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I am sort of new to all of this but I am antiquatedly familiar with the three gauges that used to prevail on virtually all sailboats...wind speed, speed, and depth. Three fairly important gauges. I realize that the modern GPS/Chartplotter has virtually done away with these but as an old fart I kinda want a redundant system and my poor Ericson 32 has spaces for these three gauges. I have been online for hours. Where do I go to get a more modern version of my past to backup my modern GPS?
 

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Wind, speed and depth instruments are still standard fare on most boats, but you will find the displays are square or rectangular instead of the old-school round instruments. You will also find that each display can give you data from any or all of those 3 instruments.

The GPS is no substitute for boatspeed, depth and wind instruments.


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Thanks for that. I have been noticing the obvious improvements. So do I fiberglass over the old openings and just install a new square unit? Do I kowtow to Raymarine, who seems to be the only name in town? I would like to put in the three traditional gauges... am I just dreaming???
 

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Like ShockT said, all manufacturers sell these smaller instruments. The difference from the old days is that these are now multifunction instruments that can display multiple data on multiple pages. Pretty much all data - not just basic wind, speed, depth - and you can program the display graphics and data types on many of them. You can replace your 3 old instruments with one new one if you'd like, as well as gain extra functionality.

Mark







 

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I have installed a NASA fathometer.
It is an english company with US and Canadian distributors.
Kind of old school no nonsense and reasonable price.

 

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Thanks for that. I have been noticing the obvious improvements. So do I fiberglass over the old openings and just install a new square unit? Do I kowtow to Raymarine, who seems to be the only name in town? I would like to put in the three traditional gauges... am I just dreaming???
Unless you live in a small town with a single supplier with an affectation for a particular brand and no ability to mail order, then Raymarine isn't the only name in town.

You are mostly dreaming about putting in three dedicated basic displays (they still exist), but it is easy to put in three multifunction displays and dedicate them to displaying just the data you want. The only difference is the new displays are just small computers with far more functionality available, rather than dedicated single readouts. You don't have to use that functionality.

How to fit these depends. If you are lucky, you just square off the existing round holes, or cut around them and you are good to go. If not, then you can either fiberglass over the old holes, or install a panel over them cut for the new instruments. Many of the older digital instruments had small round holes, so you might just be lucky. The really older analog instruments had huge round holes, though, and would probably need a plate or glassing over.

Mark
 

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If one sails in current, I don't think GPS speed (ie speed over ground) is a good substitute for a speed wheel under the boat measuring speed through the water. You can get away with SOG, if absolutely necessary. The GPS, on the plotter, is useless for wind and depth, unless you have those separate transducers on the mast and hull. They can, however, display all that data. Do you have a plotter now? Which model?

Which makes me consider the bigger question. Installing the instrument is dependent upon what's currently on the boat providing the information. In addition to the transducers, the network that is being used to share data among the electronics is an issue. New and old devices are not all plug and play compatible.
 
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If one sails in current, I don't think GPS speed (ie speed over ground) is a good substitute for a speed wheel under the boat measuring speed through the water. You can get away with SOG, if absolutely necessary. The GPS, on the plotter, is useless for wind and depth, unless you have those separate transducers on the mast and hull. They can, however, display all that data. Do you have a plotter now? Which model?

Which makes me consider the bigger question. Installing the instrument is dependent upon what's currently on the boat providing the information. In addition to the transducers, the network that is being used to share data among the electronics is an issue. New and old devices are not all plug and play compatible.
Old square cockpit displays were not networkable... now they are usually Y2K. Of course a display needs data input... from transducers... speed, wind and depth. With a network AND GPS data the 4x4 multi function display can be programmed with pages to display all manner of data.

