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Old 08-06-2008
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Glad you have made it most of the way home in your new 'baby'. I love the picture of you (that is you isn't it) sitting by the wheel in the cockpit with that big smile on your face. That kind of says it all.
I am less than knowledgeable about which chartplotter or NMEA standard you should be looking for than the other folks posting here. All I know is that when I was hoping you would need a crew member the get around NYC I managed to help deliver a Benneteau 51' from Tortola to the Turks and Caicos
which I posted about in the link just listed.
I also noted in this thread that you said: "I really don't have any intentions, right now, to add radar and if I did I would interface it to larger screen device at the Nav station.". The only comment I wish to add is that as you decide to travel more you will WANT that radar when you are out of sight of land at night and near any shipping channels. I personally do not care if it is on the same NMEA network or not (ours was only at the Nav station and looked a few years old) but it worked great with it's proximity alarm at night.
The farther afield you end up going (eg., Bahamas, Caribbean, Bermuda etc) you will want to have that radar as a backup anytime you are out on the ocean on a dark night. My eyes just turned 50 and I saw all the lights of the ships that showed up before the radar alarm announced their presence. We could have been near a Haitian or Cuban refugee boat with no lights by the Mona Passage so it was really nice to have someone or something else watching at night on the ocean.
If you are not going for several days of ocean sailing then get a chartplotter that makes sense for you. My last ocean trip proved the value of the chartplotter, GPS and autopilot to me. I still love my handheld GPS.
Nice pics as usual.
"The cure for anything is salt water~ sweat, tears, or the sea." ~Isak Denesen

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Old 08-06-2008
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Hello CapnRon!

Beautiful boat and great pictures! Is that the "Heron"?
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Old 08-06-2008
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my first electronics upgrade

Yes and Yes, that is me and that is Heron. It was a great day sailing along the Jersey shore.

CalebD - sorry I did not get back to you on crewing for our trip. The time slot came up quickly and I had another friend that helped us make the trip so we were good.

I certainly will consider radar if I have any plans to go offshore. But for now I just plan on building experience.

If I do plan to go offshore is my choice in autopilot still ok? Or should I look at an internal drive one instead of wheel drive? Can a wheel drive unit be upgraded by just buying the internal drive? No one has suggested that I consider a Simrad autopilot instead of the RM, I thought someone would make that suggestion. Any comments one way or the other. Even though I am not planning for offshore right now, should I consider an internal drive anyway?

I have to spend some time studying the quadrant to see how to mount the rudder position monitor (and or internal drive), it is all very tight spaces back down there.

Last edited by CapnRon47; 08-06-2008 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 02-25-2011
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I'm really late to this string, but I've completely overhauled the electronics suite on my Clearwater 35 twice in the past 11 years (thanks to lighting issues.) I've had really good results with an integrated system that links radar, GPS, sailing instruments, and the autopilot. I've pretty much stayed with the Raytheon/Raymarine family and can't complain about performance and reliability. The Raymarine below-deck autopilot is one of my favorite accessories.
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Old 02-25-2011
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I put a Raymarine wheel pilot on Heron and so far that is working fine. (Somewhere here I posted how I rigged up the rudder position sensor)

I have not tried to integrate it with anything else. The previous owners installed all B&G instruments (10 display units total at the wheel and above the companionway, it makes it easy to see whie looking ahead) and they are still working so I have not needed to replace anything yet.

We have not ventured far from local ports so I have not needed radar, we just need to stay out of the channel, but there is lots of room down here in NC.


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Old 02-26-2011
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You should do better with a newer Raymarine wheelpilot than I did with the original 1990 Autohelm wheelpilot. That was a primitive device and was prone to multiple failures. After replacing a belt, the gear train (which was plastic), and at least half a dozen roll pins over a 3 year period, I gave up and installed a below deck Raytheon autopilot.

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