Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-15-2012, 01:59 PM   #1
Guru
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: The Caroliner
Vessel Model: Plans to build 30' Spira Sitka
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,080
Need opinions on helm instrumentation for Great Looping.

I am trying to get an idea of the electrical load of my helm station.There will only be one helm.I may have a rear trolling helm, but I will discuss that later.I will set up the boat with minimum equipment,within reason,and keep things simple with low power consumption.The boat will mainly be used on large lakes around SC,GA,and NC.It will occasional see the ICW and make the Great Loop cruise a few times.I'm mainly concern with being safe on the ICW and Great Loop.I have been researching what others are using for navigation and communication and came up with my minimum set up.I have never been on the ICW or Great Loop,but I have been doing my homework and talking to people that have.

I'm a cruiser and gunkholer that occasionally fishes.

1)Communications-I am use to a basic VHF radio,so I am open to advice.Do I really need AIS,DSC,and hailing features?I will also have a back up floating hand held VHF.I will have a small TV with antenna for weather,plus the weather feature on the VHF.I plan to stay put during rough weather.

2)Navigation-I am almost dead set on getting a Garmin 431S chart plotter with the transducer to provide speed,water temp,and dual beam for depth.I will also have a second depth sounder only for a back up.I have my own Laptop GPS set up for back up navigation.Here's my write up for those interested. USB GPS BU-353 and Earth Bridge - Setup Instructions - Laptop GPS World

I don't think I will have any grounding issues as my draft will be 12 to 16 inches with the I/O up,24 inches max with I/O down.

All of my antenna will be externally mounted on a mount that can be rotated to allow clearance under bridges or other obstacles.

I have seen pics of some members helms.WOW!Most have to much gadgets to distract me.The more "stuff" in front of me,the bigger chance I will become distracted.

Now the rear trolling helm.I'm not 100% sure I am going to set this up as I don't troll for fish much.The plan is/was to add a 9.9hp high thrust kicker, on a bracket, with remote steering on the rear cabin.There, I would mount a portable fish finder.I may still do the 9.9 kicker and rig it to be driven from the helm.This would give me a limp home feature in case the I/O pukes on me.

So what is everyone's opinion on minimum nav and comm gear for safely cruising the Great Loop?
__________________
Advertisement

ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,740
Here's my helm layout which doesn't contain much. I am going to start the loop this summer. I do have an autopilot and a VHF which are just out of view on the right. I have an auto foghorn and hailer feature on the VHF. I use the fog horn here in Long Island Sound quite often, but I've really only used the hailer to screw around have not had much need for it yet for serious communications.
I don't have AIS , don't use DSC, and my chartplotter is a small Garmin 192C and I just got the additional map cards I need for the areas I plan on cruising this year.
The only other item I might put at the helm is either a laptop or Droid tablet, and a pair of binocs, and of course the paper charts when I have them.
I like it simple also.
I don't plan on taking any fishing gear. I have enough "stuff" on board already.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0918 (768 x 512).jpg
Views:	72
Size:	80.1 KB
ID:	11334  
__________________

__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,738
I would add radar. You can get a relatively cheap one with plotter for less than $2,500 such as a Garmin 41612 GPSMAP 740S radar pack w/GMR 18 HD (I know you said you were going to buy the 431S). You will be in areas that has fog and thunder storms. Sometimes charts are off or navigation aids have moved. The radar is real time and the chart plotter is based on historical data.
Larry M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
Guru
 
alormaria's Avatar
 
City: Trenton
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 902
We did the "little" loop in 2000 with Loran, hand held GPS, paper charts, RADAR and depth sounders. Don't put off going because of electronics. I saw folks in aluminum bowriders and tents doing the loop. If you forgot something you can always pull over and take a taxi home and pick it up.

