The charter cat’s electronics, a little annoying


Here’s a closer view (bigger here) of the nav electronics at the “tank commander” helm of the Moorings 4200 charter cat. Frankly I was surprised that an expensive boat just a few years old only had a small grayscale plotter. The Raymarine RC425 seemed especially antiquated in Abaco, where the charts are tricky. I don’t think it was very quick to start with; today it seems positively sluggish. Plus it uses Navionics’ ‘Classic’ electronic chart format which was soon superseded by the better looking (even in monochrome) Gold format. Plus Navionics has recently added detailed private cartography to its Bahamas data (as has just about every chart vendor). Bottom line: almost all of the electronic charts I brought along were far more informative than the boat’s own.

The instruments and autopilot haven’t aged like the plotter, of course, but the speedo was also annoying. The paddle wheel was mounted in the starboard hull and only seemed close to accurate (compared to COG) on a  a port tack. For instance, above we were actually doing about 7.5 knots on this starboard tack broad reach (pleasant!). The windward hull wasn’t out of the water, not even close, but I guess the hydrodynamics change quite a bit from tack to tack, making for an impossible to calibrate situation, which of course screws up the ST60’s ability to calculate true wind. Is this common on multihulls? By the way, there was an interesting discussion a while back at about the ST60’s inability to use COG to calculate true wind.

Hmmm…reading the above I sound sour today. Truth is I’m happy to be back in Maine, even with snow coming down, but I am behind work wise. Back at it.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

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