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Hands-on helm upgrade

With some DIY skills, you can set up a new electronics system for less than $12,000

The deals on used cruising boats have never been better. Look for a sound hull and a good-running engine and transmission. Sailors should inspect the rigging and sails, too. Having to replace any of these can turn an otherwise good deal upside down.



Q&A with Dave Laska, electronics expert

Determine if a new unit will fit your helm without major surgery.What are the major considerations consumers should weigh when thinking about upgrading their electronics?

Start by asking yourself a few questions. Will a new unit fit the helm without major surgery? Why am I updating the helm? Maybe the existing helm doesn’t meet your needs because something is defective or unreliable. Maybe the helm is more than 10 years old and the technology too old. It could be that the existing helm is not user-friendly. Any of these are good reasons to consider an upgrade.



Raymarine e7

From the plotter to the iPad

If you’re a worrywart, Raymarine’s e7 series multifunction displays might appeal to you. The e7’s Wi-Fi connectivity allows live video streaming to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. You can see the e7 display — thermal video, navigation charts, radar, and sonar — on your mobile iOS device anywhere on board.



Electronics Makeover Shopping List

Electronics Makeover Shopping List



The Smart Buyer: Gauge performance with a sea trial

The writer has done a good number of sea trials.With the economy showing signs of strengthening, you might be ready to consider buying a new or used boat. The winter months are a popular time for people to get serious, perhaps even handing over a down payment.

A friendly reminder: Make sure a sea trial is part of the purchase process. Buyers should make it clear in their agreement with the dealer, broker, manufacturer or private seller that the purchase hinges on their satisfaction with the boat’s performance.



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