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Old 02-20-2015, 07:46 AM   #61
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They make simple and intuitive machines, they also have great customer service. I think they'll be the best bang for your buck.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:29 AM   #62
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I agree with Oliver. I haven't used the Garmin gear myself, but have yet to meet an unhappy customer.

It's also worth emphasizing that if you are building a more typical system, the integrated systems work much better and are really nice when they do work. Aside from the MARAP being junk on the Simrad radars, I think 90% of the issues I ran into were related to building a larger system with redundant everything.

Speaking of the Simrad MARPA issues, I was browsing YouTube last night and came across a MARPA tutorial video from 2012. The vectors were swinging around just like on my boat. I think that's confirmation of 2 things:

1) This is a long-standing issues/deficiency in Simrad's radar offering

2) Unless you've used good ARPA/MARPA, you will just assume the Simrad product is operating correctly even though it isn't. And 99% of the operators don't realize it's deficient or they would have been screaming bloody murder for a long time.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:47 AM   #63
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I agree with Oliver. I haven't used the Garmin gear myself, but have yet to meet an unhappy customer.

It's also worth emphasizing that if you are building a more typical system, the integrated systems work much better and are really nice when they do work. Aside from the MARAP being junk on the Simrad radars, I think 90% of the issues I ran into were related to building a larger system with redundant everything.

Speaking of the Simrad MARPA issues, I was browsing YouTube last night and came across a MARPA tutorial video from 2012. The vectors were swinging around just like on my boat. I think that's confirmation of 2 things:

1) This is a long-standing issues/deficiency in Simrad's radar offering

2) Unless you've used good ARPA/MARPA, you will just assume the Simrad product is operating correctly even though it isn't. And 99% of the operators don't realize it's deficient or they would have been screaming bloody murder for a long time.
Please take this in the context in which it is intended, to learn and not be critical.

another opinion on electronics. I like the mini arpa (furuno) BECAUSE it doesn't automatically track tergets. The operator intervention makes me have more situational awareness by my interpretation of which targets need my intention. Those of us who used the old hooded radars, don't miss the hood but still use the EBL and VRM to confirm constant bearing, decreasing range. After all the bells and whistles, that is the only thing that matter.
This is not an endorsement for Furuno.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:15 AM   #64
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When purchasing my vessel, I had planed to replace the entire system as well. I spent a great deal of time researching the solution and agonizing over my choice. First let's be clear, it is mostly a personal choice, like Chevy vs ford. There are reasons some have for their choice as you have gone through.

The good in my decision was hundreds of lbs of wiring and a antiquated system gone. I really was leaning towards a Garmin based solution. If I was not a technology geek I likely would have gone down that path. My choice was this. A Furuno backup system (Navnet 3d system in my Flybridge. It can control everything needed if we had problems. The core system runs a glass bridge solution using Nobletec running on Mac mini's (more on that later). This choice was two fold, first, I wanted 3 x 21" screens to display my system and while most marine multifunction devices offer big screens or black box solutions with big monitors, the cost were out of hand. I ended up getting high contrast marine displays for $2500 each. Compare that to a Furuno or Garmin equivalent....I wanted to have some flexibility with my system and wanted upgrades to be easy. This offered the most for that. My depth sounder, radar, are all Furuno chirp sounder and HD radar included.

My displays beyond the 3x screens are all iPads with the exception of the touch screen that supports my analog to digital engine monitoring and DC switches. I replaced 25 rocker switches with two of these. The iPad's show NMEA data, video camera, light controls, and sometimes charting info depending on who is on board and what they want to see. Why iPads? Find a better, inexpensive bulletproof ( I validated with my four kids abusing different iPads over the years) solution. I often joke I could do drive my boat from and iPad from home if someone could start it. iPads can run a passive copy of Nobletec as well as a great secondary charting platform called Navionics (<100$). The iPads run liveCamsUs (video solution using DLink wireless cameras and axis wired (PoE) camera. They also run NMEARemote witch displays my engine, weather, environmental data. Best part...these apps are constantly updated. I used remote screen sharing or dedicated apps for the other purposes on the iPads (I have a few on board).

Back to the choice of Nobletec. This gave me the power and flexibility to display what ever I wanted without limited to brand. Such as my video solutions, my web pages for analog to digital gauges, NMEA data software, or surf the Internet from the same platform. Lots of flexibility without limitations with a closed loop system. The choice of Mac mini's was recent. Good thing for flexibility. Best hardware platform already setup for low consumption, solid state drives for a hardened boating system, fanless. Find a better solution for the money. The Only hard part is replacing the OS for windows but that is so common now it was not a big deal.

What does that provide me with? A platform that has both a second station running my charting/sounder/radar solution, that can be used for planning or wardering minds while the primary system chugs on. A system that can do much more, like trying to find the "end" of the Internet. The flexibility for expansion, with iPad apps or wireless HDMI I can share the display with many rooms (read that as anchor alarms and data in master cabin, or ability to see camera displays, charts, and sounder data for bounty hunting for fish, shrimp, crab.). If all else fails (triple redundancy) I can fall back on the Furuno system in the fly bridge).

Again, it is a choice I made, others have there own reasons for their own choices, but this was mine. If I was not so savvy or had a deep internal desire for new tech, and was ok with the boxing in of a closed platform I think I would have went with a Garmin solution (for their function to value over Furuno).

What other benefit? Well I can sit here and view my boat (via the 5 cameras) from my iPhone, i get monitor motion sound for security, I can turn on or off most things remotely including heat, I can check NMEA data, all from any location. This with a mostly integrated system. The exception is the Nest heat control, you use and app to control but not so integrated to the other systems. These thing became limited or product bounded with a closed looped system.

The biggest trade off, if you don't know how to fix it, you got problems. But then again if your Furuno or Garmin system breaks who knows how to repair that? There are a lot more windows experts that Garmin experts.

This was a huge investment and I likely would do a few things over but I never tire of the access or flexibility of the solution. Including the computer upgrade I made recently to the Mac mini's. More power, more redundantly (two macs vs one ship PC), less space, reasonable cost.

This was all done, including the tear out of wiring for less than most electronic packages for most boats of my size when ordered new.






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Old 02-20-2015, 09:49 AM   #65
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I have not read any comments, or seen anything on Garmin, the brand my local Marine store is trying to steer me toward.
Back in the early 90s when GPS was replacing Loran C I bought my first Garmin and for the years following I have compared my new Garmins to others Ratheon/Raymarine, Furuno, and on and on and have never found a manufacturer that makes their programming and operation more intuitive than Garmin. I have thrown away more working old Garmins than the law should allow. I currently have a Garmin network with Garmin radar, Garmin Sonar, West marine AIS, and Sitex autopilot. I have only ever maybe once looked at the directions on how to use it. It just is easy to use. Another couple of thoughts; Furuno used to be the comercial benchmark electronics, they are not what they used to be. I threw my old furuno radar away. Raymarine used to be the recreational benchmark; I believe they lost it. More and more you see the big sport fishers where money doesn't matter using something other than Raymarine or Furuno. Finally, I just think Garmin has the present day momentum in the recreational boating and somewhat into the comercial.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:05 AM   #66
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I doubt you'll see Garmin very popular in commercial (other than some small fishing and 6 pack boats) because of the IMO compliance issue. a brand that has a great reputation but seldom mentioned is Koden. They are supposed to be rugged and user friendly, alyhough I haven't had one of their radars in 25 years or so. The JRC equipment was a surprise to me, very nice picture and user friendly.
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:06 AM   #67
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I have used small old Garmins 120 & 126. Actually went from Cape Cod to Trinidad and back with the 120 and paper charts. But the rap on Garmin now is that they do not support a given model long enough and as they constantly come out with new models they drop "old" models too quickly. That's just what I hear, I still have a 126 aboard as a backup.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:12 PM   #68
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But the rap on Garmin now is that they do not support a given model long enough and as they constantly come out with new models they drop "old" models too quickly. That's just what I hear, I still have a 126 aboard as a backup.
I think you hear good. Garmin does come out with new models all the time. This has the appearance that they are dropping old models as obsolete.

I think Garmin is misunderstood in this area and that the old models are not obsolete. In fact Garmin calls them discontinued. The fact is the discontinued models are still serviced and supported. Of course at some time the discontinued models are obsolete.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:39 AM   #69
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If anyone is throwing away a working GPS , I will happily pay postage.

My Garmin hand held GPS 72 has finally died.

At least plugging it in or installing batts does not bring it to life.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:55 PM   #70
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We are back in action. The electronics refit is complete and we finished sea trials today. Everything is operating as expected. ARPA works correctly on both radars, the auto pilots power up and down correctly, and everything behaves as it should. What a relief.

For those interested, the new set up consists of:

- Coastal Explorer as navigation and charting program, including all routes and control of the auto pilot. This runs on a MacMini using VMWare Fusion and Windows 7.

- Furuno FAR2117 12kw radar with 6' open array. This gets shared instrument data and AIS information, but is otherwise stand alone.

- Furuno 1835 4kw radar with 24" dome. This is the secondary/backup radar, and like the 2117 is stand-alone other than shared instrument and AIS data.

- Furuno NavPilot 700 auto pilot. This is a dual, fully redundant system. A breaker interlock ensures only one is powered on at a time.

- ComNav X3 Class A AIS.

- Furuno FCV627 fish finder. This replaces the fish finder add-on that is available with most multi-function devices, and makes used of the dual frequency transducer that I already have in the boat.

I think that's it. I had to relocate a number of other devices to make room for everything, but it seems to have worked out well.

Now it's time to get back out on the water.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:16 PM   #71
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Below is a list of the electronics we are currently having installed on the boat I run. I hope ours turns out as well as yours.

3 - Garmin 8215
1 - Garmin GMR 1206 XHD array
1 - Garmin GMR404XHD array
4 - Garmin GMI 20 displays
1- Garmin WiFi adapter kit
1 - Garmin GSD26 sounder
1 - Airmar 2/3kw thru hull Chirp transducer
1 - Garmin GCV 10 scanning sonar module
1 - GT30 - THP stainless thru hull transducer with temp
1 - Garmin GRID keypad

Charts
2 - Garmin Jacksonville to Bahamas G2
2 - SE caribbean G2
2 - Mid Atlantic G2

1 - Garmin GMS10 HUB
1 - Garmin GXM52 weather/audio XM
1 - Garmin AIS600


1 - Airmar B122
1 - Airmar ST800
1 - Garmin GBT-10
1 - Garmin GHHP20 autopilot display, smart pump, corepk hydraulic AP and GHC 20 AP control unit display

1 - FLIR M-625L
1 - VAC 4 way video amp
7 - Iris cameras 2 of which are PTZ

Maretron stuff

WSO100 ultrasonic wind and weather station
370 feet of NMEA 2000 cable
12 - micro/mid field straight male connectors
12 - female connectors

Misc.

Several 24v - 12v power supplies.

Custom switch panel with indicator lights on a ships profile outline and back lit switch labeling. Along with silk screened Tank Tander inches-gallons conversion table located next to the Tank Tender. Plus the camera controller, FLIR controller and wiper controller for the new custom windshield mount on the panel as well.

Fusion stereo.
New digital volt meters at helm.

Integrating the SAT internet with the new CradlePoint cellular data router and upgraded Wave WiFi system. Along with 3 new APs.

Seatrials late next week for the electronics and the new larger finned and upgraded electronic controlled NAIADs.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:22 PM   #72
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Sounds like a great setup. Have you used the Garmin gear before? I've never used it, but owners seem to be pretty happy with it.
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Old 03-13-2015, 11:38 PM   #73
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Sounds like a great setup. Have you used the Garmin gear before? I've never used it, but owners seem to be pretty happy with it.
Most of it. The last boat I was on the owner speced pretty much the same stuff. It all work well out of the box but the autopilot. Which took several days to sort out. I like the new WiFi setups Garmin and others have. You don't need a separate or repeater plotter in your cabin to see what's going on at anchor or off watch, just an iPhone or iPad.

Going with Garmin as the new equipment on this boat like the last was the owners choice. In this case it was made before I came aboard. On the last boat the owner had to have it because he thought the touch screens were so cool. That and he wanted to have newer Garmin stuff on his boat than his brother had on his boat.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:57 AM   #74
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On the last boat the owner had to have it because he thought the touch screens were so cool. That and he wanted to have newer Garmin stuff on his boat than his brother had on his boat.
Aah, the real decision criteria.
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:11 AM   #75
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Twisted,
When u say redundant auto pilots are these complete set ups including occur pump or just head units.
I ask as in my experience the most likely failure is the pump.
I have had the same TMQ AP4 autopilot for 20 years and it hasn't failed yet.
I ask as I have often thought of this and mainly thought along the lines of redundant pumps.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:04 AM   #76
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AS electric items have the same half life as windshield wipers or toilet paper ,

one concept is to have the electrical power supply set up for easy R&R.

Not hard to do if its done first.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:42 AM   #77
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When you say redundant auto pilots are these complete set ups
They are complete setups, including pump, rudder feedback, AP computer, and control head(s). The flybridge control head is only connected to AP #1, but the connector could be easily moved to AP #2 if needed.

I attempted to do the same with the Simrad AP, but it doesn't work and creates all sorts of unpredictable behavior. Simrad had told me it would all work, but when I went back to them with the problems I was having, they said it was never meant to be used that way. So I stripped it down to a single system, but with dual pumps and a selector switch to pick which one to use.

With the Furuno system, it's possible to build a fully redundant system, so I went back to that since it's what I wanted in the first place. For many people all this redundancy is completely unnecessary, but we plan to cruise to some pretty far away places, so failures need to be taken pretty seriously. Imagine a pacific crossing where you lose your autopilot half way through. Do you really want to hand steer for 10 days, 24x7? Plus, once you reach your destination, what does it take to repair the problem? Flying parts into 3rd world countries can be a real challenge, very costly, and very time consuming. We also carry a lot of spares for all the same reasons.
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:24 PM   #78
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AS electric items have the same half life as windshield wipers or toilet paper ,

one concept is to have the electrical power supply set up for easy R&R.

Not hard to do if its done first.
????????????
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:50 PM   #79
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They are complete setups, including pump, rudder feedback, AP computer, and control head(s)...
I'm all for redundancy and you set up quite a complete new system. I'm curious about your thinking with the second autopilot. I've always considered that manual steering was an acceptable backup for an autopilot. That's sort of like a manual bilge pump (or a bucket) being a backup for an electronic one - it's not as good as the primary system but it meets the requirement in an emergency.

Why did you feel the need to add a full second autopilot system?
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Old 03-14-2015, 01:59 PM   #80
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Capt Bill

I may have missed it, do you have a laptop or computer based charting system?

Jeff, Peter may not say it but Nordhavn feels AP redundancy on long ocean cruises is pretty important. I asked the same question of Nordhavn a few years ago during a new build spec out and they said users have found AP systems in total, used 24/7 for say a 15 day run, can have issues.
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