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Boat Refit Tips: Electronics

ElectronicsElectronics: Surprisingly enough, this is another relatively low-price-for-big-improvement upgrade. The new combined GPS/chartplotter/radar packages share a single display so older dashboards don’t have to be reinvented, and they also combine the wiring into easier-to-run bundles with plug-and-play connections that reduce installation labor costs. Swapping out old and bulky tube-style TVs for HD flatscreens not only makes watching Captain Ron better, but can create sizable stowage areas, too.  

Capt. Bill’s Tip: I have a Simrad AP28 autopilot on Betty Jane. Great machine, of course. But think—I’ve blended a high level of technology with an antique (24-year-old) cable-type steering system. Indeed, having an old boat doesn’t preclude the latest in electronics. $1,053 (minus control head); www.simrad-yachting.com