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Bought 27' Wooldridge Pilot House

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  • 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.


  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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........
      We never really grow up, we only learn
      how to act in public


      • #4
        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
          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.


          • #6
            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.
            I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
            Bill Hicks


            • #7
              Were you in west marine today looking at electronics? This sounds too familiar.


              • #8

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


                • #9
                  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 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
                    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"....


                    • #11
                      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 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
                        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


                        • #13
                          Whatever you do, have then add the rear helm station while it is being built.


                          • #14
                            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

                              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!


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