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Thread: Bought 27' Wooldridge Pilot House

  1. #1
    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    Default Bought 27' Wooldridge Pilot House

    After an agonizing several weeks and numerous second thoughts, I finally wrote the obnoxiously large check for my new boat. It is a 27 foot Wooldridge Deep Water Plus (cuddy cabin)pilot house style boat powered by twin 175HP Suzuki outboards. I am outfitting it with Windlass, Wallas stove/heater, suspension seats, extra large tanks, port-side doors (yeah), self-bailing deck and other options I am sure I missed. They are building it in Seattle and I am going there to check on them in a few weeks. It should be here in January and Marita will be using it for the boat show. Now the only thing I am needing to decide is electronics. I did a search on this board and it is devoid of posts on this topic. Can anyone give me some advise as far as what would be good to consider? Here is some basic questions...

    1. Radar with open-array or radome? Size and kw?
    2. Furuno, Raymarine or Garmin?
    3. Integrated or Networked?
    4. Best value for size? (Definitely color) Any models recommended?
    5. Auto-Pilot system?


    I sure would appreciate any words of wisdom as I have very little experience in these matters. Same model of boat that I just ordered.

    [IMG]file:///C:/DOCUME%7E1/OWNER%7E1.YOU/LOCALS%7E1/Temp/msohtml1/01/clip_image002.jpg[/IMG]

  2. #2

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    Congrats Mark! You can't beat Marita's customer service and Wooldridge's excellent workmanship. Sounds like a great boat and can't wait to see it this spring.
    You can't go wrong with Furuno or Garmin. Check out the Furuno dealers here in town and try to put together a package deal including the install.
    SeaULater

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    Default Your questions are open ended

    The answers you are asking for depend entirely on the variables of use. How you intend to use your boat will dictate your choices. For instance, you ask about radome, or open array. Do you plan to be in protected areas, or open ocean? What kind of range do you need to monitor? Network vs Intergrated. Do you plan to purchase all of your electronics at once all of the same manufacturer, of a little at a time from different manufacturers? And so on........

  4. #4
    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    Default Boat use

    I plan to use it in the PWC, Homer and Seward area and plan to go out for several days at a time. I assume that most of my trips will be fairly close to shore and not in the middle of the ocean. I am thinking in terms of 50 miles for range of the radar but I don't know the first thing of how to select a radar. I do plan to buy all at the same time and I am hoping that they will work better with what ever integration is done between the gps, radar and auto-pilot unit. Is there a Furuno store in Anchorage?

    I appreciate any advise from guys who have the units already.

  5. #5

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    Hi kaisersosei,
    I have a similar type boat(2700 Lifetimer) and use the boat in and around Juneau, cruising, fishing.
    What I installed was a Raymarine C120, 4kw Raydome, and a repeater (ST40).at the rear helm for trolling.
    Couldn't be happier with the entire setup.
    Nice boat, good luck.
    Ken

  6. #6
    Member Dirtofak's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SeaULater View Post
    You can't beat Marita's customer service and Wooldridge's excellent workmanship.
    Sorry to say but opinions vary.

  7. #7

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    Were you in west marine today looking at electronics? This sounds too familiar.

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    Default Electronics

    Kaisersosie, check out www.thehulltruth.com for any questions you have on electronics.

  9. #9

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    Open array, but there's no reason for a 50 mile radar. You might go as big as a 24 mile unit, but only for the additional power at shorter ranges. I doubt you'll ever scale up past 12 miles, and then only for a few seconds at a time. Most of the time you'll be looking at 6 miles and below.

    I'm not a big fan of the one and only Furuno Navnet system I'm required to use on some of our work boats. But, that's a limited viewpoint. I run Garmins on my personal boat (small ones) and use a Northstar 6000i on some other boats. The Northstar is a pretty nice unit. The screen is easy to see, even from a side angle.

    I'm not a fan of 'all in one units.' They can clutter up a screen real fast, and I don't use the radar overlay that much. But again, the only one I've used with radar overlay (of the plotter screen) is the Furuno, so that's sort of a given.

    If you have the dash space, go with seperate units that can talk to each other. I'm not an electronics installation expert, so I can't help much there. PastorBob had good advice about TheHullTruth.com site.

