Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
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For a boat that size, keep it simple! Your handheld GPS and a handheld VHF are all you need to start with. If you want something for the wind, get a windex - does NOT need to be electronic. I personally do not use a depth finder. As long as you have charts, you should be fine. A lead weight and a piece of string work great if you really need to know depth. In 20 years of boating & sailing I have only hit ground 2 times. The first was some submerged rocks. The second time I wasn't paying as close attention as I should have and drifted outside of a narrow channel. In neither inshance would a depth finder have helped me as it wouldn't show the rocks/shoal until I was already on top of it.
Get your boat. Get out and sail. You don't need much fancy equipment to get out on the water. As you use your boat, you will learn what additional equipment you want (if any at all). Personally, I keep my boat very simple so that I don't have to deal w/ a complicated electrical system. Less to break, less to fix, less cost to me.