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Old 06-12-2016, 03:40 PM   #61
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We have used PC based navigation for over 12 years. Won't suggest it is the best but we have learned a few tricks over the I would like to pass on. Given the cheapness of low end computers today we totally dedicate the navigation computer to navigation. There is only the operating system and the navigation program. Nothing else not even a web browser. Currently we are using a net top from Asus. Price around $300. Connected to a sunlight viewable monitor.
Same idea for me. My nav computer is a modified desktop PC running Linux Mint and OpenCPN with Cmap and NOAA ENC charts, and a USB GPS, LT-20, works fine. I have it connected to a 17 inch LCD monitor. I pilot from downstairs have dual stations, nothing but compass and depth sounder up top. In theory, I could have another display up on the flybridge sharing the desktop PC.

I mounted this PC under the chart table and the fridge is underneath the PC in the lower cabin. It is totally hidden. Advantage of an ATX motherboard with SATA drive is easy upgrades on hardware. I use a modded UPC to run the PC.

I mod everything, morph it to my use. That PC can also play music or watch videos, or connect to the net.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:28 PM   #62
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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?
Yes, and I found it to be so easy, it was ridiculous! Just touch the screen where you want the way point, select "go to cursor" from the menu & voila, a window pops up asking if you want the a/p to track to the way point. You just touch "yes or no." what could be easier?
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:58 AM   #63
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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.
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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.
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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.

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 checked my systems after my earlier post, and I meant to comment further about running MaxSea on "decent" computers. Nothing special. 8-GB RAM, 64-bit Win7 versions on each. Redraw and scrolling and so forth is immediate.

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Old 06-13-2016, 07:17 AM   #64
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Yes, and I found it to be so easy, it was ridiculous! Just touch the screen where you want the way point, select "go to cursor" from the menu & voila, a window pops up asking if you want the a/p to track to the way point. You just touch "yes or no." what could be easier?
I have done it that way...which is the traditional way, then just hit track twice on older APs....

Wonder if he is talking about manipulating the AP through the plotter?..... which I have not done, as I really only have nmea 0183 out of the plotter.
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:48 AM   #65
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I have done it that way...which is the traditional way, then just hit track twice on older APs....

Wonder if he is talking about manipulating the AP through the plotter?..... which I have not done, as I really only have nmea 0183 out of the plotter.
I am talking about making a course change via the plotter instead of the pilot control head. It has so many "Ralph Nader inspired" safety steps that it is more frustrating than it should be...
I noticed that Garmin doesn't put you through as many steps to do the same thing.
Just one more reason (of many) we will not be using Raymarine on the next boat. If you like your Raymarine system, that is great! I hope my buying decisions don't cause you distress. Life is way to short for that.

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Old 06-13-2016, 08:16 AM   #66
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We get you don't like Raymarine.

Your experience seems to be an extreme....juse pointing that out...could care less what you buy.

There is a story like yours for every manufacturer...I worked and installed for years at a marine electronics shop, have been teaching boating for decades, delivered boats and met hundreds of boaters every year when I towed them....heard complaints and praises across the board on just about everything marine.

Went to this video on controlling the autopilot from the mfd....seems pretty simple..... yes Garmin is pretty savy abut simplicity...but I don't see where the raymarine software was written by Ralph Nader...

https://youtu.be/aEhBdIO7jfY
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:57 AM   #67
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We get you don't like Raymarine.

Your experience seems to be an extreme....juse pointing that out...could care less what you buy.

There is a story like yours for every manufacturer...I worked and installed for years at a marine electronics shop, have been teaching boating for decades, delivered boats and met hundreds of boaters every year when I towed them....heard complaints and praises across the board on just about everything marine.

Went to this video on controlling the autopilot from the mfd....seems pretty simple..... yes Garmin is pretty savy abut simplicity...but I don't see where the raymarine software was written by Ralph Nader...

https://youtu.be/aEhBdIO7jfY
Not sure my experience is so extreme...
What I hear from installers I have asked is that Ray is not the most reliable product these days... This even from one of the Guru's (no names...) who posts regularly here. "No more Raymarine..." is something Ive heard a lot! It is not just me.

As this is a thread I started and I keep reading that people like their Raymarine stuff in spite of the fact that I clearly stated that I didn't want more Raymarine I feel obliged to repeat my desire to avoid the stuff.

As far as your experience working in an electronics shop that means little to nothing to me. Some of the worst installations I have seen (and I mean really, really bad, dangerous stuff) have been done by a major electronics dealer locally here. I have a friend who's boat has systems installed by these guys that I'm amazed hasn't burned to the waterline, oh wait...it did suffer a fire once! Yes from poorly installed electronics! There are plenty of people out there who do amazingly good work too. I have also seen installations that are like art work! Ive no idea what your skill level is so...

I will be on our boat later this week and I'll do a little video of engaging the auto pilot from the plotter. Take my word for it, it is cumbersome with too many Ralph Nader safety reminders to be a practical working solution. Garmin is easier on the stuff I've used.

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Old 06-13-2016, 10:59 AM   #68
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Or your experience level with marine electronics.

Ray had their issues like many if not all...which I believe are almost a decade old now for when they had their real issues.

No one is telling you to buy Raymarine and we get that....again...just on an open forum if you post something that others find not only not untrue in their eyes, but an extreme...then they might just post as I did. Sounds like you are sold on Garmin...nice...go for it....guess the question has been answered.

Make your own video if you choose...the other one I posted is for general consumption if they are worried it's too cumbersome.

I was the guy they sent out to correct the installation mistakes or when the tech couldn't get the system to work.
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:33 AM   #69
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Or your experience level with marine electronics.

Ray had their issues like many if not all...which I believe are almost a decade old now for when they had their real issues.

No one is telling you to buy Raymarine and we get that....again...just on an open forum if you post something that others find not only not untrue in their eyes, but an extreme...then they might just post as I did. Sounds like you are sold on Garmin...nice...go for it....guess the question has been answered.

Make your own video if you choose...the other one I posted is for general consumption if they are worried it's too cumbersome.

I was the guy they sent out to correct the installation mistakes or when the tech couldn't get the system to work.
psneeld, if you were buying a new boat and picking out a new set of electronics, who would you go with?
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Old 06-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #70
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psneeld, if you were buying a new boat and picking out a new set of electronics, who would you go with?
Not sure.....so many combos and possibilities.

Furuno usually lags behind in tech but has always shone in customer service and reliability. Their new wireless radar shows they are struggling with tried and true.

Garmin has taken a giant step forward in the last decade...probably some of the best equipment and alays intuitive. Yet I dislike them because of their proprietary mapping and reports of issues with its overall accuracy...but that's true of vector in general.

The combination of Simrad and Lowrance is still evolving....but both companies at the small boat level have struggled for years now.

It boils down to the best packages that give you what you need...which almost any can.

So if I was going to order a new boat now, I would have to do some more research as I and pretty much no one I know is up on every piece of gear and what is coming next.

The 2 brands I would go with right now would be Ray or Garmin. I just bought a Ray e7 two years ago and it has exceeded expectations, has a detail or 2 that could be better, and feel the one or 2 things I may add will match nicely.

That said.....had the boat came with a Garmin unit...I would build from there.

Could almost say the same for all manufactures...yet 1/2 my electronic capabilities are pc based or will be and that may disrupt the "marine built" for me and the boats I would own in the future.

As I said in post 4, most dock talk is just that.....go next door for a completely different set of opinions.....it is less about which manufacturer these days as much as it us what do you want now, and down the road...and which companies are best AR handling that change.
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Old 06-13-2016, 12:37 PM   #71
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Not sure.....so many combos and possibilities.

Furuno usually lags behind in tech but has always shone in customer service and reliability. Their new wireless radar shows they are struggling with tried and true.

Garmin has taken a giant step forward in the last decade...probably some of the best equipment and alays intuitive. Yet I dislike them because of their proprietary mapping and reports of issues with its overall accuracy...but that's true of vector in general.

The combination of Simrad and Lowrance is still evolving....but both companies at the small boat level have struggled for years now.

It boils down to the best packages that give you what you need...which almost any can.

So if I was going to order a new boat now, I would have to do some more research as I and pretty much no one I know is up on every piece of gear and what is coming next.

The 2 brands I would go with right now would be Ray or Garmin. I just bought a Ray e7 two years ago and it has exceeded expectations, has a detail or 2 that could be better, and feel the one or 2 things I may add will match nicely.

That said.....had the boat came with a Garmin unit...I would build from there.

Could almost say the same for all manufactures...yet 1/2 my electronic capabilities are pc based or will be and that may disrupt the "marine built" for me and the boats I would own in the future.

As I said in post 4, most dock talk is just that.....go next door for a completely different set of opinions.....it is less about which manufacturer these days as much as it us what do you want now, and down the road...and which companies are best AR handling that change.
Fair enough and thanks for the comments.

What I am having an issue with is getting a good side by side comparison of a complete suite of equipment. Marine equipment just doesn't seem to inspire a "Consumers Report" type evaluation so we rely on "dock talk".
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Old 06-13-2016, 01:40 PM   #72
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Fair enough and thanks for the comments.

What I am having an issue with is getting a good side by side comparison of a complete suite of equipment. Marine equipment just doesn't seem to inspire a "Consumers Report" type evaluation so we rely on "dock talk".
Have you visited this forum? Marine Electronics Forum - The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum

As in all forums you have to read behind the lines as there are a lot of "experts" out there. In fact one of the ways I make these decisions is to speak to actual experts who's work I have seen or who can demonstrate that they are real and professional somehow... I have spent my life dealing with automobiles and as such learned pretty well how to spot the posers...as it comes with the territory in that industry. It is really no different here either.

What has baffled me is that to a person, every "credible" electronics person I've spoken to seems to say the same thing. They all say Garmin is what they are installing and that it has the fewest issues. I'm actually willing to consider Garmin as I try moving forward in this project but it was not high on my list...
I still want to believe that Furuno is the way we will go but I'm waiting for the fall boat shows to really get into this.

The beauty of speaking to people who have their hand in this game on a regular basis is that their pool of knowledge is not a single plotter purchased a few years ago or dock talk. The issue with speaking to someone who used to work in electronics is that the field moves along so quickly these days. Ask that person about issues with something they actually worked on and you may get some good advice! Especially if they were good at what they did...

For what it is worth, not all dock talk is bad either! If you hear a comment repeated about a brand often enough, you may be on to something. Of course you should always wonder about the larger picture on the dock as a local dealer may be screwing up the same gear installation so the problem is a local one.

Once again, because this is a "public forum" I'll repeat the criticism of Raymarine, this coming from installers I feel are qualified and honest from the east and west coasts along with a couple of people who see "more than most"...
'...too many "dead on arrival" units and quality control is slipping are the things I've been hearing.

I've never had a Raymarine unit show up dead. I have had three autopilot control computers belly up though and this was a component originally installed by Sabre and nicely installed I might add. A couple of Raymarine pilot ram failures, E series plotter issues and ultimate failure two times. As I said, the last round of equipment has really been flawless. It was easy to install, it is quick, it has been glitch free and I have nothing to complain about with the exception of excessive screens to get from a track to pilot engagement or to make a simple course correction using the nav screen. I simply shake my head and use the pilot head instead...

I feel like if we had just spent the money on Furuno in the first place we'd have saved a lot of money! That is why I'm not going to use Raymarine again...

Furuno and Garmin are what I'm focusing on.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:12 PM   #73
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Bruce, nothing wrong with eliminating a manufacturer you are not comfortable with.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:14 PM   #74
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Furuno and Garmin are what I'm focusing on.

I have Furuno and I've been pleased with it. OTOH, I'm not able to make a comparison between my stuff and other brands, no recent experience on the others.

Garmin seems tobe popular with the "intuitive" crowd (not at all meant as a criticism). A dock neighbor is typical; he has Garmin, loves Garmin, recommends Garmin... and he's never actually read his manual. In fact, I'm not sure he can actually read. Well, OK, probably he can... but he won't. Literally: won't.

OTOH, he doesn't really know how to fully use his plotter. If he can't figure it out by stabbing the screen, he can't do it. I'm guessing that means he uses maybe 20% of the available functionality.

Probably no way in Hades that he'd figure out our system. I'm guessing that means he and his plotter are better matched than if he'd bought a different brand.

Just an observation...

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Old 06-13-2016, 02:48 PM   #75
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Fair enough and thanks for the comments.

What I am having an issue with is getting a good side by side comparison of a complete suite of equipment. Marine equipment just doesn't seem to inspire a "Consumers Report" type evaluation so we rely on "dock talk".
Consumers Report has the very same issues. They can change one minutia of the criteria and it ends up key to the rankings. I tend to use the reviews and ratings by the public and then weigh them. You just consider it all and wade through it. You're not going to see complete suites side by side, but even if you did, it changes tomorrow.

We love our Furuno, but it's now based on what was out there in 2012 with some equipment upgraded. Meanwhile our Garmin is 2015 technology and very impressive. Furuno seems to be lagging a little but their service is excellent. I've heard good and bad about Raymarine. When I used it for a day and previously in school, I was happy with it, but wouldn't be my choice. Nor would Simrad, but I know a builder offering Garmin, Raymarine and Simrad and selling the most Simrad. For ocean going, I choose Transas over anyone else but we use Transas with Furuno radars, Flir night vision, etc.

A huge factor in electronics is the installation and coordination of the total effort. If you don't find the best, most knowledgeable installer of the brand you're choosing, then you run risks. Ask psneeld and others what percentage of the time they've seen install issues vs equipment. Equipment issues are simple. You pull it out, send it back, put the replacement in. It's all the other problems that get complicated.

The question of what I would buy. Well, we did buy a few months ago and our factory choices were Simrad, Raymarine, and Garmin. Complete systems by any of the three but no crossover. We chose Garmin. We're very pleased with it. But that doesn't mean I'd choose them for a boat being purchased six months from now. I currently have no brand loyalty that would make me choose any specific brand next time I have to choose.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:50 PM   #76
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I have Furuno and I've been pleased with it. OTOH, I'm not able to make a comparison between my stuff and other brands, no recent experience on the others.

Garmin seems tobe popular with the "intuitive" crowd (not at all meant as a criticism). A dock neighbor is typical; he has Garmin, loves Garmin, recommends Garmin... and he's never actually read his manual. In fact, I'm not sure he can actually read. Well, OK, probably he can... but he won't. Literally: won't.

OTOH, he doesn't really know how to fully use his plotter. If he can't figure it out by stabbing the screen, he can't do it. I'm guessing that means he uses maybe 20% of the available functionality.

Probably no way in Hades that he'd figure out our system. I'm guessing that means he and his plotter are better matched than if he'd bought a different brand.

Just an observation...

-Chris
Same things. Our Garmin system is simple...all Garmin. Our Furuno's are a mixed bag of integration with others but all work great for us.
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:02 PM   #77
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Garmin tends to have the best profit margins so be careful what the dealers and techs say. However I agree they tend to have good ergonomics. Also, conventional wisdom is the source of most dock talk. Electronics is a fast changing industry and what someone is putting out today can't be related to what they did 10 years ago. Ownership and management change as well as technology.

If I was shopping for a new electronics suite, I would try to get on as many boats as I could with the various brands; most boaters will do this for you if asked, to show off their stuff and/or complain about it. The big boat shows like Miami, Ft Lauderdale, Annapolis etc usually have fairly comprehensive displays.
User interface ergonomics tend to be a very personal type thing. iOS vs Android (and the flavors of Android the handset Mfrs skin onto it) for example.

I've played around with some newer stuff recently, and have to say if a boat had the newer Simrad, Garmin, Furuno (my sweetheart on our last boat) or Raymarine were on there, I wouldn't change it out. But if it didn't have some big screens (my Hatt came with three 17" at the lower helm and a 19 at the upper) I'd do what it took to get them on the system.

A good " what's the latest" blog is Panbo. Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub
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Old 06-13-2016, 03:39 PM   #78
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A Garmin 2010C plotter was (is) on the boat when we got it.
Garmin no longer supports this model, therefor no new or
updated charts available.
I don't think it is really old.
Does this sound like the problem with legacy engines of a certain manufacturer?

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Old 06-13-2016, 04:01 PM   #79
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A Garmin 2010C plotter was (is) on the boat when we got it.
Garmin no longer supports this model, therefor no new or
updated charts available.
I don't think it is really old.
Does this sound like the problem with legacy engines of a certain manufacturer?
Our boat came with the same Y2K model Garmin GPSMAP. It works great but the resolution isn't up to todays standards. The Great Lakes don't change much in 20 years so who needs new charts?
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:18 PM   #80
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Well the charts may not change much (but after 20 years surely some markers, etc have?) but what about the ability to bring ActiveCaptain info onto the plotter real-time? weather info realtime? ability to look at this info and chart info wirelessly elsewhere on boat on other devices you already have like smartphone and tablet? I could go on, but point is it is not all about the charts by themselves these days
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