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post #1 of 7 Old 04-22-2017 Thread Starter
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Navigation station electronics

Hi Everyone,
I have been out of the game completely for the past 10 years and since then, I am discovering that electronics and navigational aids have changed greatly. I am looking for practical advice for setting up my nav station/instrument panel for the Bristol 28 I just purchased.

The boat has tiller steering and I will be sailing solo for the first time, so a rugged tiller pilot is top on the list. I also plan to do a lot of coastal cruising with this boat, so I will be building a dedicated nav station below decks. Also, the only instrument in the cockpit area is a compass, so recommendation for those instruments will also be appreciated.

The B28 has a fin keel/skeg rudder with a dry displacement of 6600 lbs. I plan to add the essentials first and complete the project in 3 years. I have not wired a DC system, but I am good at following directions and reaching out for help when needed. Currently the boat is on the hard and the mast off, so some wire runs can be done ahead of time.

Fire away, friends, I am all ears. Thanks!

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun. But mama, that's where the fun is. ~Manfred Mann's Earth Band
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-22-2017
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Re: Navigation station electronics

One of the downsides of tiller steering is the reduced ability to mount instruments handy to the helm (compared to binnacle-mounted arrays).

What do you consider 'the basics'?.. I think today that includes compass (perhaps less critical than in days gone by - however still a valuable backup if you know how to use it), a knotmeter to help you optimize sailtrim, a depthfinder and some sort of GPS or plotter to aid in navigating, especially coastal (but not ignoring the wisdom of paper charts).

I would put wind instruments next down the list, or perhaps radar if fog is a frequent issue.

As far as mounting, the aft end of the cabin is a common spot (though crew often sit in front); in a pod above the companionway is another. Racers sometimes mount large digit displays right on the mast under the boom for visibility, but these would likely be too costly.

There are also a variety of clever swing-away mounts that mount below and can be swung out into view in the companionway when underway.

I would attempt to optimize your access and visibility of these items so you can avoid going 'below' to the nav station to check your position or situation, especially when singlehanding.

Ron

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-22-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gail Peterson View Post
Hi Everyone,
I have been out of the game completely for the past 10 years and since then, I am discovering that electronics and navigational aids have changed greatly.

Also, the only instrument in the cockpit area is a compass, so recommendation for those instruments will also be appreciated.

The B28 has a fin keel/skeg rudder with a dry displacement of 6600 lbs. I plan to add the essentials first and complete the project in 3 years. I have not wired a DC system, but I am good at following directions and reaching out for help when needed. Currently the boat is on the hard and the mast off, so some wire runs can be done ahead of time.

Fire away, friends, I am all ears.
Well you have an excellent opportunity to consider the installation of one of the modern integrated VHF radios that have built-in AIS, DSC, GPS and are capable of NMEA 2000 interfaceto be linked with your chartplotter. While the mast is down, is a good opportunity to run lengths of high quality coax for the mast mounted antennas for the VHF and AIS.

There these are all very cool features that greatly increase your safety for coastal cruising. As I am researching the current electronic technology, and shopping for a boat, I am often relieved when I see that a boat has very little in the way of electronics, or has older outdated Electronics. My first thought is, "Yay! I can use this to negotiate a cheaper price and use the savings to purchase all new state-of-the-art communications and navigation equipment".
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-22-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Navigation station electronics

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
One of the downsides of tiller steering is the reduced ability to mount instruments handy to the helm (compared to binnacle-mounted arrays).

What do you consider 'the basics'?.. I think today that includes compass (perhaps less critical than in days gone by - however still a valuable backup if you know how to use it), a knotmeter to help you optimize sailtrim, a depthfinder and some sort of GPS or plotter to aid in navigating, especially coastal (but not ignoring the wisdom of paper charts).

I would put wind instruments next down the list, or perhaps radar if fog is a frequent issue.

As far as mounting, the aft end of the cabin is a common spot (though crew often sit in front); in a pod above the companionway is another. Racers sometimes mount large digit displays right on the mast under the boom for visibility, but these would likely be too costly.

There are also a variety of clever swing-away mounts that mount below and can be swung out into view in the companionway when underway.

I would attempt to optimize your access and visibility of these items so you can avoid going 'below' to the nav station to check your position or situation, especially when singlehanding.
I agree, there are some disadvantages to tiller steering, but that's what the boat came with and I am accustomed to sailing a tiller, so no learning curve... I do like the idea of a swing out display as that would also allow me to angle it to get a better view of the instruments depending on which side of the cockpit I am sitting on.

Basics: Auto-Pilot, wind, knot, good GPS, good VHF. I use charts primarily and the GPS as back up--at least I used to..will probably be quite a bit rusty now... I probably will not need radar until I begin making some offshore passages (in a different boat).

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun. But mama, that's where the fun is. ~Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Last edited by Gail Peterson; 04-22-2017 at 04:38 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-22-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: Navigation station electronics

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Originally Posted by midwesterner View Post
Well you have an excellent opportunity to consider the installation of one of the modern integrated VHF radios that have built-in AIS, DSC, GPS and are capable of NMEA 2000 interfaceto be linked with your chartplotter. While the mast is down, is a good opportunity to run lengths of high quality coax for the mast mounted antennas for the VHF and AIS.

There these are all very cool features that greatly increase your safety for coastal cruising. As I am researching the current electronic technology, and shopping for a boat, I am often relieved when I see that a boat has very little in the way of electronics, or has older outdated Electronics. My first thought is, "Yay! I can use this to negotiate a cheaper price and use the savings to purchase all new state-of-the-art communications and navigation equipment".
Can I pick up such a system for $300? I really like Faster's suggestion of the swing out instrument panel, but can easily run a cable to the chartplotter at the nav station. I don't want to pull out charts in my cockpit while docked or anchored in my PJs without first having my coffee...a separate integrated nav station is a must!!

Oh, your second point is also on mark. I saved a ton on the boat purchase and have some wiggle room for upgrades.

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun. But mama, that's where the fun is. ~Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Last edited by Gail Peterson; 04-22-2017 at 05:03 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-22-2017
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Re: Navigation station electronics

I look at it like the cockpit is the command post with all info being available.
Inside is planning, watching weather and position in refuge.

If you do swing-out displays, have a decent dodger/cover.
I like swing-outs for potential cost savings...but then you'll have laptop/s, etc inside. I think they're also great for expensive instruments not 'always' living outside....longer life.

Tillers are killer....
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Re: Navigation station electronics

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I look at it like the cockpit is the command post with all info being available.
Inside is planning, watching weather and position in refuge.

If you do swing-out displays, have a decent dodger/cover.
I like swing-outs for potential cost savings...but then you'll have laptop/s, etc inside. I think they're also great for expensive instruments not 'always' living outside....longer life.

Tillers are killer....
There you go--that's a plan. One more item crossed off my to do list. Thanks, everyone!!

I agree about, there is nothing like the 2-way direct and immediate communication between you and your boat that you can only get with a tiller!!

Mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun. But mama, that's where the fun is. ~Manfred Mann's Earth Band
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