State of the art, 25 years ago
To heck with all the 2007 “best of…” lists, let’s reminisce. It’s 1984, the 47’ sloop Civais has just joined the list of new builds at the Paul Luke yard in Boothbay, Maine, and she’s sporting about as spiffy an electronics package as I recall from the era. Check the bigger picture here. That’s an International Offshore digital depth sounder and alarm at upper left, a back up perhaps to the Raytheon combination flasher and recording fathometer at the upper right. There’s also a Furuno CRT radar, with hood, just above the Trimble Navigation Loran C unit. Stacked just to their right, starting at the top, is a Stephens Engineering AM/SS radio telephone, a Magnovox satellite navigator (Transit, not GPS), and some sort of VHF radio (can’t make out the brand). Finally there’s weather fax (Alden?) and some sort of box that might be an antenna switch or tuner. And I dare say there are some spiffy old instruments in the cockpit. I doubt that any one piece of gear talks to any other, via NMEA 0183, 2000, Ethernet, or any other protocol. The good old days? Nah, but easier to get your installer head around. This photo is another from the great Red Boutilier Collection, courtesy of the Penobscot Marine Museum. More can enjoyed at MaineBoats.com. Reminisce!
PS On the book shelf is one of the better—and certainly the most humorous—star finding books I know, The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H. A. Rey (yes, the same man who created Curious George). And it’s still available.