Thanks for the responses. Very informative. I've read in a few threads here that people have put together what sounds to me like pretty elaborate navigation and monitoring networks.
I don't have enough experience to know exactly what type of electronics I would actually need for what I intend to do but I'm sure I will go for a chartplotter and radio at the minimum. Since I will be mostly singlehanding, AIS strikes me as a useful tool, and possibly a simple radar package.
It seems to me that having information from all devices available at the helm as well as a good monitoring system for engine status would be pretty handy for those times when I would need to remain on deck. I like the idea of being able to display and manipulate everything from a single MFD rather than having a huge spread of instruments in front of me complete with airbag!