View Poll Results: What electronics would you install?
Simrad 12 15.58%
Garmin 28 36.36%
RayMarine 20 25.97%
Other 17 22.08%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-28-2020, 12:03 PM   #1
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Simrad, RayMarine or Garmin

All,

Would like to update thoughts and experience on installing an electronics package and wondering who you'd pick.


Package would be typical to our boats... 2 plotters, autopilot, radar, and VHF.



After 2.5 years with my current Simrad, I love the units, and have been happy with them. Yes, there's a lot of things that could be improved, but overall they work and fairly easy to use... and been fairly reliable. Service has failed me and a PITA.



I really like the feature of having knobs AND touch on the plotters, but wish the touch was more like an IPad and easier to use. While the autopilot work well, I wish that programming and modifying routes were easier (again like an IPad), and had better features like heading til intercepting a route, tighter parameters to hold a course, etc., etc. but over very functional.


Last boat had Garmin. Also very good, but didn't like the "touch only" screens, and they were harder to read, but about 3 years older technology than the Simrad, so not a real fair comparison. And my Garmin units were not the best they had to order. Routing on the Garmin was horrible, but suspect the new units are much better.


Previous boat had RayMarine, but that was back when the C80 and C120s were common. Absolutely garbage.


So, if you were choosing today what would you pick?


And if you installed something in the past few years what did you pick, and how well did that work out?
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:14 PM   #2
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I've been planning an "at some point in the next couple years" electronics re-do for my boat. Of the stuff I've looked at, I narrowed down to Raymarine, Simrad, and Furuno. I ended up deciding that unless something big changes before I make the jump, Furuno will be the pick.

I was thinking Simrad until the TZTouch3 stuff came out with physical buttons/knobs on the 12" version. Having a hybrid touch option for all 3, Furuno's support, and the Furuno radars having ARPA (and being otherwise at least as good as the Simrad HALO stuff) made the decision. Overall price for an MFD, radar, and autopilot was close enough that price isn't a deciding factor unless one brand has an incredible sale.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:21 PM   #3
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Always fun to start anew. I think you will get a number of folks who will swear by either Garmin or Furuno ( which you donít mention) I have had bits and pieces of Garmin, Simrad and Furuno, as well as pc based systems. Difficult to compare because they were not all of the same vintage.
I am happy with Furuno, but would likely be happy with Garmin as well. After years with discrete systems, I think that integrated systems have come a long way and are very reliable. Besides, now a days we all have multiple back up systems on iPads etc.
My Furuno system is now about 4 years old. I had the option of Furuno or Garmin when I ordered the boat and chose Furuno for two reasons; Better radar and faster pan/zoom/ scroll. ( at least at the time of the comparison 4 years ago.
I think Garmin systems are much more intuitive than Furuno, but once you learn the system, that doesnít matter anymore.
I have twin displays at the helm with touch screens, but I mainly use a remote control in the arm rest to do all my screen stuff. It can control either screen.
Thatís about all I can say by comparison. What I like about Furuno, and Garmin may be good at this as well, is the level of integration between the screens, the radar, and the nav plotter. By way of a short example, if the radar picks up a target with ARPA, the target automatically displays on the plotter. Lots of stuff like that.
Hopefully there will be a boat show near you soon, where you can play with competitors stuff. If not, you are stuck with us and Panbo. I donít think you will go wrong with either system.
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:32 PM   #4
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I have the Garmin 7212 & 5212 units on my new boat. Just checked and these models were introduced in 2009 so certainly not the latest technology today, however my point is that they are a true joy to use for me, trading up from the prior boat's Raymarine E120. I particularly like the fluid operation of touch screen and the auto route plotting, which is an extremely easy 2 or 3 button push to get an approximate routing that gives you all the background info you need (best routing around islands, estimated duration, etc.) in order to fine tune a planned route. I assume that other brands including Raymarine have now come up with something equally impressive. Very happy with my Garmins.

