Join Date: May 2007
Thanked 24 Times in 24 Posts
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Re: Portable Handheld Marine Electronics
I'm with you with the keep it simple philosophy. I could easily fit a chart plotter to my Catalina 28, but for my purposes, my Garmin handheld GPS with black and white screen is just fine. That, and the chart book for my area.
My previous boat had a Raymarine wind unit at the top of the mast which gave me windspeed and direction. On this boat, I just have the windex (non-electronic) mounted on the top of the mast, which gives me wind direction, and indicates my boat's direction relative to the wind direction. That's really all I need. While I would find it interesting to know the windspeed, I'm not curious enough to buy a unit and wire it in. I always know when there's not enough wind, too much wind, or when it's time to reef, etc..
But, I have to admit that I really like having a depth sounder wired in, and connected to a battery. As you may know, there's no need to put another hole in the hull for a transducer, as there are methods for shooting through the hull. If you currently don't have any ability to charge, that solar panel you mentioned seems like it would be a nice investment. I wouldn't want to deal with a handheld depth sounder. There are times when I have my hands full sailing, and I need to know the depth without dangling an instrument over the side. There has been discussion on Sailnet before as to how necessary a depth sounder is, so I comprehend the argument that they aren't the most important instrument on board, but for me, it's close to the top of the list. I want to know!
What are you considering for radio communications? If you had a solar charged battery, it would give you more options for radio.
Good luck with the Hurley. I almost bought a Hurley 22 many years ago. Very nice little boat, but I decided to go a few feet larger.