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Old 01-04-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
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$5,000 to spend on NAV system?

I will likely get numerous responses, which is good. I have a 39 Californian. We boat on the Columbia River and Astoria. The most ambitious thing we will do is motor to the Puget Sound. Presently, I essentially have NO working radar, my I-phone with Navionics is my chart plotter. More for less is good, but I NEED to get real for safety sake. If I could get suggested nomenclature from a number of you for a complete Nav system at the most reasonable price, that would be great. I'm not opposed to I-pad, etc too. I do want integration with radar though.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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Your timing is perfect. Visit the Seattle boat show and talk to all the suppliers. $5K for a plotter and radar installed seems a bit tight though.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:08 PM   #3
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I would recommend avoiding Raymarine. I would also suggest Furuno for radar, since it seems to be the choice of commercial installations and boaters. You can't go wrong with Garmin for nav. Personally, I use a computer with daylight screen for nav, and I prefer my radar separate, but to each his own.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:02 PM   #4
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Well, I'm biased I admit, but if it was us (and it was a few years ago) the only brand we would consider is Furuno.

There are other excellent plotters out there--- Standard Horizon is very nice with the brightest screens in the industry: we put one on our smaller boat the other year--- and some people swear by Garmin (I don't) and there are others.

But you say you need radar. And as far as I'm concerned when it comes to radar there is Furuno and there is..... well, that's it really.

So that being the case, the best choice in my opinion is Furuno's NavNet integrated systems. They are radar units that can incorporate a plotter and a depth/fish finder. We got a NavNet VX2 with the radar and (C-Map) plotter. We did not opt for the depth finder module as the boat already has a good one.

Furuno still offers the NavNet VX2 but they have added NavNet 3D, which I know nothing about. So if you are interested in Furuno I would check out both the NavNet VX2 and 3D.

The two things about radar/plotters I think are important are the display screen size and the antenna width. Furuno has discontinued the 7" NavNet display and today offers only the 10" display. This is a Good Thing for you. We bought the 7" display because the 10" display would not fit on our retractable radar mount at the lower helm. It works fine for our particular application but if the 10" display would have fit, that's what we would have bought.

The width of the radar antenna helps determine its ability to resolve targets. The wider the antenna the better the target resolution will be. In the boating we do we do not need all that much range with the radar. With all the islands blocking line-of-sight signals the farthest a radar is able to "see" most of the time around here is 8 to 10 miles. We have never run ours at a range more than 6 miles and 99.999 percent of the time we operate it at range settings of an eighth of a mile to three miles.

We also wanted a radome as opposed to an open array (this is not a condemnation of open arrays--- they're great). So we got the 36-mile, 24" radome. The only other radome Furuno offers is 18" and I would not recommend that.

Anything larger than 24" in Furuno's lineup will be an open array antenna.

So my vote for your $5,000 spent on an integrated radar/plotter would be a Furuno NavNet.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:39 PM   #5
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I really like Garmin. Great quality and a lot of bang for the buck. Grab a 4012 Chartplotter, 24HD radar, G2 Vision and you're still under $5K
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sunchaser View Post
Your timing is perfect. Visit the Seattle boat show and talk to all the suppliers. $5K for a plotter and radar installed seems a bit tight though.
I agree that 5K is a little tight when you consider it has to be installed. I also agree that Furuno has the best quality radar but not the friendliest. One of the Garmin plotters would be my choice and since most new MFDs are plug and play, you can add more bells and whistles later, (ie: video, fish finder, etc,)

Good luck in your search!
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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A Standard Horizon with a Sitex radome will give you the most bang for the buck. Probably have enough money left over for an iPad too.

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Old 01-05-2013, 12:25 AM   #8
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I really like Garmin. Great quality and a lot of bang for the buck. Grab a 4012 Chartplotter, 24HD radar, G2 Vision and you're still under $5K
I agree that Garmin would be my first choice. Of course it's a personal preference, but I think I'd spend more on the Chartplotter (Garmin 5212 - $2900) to get touchscreen simplicity over the 4012 or 4212 for $2000. I'd definitely invest in the G2 Vision option.

If money was still tight, I'd downsize the radar to an 18HD for $1200 vs. the more capable 24HD for $1700. IMO, the narrow beam, digital 18HD (36 mile) will outperform most old technology 24 inch radars. In real world use, it's the height of the antenna that dictates range (line of sight), not the marketing distance value that the manufacturer assigns the unit under ideal conditions.

IMO, it's tough to beat the networking and simple interface of the Garmin units, coupled with their advanced features and good product support.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:11 AM   #9
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I'm going to vote for the Furuno Navnet VX2 as well

You could get the model 1834C/NT and the black box sounder for well under your $5K budget.

That has a 4 kw radar in a raydome, a 10" display, and black box sounder.

Or for the same $5K you could get the open array radar model 1934C/NT just without the black box sounder.

I have the Navnet VX2 in our boat and have had great reliability and support when we needed it (my fault not the gears). We have two displays, the open array radar, and have a third display I'll be installing this spring.

Here's an example of the support I got from furuno. This spring I was bringing my boat up from Anacortes to Alaska and was trying to upload routes from Cmaps program to the plotter. Well I hit the wrong set of buttons and screwed up my display but good.

I called Furuno tech support from the sat phone, in a very remote area of BC and they got an expert on the line in less than a minute who walked me through the issue, helped me with a master clear/reset to fix the problem, and was a generally great help. I cannot say enough good about the tech support I recieved when I needed it the most.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:29 AM   #10
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I just did my homework and purchased a system myself. The radar arrived yesterday. While it came down to a choice between Furuno and Simrad, Simrad won out. For the Navigation I need, and your are similiar, the 4G Radar will be better than Furuno. The 4G Radar with the NSE chartplotter is excellent for in close. With the NSE it will also be dual range. I have a NSS chart plotter as well and a Garmin and both are built extremely light compared to the NSE ( It's a brick very heavy in weight ).
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:48 AM   #11
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Yes, I would have said Simrad or Lowrance (essentially the same), with a 7-8" sonar/GPS display and the 4G broadband radar. (Which will overlay - or use a split screen). You might even have enough left over then for an AIS unit. That's what I would get if I could afford $5k on a new outfit.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:59 AM   #12
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I have a full networked "Blackbox" Furuno VX2 suite, 1944 radar and 1920 plotter (which since it is networked, can show radar from the 1944). While it has served me very well over the last 6 years, and many thousands of miles under the keel, and Furuno has offered very good support, it is not necessarily what I'd go with today nor is it, in my opinion "all that", including the highly regarded radar.

I would be looking at Garmin (American company) first and Simrad/Lowrance second, Raymarine (under new ownership by FLIR) then Furuno. Easier interfaces, and the newer radars in the OPs budget by Garmin and Simrad are really, really nice. Haven't seen the Raymarine in action so can't comment. With that budget and cruising grounds, I'd splurge on the radar and sounder as most important.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:09 AM   #13
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I have a pair of integrated Furuno Navnet systems that are now around 10 years old with around 8,000 hours of use on them. Simply bullet proof, wished my PCs would last this long. Furuno definitely makes the best radars and have great radar plotter overlays. Have the 5KW 3.5' open array antenna (no longer offered) as a primary and the 24' dome as a back up. Simply, size and power matters. The larger the antenna, the better the separation of targets in close proximity. When you are traveling in the fog, you want to know if that's the inlet buoy or there is a small boat fishing next to the inlet buoy.

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Old 01-05-2013, 08:54 AM   #14
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Simrad

Last winter I installed the Simrad NSS12 at both upper and lower stations and included the 3G radome radar, the BSS sounder and autopilot all networked. I chose Simrad as I found it easiest to navigate through the menus especially with the touch screen. All came to about 12k but remember this was at two stations. My buddy installed the NSS8 on his center console this spring. He is a hard core recreational tuna fisherman and he is equally happy with his system. His last boat had complete Furuno system networked. Also note I completed the installation myself so no cost to me for installation. I also just noticed last week that Simrad has a new module so that you can network in your IPAD wirelessly. I think I may purchase and install this winter.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:47 AM   #15
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Your timing is perfect. Visit the Seattle boat show and talk to all the suppliers. $5K for a plotter and radar installed seems a bit tight though.
x2. It's a great time to play with all the MFD displays and see what works best for you.

Quote:
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I would recommend avoiding Raymarine. I would also suggest Furuno for radar, since it seems to be the choice of commercial installations and boaters. You can't go wrong with Garmin for nav. Personally, I use a computer with daylight screen for nav, and I prefer my radar separate, but to each his own.
Why avoid Raymarine? I have been using their systems for years, and have had no problems- and customer service has been great. Now with FLIR pumping $$$ into the company, the new generation MFDs are state of the art and will only get better.

I recently installed a complete Raymarine system onboard our boat- 2 12' MFDs, 4' HD digital radar, and P79 transducer, interfaced with a SH GX-2150 for AIS. We use our iPad as a 3rd station repeater. Couldn't be happier.

I don't like the way Garmin doesn't support its older products. I do like Furuno, but not the pricing a new system would cost. the new TX Touch is awesome, but pricey. Lowrance/Navico product is getting better, but their customer service is still below par IMO.

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Originally Posted by Sam View Post
I will likely get numerous responses, which is good. I have a 39 Californian. We boat on the Columbia River and Astoria. The most ambitious thing we will do is motor to the Puget Sound. Presently, I essentially have NO working radar, my I-phone with Navionics is my chart plotter. More for less is good, but I NEED to get real for safety sake. If I could get suggested nomenclature from a number of you for a complete Nav system at the most reasonable price, that would be great. I'm not opposed to I-pad, etc too. I do want integration with radar though.

Thanks,

sam nigro
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I just went thru the same situation, and went with Raymarine. Here's a sample system just priced out from Hodges Marine this morning:


Raymarine C97 Multifunction Display W/Sonar - Us Coastal Charts - $1,828.43

Raymarine Rd424hd 4kw High-Def Radar W/10m Cable, Crossover Coupler & 1.5m Network Cable - $2,077.12

Airmar H2183 Heading Sensor (No Cable) - $594.21

Garmin Nmea 2000 Starter Kit - $65.76

Raymarine C9x/E9x Trunnion Bracket Mounting Kit - $50.83

Raymarine P79 Adjustable In-Hull Depth Angle Transducer - $120.92

Standard Horizon Gx2150b Class D 25w Matrix Ais - $337.62


Total:

$5,074.89


Mount the gear at your primary nav station, and get an iPad (used iPad 1 or 2 with 3G off Craigslist is about $300) to use at your 2nd station. If you don't need the radar overlay, you can delete the Airmar sensor and NMEA starter kit (if you have an autopilot, you already have a heading sensor) and save almost $700.

Install should take 8 to 16 hours- it's complete DIY.

No matter what system you select, take the time to learn how to use it. The fanciest gadget in the world isn't worth spit if you can't use it, and not learning WILL bite yoou in the arse.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:47 AM   #16
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Nobody makes "bad electronics" anymore. a 5k system today, is miles ahead of what you could buy for 3 times that amount just a few years ago.
Any of the popular brands will make you happy. Some just more than others.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #17
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I am biased here too but if you want the Alfa Romero of vehicles I would suggest that you save a bit more to spend, then I would suggest to stick with what you are use to using i.e. Navionics.

Purchase a 10" Lowrance HDS10 with StructureScan Sonar then add Platinum Navionics XL3, 3G or the 4G Radar. Otherwise you will only end up with a Lexus or a Caddy based on the above suggestions i.e. you could still be happy but not as happy. Money does buy happiness sometimes.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:02 AM   #18
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The Simrad 4G is a great radar. There's no comparison for close-in performance, which is what I care more about. The only problem with these radars which are FMCW, not pulsed, is that they're more susceptible to interference from traditional radars on the same frequency. For example, one Washington ferry will produce lots of radial lines on the display when it gets within a mile or two, while another won't.

You can get the 4G and an NSS8 for under $4k and easily install them yourself. The radar communicates via ethernet. The supplied network and power cable and connectors are small diameter and easily routed.

I had a Furuno on my last boat and probably would have gone with them again, if they had an FMCW radar.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
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I'd agree about the Lowrance/Navico product line if we were discussing bass boats or other fishing vessels, for I believe they are on the cutting edge of that market. On the OP's vessel, I'll have to disagree with the selection of a Lowrance system.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:19 PM   #20
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I'd agree about the Lowrance/Navico product line if we were discussing bass boats or other fishing vessels, for I believe they are on the cutting edge of that market. On the OP's vessel, I'll have to disagree with the selection of a Lowrance system.

Thanks Pete!!!

I just spit out my coffee!!!

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