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Old 06-24-2020, 12:10 PM   #1
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Critique my plan for simple electronics

Hi all,

We're in the process of setting up our new-to-us '79 CHB 41 trawler for this summer cruising the channel islands. It's been well cared for over its long life so most of the systems are serviceable and ready to go.

The previous owner stripped out most of the old obsolete electronics and wiring, which is nice. I'm deciding what to add back. For this summer at least we're likely going to be doing nothing more than short (4hr, maybe 8 max) coastal hopping here in SoCal in our normal calm summer conditions.

Later on we might go farther north or south and may want to add radar, AIS, etc. I'll use apple devices with iSailor, paper charts & my nice Steiner binoculars w/compass for navigation. I just confirmed that the 1990 Navico PowerPilot pump electronics are malfunctioning so for now the most urgent piece of kit is a simple autopilot.

So I went ahead and ordered a Raymarine EV-150 from Hodges: https://www.hodgesmarine.com/rayt703...topilot-s.html

The pump size is right, the price is great, and I can add stuff onto it as required (including rudder angle sensor).

Question: any advise on a second control head? I have upper and lower helms so will eventually need something. My options seem to be either a second control head, a wireless remote, or a MFD.

The control heads are almost as much as a small MFD (around $500), which would also allow me to download software updates without bringing the unit to a dealer. The wireless remote isn't much cheaper and looks pretty limited. I also appreciate the safety advantage of having a dedicated control head with a big button to disengage.

Thoughts/criticism welcome!
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:03 PM   #2
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Sounds good, +1 on the iSailor & charts/good binos.

What do you have/plan for a redundant chartplotter?

Would you really use a control head for the lower helm? I only go there when the weather is bad, meaning I steer to anticipate oncoming chop/waves.

I like the wireless remotes, that's the way I would go. Very useful.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:29 PM   #3
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It seems like an Axiom 7 for under $600 would give more functionality than a wireless remote or extra control head for not much more money. The MFD gives you a central point for your future plans (AIS, RADAR) as well.

If the wireless feature isn't important to you then the small MFD seems like the way to go.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:30 PM   #4
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Depending on where you're home port is in Socal, AIS might be pretty handy given the shipping lanes between you and the channel Islands. I'm a fan of dedicated MFDs as the system of record on a boat as they are more intuitive and easier for all crew (spouse) to use, but understand the draw of tablet-based nav. I am not a fan of wireless remotes due to need for battery which have tendency to eventually leak and corrode the contacts which destroys the device (more of a problem in hot humid climates than Socal).
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:37 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=socalrider;892541]Hi all,

Later on we might go farther north or south and may want to add radar, AIS, QUOTE]

Hi socalrider,

Your overall plan to cruise north south sounds great and what I'm planning on doing from SF bay next season.

A comment on your mention of adding AIS later. In my research to replace the electronics on my new to me '84 Uniflite 42, I chose Std Horizon's Matrix 2200 VHF because it includes AIS/DCS/GPS in a very usable format for about $400. It also interfaces with my chartplotter but even without a chartplotter, the AIS is very usable. Allows input of waypoints and gives required heading to get to them. Really a lot in a small chassis.


https://www.standardhorizon.com/inde...3&isArchived=0


My 2 cents on replacing electronics. Don't think you have to wait on AIS.

Hope all is going well.

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Old 06-24-2020, 02:15 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=Takoradi;892569]
Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrider View Post
Hi all,

Later on we might go farther north or south and may want to add radar, AIS, QUOTE]
A comment on your mention of adding AIS later. I chose Std Horizon's Matrix 2200 VHF because it includes AIS/DCS/GPS in a very usable format for about $400. It also interfaces with my chartplotter but even without a chartplotter, the AIS is very usable.
I have the Simrad VHF of similar format. I find the readout on the display is not very useful, but I admit I have it interfaced to an MFD. I assumed it was there but not really useful, so surprised at the comment. Am I missing something?

Peter
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:22 PM   #7
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for $130 you can get a quark multiplexer and create a local wifi network on your boat so anyone with a phone or device can check your isailor. The quarks have built in AIS and GPS and nmea ports.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:25 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies! Seems like I'm on the right track & that working with the basic EV-150 kit and single head makes sense until I better figure out how it gets used.

Thanks for the AIS info - that's definitely next on the list. Class B is so cheap now that I'm contemplating leapfrogging. I'll take a look at the Quark multiplexer as well.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:24 AM   #9
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We use iPad pro with Quark A026 AIS receiver + Furuno 1st watch wireless radar. It all overlays on our iPad with Timezero iBoat. It's a fantastic setup.
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Old 06-25-2020, 09:38 AM   #10
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Although I think you'll be fine with what you've outlined, I'd move up buying the radar. To my way of thinking, AIS is fine & I have it but you really don't see that traffic. With radar you not only see traffic through fog and rain & with practice it will aid your navigating too! Good luck with your choices!
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Codger2 View Post
To my way of thinking, AIS is fine & I have it but you really don't see that traffic. With radar you not only see traffic through fog and rain & with practice it will aid your navigating too! Good luck with your choices!
I recommended OP strongly consider AIS due to his intended cruising grounds - he's somewhere in SoCal and plans to head to Channel Islands. As you can see from the snippet of the Raster below showing most of the Channel Islands off SoCal coast, he will be crossing the Traffic Separation lanes (Yellow Highlight) for the Santa Barbara Channel. The approaches to Port of Long Beach is the busiest on the west coast. MARPA and RADAR are certainly helpful, but AIS would be so much better. Especially since many of the crossings of the TSS are at oblique angles so you have to pick where to cross at 90-degrees.

