As I’ve said before, I’m pretty sure there’s a game to buying a sailboat. Spend more money for a newer (read: more modern) sailboat and hope the gear that comes with it will work the day after the survey. IE: you will get more actual gear on a newer, more expensive sailboat that you have to spend more for, up front. Or,,,,spend much less money for an older boat upon purchase and have the comfort that you can equip her with all the equipment that you want,,,,because most of what she has will need to be replaced. Upon buying our sailboat in early 2015, I think we took the middle of this road. We fought for a good deal on the boat, which came with lots of equipment. It all worked during the survey but then upon closer inspection, we decided most of the electronics would need replacement. And the rigging would need a complete overhaul, the bottom would need some work and a myriad of other things would need to get done prior to cruising. In Fall we replaced the Autopilot Control Head but didn’t have to replace the entire autopilot, it works. Since we bought the boat, we knew we could have to replace the radar, chart plotter and GPS prior to leaving to cruise. The current radar on our boat works, but it’s analog and the viewing screen is burned out, there’s not another one to be had. The Chartplotter and GPS on the boat also work, but they’re original (I think) and should probably be replaced.
So, on Saturday while messing about in San Diego, we were doing some research on Radar’s and Multi-Function Displays at West Marine, NOT intending to buy a thing. But, in the back of my mind I try to remember there’s always last year’s models and there could be package deals, which may not sell as well as individual pieces, because not every boater needs that exact equipment. After talking the Electronics Department Manager for awhile and making sure he knew we were going to be cruising sailboaters (not racers) and that we had limited income but old analog gear, he remembered that he may have a package deal in the back. The package had a smaller multi-function display than what we were looking at originally but with radar, GPS and chart plotter, it was exactly what we needed, and we saved $3400, just by asking what package deals he had and making sure we were ok with a bit smaller screen for the display. Seems like this works out. So, now I have a giant box of RayMarine A Series Multi-Function Display, 4kw Radar, and cables with Navionics Chart capability. Sounds good to me.