Originally Posted by slax
I am in the process of refitting, well mostly building up the electronics on my recently aquired 33' Vanguard (bantik). Currently only have a vhf radio, a few local charts, depth finder, and a questionable knot meter. Which works fine for the local area, being tax time I have some resources to add some equipment and put it all into a centralized nav station. Which leads to my first questions.
What do you consider for a minimal nav/comms electronics setup? and What do you consider for an ideal one?
The next one gets a bit more complicated, I have several pieces of gear from other projects (eg: a carputer: embedded fanless dual atom mb/ssd drive/dc power/passive cooled case/etc, several gps capable phones: tested to run the set of data needed for the mapping/gps/etc systems) also solar charge controllers (used in landbased applications) and other custom gear. This leads into my next question I suppose..
I like DIY, so was wondering the communities inclination to using this old gear in place of buying something fancier that could tie easily into the fairly espensive closed source sw from garmin/etc if I buy one of there units in leue of using some home brewed solution...
Not sure of the layout of your interior (and too lazy to use sailboatdata) If you have a dedicated nav-station I would set up the carputer, with some sort of voltage stabilization and run your choice of free nav apps. I would recommend Open CPN as it seems to be very actively developed and will run on Linux, so it is good for a low power consumption processor like a carputer. Get a USB or other GPS puck. That way you have a good navigation down below for basically the cost of a GPS puck if you don't already have one now.
Above you can get the least expensive chart plotter with the options you want. What one you want will depend on budget and planned options, like will you need radar?
This way you are really only spending money at the helm. I don't think any home brew options are going to work on deck, as you need bright sun readability and waterproof and super reliability. Below deck where it is not as bright and dry can work quite well.