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Old 23 October 2008, 13:13   #1
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What instruments?

Here's a question - what would be the most important instruments to fit permanently to a small console?

4m Rib, single width console c.16" wide. Currently I have no instruments fitted.
Use: Estuary and inshore (max 3 miles out)
Navigation / speed by handheld GPS flexibly mounted by velcro + good old fashioned real charts
Radio - Handheld VHF again mounted with velcro or onto lifejacket

If I were to invest in mounting some instruments in the console what would be considered the most important / valuable
Rev counter? Speedo? trim? decent VHF? battery gauge?

I'd welcome opinions & reasons

Looking forward to responses

LT
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Old 23 October 2008, 13:47   #2
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I'd maybe look at a combined fishfinder/speed unit.

You can get one with a speed/depth transom mount transducer for 135 or so.

Depth is about the only useful info you don't have and the fishfinder aspect is a bonus. You may as well pick up speed through the water at the same time.
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Old 23 October 2008, 13:53   #3
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compass!!!
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Old 23 October 2008, 14:26   #4
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Hi Lakeland - I've attached photos of mine. Helps the Yamaha Gauges give you alot of info( speed/ revs/ trim/ volts. But I had the little depth stuck in the middle & put the plotter on the compass mount as it can tell me direction . It can have a fish finder input , but as I dont fish much I haven't bothered. H held VHF clips on the little bracket - made of 2 bolts , 1 plate & 2 old tap washers !

If it gets rough the VHG goes on Lifejacket .

Depth is very handy as it gets very very shallow near me !
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Old 23 October 2008, 18:32   #5
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My humble thoughts

LT

You aren't going offshore so we are not so worried about back up electronics, more interested in primary info. You’ve go a Hand held radio, which although it has not got such a strong transmitting power as a fixed set it has got nearly as good a range and it's not reliant on the RIBs battery- so that’s a good start.

You’ve already got SOG (Speed over the ground) and I guess COG (Course over the ground) and position (lat/long with your charts), although depending upon your GPS unit not necessarily on the same screen.

First step would be to secure a lanyard or similar to each of you hand helds in case they separated from the velcro.

As hobbit says a Compass is pretty useful, steering by COG is tricky as it’s reactive not proactive. A compass that is not subject to large amounts of deviation is pretty invaluable.

I would not worry too much about a speedo. Equally a battery gauge is far less useful than some of the others you have mentioned.

If the battery started the engine then generally it’s OK and likely to further charge from the engine. If their is a power fault that occurs at sea, the first sign will probably (but not always) be your instruments (and lights if you had them) dimming/failing. If the battery completely went and you had turned of the engine then your hand helds will come into play.

Rev. Counter and trim are therefore what I would go for next; however try to position them as far as feasibly possible from the compass so as not to cause deviation to the compass.

In summary you have
GPS
VHF

So get
Compass
Rev Counter
Trim gauge

Depending upon your engine you may be able to get a rev counter with integrated trim gauge.

If you are forgetful and have a built in tank (rare on the 4m) don’t forget the fuel gauge (occasionally also integrated).

The only issue not really covered is depth, however for a 4m RIB echo sounders area not that common.
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Old 23 October 2008, 18:57   #6
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Personally I'd flog the handheld GPS and buy a cheap black and white GPS/Fishfinder combo and a compass.

If you're in Gloucestershire and thinking of using it in an estuary I assume you mean the Severn.A depth sounder is essential there unless you're sticking rigidly to buoyed channels.
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Old 23 October 2008, 19:01   #7
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Engine water presure gauge is must have IMHO
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Old 24 October 2008, 03:49   #8
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Intested in the water pressure gauge. On a 4m boat cant you just keep an eye on the tell-tale ? Thats what I do . I reckon I look at that as often if not more than any instrument.
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Old 25 October 2008, 17:32   #9
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Thanks for starting this thread Lt as I was going to ask the same things.
I have a Icom IC M71 and a Rev counter. Next up for me will be a compass and depth sounder.
GPS is a little out of reach at the moment.
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Old 25 October 2008, 17:43   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackroady View Post
Intested in the water pressure gauge. On a 4m boat cant you just keep an eye on the tell-tale ? Thats what I do . I reckon I look at that as often if not more than any instrument.
That is a bit like saying " the light bulb in the kitchen is working so everything must be OK".
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