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Updated Boat Electonics

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If you want simple, I like Ed's system for a good basic setup:

Velocitek ProStart:  speed and heading mounted at mast.  The newest ProStart is just coming available in Canada, has some good upgrades over the previous versions but you'll pay a lot more for it.

B&G Vulcan 7 Multi Function Display:  add a map chip with the internal antenna and you've got a plotter plus performance data derived from GPS data.  Mount on bulkhead or a swing out bracket in the companionway.

Pelagik seems to be better than Raymarine or Navico but not readily available or serviceable up here.  Dealer's choice whether to choose the ST series (buy two!) or go with the more robust and pricer EV-100.

If you want to add wind you're into a different snack bracket and more complication.  I say KISS...

Didja buy a specific boat yet?




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How often do you need the plotter?  Will a tablet do?   You might already have a suitable one that just needs a waterproof case. It is cheap to get boat instrument data sent out via WiFi so that the tablet can show you everything. I have a nice Raymarine plotter but use the iPad most of the time.  For local racing I just use my watch for navigation (shows our local marks, BTW and VMG to mark, and tides). 

I’d go B&G for the mast displays plus your favorite starting instrument.  B&G because you can update them without a plotter and they work well.  Downside of B&G is that anything moderately advanced requires a really expensive processor.  B&G’s newish WS320 wind instrument looks good too, though I haven’t used it.  I avoid Garmin because support sucks and they abandon products quickly. I use Raymarine on my own boat and like it, but they are up for sale now (or recently sold) which makes long term support a wildcard.  

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5 hours ago, Snowden said:

Unless you race anywhere with sunlight...

Hmm. I used a Ipad mini running Tactiqs with no vis issues in San Diego couple of weekends ago and use a Dell rugged laptop with Exp in the cockpit with no vis issues.  It's pretty much always sunny here.

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10 hours ago, Hitchhiker said:

Hmm. I used a Ipad mini running Tactiqs with no vis issues in San Diego couple of weekends ago and use a Dell rugged laptop with Exp in the cockpit with no vis issues.  It's pretty much always sunny here.

Fair enough. I think iPads have got better over time but I just looked it up and it seems like the latest generation is 500 nits where your chart plotter will be 1,000 or more. 

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If you are going to go with a tablet for a plotter I would recommend shopping cases first. It's hard to come by a true IP67/68 case. I went with a Galaxy Tab A with a Temdan case running open CPN.

Its plenty bright enough in daylight and the case is definitely waterproof (I'm pretty sure it was the only thing that stayed dry on an overnight race in the fog/rain).

As for mounted electronics I went with B&G Trident2 displays with the wired wind system, GPS/compass, and combo depth/speed transducer. Defender runs a pretty nice deal on the bundle. Adding a $200 NMEA2000 Wifi bridge will broadcast all the instrument data to the tablet if its something you want as well. 


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On my 24 SPORTSboat (like a Melges24) I have :

1 Racemaster system with mast bracket, speed/deph/temp DST800 

1 MicroTack wireless transducer that connects Racemaster to NMEA2000 /SeatalkNG

1 Raymarine SPX5 autopilot (tiller) with P70 head that connects to SeatalkNG and via  the MicroTack to instruments would be now EVO1 packet

you can add wireless wind if needed without pulling cables in the mast. (I tried it, but gave no advantage so I leave it home most times)

Also a wireless remote handheld for the tacktition on the rail or to remote control the Racemaster

If desired  add a 7" Axiom @ the bulkhead ore tiltable in the downhatch for more information (laylines, courses , whatever.)


Reason why I like it:  NO power lines above  decklevel and absolute NO problems with water + electronics.... even in the worst "watereverywhere conditions" BIG plus All is powered by the sun and a small 9V block for the T122 if you don't install solar power. So not dependent to 12V system




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