New Electronics Upgrade

With Hemispheres being 17 years old and her electronics being just as old, it was definitely time for an upgrade. While mostly everything worked good, it was time. The agonizing of getting a newer and larger boat vs. extensive upgrades to the existing hull which I’m now familiar and comfortable with, all her quirks, her list, those squeaks. They’re all identifiable and known well. Also, as a single-handed sailor, Hemispheres is easy to sail and very forgiving.

The old Raymarine RL70c chart plotter started flickering last summer so it was obviously on it’s way out. But upon disconnecting the old radar, the flickering went away. No matter, I was committed to the upgrade and decided on sticking with Raymarine. So new autopilot, EV-100 wheel based. I really wanted a hydraulic below deck RAM but at an estimated ~$7,000 parts and installation costs, that was a bit too much. With the EV-100, I did have a rudder sensor installed which wasn’t with the old ST4000 pilot So with that and the new efficient electronics, the autopilot should track better. I’ll find out this week while going to Ocracoke. So, with selecting the lower cost wheel pilot, I figured adding the wireless autopilot remote (got a used one at half the retail cost) was an easy decision.

Next up, the new Axiom multifunction display running the new Lighthouse III operating environment. Full touchscreen along with the optional manual control panel, just in case the touchscreen isn’t as responsive if my hands are too wet.


Also added is AIS so I can see and be seen. Of course, a new 4G radome was added which runs over wifi, so that reduced the installation costs of running new wire. If you know boats, you know running new wires, especially on sailboats, is a contortionist event.