    I can't really see the need for an autopilot on a boat this size. I'm not sure what your going to power with, or your cruising speed, but I'm betting it's gonna be faster than I'd want to go with an autopilot engaged. Yes they have 'dodge' buttons, but hitting that button (usually you have to hit dodge, the pick a direction, port or starboard) is never going to be as quick as turning the wheel. Typically, 20 knots feel pretty fast for me on autopilot, and I tend to turn it off then and drive manually.

    Sounds like a great boat. You've picked some nice options.

  10. #10
    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    Talking Thanks Guys

    For your advise and input. Yes I was at West Marine to look at electronics. Do you (Griff) work there? I am looking into either a Garmin 3210 or a Raymarine C80 setup with the 4kw radar. I am sort of on the fence on the autopilot but still under consideration. A friend has one and it is nice on those smooth days not to be tied to the helm for hours on end as long as you keep a sharp watch for floating debris.

    I am now looking for a good deal on these items and it is not easy finding them. Now that I am outfitting this boat, it is more like "Bring Out Another Ten Thousand"....

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    Default 27' Wooldridge

    This should be a great boat for Alaska! Modern electronics are a great safety feature, especially up here. You can't go wrong with any of the well known brands especially if there are local service centers. From a more personal (read: opinionated! -and what Alaskan isn't??), I prefer the separate displays as well. It allows some redundancy in case one system goes down. You'll probably have to install an additional power/fuse block that's isolated separately from your factory installed fuse block; it'll help keep your electronics working better with less interference from lights, blowers, etc. Open array or radome? An old charter fisherman told me to go with a radome because his clients would get lines tangled in his open array...so I went with a radome and haven't had any problems for 10 years. The higher power (6-8kw) will work better in rain and rough seas than the 4kw but the trade off is higher cost. As for auto pilot, I have one but seldom use it because of the same reasons that BrianW talked about; it'll make you a lazy driver and it's real easy to get in trouble very quickly at 20 knots although at slow speeds on long trips, it's well worth it. We came across the Gulf of Alaska from Elfin Cove to Hitchenbrook Entrance and the autopilot paid for itself. Good luck and enjoy your new boat! Mike

  12. #12
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    I love Garmin products. I have a 198C sonar/depth finder. I love it. It has blue water for here in Alaska and the whole lower 48. Could not be any happier.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Default

    Whatever you do, have then add the rear helm station while it is being built.

  14. #14

    Default 27 ft Wooldridge Deep Water

    How was your trip to the Wooldridge factory? Can't wait to see it. I will be stoping by the factory down there in November to check it out.

  15. #15

    Default Congrats...

    on what should be a great boat for you. I fish in a 22' Wooldridge and it gets the job done! Take a look at Simrad for your electronics. I would either use Simrad or Garmin fully networked components. Enjoy your boat!

  16. #16
    Member kaisersosei's Avatar
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    Smile Wooldridge Factory

    Hey guys, I just got back from my visit to the Wooldridge factory and had a very nice tour of the facility and spoke to the guys at the shop about how they build them and some of the options that they have fabricated for other customers. Really some cool ideas and I am going to adopt a few of them on my boat. I am now adding the removable davit pot-puller and an alum hatch on the bow above the v-berth for easy access to the front area. They did one on another boat and it is much more comfortable than the normal "hatch" that other boats have. I am also extending the cabin 18 inches to accomodate more room inside. The exciting option was to have approximately 200 gallon fuel capacity. With all these options, I am reaching the paradox of cost versus convenience though. The boat is speeding beyond the $100,000 mark very quickly. A part of me says that I might as well get what I want this time and another says just to get the darn boat for as low as possible with basic options. Some of the bigger options are as follows. I wonder if some of you boat-owners can give me some advice.

    1. Suzuki 175 twin option (about 56mph WOT) $4600.00
    2. Self-baling deck & 200 gal fuel w/fish box $4900.00
    3. Raymarine C80 radar setup w/ all options $8000.00
    4. Wallas stove/heater with blower lid $2060.00
    5. Maxwell windlass winch & 400ft line $1924.00


    Rear helm? I didn't really think of that. I wonder if it is worth the cost.

