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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Minimal Electronics reqirements and alternatives

We bought a boat 3 years ago with very poor electronics. If they worked, you couldn't read the display anyway!! So, we have been going though much the same questioning.

In our first full season (last year), I had to have a depth sounder, so installed a fish finder that I bought on sale. It is great and better than a regular depthsounder as it also gives my info on the bottom AND I get to watch fishies passing by underneath us!

We also splurged on a hand held radio to complement the main radio. I like having it in the cockpit with me and saves me going below as we are approaching a marina or to take calls. Not a must have but a nice to have.

I have used a handheld Garmin GPS but find it very limited and frustrating to use as I am always putting my glasses on and taking them off to see the little screen. The GPS gives us our speed as well, so don't need a knotmeter. Given our plans this year to go to the Thousand Islands this season, a chartplotter was definately on the list. After all kinds of research, I have gone the Ipad route. Loaded it with navigation aps, Garmin Charts ($50), an anchor alarm ($4), weather aps, Active Captain ($10 I think) and a holder to attach it the binacle. Not only will it do all the navigation I want, but I can listent to music, take pictures or video, do emails (or not), watch a movie etc. etc.

I figure I have all I need right now for the type of sailing that I do.
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