My old B&G still work but are getting long in the tooth. One display repeats plotter data... the others are stand alone... not on a network. the "race repeater" has a timer and computes true wind data derived from boat speed and apparent wind data. I also have a KVH compass display which repeats some GPS data if a waypoint is set on the plotter. I like to see a range of data so my cockpit dash is crowded with 7 displays! 4 display on type of data... I can select different data on 3 of the displays. The displays are port to stbd:
compass / GPS data
depth
GPS repeater
boot speed
race repeater (true wind)
wind rose - analog apparent wind angle
wind speed - apparent

138409



When I do the next upgrade it will be Y2K and likely B&G Triton2 or what replaces this line and reduce the 7 displays to 4 MFDs set as follows as default
depth - 2 lines: depth, waypoint data (selected as time to go or course to steer... whatever)
boat speed - 2 lines: speed thru water... (GPS) speed over ground
wind - 2 lines: apparent & true
wind angle.

Large readable displays are important... too much data means smaller font size and harder to read.

When it comes time to upgrade things may change.
 

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If all you have now is a "modern GPS", which I'm assuming is a plotter, then almost positively it uses NMEA2000 for networking. If you have no other legacy stuff on board, you are good to go. Just buy NMEA2000 transducers and any flavor of small instrument like above that strikes your fancy. Doesn't need to match the brand of your plotter.

Mark
 

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Depth is good to have.

The other stuff:
Wind strength and direction you can feel on your cheeks and see with your eyes.
Speed ummmm free with your smartphone.

I wouldn't be spending thousands of dollars on kit on a 'first boat'.

Mark
 
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Depth is good to have.

The other stuff:
Wind strength and direction you can feel on your cheeks and see with your eyes.
Speed ummmm free with your smartphone.

I wouldn't be spending thousands of dollars on kit on a 'first boat'.

Mark
this is not a serious comment.
 

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Depth is good to have.

The other stuff:
Wind strength and direction you can feel on your cheeks and see with your eyes.
Speed ummmm free with your smartphone.

I wouldn't be spending thousands of dollars on kit on a 'first boat'.

Mark
Ok, on Mark's note, I'll plead guilty. I am over instrumented.

Yea, I'm old and walked to school both ways in bare feet in the snow, etc. etc., so to the OP, take any of this advice with caution after reading the above disclaimer.

But "sort of" seriously, now I got 2 MFD's with charts that go beyond anyplace I'll ever go w/GPS, Radar, wind/depth/speed over the companionway, AIS, VHF, Ham/SSB, autopilot, and probably something else I forgot about. Yea, I haven't yet bothered to hook my stereo up to my MFD so I can change tunes without the "supreme inconvenience" of going to the knob on the stereo itself. But remember, I used to get out of my chair to change channels on a TV, so what do I know?

My first boat had a compass. I added a depth sounder and found my way back (I think so anyway cause I'm here to type this).

Don't get me wrong, not willing to go back to walking both ways in bare feet in the snow, but yea, I'll admit it, I'm over instrumented now. And after 11 years, some of my stuff is getting long in the tooth, no longer supported, and will require a refresh or I'll be plugging holes. Interesting how we build this stuff into the furniture and fiberglass, but its support life is so much shorter than either the furniture or the fiberglass.

To the OP, IMHO, figure out your plan for using the boat, and get just what you need. And figure it ain't one and done whatever you do.

Best of luck with the boat, and get out sailing. Life is short.
 

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this is not a serious comment.
Yes, it is.

My wind and wind speed has been on the blink for about 3 years. New instruments 12 months ago now dont work (fixing them next week).

So I have gone years with nothing but depth. :) Seriously. They're just not needed unless you're racing or got inexperienced crew.
 

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Yes, it is.

My wind and wind speed has been on the blink for about 3 years. New instruments 12 months ago now dont work (fixing them next week).

So I have gone years with nothing but depth. :) Seriously. They're just not needed unless you're racing or got inexperienced crew.
Yes... small boats don't even have a depth sounder... like Soling.

However... I happen to like to see the "environmental data" and it does inform things like reefing. Further the dodger blocks wind from forward... and downwind boat speed disguises true wind.

