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Old 05-27-2017, 01:33 AM   #1
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Smile New navigation equipment

The name of our Cherubini Independence 50a is Gimme Shelter. The navigation equipment on Gimme Shelter was getting long in the tooth. It was fifteen years old, slow and unreliable. The chart plotter displayed information poorly and screen refresh took what seemed like an eternity. Radar required a 90 second arm-up period. The depth sounder worked intermittently and without temperature indication. But most troublesome was that twice last year the old Simrad system simply locked-up, once while crossing the Gulf of Alaska. My backup was an iPad equipped with Navioncs. While the iPad solution provides excellent chart plotter detail it is not integrated with the radar or depth sounder. Furthermore it requires recharging and prone to get dropped. It was time for a better solution.

Yesterday we completed a complete upgrade of Gimme Shelter’s navigation equipment. Here’s what we installed:
Furuno TZTl12 on the fly-bridge
Furuno TZTL15 in the pilot house
Furuno MCU-004 remote controls at both helms
Furuno 4 foot open array digital radar
Koden satellite compass
Furuno FI-70 instruments at both helms
Simrad FU80 jog steering at both helms and the stern station
Simrad AP 70
Icom AIS
Furuno FI-5000 wind transducer
Furuno B60 bronze transducer.

RadarMarine from Bellingham, WA handled the job. My wife and I visited RadarMarine while we were searching for a solution. The owners were particularly helpful explaining options and then recommending a package that would suit my requirements. RadarMarine sent their senior technician to Alaska to perform the upgrade. His name is Hung Dang. Mr. Dang is a certified electrician and marine electronics expert. What a remarkable man he is.

By far the most difficult part of the endeavor was removing old cable and pulling in new cable. Mr. Dang and I (I was the helper) worked in concert for fifteen continuous days to complete the job. When I was shopping for a new solution two other vendors independently told me that it was a 2-3 day job. Get very skeptical when a vendor says this stuff is simply plug and play.

The result of this endeavor is breath taking. Having clear concise integrated information available on the Furuno TZT displays is simply wonderful. The precision of the Koden satellite compass is a marvel. The new radar is virtually instant on. Having AIS information on the chart plotter and radar displays is such an improvement.

So obviously I am so very pleased with this upgrade to our Cherubini.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:10 AM   #2
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The Coasties in my area used Furuno in their small craft - figure if it is good enough for them...
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:13 AM   #3
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Congrats on your new suite! I have a few boxes of Furuno gear (2 TZT12s and doppler radar) awaiting install myself. Hoping less gear means less than 15 days.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:28 AM   #4
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Shark

Sounds like you did it right. Two questions:
--What did you find as pros and cons when comparing Furuno vs Simrad APs
--Do you have a laptop based charting system such as Roseoint or Nebeltec

Thanks
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:44 AM   #5
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With regard to autopilots, my vendor recommended the Simrad autopilot over the Furuno because he said it offered better tracking and the vessel already had a Simrad autopilot pump in place. Having the Simrad AP70 talk to the Furuno equipment did cause an installation complication.

No, I do not have laptop charting system. I do have an iPad Navionics charting system that is quite good with regard to accuracy and convenience. But by no measure does the iPad compare to the integrated vessel navigation system.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:08 PM   #6
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New navigation equipment

Side question... you mentioned that your system was not giving you consistent water temp readings. Why did you need that?

Our water temps range from cold to cold.
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Old 05-27-2017, 03:45 PM   #7
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Nice update. Glad you like it. The AP70 seems to work well, and the remote stations with FU80 are really nice. That's one area where Furuno missed a chapter in the Simrad play book.