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    Default

    The rear helm on my boat turned out to be the second most important option I added. Trolling for silvers, back trolling while drifting for halibut, and using it to manuever the boat while docking.
    The best option I had added was the macerater and pump for the fish box.

  18. #18
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    The rear helm on my boat turned out to be the second most important option I added. Trolling for silvers, back trolling while drifting for halibut, and using it to manuever the boat while docking. Being out on the rear deck enjoying a sunny day while running the boat. Priceless!
    The best option I had added was the macerater and pump for the fish box.

  19. #19

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    Great forum - just found it.

    Congrats on the new boat - it really sounds like a nice one. I have a boat that sounds similar (28' Grayling). Here are some ideas:

    1. Definately go with the extra fuel capacity. And a self bailing deck is a must in my opinion.

    2. I really like the idea of a macerator pump on the fish box - wish I had one! Been bailing with a square bucket or pumping with a portable bilge pump with battery jumpers.

    3. Sounds like lots of power. I have a 48 mph (40 knots) WOT speed, but I rarely cruise more than 25 knots and usually around 20 knots; 16 - 18 knots in rough water. While it's nice to have lots of power, I rarely use it (too painful at the pump after a weekend on the water). The only time I need the extra power is powering up swells in following seas, but I'm never near WOT in those conditions.

    Something else to consider is getting back to port on one engine - hope that never happens to you since the engines are new, but.... After owning both twin and single outboard setups, I believe that the best set up is one large main outboard with a good size kicker. Suggest you explore this further as it may save some bucks.

    The reason I think this is the best set up is because I find it difficult to get on plane with one twin without changing props - can be done but a chore while on the water (either leaning way too far over the stern or in a dinghy). And when an engine quits it usually seems to be in not so great conditions. That being the case, you'll not make any better time chugging/displacing water with one twin as opposed to a good size kicker. Also, running one twin in this condition would likely mean lugging it, which is hard on bearings. It woulld also use much more fuel for no benefit. With a kicker (50 hp ought to do fine on your boat), you can also use it to troll and move around on your drift much more efficiently as it would be propped right for cruising in displacement mode.

    Of course, the limitaiton is the main outboard hp available right now. 250 hp may do you well; 300 would be better but that means running a 2-stroke (which isn't necessarily a bad thing either). Sure wish someone would build a 300 hp 4-stroke!

    4. Go with the windlass - rode length seems ok but you'll need more if you plan on fishing deeper water while at anchor.

    5. Not sure how high the bow railings are on your boat, but they need to be at least waist height. Seems like lots of boats have bow rails that offer little protection since they are mounted too low. The rails also should enclose the entire bow deck - not just the sides.

    6. Make sure that the radar arch is wide enough where is connects to the cabin to slide a dinghy through.

    7. Since you went with the extra cabin space, you may consdier getting a suspension seat for the co-pilot (significant other, presumably). Ease and comfort of the SO is of paramount importance on my boat - if she's getting bounced around and sees me having a smooth ride, that means less time on the water. Been there, done that. I now have her on a suspension seat and life is good!

    8. Not sure if your boat has the porta potty in the cuddy - if it does suggest putting in a real head near the back of cabin. Makes for easier access at night and you don't smell the head while trying to get to sleep. Also make sure there's a decent size tank - I have a 24 gallon tank and can get by for about 6 - 8 trips without emptying it (two adults and two kids). Having the extra capacity is nice since conditions don't always allow getting 3 miles into open water for a legal dump.

    Hope that helps - I'll be sure to look for your boat at the show this winter.

  20. #20

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    1. Suzuki 175 twin option (about 56mph WOT) $4600.00
    Yes

    2. Self-baling deck & 200 gal fuel w/fish box $4900.00
    No (not for that price, bilge pumps work too.) If the front is self-bailing, assumming the cabin seperates the front and rear deck space, that's all you'll need.

    3. Raymarine C80 radar setup w/ all options $8000.00
    Do you like Raymarine? Is it user friendly?

    4. Wallas stove/heater with blower lid $2060.00
    Yes

    5. Maxwell windlass winch & 400ft line $1924.00
    No


    Just my opinions.

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