It’s much cheaper to change your dated nav gear than buy an all new-boat
My nav gear still works – does it need replacing regardless?
The last three years have seen a huge leap in user-friendly software and hardware so it may be worth it even if you usually follow the ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ school of thought. Think how often you upgrade your phone!
Can I add a new chartplotter to my existing electronics?
You can usually integrate your existing instruments and autopilots into a new chartplotter but may need to replace older analogue radars with a digital one.
How often should I update the chart in my plotter?
Ideally every year but first it’s worth asking your yacht club or marina whether there have been any significant changes in your local cruising area. Most software manufacturers offer a heavily discounted rate for updating charts – making it a handy annual stocking-filler!
What if my AIS stops working?
Make sure you haven’t switched it on to silent mode then check the power breaker, the transceiver connection, the dedicated VHF antenna and the splitter. If the AIS is not receiving, an SWR (Standing Wave Ratio) check should show loss of resistance in the antenna or cabling, the mast base being a weak point where the cable may rub.