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Old 13 June 2004, 10:09   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Aylesbury/Lymington
Boat name: Farfetched
Make: Solent
Length: 6m +
Engine: 150hp Optimax
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Electronics Plotter & Engine Management

Planning the electronics for my 6.5M. Pretty well decided on the Lowrance 330C which is 590 from bluev.co.uk. If I am correct, this beast combines the GPS / Chartplotter / Depth Sounder animal into one at competitive price.

If so, then, given I am getting the Optimax 150 and thus get as part of the package (am I correct?) a System Tachometer and a System Speedo (SC 1000) which covers loads of data including trim etc, is there anything else I need besides non electronic compass and VHF/DSC?

If I know where I am, and can get an estimate of depth wrt the datum from the chart in the Lowrance, and an actual ping to give me a depth, also from the Lowrance, the chances of going aground are somewhat slim?

If I can get speed through the water from the SmartCraft Speedo, and speed GPS from the Lowrance, then that covers the speed issue.

Fuel level and recent consumption I assume comes from the SmartCraft gauges?

Thus I can tell if I am going to run out of fuel.

Can the Lowrance talk to the SmartCraft and tell me if I have enough fuel to make the waypoints I am intending to cover?

What have I missed?

Also, can anyone please give me advice and target price on the cheapest sensible VHF / DSC mounted radio, and a reasonable non-electronic compass?

Many thanks

Bruce
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Old 13 June 2004, 14:32   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehawsker
Can the Lowrance talk to the SmartCraft and tell me if I have enough fuel to make the waypoints I am intending to cover?
Lowrance GPS will talk to Smartcraft via NMEA and will provide waypoint distance. Smartcraft then calculates if you have enough fuel, etc. The Smartcraft gauges will also give you the option of displaying the GPS speed on the speedometer above a certain speed say 15kts as the paddle wheel sensor is generally not as accurate as GPS at higher speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehawsker
If I know where I am, and can get an estimate of depth wrt the datum from the chart in the Lowrance, and an actual ping to give me a depth, also from the Lowrance, the chances of going aground are somewhat slim?
Well if you stick to the chart and avoid shallow areas then you won't run aground, but the ping from the sonar will not help with this as by the time it registers that the water depth is too shallow it's too late as the sounder looks straight down and will not give you any advance warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehawsker
is there anything else I need besides non electronic compass and VHF/DSC?
I found myself asknig the same question over a while back and have a very similar spec to you: Lowrance GPS, Opti 150 w/Smartcraft, VHF (Icom), Magnetic compass. Sitting in my new boat today, (alas in the driveway, will see water nxt week) I tried to think of anything else I need or was missing and couldn't think of anything either.

I will give you 2 pieces of advice:

1: Get a good quality compass otherwise your electronics pack will offset the reading and send you in the wrong direction.

2: If your budget stretches to it I would go for an Icom VHF for the simple reason that they're pretty much bombproof and won't packup at the slightest sight of water. On my third one and have had no water ingress or any other problems with them, and they did get a fair soaking!!

Glad to see you went for the Optimax 150, will be a very fast boat, I've posted a few pics in the gallery section of mine and the smartcraft gauges.
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Old 13 June 2004, 15:11   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehawsker
given I am getting the Optimax 150
Hang on! Did I miss something? Does this mean you've made a decision?

John
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Old 13 June 2004, 15:12   #4
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Thanks

See also my PM which asks a few supplementary questions which I won't type out again.

Had you thought of forward looking snar by eg Interphase?

What is the cheapest good quality compass?

Did you source the electronics wetc yourself or let Barnet find them?

Cheers

Bruce
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Old 13 June 2004, 15:45   #5
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Forward looking sonar is still under development really and im not aware of a version that actually works well as yet.

My silva s10 is still working and at 170 it seems like a good buy to me.
I m of course expecting it to die any day so we'll just see how it goes. If it dies ill get another on warrenty and a waterproof box to put it in.

As for the plotter screen size is everthing. Get the biggest screen you can afford. Im more than happy with my raymarine plotter/sounder combi.(which is b&w by the way)

Wouldn't worry about getting a good compass, it'll still give a poor reading all the time.
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Old 13 June 2004, 16:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehawsker

What is the cheapest good quality compass?

Did you source the electronics wetc yourself or let Barnet find them?

Cheers

Bruce

Decided what electronics I wanted and told Barnet Marine. They then ordered and fitted them. I used the GPS from my last boat as it was relatively new, just sent that over and they fitted it.

As regards compasses, Plastimo Offshore 90 or the larger 105 are very good and quite reasonably priced. Mine is completely unaffected by GPS/Sonar, VHF and the other electronics I have on the dash and is very accurate(this may be because Barnet Marine may have fitted compensation for the compass and adjusted it. I'm not sure, will check tomorrow as I've put the cover on and am feeling a bit lazy.) Go for a flush mount compass, IMHO brackets are just another thing that can break!!
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Old 14 June 2004, 03:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehawsker
Pretty well decided on the Lowrance 330C which is 590 from bluev.co.uk.
Last month I got a Lowrance Global Map 3300, Navonics Gold XL3 chart. And free next day delivery.from JG technoligies .

http://www.jgtech.co.uk/shop13.htm

they have the Lowrance 330C for 579 and you'll get 10% off when you get the Navonics Charts at the same time .

Very pleased with the service
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Old 14 June 2004, 04:53   #8
nik
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Quote:
Forward looking sonar is still under development really and im not aware of a version that actually works well as yet.
I dont know if you really want one of these, but echopilot do a range. I have never tried one and dont know how well they work, but it could be useful for going through rocky areas.

http://www.echopilot.com/

Nick.
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