As part of my fall repairs/refit I installed a bunch of new electronics:
VHF: new Standard Horizon GX2200. I replaced the old VHF at the lower station and installed a RAM mike on the flybridge. I have a handheld that I had been using up top.
My main motivation was to have AIS reception and DSC capabilities. The RAM is a full function remote with a good speaker. Very pleased with having a good radio on the FB.
RADAR: Garmin Fantom 18. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/555656#overview
I hadn’t really considered radar earlier. I’m pretty old school in many ways. But I really like traveling at night, and want to get really comfortable operating from the inside helm. It was a spirited discussion on the AGLA forum that got me to the decision.
I should say that I’ve been on a few boats with radar over the years but haven’t actually seen one used effectively. But they’ve come a long way. The technology is quite remarkable, and power consumption is very low. I’m looking forward to making good use of it.
I spent a lot of time on finding a solution for mounting the radar unit. I seriously considered mounting it on the brow over the windshield. RF radiation is far less on the new digital radars, so it might have been safe, but I wasn’t confident that I would get a good view aft. A radar arch is a good solution, but I didn’t want to increase my fixed height. If I had an open chequebook I could have had a folding arch fabricated. That would be the best solution. But I chose instead to do something with scrounged materials from the boatyard. Here’s what I ended up with. The pole is easily dropped to the deck for bridge clearance.
MFD: this is the new term for plotter. I got a Garmin 942sx. https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/575476#overview
I mounted this on the FB and moved my 540 plotter to the lower helm. One nice feature on the new unit is a that it connects via WiFi to my tablet and is mirrored there so I can use it from the lower helm.
I also added a new depth transducer and heading sensor.
A newer MFD was needed to get all the features of the radar. I was also interested in the integrated Active Captain community information.
I finished the install today and went for a brief cruise, then played with the radar from the dock for a while. Very pleased and excited with the new capabilities.