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Suggestions for basic electronics with fewest holes?

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Looking for advice about how to add basic electronics to 25 ft sailboat with goal of (1) avoiding making holes in boat (esp thru hull for depth) (2) not breaking my bank account.

Was thinking tacktic/raymarine b/c wireless/no holes for instrument to sensor wires. But: (a) expensive (b) would have to rig thru hull depth as in-hull (which lots of folks claim can be done).

Then, was thinking ray marine i70s b/c snazzy color display and cheaper than tacktick. But: (a) will have to make at least 1 small hole for single wire to instrument gauge and (b) have to rig depth as in-hull rather than thru hull as above.

Was then looking at i70s + Clipper wireless wind + p79 in hull depth sensor connected all via NMEA. Still have instrument small hole though get color single instrument gauge. But: Not sure that these devices esp clipper wireless wind would work with i70s?

Thanks for any advice!

-One Day

3 Replies

  • The i70s uses NMEA 2000 (also known as SeaTalkNG) while the NASA Clipper uses NMEA 0183. Big difference.

    Here's another wireless wind possibility just coming out, very clean install but no depth solution:

    Also Garmin has a gWind Wireless that tested well for me (though I have not written about the testing yet). But you need the monochrome GXWind or a Garmin MFD that can make the ANT wireless connection.

    I've never fooled with inhull transducers, but don't understand why you're unwilling to drill the hole if it's a fiberglass hull. You could also get paddlewheel boat speed, which can be useful for improving sailing performance.

    Incidentally, Garmin NMEA 2000 instruments will likely see depth coming from the P79S smart inhull transducer, but they may not know how to calibrate the sensor like a Raymarine instrument can.

    More on i70s and gWind:

  • Thanks Ben for your expertise!

    Re why no thru-hull--despite wiser/experienced sailors like yourself saying all boats have holes and a thru hull hole is no big deal--it's our first sailboat (a Harbor 25).

    And, it feels like I'm deliberately causing the first dent in a new car (or setting up a future problem).

    Reading your helpful and fast response--it sounds like you're saying that NMEA is not necessarily the universal/inter-changeable format that it should be?

    With different manufacturers' not universally compatible with one another?

    Meaning--it's not as simple as pick Garmin transducer, Raymarine gauge/instrument, hook all to NMEA cables, and everyone plays nice, is calibrated, and works together?

    Again--thanks for sharing your (and others') wisdom!

  • Not a big deal to get a hull transducer in your hull. Most yards can do it perfectly. Airmar offers a transducer for speed and depth so that only one transducer is needed.

    Another thought, if your just after heading and speed, and sail in an area where the water currents are light, take a look at this: