SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Cruising & Liveaboard Forum (
-   -   Electronics overkill? (

lawsonmitchell 06-19-2013 02:48 PM

Electronics overkill?
Besides radios, depth-sounder, GPS and Radar is there really any other electronics needed for a lengthy cruise? Just saying, it seems like much is made of the variety, age and condition of a bunch of electronics when talking to brokers. Seems much ado about nothing. Or am I missing something.

Faster 06-19-2013 03:23 PM

Re: Electronics overkill?
Define your 'lengthy cruise'... both in duration and intended destinations. In many area's I'd suggest that radar is not a necessity, nor is GPS however it's a major convenience. I think radio and depth sounder are the basic minimum, a knotmeter is nice to have too for sail trim. I think wind instruments are another 'nice to have' but certainly not necessary.

But there's no denying the convenience of having a plotter screen with your position shown to you.. the risk, of course, is getting too complacent with it all...

lawsonmitchell 06-19-2013 03:26 PM

Re: Electronics overkill?
Med to Caribbean to Florida.

Alex W 06-19-2013 03:33 PM

Re: Electronics overkill?
I'm doing a moderate length cruise (5 weeks) later this year and my electronics list does not include radar. We'll see if that is the right decision or not when I get back.

Tim R. 06-19-2013 03:41 PM

Re: Electronics overkill?
Some I would not consider necessary but rather an increase in safety margin. Radar is essential if you are sailing at night or in fog. AIS is helpful mainly to contact commercial boats to determine intentions. A spare GPS and radio are not a bad idea. In the absence of a GPS, a knotmeter is very useful.

For a crossing I would not go without some redundancy in the systems above and also an AIS transceiver, Epirb and either Sat phone or SSB(or HAM)

You will also want a portable VHF for the ditch bag.

lawsonmitchell 06-19-2013 03:54 PM

Re: Electronics overkill?
I will definitely carry a spare handheld GPS and VHF. Haven't decided about SSB or SAT-Phone. I'm guessing SSB would allow weather faxes. Haven't researched weather via SAT-Phone.

Faster 06-19-2013 04:17 PM

Re: Electronics overkill?
Offshore/trans-ocean, definitely a different wish list.. I'll leave it to the local resident experts here :)

killarney_sailor 06-20-2013 08:04 AM

Re: Electronics overkill?
For the trip you are considering I would suggest, roughly in order of importance (start spending at the top and stop when you run out of money).

- electronic nav system, either plotter or laptop-based
- not sure what you are doing for steering, but autopilot would go here if you go this way
- good barometer, I am including it since I like the electronic kind (I have a Weems and Plath)
- AIS transceiver, really useful
- some way to get weather, either SSB or sat phone
- backup self steering, we have a vane for primary with electric for backup
- backup nav (we have an iPad, not just for this, with Navionics Gold charts, also gives you a backup GPS), at least a cheap GPS and enough paper charts to get you to the next stop
- backup VHF, handheld is fine
- radar (would be higher if you were going to an area where fog is common, not needed at night, eyes work fine), we rarely use our radar, mainly to see if there is a way around storm cells

MarkofSeaLife 06-20-2013 09:36 AM

Re: Electronics overkill?
1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by lawsonmitchell (Post 1046294)
Med to Caribbean to Florida.

Absolutly 100% must have is:
AIS Transponder
ECN chartplotter/PC etc that runs AIS

Not necessary:
SSB radio

Remember two boats have been lost doing transatlantic this year, one at least looks like it was hit by a ship. You really need AIS its the only thing that can show ships where you are as opposed to showing only you where ships are.


lawsonmitchell 06-20-2013 10:54 AM

Re: Electronics overkill?
OK. I think I have a sensible, but short list of electronics.
EPIRB a given. Should be required.
I'm thinking windvane over autopilot.
And while AIS sees ships it doesn't see squalls.
Though I will probably get an AIS transciever to interface with PC-based GPS Chart plotter. Seems like sensible redundancy.
Depth gauge
VHF x 2
SSB or sat phone
Handheld GPS
Radar (Unless I can be convinced it can be comfortably replaced by AIS)

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome