hen it comes to national stereotypes, Seattle is usually painted as a mecca of coffee, rain, salmon and whip-smart techies who often spend free time boating on the region’s world-class cruising grounds. One such techie, a 51-year-old software executive, purchased a 2007 Nordhavn 55 in 2016, despite having owned nothing bigger than a bass boat when he was a kid. After three days of instruction on close-quarters maneuvering, he loaded up his family and cruised to Canada’s Desolation Sound. The multiweek itinerary was proof that modern electronics can make boating easier and safer for novices than ever before in marine history, but it also exposed shortcomings that required an electronics refit at Seattle’s Emerald Harbor Marine. There, the owner added three 19-inch Furuno touchscreen displays connected to two Furuno NavNet TZtouch black-box processors and a personal computer; a Furuno radar system; and a remote-monitoring and vessel-security system. While the owner did his homework and contributed ideas, a major key to success, he says, was working with an experienced shop. “They had veto power over everything,” he says, “but they exercised it gracefully.” While fiberglass, carbon fiber and stainless steel can last for decades or longer, engines, electronics and other onboard systems have considerably shorter life spans. Wear and tear, along with technology’s nonstop evolution, create inevitable obsolescence. That’s why electronics refits are a great way to breathe new life into older pedigree yachts while increasing on-the-water enjoyment.