In the next few months we plan on installing our electronics. Sometime in January we will make the purchase. We have not decided what brand to purchase.
At first I liked the Raymarine brand.
Now it seems we like the Gamin brand. The Garman seem easier to self-install and the touch screen gives you more screen space by eliminating the knobs. We do not need a big screen.
But it is not decided what brand.
We would like to have one multi-function display.
We would like a chart plotter.
Possibly wind and all on the display, well mybe not the autopilot.
We currently have no instruments and sail just fine. When we had our last sail boat a Catalina 30 we had a hand held chart plotter (Garmin, it broke). We do have a hand held VHF radio.
We liked the chart plotter to get back into the harbor in the fog.
We will be cruising Mexico and as far south as Ecuador Pacific side.
We will have SSB\Ham and VHF. We also will have Charlie’s Charts.
So here is the rub. Our 36’ sail boat is 17,000 out of the box with no gear on board.
The autopilot is the question.
First the under deck ones offered by Garmin are not only expensive but on our boat (Islander Freeport) it has been said that you lose some steerage. We have a skeg hung rudder and these boats are no Catalina’s when turning happens as is. So we really do not want to lose some steerage.
If we go with the Raymarine wheel pilot SmartPilot X-5 Wheel it is rated for 16,500 fully loaded. Now we have a friend who has a Gulfstar 43’ at 23,000 lbs that has an older wheel pilot 4000 and it works great and has for many years. We also know Islander Freeport owners who have the 4000 wheel pilot and they work good. But of course it would seem the warranty would not be good and the time for it to break is when you need it most, during bad weather when the seas are high and wind is high and the crew is tired. Thats just when the wheel pilot would be working hardest.
So let’s see the wheel pilot is $1.400 or so and it with a black magic box interface with the Garmin chard plotter to work with way points.
Ok I know there is CPT and I have seen one in our type of boat but I did not like the way it took up cockpit space. It also does not interface with the chart plotter which would be nice while motoring.
So can someone cosign on my crap?
Do we want to take a chance for the wheel pilot and not lose steerage and save some big $$ and install head aches?
Or play it by the book and get the under deck autopilot and loose some steerage but not a worry about it breaking when needed?
Is there even a good answer to this question?
We could get both
OK not going to happen.