FWIW, the Furuno NavPilot 700 steers as well as the Simrad. Not sure about the older Navpilot 500. And There are more tuning controls on the Furuno, and they are more understandable than Simrad. But I think you will be happy with the AP70 just the same.
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:07 PM   #8
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Cool

dHays, Water temp is not a critical data point. Regardless, here in Alaska it is nice to have that info if for nothing more than dinner conversation. I've noticed that the water temp is relatively consistent from Seward to Seattle. Global warming hasn't changed that in a measurable way, but I keep hoping.
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:47 PM   #9
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Buying the same product that our military uses is not a necessarily a good idea as most of the time a product is purchased because of the lowest bidder philosophy.
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Old 05-27-2017, 04:50 PM   #10
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Bigfish, I do not agree with your assertion about military procurement. Have you been in the military? Having been on many USCG cutters I'd be glad to share that equipment.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:24 PM   #11
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First I'm not saying the equipment might not be good just that contracts are bid on and the lowest price usually wins unless there are other conditions to fulfill. Never been in the military but dealt with the military and sold to the military.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:45 PM   #12
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military contracts do not live and die based solely on low bids. They are also awarded/denied because of past performance, risk of failure, manufacturing capacity...

the list goes on and on.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:51 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by what_barnacles View Post
military contracts do not live and die based solely on low bids. They are also awarded/denied because of past performance, risk of failure, manufacturing capacity...

the list goes on and on.

Right, it's a long list of consideration, many of which are irrelevant to an individual. What they buy is an interesting data point, but hardly something to blindly follow.
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Old 05-27-2017, 05:58 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Landshark View Post
Mr. Dang and I (I was the helper) worked in concert for fifteen continuous days to complete the job.
That sounds like a LOT of time. I'd be curious to know how this time was used - pulling out old, running new cables, resolving problems, etc.

I'm not saying the time is at all unreasonable, just that I'd like to know what the time-expensive pieces were.

And on the final bill, roughly what % went to labor vs. hardware if you'd be willing to share.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:30 PM   #15
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Or because our military wanted a base in Italy. Once again it is not just one thing but I can tell you the lowest bidder wins quite often with an inferior product.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:41 PM   #16
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danderer, I'd estimate that 40-60% of the time was removing old wire and pulling in new wire. Working with cables in the radar arch was a challenge. Also included in that time segment was dropping ceilings to get access, fishing wireways and dressing the original wiring. If we were dealing with simply wire and cable it would have been easier, but those pesky plugs on the ends of cables making pulling new cables difficult.

Installing the major components was relatively easy and not necessarily time consuming. But the supporting junction boxes, NEMA convertors and associated stuff consumed a considerable amount of time as well. We also spent two days on the hard to replace the transducer. The old transducer was sealed in place with 5200. Removing that was a lot of fun.

Labor and haul-out was about 25% of the cost and the remainder going to material. Because I was the designated "helper" it mitigated the labor cost considerably. Still, overall, not a necessarily cheap endeavor, but it had to be done. There are too many boats operating here with inadequate or obsolete equipment. Distance between ports here in Alaska is vast and help not necessarily nearby, so I vote for good navigation equipment.
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Old 05-27-2017, 08:28 PM   #17
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Informative. Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2017, 12:45 AM   #18
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Sounds like you had a lot of fun with all that, and nice shiny new equipment to boot. And you know where every wire is now.


Marty......................
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:11 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Right, it's a long list of consideration, many of which are irrelevant to an individual. What they buy is an interesting data point, but hardly something to blindly follow.
Exactly, and I was involved with procurement in several different ways through my 23 years in USCG service....

And saw many procurement debacles.

As to time installing electronics, I worked as an installer for 5 years and saw that depending on the equipment and the boat, the time to install could be all over the map.

The nicer more "factory install" looking jobs were tough because the removal of panels, squeezing in places, fishing wires into existing holes or runs could take hours and hours for just one wire.

Having 1 or 2 helpers can cut the times down, but often for billing, it didn't necessarily reduce man hours.

Good companies can guestimate times pretty well on certain model vessels they have experience with....but even one factory misplaced screw into a wire chase can screw up an entire install for hours or days if a wire pull stripped or damaged a pigtail cable.
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Old 06-01-2017, 06:29 AM   #20
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Great info. Thanks. Our Simrad CX54 just died, which means chart plotter/ radar / ap (?) for 2 helms need to be replaced. I'm favoring Furuno right now but still early days. Need to find a good de-installer / installer in the Sarasota /St Pete area to do it right!
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