Re: Minimal Electronics reqirements and alternatives
You have raised a very interesting issue.
With all the portable, battery-driven, handheld, electronic devices, it would certainly be possible to have nothing more than an electric start for the inboard, a depth sounder, and perhaps running lights and an automatic bilge pump.
A good handheld GPS unit can be perfectly sufficient for navigation. I have both a hard-wired VHF radio and a portable VHF radio (the hard-wired radio has greater range). I prefer to use battery lights in the cabin rather than cabin lights in most instances. Underway, I use a red headlight and flashlights. My anchor light is a portable battery light.
(I also light the idea of minimizing the through-hulls, which promotes a safer vessel, too.)