One of the most used pieces of equipment: wipers.
__________________
Al Johnson
34' Marine Trader
"Angelina"
alormaria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 07:45 PM   #5
Guru
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: The Caroliner
Vessel Model: Plans to build 30' Spira Sitka
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
Here's my helm layout which doesn't contain much. I am going to start the loop this summer. I do have an autopilot and a VHF which are just out of view on the right. I have an auto foghorn and hailer feature on the VHF. I use the fog horn here in Long Island Sound quite often, but I've really only used the hailer to screw around have not had much need for it yet for serious communications.
I don't have AIS , don't use DSC, and my chartplotter is a small Garmin 192C and I just got the additional map cards I need for the areas I plan on cruising this year.
The only other item I might put at the helm is either a laptop or Droid tablet, and a pair of binocs, and of course the paper charts when I have them.
I like it simple also.
I don't plan on taking any fishing gear. I have enough "stuff" on board already.
Thanks.That's about what I think I will do.I'm a hands on guy so I don't think I will use an auto pilot.I'll do a couple week trips on some of the larger lakes here before I completely rule that option out.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
I would add radar. You can get a relatively cheap one with plotter for less than $2,500 such as a Garmin 41612 GPSMAP 740S radar pack w/GMR 18 HD (I know you said you were going to buy the 431S). You will be in areas that has fog and thunder storms. Sometimes charts are off or navigation aids have moved. The radar is real time and the chart plotter is based on historical data.
Thanks.I understand what you mean.I won't pull anchor if there's any threat of fog or questionable weather.A good rain is one thing but storms will be dealt with on anchor.I'll have some quality ground tackle on board.If I feel we maybe having some weather that I'm not comfortable being in,I will dock the boat,and ride it out on land.



Quote:
Originally Posted by alormaria View Post
We did the "little" loop in 2000 with Loran, hand held GPS, paper charts, RADAR and depth sounders. Don't put off going because of electronics. I saw folks in aluminum bowriders and tents doing the loop. If you forgot something you can always pull over and take a taxi home and pick it up.

One of the most used pieces of equipment: wipers.
Thanks.Wipers are one piece of equipment I have been debating on.I like RainX.My boat will have laminated safety glass like an auto windshield.
ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,903
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben2go View Post
I am trying to get an idea of the electrical load of my helm station.There will only be one helm.I may have a rear trolling helm, but I will discuss that later.I will set up the boat with minimum equipment,within reason,and keep things simple with low power consumption.The boat will mainly be used on large lakes around SC,GA,and NC.It will occasional see the ICW and make the Great Loop cruise a few times.I'm mainly concern with being safe on the ICW and Great Loop.I have been researching what others are using for navigation and communication and came up with my minimum set up.I have never been on the ICW or Great Loop,but I have been doing my homework and talking to people that have.

I'm a cruiser and gunkholer that occasionally fishes.

1)Communications-I am use to a basic VHF radio,so I am open to advice.Do I really need AIS,DSC,and hailing features?I will also have a back up floating hand held VHF.I will have a small TV with antenna for weather,plus the weather feature on the VHF.I plan to stay put during rough weather.

2)Navigation-I am almost dead set on getting a Garmin 431S chart plotter with the transducer to provide speed,water temp,and dual beam for depth.I will also have a second depth sounder only for a back up.I have my own Laptop GPS set up for back up navigation.Here's my write up for those interested. USB GPS BU-353 and Earth Bridge - Setup Instructions - Laptop GPS World

I don't think I will have any grounding issues as my draft will be 12 to 16 inches with the I/O up,24 inches max with I/O down.

All of my antenna will be externally mounted on a mount that can be rotated to allow clearance under bridges or other obstacles.

I have seen pics of some members helms.WOW!Most have to much gadgets to distract me.The more "stuff" in front of me,the bigger chance I will become distracted.

Now the rear trolling helm.I'm not 100% sure I am going to set this up as I don't troll for fish much.The plan is/was to add a 9.9hp high thrust kicker, on a bracket, with remote steering on the rear cabin.There, I would mount a portable fish finder.I may still do the 9.9 kicker and rig it to be driven from the helm.This would give me a limp home feature in case the I/O pukes on me.

So what is everyone's opinion on minimum nav and comm gear for safely cruising the Great Loop?
Worrying that your chartplotter has water temp, speed and dual beam worries me that you understand very little about boating electronics and their value to cruising.

Water temp...ok..so you want to go swimming..stick your foot in or check the local water temps when in the area.

Speed...speed through the water for cruising is worthless...your gs will give you speed of advance...the only useful speed in practical nav.

Dual beam...unless fishing in deep water another useless item unless you are REALLY good and use the differences in the beam responses to help you figure out bottom composition and any layering.

While I not saying you shouldn't do the loop...these are some really rookie issues that I hope you surpass before taking the family on the loop.
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2012, 11:37 PM   #7
Guru
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: The Caroliner
Vessel Model: Plans to build 30' Spira Sitka
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Worrying that your chartplotter has water temp, speed and dual beam worries me that you understand very little about boating electronics and their value to cruising.

Water temp...ok..so you want to go swimming..stick your foot in or check the local water temps when in the area.

Speed...speed through the water for cruising is worthless...your gs will give you speed of advance...the only useful speed in practical nav.

Dual beam...unless fishing in deep water another useless item unless you are REALLY good and use the differences in the beam responses to help you figure out bottom composition and any layering.

