Join Date: Apr 2006
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Matt, as a winter project I'd recommend doing some basic reading up on the 12V books from the boating sources, or the basic DC electrical books that Radio Shack still carries (local library probably has those too) and then considering doing the wiring yourself.
Air conditioning will be mainly a plug-in matter, and the autopilot will be the most basic DC work even if you are tying it into instruments. If you invest the time to learn how it hooks up--you'll also be able to troubleshoot and fix it when they fail afloat. It honestly is *not* hard or difficult stuff if you take some time with it.
Basic wiring like this is often either damned expensive, because someone has to spend time on it, or done damn poorly, because someone isn't taking the time to do it properly. You can save a lot by investing that time yourself, there is much more patience than skill required.
Worse comes to worse, if you take a month to find and read some basics on it and then decide it isn't for you? You've still got the whole winter left to find good help.