Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Thanked 65 Times in 65 Posts
Rep Power: 5
I bought a $500 Lowrance chartplotter, and together with an NMEA2000 network and the Airmar DST800 Smart triducer, I have boat speed, paddle speed, water temp, depth, course, and heading available, all on the chartplotter.
I liked this approach because :
No need to drill holes in panels for new instruments, just the chartplotter at the helm.
Only one through-hull device.
Chartplotter is actually very handy. If you sail where there are currents, the projected course feature is great.
I may add a repeater display in the forward part of the cockpit. Once you have the NMEA2000 network, it's easy to add more sensors and displays.
You can get NMEA2000 wind instruments but the issue is going to be getting the wire down the mast. Might go with a wireless wind instrument.
Bristol 31.1, San Francisco Bay