While I not saying you shouldn't do the loop...these are some really rookie issues that I hope you surpass before taking the family on the loop.

I am still researching and studying.I'm not doing any passage making.I know people that have done the loop without any electronics.I'm not that brave so I signed on here.

Water temp really isn't important,I agree.Speed isn't either since I will be at 6 or 7 knots displacement speed.

I do fish but usually 50' and shallower.It would be nice to see basic bottom contours before running aground.With my low draft I don't think that will be a huge issue.On some of the lakes I go on there has been odd shoaling due to the droughts we have and then the sudden heavy rain storm's run off.I've seen the careless speed demons get killed because of this.

What would you use for simple depth sounding and chart plotting?Preferably combined.My current set up works good, but I want redundancy with my GPS and depth.I don't need anything fancy,large,or with a lot of features.

I could put over sized curb feelers on the lower bow for depth and feeling my way through shallow channels.
ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 12:05 AM   #8
Guru
 
C lectric's Avatar
 
City: Somewhere
Country: , Canada
Vessel Name: Island Pride
Vessel Model: Palmer sedan 32'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,872
RainX or no Rainx, if you go boating when you are in a heavy rainstorm, that's a matter of when, not if, you will be cursing the day you didn't install wipers. Even heavy spray wll blind you.

You may not intend to be out but those conditions can occur whether allowed for, intended or not.

Wipers are king and could make the difference between a safe, rainy, sprayed passage, or a not so safe passage.

Put them in, and good ones.

If you don't use them fine but if you need them and don't have them, then what? When the water is thick on the windshield RainX will do no good.

As far as electronics gear, minimum:

-a good mainstation VHF and good antenna properly installed. I believe all of them now come with provision for DSC and have done for some time. Whether you hook it up or not is up to you.
-sounder suitable for the depths you expect
-handheld vhf

The rest of it is optional but very usefull;
-gps
-radar
-autopilot
-Ais
Lots of other stuff of course but depends on what you want.
C lectric is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 12:24 AM   #9
Guru
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: The Caroliner
Vessel Model: Plans to build 30' Spira Sitka
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
RainX or no Rainx, if you go boating when you are in a heavy rainstorm, that's a matter of when, not if, you will be cursing the day you didn't install wipers. Even heavy spray wll blind you.

You may not intend to be out but those conditions can occur whether allowed for, intended or not.

Wipers are king and could make the difference between a safe, rainy, sprayed passage, or a not so safe passage.

Put them in, and good ones.

If you don't use them fine but if you need them and don't have them, then what? When the water is thick on the windshield RainX will do no good.

As far as electronics gear, minimum:

-a good mainstation VHF and good antenna properly installed. I believe all of them now come with provision for DSC and have done for some time. Whether you hook it up or not is up to you.
-sounder suitable for the depths you expect
-handheld vhf

The rest of it is optional but very usefull;
-gps
-radar
-autopilot
-Ais
Lots of other stuff of course but depends on what you want.

I have already decided on dual wipers with their own motors.That way if one motor fails I can switch them, if need be,until a replacement can be sourced.

It will be a while before I am ready to start buying electronics so I'll be doing some homework and check for new products.
ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 02:10 AM   #10
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,712
We do'nt even have wipers and even in Alaska rarely want them and almost never need them. Only once needed them and that was in a thick snow storm. I reached out the pilothouse window w a thing like they have in gas stations. Would have just stalled most wipers.

Met a chap before that had thick plastic (Lexan I think) windows and knew he went to Alaska frequently and asked him how he got along w/o wipers and he said he did'nt need them. I thought he was nuts but now I can say the same. I would like to have them though.
Nomad Willy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 06:29 AM   #11
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,529
Most of the loop is similar to the ICW.

Many nav aids are in sight almost all the time.

A microfiber wipe for sub glasses is about the total bridge requirement.

An Auto pilot is nice for some long stretches , but hardly necessary.

Charts , esp in Canada where the day marks are further apart are required.

If you have an eyeball, you are all set.

FF
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 07:25 AM   #12
Guru
 
Anode's Avatar


 
City: Missourah
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Scout
Vessel Model: Sundowner Tug 30'
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 645
Quote:
Worrying that your chartplotter has water temp, speed and dual beam worries me that you understand very little about boating electronics and their value to cruising.

