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T and J Racing

SJ24 electronics/instruments recommendations

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So, I have a San Juan 24 I just got in November. Been sailing and crewing for 2 years first. My intent is to cruise the San Juans and eventually up to Desolation Sound some time in the next couple years and likely race a bit this summer. So far the longest trip has been 2 days, never out of sight of land. I singlehand about 50% of the time, with inexperienced crew the rest of the time. 

I have a compass, an old pulse-echo type depthfinder and a speed sensor fitted but no instrument to read it. That's it for instruments. Of course I carry paper charts, current atlas and tide tables and a smartphone. What other electronics should I be looking at? My personal philosophy is to read books rather than spending money, and I'd rather not rely on complex gadgets if I can work through a problem by other means if that makes sense. I have no problem adjusting my schedule because of weather rather than relying on a radar to help me across a foggy shipping lane, for example. 

 

 

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Tj,  I  sailed an SJ24,for many years with your setup, that was they were new.  I never felt the need for anything else.  The boat single hands very well.  The only changes I made were to add a Jib douser and a center line safety harness/prussuk  setup.  If you can locate a book on self steering by John Letcher it will give you a complete self steering setup.  The big breakthrough for me was to use speargun rubber for the jib counterbalance on the tiller.  Always wear a harness when solo sailing.  I fell off the stern once in the channel, but grabbed the backstay on the way down and somehow pulled myself back on, so I now always tie in.  You are in for a treat.  Aloha, Guerdon.

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I cruised the San Juans on my first boat with about the same gear you have. A hand held GPS is very helpful. It will give you speed, and helps a lot with finding anchorages, sorting out what island is which (more challenging than you might think in the SJs) etc. You can use a smart phone, but when I had both I found the Garmin was better. I have an oregon and a montana, both have been great.

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A Windex, a depth sounder and a decent sized GPS - if you're going cruising.

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Thanks for the replies. I do have a proper VHF base station as well as a fresh Series 27 marine battery and new ABYC-compliant DC wiring, LED's all around, etc.

 

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Welcome Newbie...so, I have a 40 year old 4 knot shit box, like you. I have raced on plenty of boats with the fanciest gear, and I am in the simpler is better camp for my own boat. I grew up with a pulse/spinning bulb depth sounder and compass, and it got us everywhere we needed to go..However, modern advances in electronics are nice. An iPad/tablet with a bluetooth GPS receiver makes you as cool as the guy with a high $$ chartplotter at his helm station.

That being said, (I have an iPad on a mount with a GPS puck), but my primary instruments are "old school" by today's standards, and almost unavailable Raymarine ST-40's...compass, depth, & knot. They also make a probably-not-accurate-enough-for-racing wind-direction instrument in that series that uses this little tab on the 3 cup anemometer to get a pretty good idea of wind direction...but, I think fine for cruising. Since these are older school and going out of style, they are probably relatively cheap, and I think perfectly adequate for your type of boat and what you plan to do with it. For about the same cost as a new bulkhead mounted compass (which leaked oil all over the place and I yanked out). I've been very happy with the ST-40s...I can't remember exactly, but I believe they can network via "SeaTalk", a proprietary Ray protocol, but cheap converter boxes are available if you wanted to network things to other devices.  I am an IT guy at work..I like to get away from that shit and keep things simple on my boat/weekends.

They also only draw about 350mA per device. edit - here is a pic..ok, I lied a little bit..my 4KSB was doing 6.6kts in this picture. :D

 

 

 

6.6ksb.jpg

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If your VHF has a remote mic option, it's pretty handy when you are singlehanding to have it in the cockpit.

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18 hours ago, PaulinVictoria said:

If your VHF has a remote mic option, it's pretty handy when you are singlehanding to have it in the cockpit.

+1. I have that option with my ICOM. Great idea...or at least a handheld VHF in the cockpit.

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If you don't already have a remote mic, a handheld is about the same price and can work in the cockpit, is a good back up and is handy in the dingy etc. There are some great deals and rebates with boat show season coming up around here. I picked up a Standard Horizon with GPS and DSC last year at a good price.

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One thing I haven't seen mentioned is an autopilot. I think you'd find a basic tillerpilot a huge benefit for singlehanded cruising since it frees you up to do boat chores, read, navigate or whatever you want, insteadly of constantly being tied to the helm. Of course you still need to keep a good lookout but not having to hand-steer the whole time is a very nice luxury.

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On 1/8/2018 at 12:59 PM, andykane said:

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is an autopilot. I think you'd find a basic tillerpilot a huge benefit for singlehanded cruising since it frees you up to do boat chores, read, navigate or whatever you want, insteadly of constantly being tied to the helm. Of course you still need to keep a good lookout but not having to hand-steer the whole time is a very nice luxury.

^^^^^THIS.....For single handed sailing, a tiller pilot is the #1 best thing I ever did for my boat. I couldn't even take a piss off the stern before the tiller pilot. Even when the wife is on board, I don't have to hassle her to help me with little boat chores any more with having the luxury of leaving the helm for brief periods.

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