murray Minchin
MurrayM is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:52 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
drb1025's Avatar
 
City: Bellevue, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Fiddler
Vessel Model: DeFever 46
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 461
As long as you effectively use your navigation instruments on each side of your nose you should be fine. Maybe get a depth sounder to go with them.
drb1025 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:52 PM   #11
Member
 
City: Maple Ridge
Country: Canada
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
If you don't spend much on navigation equipment, be sure to spend above average on your boat insurance.
Tell your insurance company to email you your policy so you can keep the paper clutter to a minimum and your life simple.
To be 100% clear!!!! Money is NOT the issue! I would happily spend 3K, 5K or even more...what I am after is simplicity and elegance in it's use and presentation.
Westcoastwannbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 09:58 PM   #12
Member
 
City: Maple Ridge
Country: Canada
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 20
Thanks for your replies so far everyone.
Westcoastwannbe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 10:13 PM   #13
Guru
 
C lectric's Avatar
 
City: Gibsons, B.C.
Country: Canada
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,500
I have:
-- two main VHFs, One old before MMSI #, the new one has the MMSI # and built in GPS. The second I find extremely usefull to listen for and talk to other stations while being able to monitor 16. Vessel traffic is important in my area but also the other boats I sometimes travel with without cluttering 16
-- one handheld, mostly for the dingbat and for dockwalking when I sometimes help others to the dock.
-- one sounder at my inside station, one on the bridge, one old one for the dingbat.
-- A GPS > it's old now and the laptop it worked with died so we did the following
-- my wife and I each bought a Nexus 7 tablet with Navionics on each.

I would add a radar but the boat is getting old and it has it's own ideas about what is next on the work and affordabilty list. It would be a stand alone unit.


I keep the old GPS because it still works and on one page are the Lat/long co-ordinates in big print. It also holds most of the old routes so it still serves a purpose.

With both my main VHFs I use an auxiliary speaker as the built in ones are absolute garbage for sound volume and clarity.

Compared to many boats my setup is minimal.

Figure out what you need, look around. BIg bucks do not have to be spent although it will not be cheap.

Personally, if the old stuff works then do not be in too big a hurry to chuck it all. If it works keep it. That way you buy time and some experience to determine what you really do need and how you want it installed.
C lectric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 10:22 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Seevee's Avatar
 
City: st pete
Country: usa
Vessel Model: 280 Sundancer
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
If you don't spend much on navigation equipment, be sure to spend above average on your boat insurance.
Tell your insurance company to email you your policy so you can keep the paper clutter to a minimum and your life simple.
Pgitug,

I'll add my baloney to this too. Nothing to do with each other. There's lots of options for a good solution for the OP. Insurance is a risk/benefit choice, nothing to do with electronics.

Insuring is betting that you will use it at some point. I could argue to spend your money on preventing that. What the heck does electronics have to do with that?
__________________
Seevee
Seevee is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 10:56 PM   #15
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 5,754
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
Sorry, this might not be applicable to Canadian waters. Not sure, really.
I Pad with Navionics works OK in Canada.
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 11:00 PM   #16
Veteran Member
 
GoneFarrell's Avatar
 
City: La Conner, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Imagine
Vessel Model: Farrell 34
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 98
What's working good for me:

iPad with iSailor. Used it all over northern Puget Sound this year. Really simple, easy to use, reliable, minimal, incredibly accurate, and more info there when you need it. They have a chart package for your waters, and a very effective tides/current package that I bought, glad I did, very useful and simple. Cost effective too. Check out iSailor.

One screen: I move it from flybridge to main cabin as needed, put it on RAM mounts. You will need USB power plugs local at both stations, running on battery only will not cut it for all day runs. Dead batts will put you on the ground or rocks at the end of the day.

GPS signal: assuming your iPad is not GPS carded, from a Dual XGPS10M receiver. Picks up GPS and Glonass, it can tell when you walk it around the boat! That bluetooths to iSailor, no wires. It wants a USB plug too, though the battery will run all day; I just get tired of charging things. I leave it below on the counter near the lower helm on boat centerline. It can tell when you move from port rail to starboard, amazing stuff for 100 USD.

Software, hardware (less iPad), RAM mounts, USB power plugs, maybe $300 USD total.

Depth sounder: gotta have one, you'd be crazy to try and anchor a 50 foot boat in a cove you've never been into before without one. I've nav'ed off shore with them when everything else broke in a storm and we followed soundings on the chart at night.

VHF: assume boat has usual old VHF below, OK. Get a baeofeng hand-held and an aftermarket good antennae, maybe $60 USD. These are programmable for the stations you use the most, like marine VHF and weather. Small, light, portable. The right antennae will about triple the effective range of these small radios.

The next step up would be a waterproof handheld radio for use when things go bad to worse. iPads and Baeofengs can't do that.

I still run all the old stuff: chart plotters, clunky old radar, depth sounder. It still works fine and is my backup to my dead reckoning navigation brain game.
GoneFarrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 11:08 PM   #17
Guru
 
C lectric's Avatar
 
City: Gibsons, B.C.
Country: Canada
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
I Pad with Navionics works OK in Canada.

Yes, it does, quite well. We have loaded all the B.C> coast and from Puget sound at Olympia to Yakutat, Ak.
C lectric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2016, 11:19 PM   #18
Guru
 
City: Hotel, CA
Country: Fried
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 8,060
Minimum nav gear...

Chart, compass and a lead line.

VHF, depth sounder and a chart plotter would be prudent upgrades. I question the value of radar to the average fair weather boater. Too many threads read about poorly trained radar operators not really knowing what they're looking at.

For the real answer work the question backwards and ask yourself what your minimum capabilities should be.
__________________
Craig

Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
CPseudonym is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2016, 06:50 AM   #19
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: East Greenwich Yacht Club, RI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bella
Vessel Model: Mainship Pilot 34
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,315
Let me make the case for and against radar:


For a coastal cruiser, sooner or later you will find yourself in a situation where: the visibility is poor or you have to continue after dark. Radar can make either possible, but without it, not a good idea. And an integrated radar and chartplotter overlay display is really nice. Once while approaching Sandy Hook in a moderate rain storm at night, it was totally reassuring to see where the sea buoys were supposed to be but also actually see their real radar image superimposed.


The criticism of poorly trained radar operators is BS. I can use a radar well enough to avoid other ships, see sea buoys ahead and thunderstorm cells approaching.


But if you have the time, then you can just sit in place and let the fog lift. But once early in our cruising career while chartering a non radar equipped boat in Maine, we sat at Frenchboro for three nights out of a 7 night charter waiting for the fog to lift. I sure could have used radar on that trip.


David
djmarchand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2016, 07:04 AM   #20
Guru
 
ranger42c's Avatar
 
City: Maryland
Country: USA
Vessel Model: 42' Sportfish
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 2,498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westcoastwannbe View Post
Enough electronics for safe reliable navigation while coastal cruising in a typical powerboat...under 50 feet
Modern and up to date technology
Elegant clean look
Easy to learn and use
Fewest possible screens and displays that provide the information I need while traveling in coastal waters
Cost is what it is…willing to pay for a system that meets my criteria

You can do a lot with a tablet and a couple apps.

But... you'll at least want a depth finder and a modern VHF radio.

And...

Do you intend to navigate at night and in fog or other poor visibility conditions? (speaks to radar or not)

Are you able/willing to manually steer the boat at all times while underway? (speaks to autopilot or not)

Will you want to negotiate maneuvers around large ships using the radio? (speaks to AIS or not)

Do you want everything displayed on one screen? (speaks to networking or not)


-Chris
__________________

__________________
South River, Chesapeake Bay
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012