Electronics suggestions for 30'er?? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-20-2007
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Electronics suggestions for 30'er??

My 30' sailboat currently has a JRC radar, which will not power on, and may cost more to repair than a new one (will check into repair costs)
I also have a uniden depth sounder, radios, a handheld GPS, and old fixed non-chart plotting GPS.

Next year the boat will be moored, and used on the south shore / Atlantic side of Nova Scotia, for day, weekend, and summer week long cruising around NS, and probably New Brunswick and Maine. There are tons of islands, shoals, and fog in this beautiful area, and I am looking into upgrading the electronics.
I would like to buy a GPS chartplotter, to be installed at the wheel pedestal, along with a working radar, if mine is not repairable. I would also like to install a wheel autopilot, such as the Simrad WP32, or newer Raymarine, along with a wind instrument, so I the autopilot can sail to a wind direction, as well as compass course.
I am looking for recommendations on radar, autopilot, wind instrument (or combined system, as I don't have a speed instrument either), and GPS plotter.
It is not a 50' yacht, so I don't want to spend $10,000 or more on these, but am willing to spend a few thousand.

Some of my concerns are:
Radar - Some, such as the JRC1000, or 1500 can be found for $1000 (Bethal Marine on-line), whil others like Si-tec, etc start at 2500-3000 - Is there that much difference? What do you get for the extra cash??

Chartplotters - Some go for $500 - 800 - Do you get the chart chips included? Besides larger displays, what else do you get for more money?

Should I try to stay with same brand for radar, autopilot, wind instrument, and / or GPS plotter? Will it make install much easier?

Defender, or Bethal Marine's website's have tons of choices!! I am looking for some recommendations that would be appropriate for what I will be doing, and the size of the boat!

Any advice is appreciated!!
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I have a Raymarine C80 chartplotter and a friend has the E10. I got the C80 mostly because of the size. 8" was just right for my application. My friend's E10 also has radar and sirius weather overlaid right on the chartplotter. It's way cool. Depth and speed through the water appear in a seperate field. I wish they would include the ability to display graphical images of wind speed. I'm quite happy with my Raymarine, though the learning curve is a bit steeper that with Garmin. I think some of the Gramin units come with pre-loaded charts, but for the most part, charts are extra. I'm not sure this is always the case, but I found the best deals at Boaters World during the boat show.
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I have the garmin 498c and it came pre loaded with North American charts.
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A UK boating magazine did a review of various "budget" radars and the one -for the money - was the JRC 1500, don't get the JRC 1000. The JRC 1500 is only a little more money but performs much better; you don't need any more radar than this unit.
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Old 10-21-2007
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Thanks for the replies!
If you happen to get free charts, such as the NOAA charts, or other proprietary chart, on a PC - Can you load / save those charts on the chips, to use with a chartplotter such as the Raymarine? I assume that Garmin uses it's own Bluecharts, and since I have these on my PC - Can I save them to the charplotter chip, or do you have to purchased a code, etc?
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Old 10-21-2007
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NE...no, the free charts won't work in any of the plotters...only on PC's. All the CP's have their own proprietary chip formats or use other proprietary models...BlueCharts, C-MapNT, Navionics etc.

My recommendation for your situation would be to get the Garmin 18" radar and interface it to one of their 3205 or other 3200 series plotters. This will give you a plug and play interface which overlays radar on your charts and it comes pre-loaded with US charts leaving you only to purchase the Canada East regional charts.
I am pretty sure that the only remaining wheel pilot on the market is the Raymarine which does not have a wind interface. If that is of high importance to you then you may be forced below decks for an autopilot.

One thing you asked about is "why the price differences?"...For both radar and chart plotters with the same features and screen size...the screen resolution can vary widely and this is what paints the picture for you. Check the resolution specifications and do the multiplication to see the difference:
JRC1800 6.5'color= 320 x 234 resolution= 74880 pixels
Garmin 3206 plotter 6.5"= 640x480 resolution= 307,200 pixels or 4X the resolution!!


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Cam - thanks for the input! If my JRC1000 radar isn't easily repairable, then I will look into something the 3205/3206 and a 18" dome. I guess one downside to having the radar and GPS on one display, is the fact that you would lose both, if that display crapped out! However, i will keep my old fixed GPS and handheld GPS as backups, so I won't worry much about the combined display. I have heard, and agree with the arguments for not relying solely on electronics - However, I would think it would be quite benefitial to see an overlying radar / GPS map display, when the fog rolls in.
RE: autopilots - It looks like they still have Simrad wp32s on-line at Bethal-marine, so I was thinking about getting one of those, along with their IS series wind, speed, and depth instruments - which run about the same price as teh ST-60 package.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
I am pretty sure that the only remaining wheel pilot on the market is the Raymarine which does not have a wind interface. If that is of high importance to you then you may be forced below decks for an autopilot.
Actually the S1 wheel pilot interfaces with everything NMEA and seatalk. It also includes a real rudder position sensor,and has the ability to add a gyro rate sensor. If I were to do it over, I would go with all rayarine since seatalk is easy and foolproof. You can add and add to your hearts content with no expensive multiplexer. However, my wheel drive broke after 10 days.
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Are the Garmin chartplotters still waterproof with the SD cards plugged in? ( I am not sure where the cards plug in, but as Eastern Canada maps would need to be purchased separately on these cards, i would likely have the card plugged in most days. Does that make them any less waterproof?
Also, is there any disadvantage to having maps on SD cards, rather than built in (ie load times, reliability, etc)?
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Old 10-22-2007
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JRC 1800 is no longer sold, if you can find one, get it; they are a bargain, radar and chart plotter together.

The JRC 1500 is still being sold.
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