Water temp...ok..so you want to go swimming..stick your foot in or check the local water temps when in the area.
I've used water temperature readings often in the Gulf Stream. Higher temperatures in the GS reflect the stronger currents which can be used to your advantage or disadvantage.
__________________
Chip

Deliveries & Yacht Services
www.captainchip.com
Anode is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #13
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,740
Quote:
Thanks.That's about what I think I will do.I'm a hands on guy so I don't think I will use an auto pilot.I'll do a couple week trips on some of the larger lakes here before I completely rule that option out.
Just don't be too quick to rule out the value of an autopilot. With a slow boat on a long trip the pilot will relieve you of a lot of "tedium" and stress, will allow you to concentrate more on some other aspects of cruising such as sightseeing, checking the charts, radar if you have it, eating your lunch, etc.
No it is not necessary, but I believe it's one of the best additions I made to my boat. We named the autopilot "Abe" because Abe freed the slaves.
__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2012, 11:48 AM   #14
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: Avalon, NJ
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 15,903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anode View Post
I've used water temperature readings often in the Gulf Stream. Higher temperatures in the GS reflect the stronger currents which can be used to your advantage or disadvantage.
good point...but gimme a break...listening to the vhf for axis info will be more accurate or go online. just how many times do you ride the gulf stream that that's an issue and is really irrelavant to my post anyway if you understood where I was coming from...but you do make point....
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2012, 06:04 AM   #15
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,529
The most important item for a single handed run would be a well mounted OVERSIZED midship cleat.

In a lock its quite easy to operate with one line , and ride the slider up or down.

I have zero ideas how a single-hander could use a lock with out a midship cleat.

FF
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2012, 06:45 AM   #16
Guru
 
Tom.B's Avatar
 
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
We named the autopilot "Abe" because Abe freed the slaves.
LOL!!! We adopted the name a friend of ours, who sails in Jamaica, gave her autopilot... Fred (Fu**ing Remarkable Electronic Device)
__________________
2000 Navigator 4200 Classic
(NOT a trawler)
Tom.B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2012, 07:02 AM   #17
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,740
Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
LOL!!! We adopted the name a friend of ours, who sails in Jamaica, gave her autopilot... Fred (Fu**ing Remarkable Electronic Device)
__________________
Jay Leonard
Attitude Adjustment
40 Albin
Mystic,Ct. /New Port Richey,Fl
jleonard is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2012, 05:46 AM   #18
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,529
"Abe freed the slaves."

But not in the country he was ruler of ,

Only in the country he was attacking.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2012, 12:48 AM   #19
Guru
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
City: Upstate,SC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: The Caroliner
Vessel Model: Plans to build 30' Spira Sitka
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anode View Post
I've used water temperature readings often in the Gulf Stream. Higher temperatures in the GS reflect the stronger currents which can be used to your advantage or disadvantage.
Good point.I had been advised of that previously.Thanks for the reassurance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jleonard View Post
Just don't be too quick to rule out the value of an autopilot. With a slow boat on a long trip the pilot will relieve you of a lot of "tedium" and stress, will allow you to concentrate more on some other aspects of cruising such as sightseeing, checking the charts, radar if you have it, eating your lunch, etc.
No it is not necessary, but I believe it's one of the best additions I made to my boat. We named the autopilot "Abe" because Abe freed the slaves.
I am considering an auto pilot.I looked at a boat that a disgruntled owner was ready to rid himself of.It had everything I need for my boat,plus a few nice additions.As far as auto pilot,I could always say," here honey,take the wheel."LOL

Good ole Abe.Quite a unique fellow to say the least.


Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
The most important item for a single handed run would be a well mounted OVERSIZED midship cleat.

In a lock its quite easy to operate with one line , and ride the slider up or down.

I have zero ideas how a single-hander could use a lock with out a midship cleat.

FF
I don't think I'll ever go solo 100% of the trip.I had planned a midship cleat just outside the helm window and one on the opposite side just in case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
LOL!!! We adopted the name a friend of ours, who sails in Jamaica, gave her autopilot... Fred (Fu**ing Remarkable Electronic Device)
That is hilarious.I almost lost my drink through my nose.
ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2012, 09:19 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
charles's Avatar
 
City: patterson
Country: usa
Vessel Model: CHB 45 Pilot House
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 158
Cap, We did the Great Circle Cruise in five years and over 9,000 miles. On the 3 rd day out you will pull in to the nearest port and install an auto pilot.
I had two of the simplest depth gauges made, and that was all that we ever needed.
Used a laptop for navigation and had two identical GPS units one attached to the computer that was used ONLY for navigation.
No electronics were coupled, all separate. Had a loud hailer and gave it away after over 20 yrs of non use----ever, that is what a VHF is for.
Our experience and as always YMMV
About the cleats, it would be difficult to have too many, if you even think that you may need one in a spot install it.
CCC
__________________

__________________
Charles C Culotta, Jr
Patterson, La.
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS
charles 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 09:06 AM.


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