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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-07-2005
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Suggested Instruments...

I am refitting a 36'' Steel Cutter and I would like some information on what are the most important/useful instruments to include. Coastal and offshore crusing would be the main use.

I am currently considering Ray Marine ST60 and NavMan 3100 instruments. I plan to include depth, speed and log along with wind speed and direction. I will also add a autopilot at a later date. I am looking at NobleTec for a PC based GPS/Navigation solution.

Since racing is not a primary concern is there any reason to include a Rudder Angle Instrument? Of what use would it be?

What about a steering compass?

Are there any other instruments I should include/consider?

Has anyone had good/bad experiences with with Ray Marine or NavMan Instruments? Should I be considering some other manufacturer?

Thaks for your input...
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Old 11-07-2005
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The rudder angle instrument is not really for you, it is for your autopilot (and your autopilit DOES need it to do its job well), it just happens to have a display fitted so you can look down and say "Oh look, 14degrees of rudder just to go straight!"...and maybe go and make some adjustments to your traveller to make life for your boat a little easier.

I am also a little concerned about the brands of instruments you mentioned. As a rule it pays to make sure that all of your instruments can be integrated and talk to eachother. Navman usues NMEA, and I get the feeling that Raymarine usues Seatalk...You will want to check out such factors and make sure you can integrate as much as possible as it really does make life easier. It also means it is cheaper if you a want a repeater at your nav station, as one screen will do and you can just scroll between all of the intrument inputs as you need.

Sasha
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Old 11-07-2005
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As noted rudder indicator is part of the auto pilot as well as fluxgate compass. The auto pilot has to know where it''s going and how to steer the boat.

Other things might include VHF, SSB, maybe radar. All these toys take some planning for installation. Running sensor cables as well as power requires a bit of planning. You''ll need holes in the hull fr the depth and speed. You''ll want to bundle the wires going up the mast and have removeable connections at the mast step too. Lots of details for the installation.
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Old 11-08-2005
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For your mast-head wind instruments, I would give serious consideration to a wireless solution. These are solar-powered sealed units, and you don''t have to worry about the wires going up your mast or corrosion of the connections and loss of signal.

Regards,

Tim
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Old 11-08-2005
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Thanks Sasha and Paul for your help. Ray Marine does use SeaTalk or SeaTalk 2 as its proprietary connection protocol, however it also supports NMEA. If I were to use ST60 I would probably connect all of the equipment using SeaTalk and use a PC-SeaTalk-NMEA Interface Box for the computer and possibly the autopilot. I am still researching which autopilot makes the most sense. I am also thinking about a radar implementation with NobleTec as an overlay to the GPS/Navigation.

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Old 11-08-2005
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RE Wireless

For now TackTick is about it for wireless. I see no contendors any time soon. Pretty amazing for a group of Brits<g>. They took a while to get there too, but I think they may be there now. Power consumption is the key factor and the best reason to go this route plus one more. Installation is neither trivial or cheap with non wireless gear. I would say the cost for wireless is about double the hardware cost but a fraction of the installation cost.

I have the wind system and have worked through one revsion of the masthead transmitter but eventually they replaced it with the newer design (2 year warranty).

From a power point of view it has exceeded expectations. I''s always at 100% from the solar pannel in the unit. The installation was as simple as three screws on the masthead to secure the bracket that holds the transmitter. The receiver is 100% sealed with nothing user serviceable. You can put it in your pocket carry it down the dock.

Below decks it requires 12 volts but the units are still sealed with nothing to service.

As far as I can see this is the future for electronics. Low power nothing to service.
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Old 11-09-2005
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I have installed the Navman 3100 series instruments in my boat and have been very happy with them. They are interfaced with my autopilot (Simrad WP30) and my chartplotter (Standard Horizon CP160) via NEMA interface. They have worked flawlessly for me and would recommend them highly.
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Old 11-09-2005
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The only caution on the wireless Ticktack (and I like the idea) is that the battery is not yet replaceable under warranty.

Early failure of the rechargable battery translates into repurchase of a new unit. That part of the warranty needs a little re-work.

To babysit the auto pilot, you can either use a rudder indicator (arrow or digit display on repeater) OR put a braided fancy knot at the point on the wheel that indicates zero rudder angle.

I like the multi-function displays that allow you to call up the data needed at the moment. I often would like to have one more multi display. ....Sometimes what I really want to display is XTE, Depth, and distance to waypoint. all at the same time.
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Old 11-10-2005
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TackTick warranty is 2 years for the whole unit. The units are all 100% sealed so there is nothing to service. The sealed protection means it will last longer.

Your normal instrument is warraned maybe a year some only 90 days. You would need to rip it all out to send it back and then reinstall it. So what is a warranty worth if the cost to uninstall it and re install it isn''t included?

The reason for wireless is the installation. To configure one takes me about 20 seconds. The hardest part of the installation is using three screws to attach the bracket to the masthead and then a couple screws to attach the display bracket.

I''ve had my Wind Instrument for almost two years. At no time is the battery ever less than totally charged on the display.

The display can be wired to 12 volts if you don''t want to fixed it so it can''t be moved and have no natural light.

The units use so little power it is possible to engineer it so the battry does not need replacement. The key is the very low power requirement and the solar charging system. In sunlight it runs a surplus from the solar panel so needs no battery. If you only sailed during the day you wouldn''t even need a battery. Cloudy days still seem to provide suficient power.
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