My instruments have worked very well... some are over 35 years... and no longer supported. The speed log notoriously gets fouls and under reports. I changed to a new transducer which I remove when not sailing.... solving that problem.
I have noticed my wind cups spinning when other boat's cups are not in light air... And they are 35 years old B&G. The wind instrument has been through maybe 6 hurricanes! Cudos to B&G AWI.

Nothing to maintain really.
 

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Seriously. They're just not needed unless you're racing or got inexperienced crew.
Lots of things are not "needed". Your boat is probably full of them. However, that does not make those items superfluous to people who are neither racing nor inexperienced.

For example, to get the best performance from one's boat under a wide range of conditions, instrumentation is useful. I understand your argument that you are not looking to drive your boat to its limits, but you may also not be getting its best performance under the lower constraints you desire. You might miss getting to that squall that could cool and wash you, or meeting those tradewinds quicker to save 3 days on your passage, or getting around a weather system that could delay your passage, etc.

I know that when we are snug and dry because we closed off the cockpit during nasty weather, the wind instruments are helpful. Sure, we could sit fully exposed to the weather and brave it out, hunched down in full foul weather gear and getting more tired by the hour, but we are wimps.

Most importantly, electronic autopilots don't work, or work well, without some of this basic instrumentation input. When we are sailing downwind in large seas, I'm very glad our autopilot knows the true wind direction, instantaneous boat speed, yaw, pitch, roll, etc, and intentionally keeps us from jibing or broaching.

Even an old fuddy like you sailing your boat conservatively and attempting to keep it simpler and safer can benefit from a few basic electronic data inputs.

Ironically, it is the experienced racer who would be better seat of the pants sailing to a boat's potential than a salty cruiser.

Mark
 

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The OP has a 1973 Ericson 32-2. Its his first boat.
I don't know the value of these boats. However, I would suggest he could easily install electronics up to the value of his boat with the Raymarine dude still yelling at him that its irresponsible to sail until he has more.

I certainly think he should learn to sail it first before lightening his wallet on very expensive equipment :)

In 6 months he might love ownership so much he decides on a bigger, newer boat and realise he has over-capitalised his current one.

This advice blends into my normal rule of not adding stuff to the boat in the first year until you really know what you need. :)


:)

Mark
 

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Thanks for that. I have been noticing the obvious improvements. So do I fiberglass over the old openings and just install a new square unit? Do I kowtow to Raymarine, who seems to be the only name in town? I would like to put in the three traditional gauges... am I just dreaming???
It would be much easier to make a nice wood cover for the current hole and redrill through that.
 
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The OP has a 1973 Ericson 32-2. Its his first boat.
I don't know the value of these boats. However, I would suggest he could easily install electronics up to the value of his boat with the Raymarine dude still yelling at him that its irresponsible to sail until he has more.

I certainly think he should learn to sail it first before lightening his wallet on very expensive equipment :)

In 6 months he might love ownership so much he decides on a bigger, newer boat and realise he has over-capitalised his current one.

This advice blends into my normal rule of not adding stuff to the boat in the first year until you really know what you need. :)


:)

Mark
I agree with all of this. I only took exception to your position that instrumentation (access to specific data, really) is only needed for racers or inexperienced crew. Otherwise, I was just answering the OP's direct questions, not commenting on if he should or not.

Mark
 

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Thanks for that. I have been noticing the obvious improvements. So do I fiberglass over the old openings and just install a new square unit? Do I kowtow to Raymarine, who seems to be the only name in town? I would like to put in the three traditional gauges... am I just dreaming???
+1 on some kind of paneling over. Glassing it is not overly difficult but limits you down the road if you replace the instrument. You could also use Starboard or PVC board. Both pretty easy to work with an make look nice. If PVC, paint it for UV protection.

I've been pondering and researching the instrument upgrade (for the next boat). I've settled on B&G as my preferred brand.
 
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