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Old 04-28-2013
copacabana copacabana is offline
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Re: Minimal Electronics reqirements and alternatives

I think the minimal (and perhaps ideal!) setup for navigation equipment is:

Chartplotter GPS with fishfinder option mounted where you can see it (you can get one for under 500 bucks)
Cheap GPS that runs on batteries (for a back up. About 100 bucks)
Fishfinder (for redundancy and under 100 bucks)
Fixed VHF radio (starting at under 100 bucks)
Handheld VHF (for use in the cockpit and redundancy. About 100 bucks)

Total cost: under 900 bucks

Nice options for cruising:

SSB or sat phone (My boat came with an SSB radio, but if I were to equip a boat today I'd buy a sat phone instead and carry a cell phone and buy chips along the way)
AIS (I'll add one later)

What I chose to leave off (a personal choice many will disagree with):

Knotmeter (I get speed from the GPS and estimate speed through the water)
Wind station (I just use a windex and reef as I feel the need without knowing the wind speed)
Radar (Had one and sold it. I don't cruise in a foggy area and AIS would be enough to sail in busy ports)

I also like the idea of not interfacing everything so if one part fails it doesn't bring down the rest.
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