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Mithril 07-02-2007 07:28 PM

Nav Station Design
I am currently designing the Nav Station on my 36' sailboat and have read though all the articles I could find on the forum. Initially I plan on using the boat around the Puget Sound in Washington and Gulf Islands in BC. However I would like it to be setup for offshore sailing.

I especially appreciated the article from Sue & Larry title "Setting Up Your Nav Station". I plan on having both 110 and 12 volt outlets at the Nav Station and good lighting with both white and red bulbs. However they did not get into what electronics or equipment should be included.

Currently, I plan on using NavMan instruments and Autopilot controlled by PC with Nobeltec Admiral software. There will actually be two PC's. One micro permanently installed in the boat and a laptop for the Nav Station in case one fails.

I also plan on having radar though I have not decided if I will go with a Nobeltec unit or another manufacturer. I am deciding on the VHF, but it would have DSC and a external PA system. I also plan to add a SSB for offshore comms and weather fax to the PC.

What else should I have at the Nav Station? What do you have installed in your Nav Station?

With weather from both the VHF and SSB do I really need Navtex or a dedicated weatherfax?

How important would a boat cell phone or sat phone be?

Thanks for your assistance.

PBzeer 07-02-2007 08:22 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Will you have a hardwired inverter to utilize the 110v plugs? If not, you'll need a cigatette lighter plug-in for a portable inverter for AC power. When I put in new distribution panels for my AC and DC, I wired the backlights to a switch. Will you be using any type of battery monitor, or have that in some other location? Bilge pump switch?

Here's a look at my redo of my nav station.

wind_magic 07-02-2007 08:48 PM

Here are some of the things I want in my next nav station.

1) LCD display mounted in the panel and hooked up to my KVM switch
2) USB ports on the panel for both keyboard and mouse, also on KVM
3) Lots of fuses in a nice fuse panel
4) Huge (by boat standards) area for chart storage (not folded!)
5) Lots of light, place for pencils and rulers and such, etc.
6) LOTS of switches in an easy to remove panel that do absolutely nothing.
7) Inside I'd like one of those ultra low power micro-atx board computers that doesn't need a fan, the kind that the kids are putting into their automobiles now, running linux on a solid state drive. Want that hooked to the KVM.

I want all those extra switches because it always seems like i am wiring up some little fan, relay, or whatever, and I need a free switch to hook it to. It would be nice to just wire things up and then label the panel and be done with it.

Mithril 07-02-2007 08:54 PM

Thanks for the reply John. For the 110, I have purchased a Xantrex Freedom Marine 25 Inverter/Charger. It might be a bit overkill but it should do the job.

Because my daily refrigeration needs are only 13.8 amps, worst case, I was able to reduce my house bank design from 600 Amp Hours to 500 Amp Hours. I also have a Xantrex Link 2000R which I plan to install above the electric panel which will actually be aft of the Nav Station.

As far as the bilge pump I thought to only have the switch on the electric panel.

I recognize several items, but not everything. Looking at your picture, on the left panel you have a breaker panel and couple of 12V outlets I think. Is that circular instrument for your tanks or what is it? Also what is below that and above the 12V outlets?

The right panel has your marine FM radio? or does that have XM capability? Another breaker panel in the lower left, but what is the square item in the upper right and the dials below?

I didn't notice your VHF or how you receive weather information?

Thanks again,

- Craig

PBzeer 07-02-2007 09:12 PM

Going left to right - 12v panel / Link10 battery monitor, backlight switch for panels, dual cig plug / radio (has XM, but not subscribed), 110v panel / bilge pump, A/C switch.

VHF is to left side of desk. I use a PMICA card for internet access for weather, as well as the VHF.

Giulietta 07-02-2007 09:29 PM


On the left you have the xinga-majonga, the sturydury, and the fuktang-whitttttball. I have two Zigbumns and 4 ruzingolsis.

I don't like the SHALAMAZI, but got it from a friend.... I highly recommend the flanel blue square shirt...
Hope this helps....

I have enclosed a photo of my simple nav station, if you want a description, I will send it....once I get it back from CD....

Mithril 07-02-2007 09:31 PM

LOL... might be a bit overkill for my 36' sailboat, but I look forward to your description...

BarryL 07-02-2007 10:31 PM

How many people in your crew? How long will you be sailing?

Personally, when I am going somewhere, it's usually with my family,
or maybe one other person besides me.

I spend my time in the cockpit and not in the cabin. I have never used
the nav station for anything while sailing. I have used it to plot a course,
but nothing while underway. My instruments are mounted in the cockpit,
where they are useful to me while sailing.

The longest trip I have done is 10 hours. I suppose that if I were going to
be out for a few days maybe some instruments would be helpful at the nav
station, but even then I don't know how much time I would spend there.


camaraderie 07-02-2007 11:34 PM

I would put as much of my nav equipment at the helm as possible...speed depth wind radar autopilot chartplotter vhf gps
Leave the SSB Link2000 car stereo sat phone & Pc's downstairs.

Mithril 07-03-2007 12:20 AM

The boat will sleep 5 comfortably, two forward, two in the Salon and one aft. Mostly I would sail with my wife and perhaps one or two friends.

I would like to take her out for several weeks. Our last trip on her was about two weeks from Seattle, through the San Juan Islands and up to and around the Gulf Islands. Of course at the time she was as poorly outfitted.

I plan on having the NavMan instuments at the helm as well as a Big Bay monitor for the dedicated micro PC that will run Nobeltec with the Radar overlay.

I was only considering perhaps a repeater at the Nav Station. Or perhaps a ICS NavTex which would also repeat NEMA nav info. But I am not sure of either of these yet.

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