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Old 10-05-2016, 07:24 AM   #21
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I'd suggest looking at Garmin, given what you are looking for. The ipads and apps and other things will get you minimal cost, but that's not your prime objective. And they will be limited in their ability to expand (adding radar, sounder, etc), and I think result in a messier installation with exposed wires, etc.

From everything I've seen, Garmin provides a very clean and simple user interface that seems to click with people who are less tech savy. I'd plunk yourself down in front of one and play with it for a while and see if it clicks with you.

I think the advantage of a Garmin (or any vendor) multi function display is that you can make it as simple or complex as you want. With Garmin, there is one source for charts, so simpler than having to pick with other brands. You get a daylight bright screen, DC power, and a clear installation with no exposed wires etc. You can start with just the chart plotter and either and external or internal GPS receiver. I'd also highly recommend a depth sounder (the depth will display on the Garmin, you just need a transducer to sound the bottom.) Later, if you decide, you can add Radar or whatever you want.

I'm suggesting Garmin over Simrad and Furuno for a few reasons. First, as I said earlier, the Garmin interface seems to appeal most to people new to boating. But if you find Simrad or Furuno's interface "speaks" to you better, that can sway which brand you pursue. I'd favor Garmin over Simrad because I think you are much less likely to encounter problems, bugs, and odd behavior on the Garmin. And I'd suggest Garmin over Furuno because I think Garmin's design places the user interface as it's first priority. Furuno I think has the most sophisticated functionality, but is still a pretty clunky interface as compared to other.

I haven't mentioned Raymarine mostly because I just haven't looked at them for many years. On paper they have very good functionality, but so does Simrad. What really counts is the implementation, how easy YOU find it to operate because our brains all work differently, and how buggy the product is. This is where Simrad falls way behind. If you find yourself leaning towards Raymarine, I'd suggest doing a lot of owner research to see what sorts of problems people are encountering. Ray seems to be most popular in Europe, and with the sailing crowd.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:00 AM   #22
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I have a binnacle style compass, Eagle 350c color fisheasy modded to work with a Garmin 6 pin bronze thru-hull transducer, and a NAV PC running openCPN using cmap and NOAA ENC charts. Forgot, I also have an old SeaCom VHF that has a telephone handset for the mic. It is real clear sound too. I can click a switch so that it is private.

I built the PC as a core2duo 2.3 ghz all with used parts off ebay, for maybe $100 total.
For the OS I use Linux Mint.
I had a copy of cmap ENC charts, but you can use free NOAA ENC charts.
I got the LT-20 Delorme USB GPS for $20 off ebay.
I got the Eagle fish easy for $20 off ebay.
I got the bronze thru-hull Garmin transducer for $60 off ebay, had to carve my own wood fairing to fit to the hull.

I use a standard style Samsung 17 inch monitor, screwed down to the chart table thru it's base with one screw.

I located the PC 15 feet away.
Connected the monitor using a 25 foot HDMI cable.
I ran a 15 foot USB cable to a USB 3.0 7 port hub.
To the hub I attached keyboard, mouse, gps.

It all works fine. Modding the Eagle to work with Garmin was the hardest thing, but I really liked both the Fish Easy and the Garmin transducer. They are the same hertz, but had mod the resistance of the temp circuit in the fisheasy with a series POT inline.

I liked it so much, I did 2 of them, which allowed me to also use the older 7 pin thru-hull transducer already in the hull. The depth reading is the most important one, not the fish finding.
Album of those mods.
https://goo.gl/photos/sBZ4TPJZZsGDRrZBA
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:21 AM   #23
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I have fixed and ipad, others have pointed out the pro's and con's so won't repeat, only thing I'd add is buy a water proof case for the ipad and I mount with a Seasucker mount, basically can put anywhere and that puppy really holds well, a lot of guys on center consoles use them.
Also have a guage sized depth digital reader with a shoot thru the hull transducer (quick and easy install).
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:40 AM   #24
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I don't like lots of whizbang stuff either but after years of use I do like to have a good raster scan chart plotter, separate radar, scanning fishfinder for depth ( i dont fish) and a good remote mic VHF. And a good whisky compass. I always keep charts aboard as back up.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:08 AM   #25
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iPad with iSailor. Used it all over northern Puget Sound this year. Really simple, easy to use, reliable, minimal, incredibly accurate, and more info there when you need it. They have a chart package for your waters, and a very effective tides/current package that I bought, glad I did, very useful and simple. Cost effective too. Check out iSailor.

iPad and a Dual GPS puck will do the trick. I've been using it for a few years and it always works/easy to use/no clutter.

This is my layout.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:19 AM   #26
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You desire for "clean" may be in tension with your desire for simple, as clean is best satisfied by a single multi-function display, whereas simple may be better satisfied by stand alone units for the equipment you need.

I have a friend who much prefers simple (and non-integrated) in everything he does. In the case of his boat, it means a mono-chrome radar, a laptop chart plotter, a VHF and an autopilot (though he prefers to steer by hand -- I think he has it only when someone else takes his helm).

By contrast, my helm drives him crazy. Since it has 4 screens, when he was at the helm on an overnight, we set one to chartplotter, one to radar, one to scanning sonar, and left the 4th for him to play with. On that fourth screen, he found that he really did like FLIR, but I don't expect to see one on his boat anytime soon.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:41 PM   #27
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Pgitug,



I'll add my baloney to this too. Nothing to do with each other. There's lots of options for a good solution for the OP. Insurance is a risk/benefit choice, nothing to do with electronics.



Insuring is betting that you will use it at some point. I could argue to spend your money on preventing that. What the heck does electronics have to do with that?

The implication is that if you go bare bones on your navigation equipment you are increasing the risk of having an accident in bad weather. Thus the tongue in cheek recommended increase in insurance coverage.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:42 PM   #28
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I think the biggest problem is you haven't clarified what minimalist means to you. Do you want all the bells and whistles but with a single screen? Go for one of the big guys packages. Do you want a simple to use system with the basics? Grab a tablet and throw navionics (or the app of your choice) on it.

What is your boating experience?

What sort of cruising will you be doing? You don't need much if you only leave the dock on sunny days. If you plan on cruising to Alaska or Mexico then that might change the game. I do all my navigation on my tablet or even on my phone if I'm in familiar waters.I use my depth sounder to confirm the contours. AIS is high on my wants list followed by radar. I've gotten by without them for this long I'll probably wait until I buy my next boat. Forward looking sonar? FLIR? Some people might think they are in necessary and if we're spending your money then....
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:44 PM   #29
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Minimaist to me is a Chart Plotter (Garmin), Raytheon Bi-data for depth, and AP.....

I removed much of the antique electronics on the boat when I bought it and de-cluttered considerably....(Koden Fish finder, and outdated Garmin 210).

I kept my vintage Furuno Radar for Nostalgia but I'll likely trash that eventually as well..!

Works for me. Do what works for you..



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Old 10-05-2016, 08:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Westcoastwannbe View Post
............ I like Apple products simply because they are simple with a small learning curve, they are robustly built and usually work.
................
If Apple makes any marine navigation equipment it's news to me.

I would go with Garmin and the biggest display that will fit into your helm. Pretty simple and feature rich.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:03 PM   #31
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I'd suggest looking at Garmin, given what you are looking for. The ipads and apps and other things will get you minimal cost, but that's not your prime objective. And they will be limited in their ability to expand (adding radar, sounder, etc), and I think result in a messier installation with exposed wires, etc.

From everything I've seen, Garmin provides a very clean and simple user interface that seems to click with people who are less tech savy. I'd plunk yourself down in front of one and play with it for a while and see if it clicks with you.

