Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: New Westminster, BC
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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.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)