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Old 04-08-2005
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I am preparing to buy a sailboat haven''t decided on which one yet but am going to cruise the ICW from NY to Texas around the keys I need to know what electronics I should have on board such as depth,GPS Etc. I want to buy a bundle system for the wheel but am not sure if that is the way to go. Any Help out there for this would help a great deal.
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Old 04-08-2005
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One quick comment about bundling the instruments at the wheel, this location usually works reasonably well for motoring such as you would be doing in the ICW, but on most boats this is miserable setup when sailing.

I generally prefer to mount the knotmeter, digital compass (or regular compass) and depthsounder forward on a bulkead or over the companionway. In that position you move your head around less as you can look at where you are going and back at the instruments by only moving your eyes up and down rather than looking down at the binacle.

That all works well with paper charts as well. On the other hand, chartplotting GPS''s, which are the bee''s knees for what you are proposing, unfortunately seem to want to be mounted closer to the helmsperson. I saw a neat installation with the binacle mounted chartplotter that swiveled to face the helmperson on center or on either tack that was a pretty nice setup.

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Old 04-08-2005
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Agree with the recommendation to get the instruments off the pedestal. I was a big proponent of on-the-pedestal instrument cluster but fortunately was talked out of it by wiser heads. Over the companionway (on my boat) has been perfect. ST-60 Raymarines have a display so large that reading them from the wheel is no problem. There is a lot to be said for having your crew be able to see instruments as well. Reading a depth sounder when sailing in shoal waters, or rudder angle when trimming sails, or wind speed when it''s time to reef are all better monitored by more than one set of eyes.

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