I think the advantage of a Garmin (or any vendor) multi function display is that you can make it as simple or complex as you want. With Garmin, there is one source for charts, so simpler than having to pick with other brands. You get a daylight bright screen, DC power, and a clear installation with no exposed wires etc. You can start with just the chart plotter and either and external or internal GPS receiver. I'd also highly recommend a depth sounder (the depth will display on the Garmin, you just need a transducer to sound the bottom.) Later, if you decide, you can add Radar or whatever you want.

I'm suggesting Garmin over Simrad and Furuno for a few reasons. First, as I said earlier, the Garmin interface seems to appeal most to people new to boating. But if you find Simrad or Furuno's interface "speaks" to you better, that can sway which brand you pursue. I'd favor Garmin over Simrad because I think you are much less likely to encounter problems, bugs, and odd behavior on the Garmin. And I'd suggest Garmin over Furuno because I think Garmin's design places the user interface as it's first priority. Furuno I think has the most sophisticated functionality, but is still a pretty clunky interface as compared to other.

I haven't mentioned Raymarine mostly because I just haven't looked at them for many years. On paper they have very good functionality, but so does Simrad. What really counts is the implementation, how easy YOU find it to operate because our brains all work differently, and how buggy the product is. This is where Simrad falls way behind. If you find yourself leaning towards Raymarine, I'd suggest doing a lot of owner research to see what sorts of problems people are encountering. Ray seems to be most popular in Europe, and with the sailing crowd.

Great reply....thanks
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:10 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by sdowney717 View Post
I have a binnacle style compass, Eagle 350c color fisheasy modded to work with a Garmin 6 pin bronze thru-hull transducer, and a NAV PC running openCPN using cmap and NOAA ENC charts. Forgot, I also have an old SeaCom VHF that has a telephone handset for the mic. It is real clear sound too. I can click a switch so that it is private.

I built the PC as a core2duo 2.3 ghz all with used parts off ebay, for maybe $100 total.
For the OS I use Linux Mint.
I had a copy of cmap ENC charts, but you can use free NOAA ENC charts.
I got the LT-20 Delorme USB GPS for $20 off ebay.
I got the Eagle fish easy for $20 off ebay.
I got the bronze thru-hull Garmin transducer for $60 off ebay, had to carve my own wood fairing to fit to the hull.

I use a standard style Samsung 17 inch monitor, screwed down to the chart table thru it's base with one screw.

I located the PC 15 feet away.
Connected the monitor using a 25 foot HDMI cable.
I ran a 15 foot USB cable to a USB 3.0 7 port hub.
To the hub I attached keyboard, mouse, gps.

It all works fine. Modding the Eagle to work with Garmin was the hardest thing, but I really liked both the Fish Easy and the Garmin transducer. They are the same hertz, but had mod the resistance of the temp circuit in the fisheasy with a series POT inline.

I liked it so much, I did 2 of them, which allowed me to also use the older 7 pin thru-hull transducer already in the hull. The depth reading is the most important one, not the fish finding.
Album of those mods.
https://goo.gl/photos/sBZ4TPJZZsGDRrZBA
Very neat...but not for me. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:57 PM   #33
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wannabe,
Here's my minimalist system.

When I bought the boat there was a very good compass, a fishfinder/sounder and a VHF.

I added a dedicated JRC radar, a dedicated Garmin chartplotter and a really good Raymarine sounder.

That's all I have and in almost 10 years I've not wished for more. There are improvements in the VHF and chart plotter I'd probably like but I get along fine w what I've got.

I also travel w my i-pad on an app called Navamatics. It's downloaded so I keep it plugged into a cig lighter DC power source while underway. I surf ahead for anchorages, towns and interesting places like going between an island and something else or other navigational points of interest. I can thus look at charts afar (in great detail) and keep tabs on what's right ahead of the boat. The trick is to not get so engrossed in the i-pad Navamatics that I miss seeing a log in front of the boat.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:39 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by alesnloggers View Post
I think the biggest problem is you haven't clarified what minimalist means to you. Do you want all the bells and whistles but with a single screen? Go for one of the big guys packages. Do you want a simple to use system with the basics? Grab a tablet and throw navionics (or the app of your choice) on it.

What is your boating experience?

What sort of cruising will you be doing? You don't need much if you only leave the dock on sunny days. If you plan on cruising to Alaska or Mexico then that might change the game. I do all my navigation on my tablet or even on my phone if I'm in familiar waters.I use my depth sounder to confirm the contours. AIS is high on my wants list followed by radar. I've gotten by without them for this long I'll probably wait until I buy my next boat. Forward looking sonar? FLIR? Some people might think they are in necessary and if we're spending your money then....
To answer your questions:

What I am trying to achieve is a simple clean look with now exposed wires and a little "clutter" in and around the helm station as possible.

I am not a total newb but by no means a salty veteran either.

Coastal cruising between WA and central/north BC for the time being.

Thanks for your thoughts...appreciated.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:42 PM   #35
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If Apple makes any marine navigation equipment it's news to me.

I would go with Garmin and the biggest display that will fit into your helm. Pretty simple and feature rich.
I did not imply Apple makes any such thing...

I was simply giving an example of the types of gear I like and use to help people understand the kind of technology I am comfortable with is all...I thought that was pretty clear
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Old 10-06-2016, 08:37 AM   #36
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What I am trying to achieve is a simple clean look with now exposed wires and a little "clutter" in and around the helm station as possible.

You can actually incorporate a lot of capability, into one clutter-less MFD (multi-function device), if you choose to do so. Most of the companies offer something where sensor data -- depth, radar, AIS, weather, wind, etc. -- and maybe an autopilot can be displayed on (and controlled from) a single display monitor.

Which also address iPad issues like daylight visibility, water resistance, heat resistance...

Needs some networking, but if your helm station allows a flush, flat panel installation, no wires need be visible.

There's potential trade-off. If that single display craps out, you've got squat for depth, radar, AIS, weather, wind, and AP info/control.

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Old 10-06-2016, 10:55 AM   #37
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If you want clutter free, go with a single Multi Function Display (MFD) that your radar and everything else is connected to. Go with as big a screen as is comfortable at your helm. Then connect everything to the MFD via NMEA 2000 buss. That way you can get rid of those pesky engine instruments (just display engine parameters in a sub window) and other clutter at the helm. Hmm, maybe you could even go with electronic steering integrated to the MFD and get rid of the wheel and thruster joy sticks too. If your MFD has wifi you could get apps for your phone to run the boat and monitor everything.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:19 AM   #38
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Keep in mind, reducing displays AND reducing technical complexity is a paradox. The more functions you put into any one device, the more complicated that device will be to operate.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:34 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Nomad Willy View Post
wannabe,
Here's my minimalist system.

When I bought the boat there was a very good compass, a fishfinder/sounder and a VHF.

I added a dedicated JRC radar, a dedicated Garmin chartplotter and a really good Raymarine sounder.

That's all I have and in almost 10 years I've not wished for more. There are improvements in the VHF and chart plotter I'd probably like but I get along fine w what I've got.

I also travel w my i-pad on an app called Navamatics. It's downloaded so I keep it plugged into a cig lighter DC power source while underway. I surf ahead for anchorages, towns and interesting places like going between an island and something else or other navigational points of interest. I can thus look at charts afar (in great detail) and keep tabs on what's right ahead of the boat. The trick is to not get so engrossed in the i-pad Navamatics that I miss seeing a log in front of the boat.

That's a great looking set up Eric, thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:29 PM   #40
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Thanks for all the great ideas and feedback. I appreciate everyone taking the time.


I think what makes the most sense for me is a Garmin multi-function display with depth displayed and a chart plotter for now. I like the idea of being able to add radar when and if I choose.I will also keep an iPad with iSalor (and maybe some other apps) as back up and of course I also have an iPhone which can run the same apps if all else fails so I feel pretty good about my redundancies. And of course I will have a modern VHF and a handheld as a back-up. I will ensure I play with a Garmin at the next chance I get to make sure it’s for me but it certainly sounds like a great and likely option.
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