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Old 05-18-2016, 10:22 AM   #41
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Curious about why you have that opinion of MaxSea?

I haven't found it not able to do something I want to do... but then I don't really do all that much with it, probably haven't exercised 80% of the various features either on the NN3D plotter or the computers.

And I don't have much comparative experience with other brands; last was a Raymarine something or other from about 12 years ago...

-Chris

Part of it is personal. I just don't like the way it's set up and is operated. But what is intuitive to one person is not to another.

They had a cruising mode and planning mode and you could only do certain things in each mode. Switching modes did a shutdown and restart on the app and took forever, which brings me to the next issue.

It was dog slow, and I was running it on a brand new fully capable laptop. Time-zero my ass. Starting the app took forever, and zooming and scrolling was downright painful.

I don't remember the details, but there were a bunch of things related to recording tracks and exporting them in standard formats that just didn't work. I spent countless hours struggling with it and finally sent in a support request. Some long time later the answer back was, yes we know that doesn't work and will fix it sometime. Not very confidence inspiring.

And the networking with the NN3D MFDs was convoluted and flakey. To this day lots of people have trouble with the MaxSea/Furuno networking and devices dropping out.

When I started using CE, it was like the clouds had cleared and a breath of fresh air came through.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:31 AM   #42
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Be careful comparing Nobletec and MaxSea. Up until a few years ago, Nobletec was a separate product and much loved by many people. When MaxSea acquired the assets of Nobletec, they started merging the Nobletec product in with MaxSea. The current Nobletec products are MaxSea at their core and just carry the Nobletec name.

So it's no longer meaningful to say "I liked my Nobletec so expect to continue to like the new versions". You really need to evaluate whether you like MaxSea and want to buy into it moving forward.

The same thing is largely true with Simrad. Most of what survives today is just the name. So old love doesn't necessarily imply new love.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:36 PM   #43
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Part of it is personal. I just don't like the way it's set up and is operated. But what is intuitive to one person is not to another.

They had a cruising mode and planning mode and you could only do certain things in each mode. Switching modes did a shutdown and restart on the app and took forever, which brings me to the next issue.

It was dog slow, and I was running it on a brand new fully capable laptop. Time-zero my ass. Starting the app took forever, and zooming and scrolling was downright painful.

I don't remember the details, but there were a bunch of things related to recording tracks and exporting them in standard formats that just didn't work. I spent countless hours struggling with it and finally sent in a support request. Some long time later the answer back was, yes we know that doesn't work and will fix it sometime. Not very confidence inspiring.

And the networking with the NN3D MFDs was convoluted and flakey. To this day lots of people have trouble with the MaxSea/Furuno networking and devices dropping out.

Interesting, thanks.

FWIW, I've only use Planning Mode on the computers... which are both decent, but the laptop is about 5 years old now... but MaxSea is instant, no time lag apparent in anything I've tried to do, including scrolling and zooming and so forth.

Our NN3D MFD and computer versions seem to take about the same amount of time to boot up.

I had a couple support questions over the years, mostly about installing the updates (and usually associated with SQL server stuff already on the computers). I think I got answers next day each time, probably influenced by time zones. This from MaxSea in France...

My networks are almost all Furuno (i.e., only excepting the two ICOM radios)... and I haven't tried to network the laptop with the MFD and other stuff on the NMEA2000 and NMEA0183 networks... so haven't experienced any of that kind of problem.

I also haven't done much with exporting, or downloading other than to create point/route/track back-ups.

Your point about user interfaces being intuitive (or not) is certainly right on. I eventually become more tuned into the NN3D MFD before I got the MaxSea computer versions... and I guess that in turn meant the computer versions were close enough that I'd already gotten over that hill.

-Chris
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:10 PM   #44
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Wifey B: I give an A+but to Transas. Great system but way overkill if you're just doing short cruises.

I give an A to Furuno. It was my first, always worked fine, Very happy with it.

I give an Aqualified to MaxSea as I've used it for coastal cruising but never further.

I give an A+ to Garmin. I was like when we had to choose between Simrad, Raymarine and Garmin. Like Simrad autopilots but that's sort of all I knew about them. Knew some problems Sea Ray people were having with new Raymarine. Funny thing is we have Garmin on our RIB and it's always been good. Well, this boat we're on now is all Garmin. I love love love it. Plotters, monitors, antenna's, depth, temp, and speed gauges, autopilot, Sonar, VHF, Wifi Adapter. Only thing we have not Garmin is nightvision and it's FLIR but the integration is standard part of Garmin's system.

Sometimes it's just good to look fresh and new. Maybe a year from now I'll think Garmin sucks, but right now I really like it. I like new toys too and learning a new system has been fun.

I can't freaking believe I'm saying this but if I was doing a boat right now, I'd probably choose Garmin just like we have.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:31 PM   #45
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Make the effort to find the system that you think you want and try it hands on. There is an effort by manufacturers to eliminate pushbuttons to reduce costs. The results are more menu driven items. Things like radar gain, range, sea and rain clutter controls buried in a pulldown menu will drive you insane while sitting still much less attempted in the fog or at night. You end up having to memorize the path to get the desired result.
Another thing is the number of buttons that need to be pushed to accompllish a simple routine task. On my Lowrance/Simrad radar to go from standby to transmit:
Press and hold the POWER button for 3 seconds. Not 2 (nothing happens) or 4 (unit shuts off. Duh, you held the POWER button stupid!). A pop up question "Do you want to set the radar to TRANSMIT?" YES or NO? The default setting is NO. So now you have to use the cursor buttons to move the arrow over to the YES button and push the ENTER button. The whole time you're doing this your eyes are not looking out where they should be.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:17 PM   #46
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Make the effort to find the system that you think you want and try it hands on. There is an effort by manufacturers to eliminate pushbuttons to reduce costs. The results are more menu driven items. Things like radar gain, range, sea and rain clutter controls buried in a pulldown menu will drive you insane while sitting still much less attempted in the fog or at night. You end up having to memorize the path to get the desired result.
Another thing is the number of buttons that need to be pushed to accompllish a simple routine task. On my Lowrance/Simrad radar to go from standby to transmit:
Press and hold the POWER button for 3 seconds. Not 2 (nothing happens) or 4 (unit shuts off. Duh, you held the POWER button stupid!). A pop up question "Do you want to set the radar to TRANSMIT?" YES or NO? The default setting is NO. So now you have to use the cursor buttons to move the arrow over to the YES button and push the ENTER button. The whole time you're doing this your eyes are not looking out where they should be.
Point taken- counter point:

Modern electronics are not IMO designed to reduce costs, but are taking advantage of evolutionary shifts in the market. Take the current generation of MFDs from all manufacturers- touch screen, pinch zoom, built-in WiFi/Bluetooth, built-in manuals, and more. Just like the smart phones we are all carrying today.

The buttonology of any MFD is a factor of getting familiar with the steps to perform a task- it's that simple. Turning on the radar on my RM gear is as simple as pressing the menu soft key, press radar, and press transmit.
Or-press the power button, then press the transmit soft key.

2 ways to achieve the same result.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:34 PM   #47
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I just completed a complete replacement of all my electronics, top to bottom. After an exhaustive investigation of all the top brands and playing with all of them at West Marine, (Recommended) I went with Raymarine. The plotters are incredibly intuitive, the HD Color radrar is terrific and the fish finder (depth sounder) better than I expected. Especially the "Down Vision" that is on the Raymarine Es 128. In shallow water fishing, you can't beat it! The Es127 & 128 have WiFi and even other non Raymarine hardware like my Maretron Fuel management System communicates with the plotters seamlessly. All screens are "pinch" or "knob" to expand or reduce the graphics and I find myself using both with ease.

I agree with others that there is not a dime's worth of difference among the leaders but I found Furuno's radar to be the best but Raymarine's was better than Garmin & Simrad. Also, the raymarine A/P has a lot of neat features and is a breeze to use.

My decision boiled down as to what units were the most intuitive & Raymarine won going away!

We went Raymarine and never looked back. Great systems.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:12 AM   #48
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Electronics are not like a water pump or search light.

I would NEVER have any install by folks that will be thousands of miles away.

The hand held VHF and GPS can be checked out before going aboard.

And will work for at least the first few years while you decide how entertaining the nav system should be.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:04 AM   #49
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There is an lot of good thought in the answers in this post! I am certainly learning things here...

So don't abandon the post without letting us know the end of the story.
Did you do the install?
What product did you choose?
What chart chip provider did you buy?
Are you a happy camper?
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:27 PM   #50
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Electronics are not like a water pump or search light.

I would NEVER have any install by folks that will be thousands of miles away.
So how does that work once you cruise away from your home port?

Or do you just bring one of their techs along for the duration of the cruise?
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:32 PM   #51
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Make the effort to find the system that you think you want and try it hands on. There is an effort by manufacturers to eliminate pushbuttons to reduce costs. The results are more menu driven items. Things like radar gain, range, sea and rain clutter controls buried in a pulldown menu will drive you insane while sitting still much less attempted in the fog or at night. You end up having to memorize the path to get the desired result.
Another thing is the number of buttons that need to be pushed to accompllish a simple routine task. On my Lowrance/Simrad radar to go from standby to transmit:
Press and hold the POWER button for 3 seconds. Not 2 (nothing happens) or 4 (unit shuts off. Duh, you held the POWER button stupid!). A pop up question "Do you want to set the radar to TRANSMIT?" YES or NO? The default setting is NO. So now you have to use the cursor buttons to move the arrow over to the YES button and push the ENTER button. The whole time you're doing this your eyes are not looking out where they should be.


Well said and important to think about, a lot of menu driven electronics are sold in well lite stores with displays made to maximize visibility.

Oh, and the store is usually not bouncing all over the place while you are trying to hold on and use your stubby fingers to press the right button or bar.

I may make fun of my Raymarine E-80, as 1960's technology, dressed up to look like 1999 and sold in 2006. But with all that, in two pushes of two real buttons, I then have a knob to turn to adjust the gain. Which I can now do in under two seconds if that long.

I can even separate wave tops from crab pot buoys, just like the grown-ups.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:49 AM   #52
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"So how does that work once you cruise away from your home port?"

The new boats I have seen usually tale 6 months to a year to be fully outfitted and RFS..

Plenty of time for a couple of sea trials to see what doesn't work.

Selecting from the more commercial gear (like Furuno) usually means when its finally operating , it will work for a long time.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:34 AM   #53
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"So how does that work once you cruise away from your home port?"

The new boats I have seen usually tale 6 months to a year to be fully outfitted and RFS..

Plenty of time for a couple of sea trials to see what doesn't work.

Selecting from the more commercial gear (like Furuno) usually means when its finally operating , it will work for a long time.
The above is just silly nonsense. C'mon, 6 months to be ready for sea?

I ripped out the electronics onboard in 2 days, and had all new Raymarine gear ( 2 12" MFDs, open array radar, autopilot, shoot thru transducer, and 2 station VHF) installed and operational in a weekend. That was 4 years ago with zero down time.

Any electronics gear can work for a long time without problem.

You are correct that Furuno is more complicated. A good friend just installed a complete Furuno suite on a 66' Grand Alaskan, and he stated it took him 1/3 more time to configure because of Furuno protocols. His words- "what a pain in the ass".
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:16 PM   #54
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I do believe that I said in my original post that we have no interest in Raymarine again after living with it for years now. Too many failures, strange logic that keeps getting reused from version to version, slow customer telephone support and just to be clear, way too many failures!
Three course computers in the first 9 years of last sailboat, two rams, 2 sets of plotters (mostly because the failure happened about 5 days before a 2 month cruise and of course the "current" design wouldn't talk to the older design...nor would the radar...etc,etc.
The current Hybrid Touchscreen plotters work well and have shown no signs of trouble but have you ever engaged the pilot from the plotter on a Raymarine system? Talk about multiple screens!
Yes, it is easy to install and update and it is quick in redraw speed but we will say goodbye to Raymarine and not look back!
As to having electronics installed on the other coast, I've spoken to the person who does most electronics installs for American Tug. He impressed me as being in obvious command of his vocation and he clearly can exceed my expectations in any installation. My expectations are very, very high by the way!

I will go through whatever boat we own with a fine tooth comb anyway. I follow circuits, check terminations, check for proper logic in systems wiring (you should see the things I found in our Sabre when I performed these same tasks when the boat was new ...and Sabre does nice work in general!) I will inspect the entire electronics package installation after delivery if for no other reason than to familiarize myself with the basic layout as it will be me doing any troubleshooting of any issues...

I am still leaning toward Furuno but obviously, we have time to figure this all out. West Marine has a working Garmin display that I have played with and it is nice. It still seems as though Garmin is following a "consumer electronics" replacement schedule though with new product introduced all the time. Not sure I want my shipboard electronics to be in that camp. We will see...
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:02 PM   #55
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FWIW, my current experience of MaxSea is entirely +ve and completely at odds with the views of the #41 post above. I find it interfaces flawlessly with Furuno NN3D; and works even better as a stand-alone chartplotter on my laptop equipped with a GPS dongle. The ability it gives to plan passages at home and take routes to the boat and upload these to the NN3D plotter, while retaining them on the laptop as a self-containted backup, is a huge advantage. I can use MaxSea on the laptop to control the radar and autopilot. It has been upgraded further in the last few weeks to run under Windows 10 and is fully touch-screen compatible. This latest release also brings a revamped user interface and some smart route checking tools. I have accessed MaxSea Customer Support frequently, not for system faults but to improve my own understanding and found their customer service to be very prompt and "Furuno standard". It is actually MaxSea that is keeping me with Furuno; if I had to replace my all-Furuno environment, I'd likely go Garmin or all PC. I would not seriously consider Raymarine, though its FLIR owners are progressively improving Ray's upper-end product range...not there yet in my view.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:16 PM   #56
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Bruce, in case I missed it, are planning on installing an AIS transceiver?
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:20 PM   #57
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(you should see the things I found in our Sabre when I performed these same tasks when the boat was new ...and Sabre does nice work in general!)
The reason we get new boats surveyed prior to acceptance. On one, it was a production boat, standard and straight from the factory, and the surveyor didn't like the way some of the wiring was run. The manufacturer/dealer said, "that will be nothing to fix. You can schedule and bring it by anytime." My response was "you can fix it before we take delivery." Then he said, "but it could take up to 4 hours". My response was, "then do you want us to return this afternoon or would tomorrow be better?" He said, "you're really not taking it until we fix that?" Answer, "You're starting to understand." Him, "I'll get someone on it right now."

I know someone who had a boat fire the first day they took a new boat out due to faulty wiring. They were lucky to be able to put it out but caused quite a bit of damage. A couple of legal battles ensued to as the buyers didn't then want the fire damaged boat and their insurer wanted the repairs covered by the dealer or under warranty which in this case was also the dealer covering.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:33 PM   #58
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Bruce, in case I missed it, are planning on installing an AIS transceiver?
We will have a transceiver.
We installed one on the last round of Raymarine electronics and like having it.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:35 PM   #59
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The reason we get new boats surveyed prior to acceptance. On one, it was a production boat, standard and straight from the factory, and the surveyor didn't like the way some of the wiring was run. The manufacturer/dealer said, "that will be nothing to fix. You can schedule and bring it by anytime." My response was "you can fix it before we take delivery." Then he said, "but it could take up to 4 hours". My response was, "then do you want us to return this afternoon or would tomorrow be better?" He said, "you're really not taking it until we fix that?" Answer, "You're starting to understand." Him, "I'll get someone on it right now."

I know someone who had a boat fire the first day they took a new boat out due to faulty wiring. They were lucky to be able to put it out but caused quite a bit of damage. A couple of legal battles ensued to as the buyers didn't then want the fire damaged boat and their insurer wanted the repairs covered by the dealer or under warranty which in this case was also the dealer covering.
I'm sure there are disasters out there! The idea of a surveyor is a good one...something to think about
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:04 PM   #60
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I'm sure there are disasters out there! The idea of a surveyor is a good one...something to think about
Thanks,
Bruce
Sounds like you're quite capable yourself. Still a surveyor gives it independence and meets contract terms. I've known boats to fail survey because they had severe weight distribution issues and even hull design issues. High performance won't plane. Another tilted terribly to port for no apparent reason. Makes the choice of builder critical. Still hard to do anything when you've already paid most of the cost.
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