Peter

Click image for larger version

Name:	SB Channel TSS.jpg
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ID:	104236
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Old 06-25-2020, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I recommended OP strongly consider AIS due to his intended cruising grounds - he's somewhere in SoCal and plans to head to Channel Islands. As you can see from the snippet of the Raster below showing most of the Channel Islands off SoCal coast, he will be crossing the Traffic Separation lanes (Yellow Highlight) for the Santa Barbara Channel. The approaches to Port of Long Beach is the busiest on the west coast. MARPA and RADAR are certainly helpful, but AIS would be so much better. Especially since many of the crossings of the TSS are at oblique angles so you have to pick where to cross at 90-degrees.

Peter

Attachment 104236
Interesting chart of my cruising grounds for the last 20+ years. Yes, there is a lot of traffic, most of which you can see until you can't! (fog) Nope, for me, radar is above AIS on my list!
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:21 AM   #13
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Interesting chart of my cruising grounds for the last 20+ years. Yes, there is a lot of traffic, most of which you can see until you can't! (fog) Nope, for me, radar is above AIS on my list!
Radar is tops on my list too. But AIS is so cheap now, it's a no brainer. My point to OP is given his cruising grounds, he may want to more careful consider more robust electronics. I doubt the tiny AIS display on a VHF would be adequate. Challenge with tracking a fast moving ship with a modestly priced radar is the bouncing doesn't give a clean CPA until it's pretty close. AIS is off the ships logs so lat/long/speed/bearing are absolute vs interpolated via radar target.

As Codger says, these ships move pretty quickly. I've had several moments of head scratching in these shipping lanes, albeit at night. Nothing close, but a couple times where I was a bit confused. Could be me.

Peter
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:36 PM   #14
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Another vote for AIS.

We we out this morning doing a sea trail for our newly repaired engines when a fog bank rolled in. Radar was on, and the most useful tool was the AIS- we contacted a commercial ship heading north out of Seattle as we were crossing the shipping lanes, and worked our a quick resolution. We had them on AIS, and they saw our broadcast.

All done pleasantly and with zero guesswork.
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Old 06-25-2020, 02:56 PM   #15
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AIS is great, but like Codger I am concerned about people having, and beginning to rely on, that in lieu of radar; I think it is a fantastic adjunct to radar.

Having spent a fair amount of time boating that area, mostly via sailing, really all you need IMO is a paper chart, tide table, a compass or two, binoculars, VHF and a depth sounder. Then do what you can to avoid cruising in fog until you can afford radar.
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:20 PM   #16
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AIS is great, but like Codger I am concerned about people having, and beginning to rely on, that in lieu of radar; I think it is a fantastic adjunct to radar.

Having spent a fair amount of time boating that area, mostly via sailing, really all you need IMO is a paper chart, tide table, a compass or two, binoculars, VHF and a depth sounder. Then do what you can to avoid cruising in fog until you can afford radar.
Totally agree is an adjunct. OP is in a greenfield situation for electronics, albeit on a budget. These days, getting Radar means adding AIS is cheap. Crossing a shipping lane in a slow boat can be challenging. Radar/ARPA is helpful but not nearly as informative as AIS.

I think we are all in agreement, though with slightly different priorities. Sort of depends on what OP defines as Socal. If, like Codger, Socal is San Diego, less of a concern. If socal means Long Beach, well, AIS could be pretty important.
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Old 06-25-2020, 04:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
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AIS is great, but like Codger I am concerned about people having, and beginning to rely on, that in lieu of radar; I think it is a fantastic adjunct to radar.

Having spent a fair amount of time boating that area, mostly via sailing, really all you need IMO is a paper chart, tide table, a compass or two, binoculars, VHF and a depth sounder. Then do what you can to avoid cruising in fog until you can afford radar.
I certainly didn't want to turn this into an AIS vs radar argument; that might get even more contentious than the Bourbon/Whisky/Whiskey thread

I agree - daylight in summer there's really no need for electronic navigation. Last time I returned from Catalina on our 40' Beneteau I crossed a pair of tankers transferring fuel - I misjudged their heading which wouldn't have been a big deal (daylight, they were moving west at only a couple of knots & I'd thought they were stationary) except that I was flying an asymmetrical spinnaker solo at the time. Ended up wrapping the spin around my forestay trying to go too close to DDW. Eventually sorted out and never any danger (never got within 2nm of the tankers) but would have been better to know their heading. Even less of an issue now that I've got the stinkpot and I should have been able to mitigate the situation earlier by repeatedly checking their relative heading with the compass/binocs.

We do get fogged in down here sometimes, and I agree - before setting out in thick fog I'd want both radar and AIS.

Oh, and SoCal = San Diego, but I do anticipate getting to/from the islands and up to Santa Barbara this summer.
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:42 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=mvweebles;892574]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Takoradi View Post



I have the Simrad VHF of similar format. I find the readout on the display is not very useful, but I admit I have it interfaced to an MFD. I assumed it was there but not really useful, so surprised at the comment. Am I missing something?



Peter


Iíll have to look at the simrad unit, but the std horizon has a pretty large display that you can alternate between vhf, dcs, ais. The AIS has a radar-like series of concentric circles with all the closest ais hits. You can then scroll down a list of the all and it shows SOG, bearing, CPA,TCPA. I have no connection to the company but itís a pretty cool unit. I think comparable to the simrad RS40 but without AIS transmit.

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Old 07-05-2020, 08:47 AM   #19
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Panbo.com is a good blog to research electronics. Companies "loan" equipment to the editors who install, bring equipment on line and operate them for a period of years. The editors in turn post articles about their experience with the whole process. Very handy. Hope you're also looking into installing a NEMA2000 net work, very handy. Good luck!
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