Favourite electronic gadgets.

Joined
27 May 2002
Messages
11,173
Visit site
What marine electronic gadgets do you use most on your boat?

** Over the past year I have used my Link-10 amp hour counter more than I anticipated, good value in terms of cost v. worry elimination.

** A small 3.5” colour plotter mounted at the helm has got me into places in marginal conditions, with a more distant display I would have diverted to an alternative convenient marina. Trouble is one day I am going to collide with a Solent navigation buoy as I play with the plotter buttons.

** The gyro option on the Autohelm. Running down the Solent the other day with 30 knots up my tail and the hull rolling in all directions in a confused sea off Gilkicker I was impressed by how little rudder the Autohelm applied. Better than me after 3 tiring hours.

** Remote cockpit VHF speaker. Again a lot of worry elimination for a small investment.

Underused stuff.

** AIS. Am still a firm believer in the technology but a laptop at the chartable does not work for me on a lively sailing yacht. I need to get the AIS info displayed at the helm which is where I would be during any close encounter. However I cannot bring myself to fork out nearly £2k for a medium resolution 8” Raymarine sunlight viewable lcd display powered by a cpu that probably costs less than £40. Why hasn’t a Seatalk plug compatible market evolved? Surely the electronics industry could deliver a plotter screen that is functionally equivalent to the E80 at one third of the price.

** McMurdo ICS6 NavTex. The user interface is awful, using something so poorly designed irritates me. Does anyone know how to do a mass delete of old forecasts?
 

johnalison

Well-known member
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Messages
39,231
Location
Essex
Visit site
Graphic display unit. As GPS repeater shows 4 parameters, such as bearing/distance to WP and COG & SOG. Plus hours of fun playing with graphs of wind etc. Haven't got a place for plotter in the cockpit.
 

Sea_dreamer

New member
Joined
20 Nov 2004
Messages
180
Location
Scotland
www.sea-dreamer.com
Just getting to grips with it now, but my second hand laptop with the Admiralty Charts and plotter and cheap GPS thingy. At a glance navigation (albeit down below) but more excitingly (!) passage planning at home.

For my kind of sailing - at the moment - no need for anything more sophisticated.

John
 

fireball

New member
Joined
15 Nov 2004
Messages
19,453
Visit site
I'll second the cockpit VHF speaker

and Second the GPS repeater

then add Fuel Gauge and Rev counter /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 
G

Guest

Guest
Top slot without doubt : My trusty old AH1000 Tillerpilot

closely followed by the hand-held remote control for the AH1000.

Next has to be the Lowrance Plotter I finally plus-gassed my wallet for.

Those two articles have to literally beat the pants of anything else I can think of.

Bringing up the rear is the Echo-Pilot Echo-sounder display in cockpit.

Joint must be when thinking about it - Handheld VHF ... saving leaving tiller when trying to find that visitors berth allocated by marina !!


Compass and all the other ... Navtex etc. ???? to be honest rarely look at them. Yep - lazy and enjoy it !!
 

TLOM

New member
Joined
29 Jul 2004
Messages
67
Location
Scotland - West Coast
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]

** Remote cockpit VHF speaker. Again a lot of worry elimination for a small investment.


[/ QUOTE ]

Interested to know what worries have been eliminated. I can't recall worrying due to lack of a cockpit speaker.
Not disagreeing that it could be useful, just curious to know under what circumstances it eliminates worry

TLOM
 

TLOM

New member
Joined
29 Jul 2004
Messages
67
Location
Scotland - West Coast
Visit site
I'm pretty fond of the anchor watch alarm on my Furuno GPS. Autohelm electronic handbearing compass is another favourite. The Navtex is a useful antidote to my uncanny ability to turn on Radio 4 just at the point of, "... and finally, SE Iceland ...."

TLOM
 

Talbot

Active member
Joined
23 Aug 2003
Messages
13,610
Location
Brighton, UK
Visit site
Plotter no 1 gadget
laptop AIS with warning siren when a vessel enters the warning zone
LVM pump for dinghy
sony stereo
remote vhf speaker
 

Fr J Hackett

Well-known member
Joined
26 Dec 2001
Messages
64,098
Location
Saou
Visit site
Things that I use in earnest: GPS, Radar,Autopilot and Link 20. Toys that I like to play with: Plotter, Laptop / SSB both of which have their moments and are very usefull bits of kit. The ST 60+ graphic display falls into both camps but in the absence of a plotter is a very usefull tool which is good to play with as well.
 

john_morris_uk

Well-known member
Joined
3 Jul 2002
Messages
27,347
Location
At sea somewhere.
yachtserendipity.wordpress.com
What do I use the most?

I have had a long think and it divides into two catagories.

Ones I look at, ones I use.

I look at the echo sounder and the windex on the top of the mast the most. When on passage, the GPS repeater is looked at a lot.

Things I use

The autopilot. Get me off the mooring and its turned on almost immediately. I love wandering round the boat doing odd jobs, tweaking the course now and again, and I don't like steering very much unless we are racing (which isn't often!)

When living on board, I use the NAVTEX a lot.
 

tcm

...
Joined
11 Jan 2002
Messages
23,958
Location
Caribbean at the moment
Visit site
I use the lights most of all. Every night it goes dark and -ping- the lights never fail to illuminate things. I have several lights actually, in various places around the interior.

The most dull and underused things are the EPIRBS and suchlike safety gear which cost loads and after all this time I really am beginning to think were rather a waste of money.
 
Joined
27 May 2002
Messages
11,173
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
Just getting to grips with it now, but my second hand laptop with the Admiralty Charts and plotter and cheap GPS thingy. At a glance navigation (albeit down below)

[/ QUOTE ]
I should put my dislike of nav table instruments into perspective. To get from a helming position to nav table I have to squeeze past the race sized helm that takes up 70% of available beam, vault over the mid cockpit mainsheet track and them stroll down the remaining 6ft of cockpit. Compared to yur average tiller driven snug cruising cockpit, my nav table seems much further away.
 

Poignard

Well-known member
Joined
23 Jul 2005
Messages
51,515
Location
London and Brittany
Visit site
Echo sounder! The thing I would miss most.

If the gps goes I have paper charts, compass, ruler and a pencil. If the Tillerpilot goes I can steer. If the log fails I can improvise something. The vhf would not be missed at all. Don't have anything else.

But I would not enjoy taking soundings with a cold wet leadline!
 

Judders

Active member
Joined
19 Jul 2005
Messages
2,514
Location
Hampshire
Visit site
I don't really understand the question...

I have lights but never use them. I have a handheld VHF... I guess my watch is electric?
 

RupertW

Well-known member
Joined
20 Mar 2002
Messages
10,221
Location
Greenwich
Visit site
I agree re. EPIRBs etc. - I love the things which keep you out of trouble much more than those which get you out of it.

The Autohelm and the depth sounder are the most used piece of electronics on my current attempt at a gadget-free boat, but I do occasionally use the GPS (and would always want to have it on board just in case), and the cheapo electric coolbox saves throwing food away in warm weather as well as keeping the beer even cooler than a netting bag dragged behind the boat.

When sailing the East coast and West Country in suitable (and very different) boats, I hardly used the depth sounder at all and went one season without one. I do seem to go aground a bit, though.

Least used by me - the VHF.
 
Top