Originally Posted by NICHOLSON58
Be aware the electronics next to the helm may effect the compass. Mine needed to be about a meter away. I installed the plotter below and will run a high res video monitor from the (Simrad NSE8) video out port. Monitor can live under the bimini & could be bagged or boxed.
It should go without saying that any changes within a few feet of the helm should require the compass be re-swung. I use a pro for this and do it regularly. When installing electronics on customers boats close attention is always paid tho what happens with the compass and the suggestion is always made to hire a compass adjuster to "finish" the job.
For sailing in the fog, as we do quite often, and will be doing in about 45 minutes, there is no replacement for a plotter/radar display at the helm.
Our chart table plotter only ever gets used to plan routes or when I have a long off shore passage and need to drop below for a few minutes.. Our helm plotter can be rotated 360 degrees so it can be seen from nearly anywhere in the cockpit not just the helm. This allows me to sit under the dodger and view the helm plotter..
I too grew up sailing and navigating in pea soup fog long before electronics, when I was commercial fishing I navigated about 80% by depth only, but I have not held onto my buggy whip/nav station electronics location and have seen the huge value in helm mounted plotters..
When we bought this boat the radar was at the nav station and it was utterly useless for thick Maine fog. As the skipper of the vessel, who is 100% responsible for the ships actions, I don't want to rely on anyone but myself to track and monitor targets, and I include my wife who is very good with radar, when I say this. When off shore I relax this but when coastal, along the busy Maine coast, no way. I can't be in two places at once and trying to track boats that sometimes show up as a sea clutter spec from 7 feet away is just not prudent seamanship IMHO.