The time has come to order our new navigational and safety electronics.
Since our last cruise 12 years ago, technology has grown and changed tremendously, and today there is a whole host of new electronics on the market. Even though we have drooled over all of the “nice to haves”, we still firmly believe in paper charts, a compass, and our eyes as being the ultimate navigational method. Last time, we didn’t even have a radar onboard, but this time we are planning to have a few simple systems to make life a little bit easier.
Our boat came equipped with a NavMan chart plotter, a Raytheon radar system, a Raymarine autopilot, and Raymarine wind, depth, and speed indicators. After a lot of searching and research (the Panbo website has been a big help), we finally decided that our current Raymarine electronics will remain in place, but the radar system and chart plotter will be replaced with newer Raymarine models.
Our new electronics systems will consist of Raymarine’s new C-Series C95 9-inch multifunction display and their 18-inch 4 kW digital radar dome. We will also be adding the Vesper Marine AIS Watchmate 850 Transponder, as well as the newly FCC approved Kannad Marine SafeLink R10 SRS (Survivor Recovery System).
Along with having our paper charts on the nav table, the C95 display will allow us to view our radar, as well as give us some of the luxuries of electronic chart plotting. With its Navionics charts, one really fun part of the C95 is the fact that it can stream its video display to my iPad. Therefore, the iPad will be our indoor display, and the C95 can be mounted in the cockpit. We have heard from other cruisers who are underway that it’s nice to be in your bunk with the iPad, and have the capability of monitoring who is on watch at the helm, especially with kids who are just learning the ropes.
We really like the idea of having an AIS (automatic identification system), mainly for the ability to see the course and presence of other boats in the vicinity. We also like the idea of having a stand-alone unit. With the stand-alone unit, we can keep the AIS running continuously on a passage, but turn off the chart plotter and radar when they’re not needed.
Since we are traveling with kids this time, we are hoping the Kannad SafeLink R10 SRS will be that extra safety net in case someone goes overboard. The unit attaches to the life vest, and when it is activated, it will send GPS coordinates to AIS receivers within a 4-mile radius. It’s another item we hope we never need, but our safety is so extremely important.
Time to get this big ticket order processed. Our departure time will be here before we know it!