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Old 29 November 2001, 03:10   #1
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Advice on Electronics Please

I have just oredered my new RIB ready for next season.

I now face the dilema of what electronics to put on her.

I don't have an unlimited budget - and also don't want to fall into the trap of putting on things that are unuseable in a tossing RIB. However, I also want equipment that will do the job.

Could anyone advise me as to the following:

1. GPS. Is a chart type GPS worth having in a RIB - bearing in
mind a relatively limited budget - can these keep up with
a fast moving RIB - and can you actually use them properly
when the sea is tossing you around a little (or a lot)!

If these are worth having, can anyone recommend
a suitable model that works well without breaking the
bank, and where the chart programs aren't too expensive?

If a standard GPS is better, which model? I have looked at
the Garmin 126 and 128 - does anyone know if the 126
works well without a separate antenna? Or are these
now overtaken by other models available at reasonable
prices?

2. Fish Finder. My other half insists on having one of these.
Anyone recommend one? I have looked at the
Navman 440 Plus (apparently the Plus means it also gives
water temperature and boat speed through the water).
However, some people tell me that these are not as good
as the Garmin Blue water Range (the 160?)
Can anyone advise me on this?

3. VHF (DSC). I notice that Alladin's cave are offering a DSC
VHF radio for 299. Anyone know if these are any good? -
or recommend a reasonably priced alternative?

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 29 November 2001, 03:41   #2
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Oh, so you've already ordered it? In which case my answer in your other thread may not be terribly helpful!

Anyway, as for electronics . . .

A chart plotter is by no means essential. Nor is a GPS for that matter (how quickly we come to rely on things!) but they are so cheap that it definitely makes sense to get one. Or two!

In fact I would suggest that you go for a Garmin fixed set, and a cheap Garmin 12 handheld as a backup. If you're going to rely on GPS (and you will!), then it is worth having two . . .

I really like the Garmin stuff, and it has always worked well for me. On Phoenix I have a 120 (fixed), 75 (old hand held, mounted on console) and a 12 (handheld backup). Going round Britain a couple of years ago we had more GPS's on board than watches!

Make sure that you pick on with a large, clear display for your main unit, that's probably the single most important feature.

Fish finders? I can't help with that -- I've never used one! I would like a forward looking one though, for creek crawling . . .

Watever VHF you get, make sure it's really waterproof. There are a few on the market now, but I don't know which is best. The last one I bought was a Humminbird which used to be the only real choice, but I think there are better options now. Alternatively get a regular VHF and mount it in a waterproof enclosure from DS Developments -- it will cost at least as much as the radio, but it's the only absolute guarantee of keeping water out (and that includes the "waterproof" radios too!).

John
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Old 29 November 2001, 03:53   #3
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Thanks again john for your reply.

I have in fact 'ordered' the RIB - but only in principal, which was to get a good deal on a sole remaining Honda 130 at a VERY good price. The final details have yet to be agreed - and if the Honda is not as suitable an engine as Avon say then that is open for negotiation - though any 115 option would add to the overall cost.

I will consider all o fyour comments - from both threads - and be making more enquiries today!

Thanks again - your comments are greatly appreciated
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Old 29 November 2001, 04:01   #4
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Pricing is an important part of the specification too. So long as it will do the job you need it to, there's nothing wrong with buying something because you're getting a good deal.

There will always be something a bit better, but more expensive . . .

John
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Old 29 November 2001, 04:01   #5
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Electronics

Over the years I've used quite a lot of different makes of GPS's, Vhf's etc... so when it came to making the decision on what electronics to fit to my new boat last year I had quite a good basis on which electronics to pick.

GPS/Plotter/Fishfinder
I use the Garmin 235 which incorporates a GPS chartplotter and a Fishfinder all in one unit! I've now used it in all weather conditions and over long range cruising (Round Ireland) without any problems. It's very user friendly with well spaced out buttons even for gloved hands and all command features operate from an easy to follow menu. Unfortunately I don't think they make this unit anymore, I think it has been replace by the Garmin 185??? does anyone know if this is correct?

VHF
I fitted the Icom M501 fully waterproof unit. This also has been a fantastic set but occasionally it will jump back to channel 16 while I'm transmiting on another channel! This has only happened a couple of times over the past year, so I suppose I should really get it looked at.

Hope this has been of some help.
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Old 29 November 2001, 09:36   #6
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Electronics

This is easy!:

1) GPS+Fish-Finder+Speed+Water temp = Garmin 235
2) Backup GPS = Garmin12
3) VHF = Icom M501 (Waterproof and Tough!)
4) Damned good compass = Plastimo
5)Hand-held compass = Plastimo
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Old 29 November 2001, 10:02   #7
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Another radio option would be the Navico Axis which seems to be pretty good (if it's half as good as their hand held it would still be excellent!)

I definitely agree with Plastimo for the steering compass, and would suggest the Offshore 105. It's about as big as you would want to have on a RIB this size, but is easier to read than the smaller versions.

Hand held compass? Seriously, what do you want one of them for? Plotting position fixes? (as if!) By all means buy one if you want, but you won't use it -- ever. Having said that, the Plastimo Iris is a nice compass and I have got one! It's only ever been used on training courses though . . .

If you do want a handbearing compass, then a Silva "multipurpose" compass would probably be better as it can also be used as a backup steering compass. In fact, if you are not going to do much passage making then you could use it as your main/only compass.

John
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Old 29 November 2001, 11:51   #8
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Electronics

I have used a Navico Axis for the last 2 years without problem (bar minor corrosion of the handset plug terminals).

I find a chartplotter most useful - though I went for a flush mount Simrad CE30. Not being able to adjust its position in strong sunlight can result in it being almost unreadable -I wish I had gone for a bracket mount chartplotter. I feel the price of the charts is still a bit excessive. The plotter certainly keeps up with the RIB and gives so much more information than just a GPS.

I purchased a Lowrance X75 in the US while on business over there a couple of years ago (it was about half the price it is here) the screen is excellent - always easy to read.
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Old 29 November 2001, 12:17   #9
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We are having problems finding a decent TV, all the ones that we have looked at wont do the real job which is to ineract with all the games that we have on board. Halfords have avery good deal on 12v videos at the moment.

Alan P
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Old 29 November 2001, 12:31   #10
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You'll just have to make do with a GameBoy then won't you?

John
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