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Old 10-28-2020, 12:34 PM   #5
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I like Raymarine. I have put it in the current boat and the last 4 before this one. I have had excellent customer support. I bought a DSM300 back around 2003. In 2013 it started hanging up. I did some searching online and found out they didnít have an actual recall but were replacing them for some people. I called them and they asked if it was physically damaged or had water damage. I said no, they said send it back and they would send me the new current model, forget the model now. I asked what it would cost, they said the UPS fee to send it to them. The next year I called asking about an install I was doing and mentioned that they had replaced the DSM the last year. He said send it back and they would send me a newer model. They did. Who does that? They replaced a 10 year old unit for free and then replaced it again even though the second time there wasnít any issues with it. I will probably stick to Raymarine for life due to this service. I always stick with one manufacturer so that if there are problems I only have to go to ne place for support and they canít point fingers at the other vendor and say it is their problem. With Raymarine I can get everything I want or need including FLIR cameras.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:43 PM   #6
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Have all Garmin, 7612xvs, 7612, reactor 40 autopilot, AIS 600, XHD 24 radar. All works fine and well integrated,eg AIS, Marpa tracking. Iím satisfied with my set up. All systems take a learning curve and have their quirks. I plan trips with active captain app and upload, perform software updates all wirelessly on board.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:50 PM   #7
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Since you already have Simrad, I’d stick with them. We had a mix before we updated but the autopilot was Simrad. We went with a Simrad MFD and it was plug and play with the AP. We added an ICOM M506 VHF for we wanted an easy AIS receiver which was plug and play on the Simrad.
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:17 PM   #8
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I'll preface this with "I voted for Raymarine".

I've had older Garmin technology which I liked at the time. I had Raymarine C series and didn't mind it, though it had a few idiosyncrasies. I have Raymarine E Series now (non touch) and like them as well. Sometimes the Raymarine feels a bit like 'death by 1,000 clicks'. You really have to dig through menu's with Raymarine and many of the paths to features don't feel intuitive. I find myself often thinking "Where the #$%$%$ is that located??!!"" But then, maybe newer versions are better.
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:01 PM   #9
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I didn't vote for any one of these.

I have owned 6 or 7 cruising sailboats and trawlers and all had Raymarine navigational electronics except one performance cruising sailboat that just had Simrad basic instruments.

I don't think there is much difference among all three. Any will do a great job for you.

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Old 10-28-2020, 03:16 PM   #10
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I went Simrad. When I was looking 2-years ago, I wanted a knob-input instead of just touchscreen. Simrad and Furuno were the two I looked at. Simrad was a more affordable option for what I wanted/needed. I've also seen some issues with updating Furuno firmware that was a bit troubling, and Simrad runs Navionics (as does Garmin, of course). Simrad has had issues running MARPA, though I have not fully tested so cannot speak to whether it's resolved.

I guess my point is the differences between the brands are not huge - some bolt-on functional differences, but nothing grand.

Peter
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Old 10-28-2020, 03:28 PM   #11
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Did a complete refit a year ago on our new-to-us Navigator. At first I was leaning towards Garmin but the boat did have some functioning Raymarine electronics that were about 12 years old that I thought we could keep. The plan was to integrate the old Raymarine C90W units with the newest Axiom units but turned out the two systems could not network all the information I wanted. So we ended up removing everything that was there and going with all new Axiom MFD's, radar, autopilot, AIS, etc. They also have several apps that can turn a tablet/iPad into a fully functioning touchscreen MFD via a wireless connection to the Axiom unit. When I am on the flybridge I can utilize my iPad as a second screen by mirroring the MFD in the lower helm. Vice versa when I am using the lower helm. The Axiom units are available with knobs and touchscreens or touchscreen only. I have been very pleased with how well everything works and everything is much more intuitive than the Simrad Evo2 units on my center console. My Simrad install is now 6 years old and nearly every primary component has failed at least once. Both MFD's had screen delamination problems and the internal sounder has also died on both. Simrad replaced most of the faulty components without an argument but there was no way I was going Simrad again after this experience. Did I mention that I voted for Raymarine
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Old 10-28-2020, 04:52 PM   #12
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I wish I had Axiom in my boat, but alas I would have to replace both my 12Ē MFDs and so far I canít justify it. Instead I went with LiFePO4 batteries and a big alternator with a separate regulator. Not as sexy but makes more sense since our e127 and a128 work fine.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:06 PM   #13
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Had axiom on last boat. Went with pro as all touch screens won’t respond to touch at just the wrong time.
Next go round will be simrad or Furuno. Which ever is still offering a hybrid unit. Any DSC vhf is adequate. Still like a 802 SSB with a pactor 4 for modem with Sailmail and a satphone (loved the fleet one sailor). Still think boats should be independent for comms. Like carrying several different charting sources. Although haven’t flipped entirely to IPad nav with no MFDs do carry navionics on the IPad and and OPN on a toughbook.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
Had axiom on last boat. Went with pro as all touch screens wonít respond to touch at just the wrong time.

Although havenít flipped entirely to IPad nav with no MFDs do carry navionics on the IPad and and OPN on a toughbook.
Agree on the touch screen issue. I added a Ray RMK keyboard to solve that problem. I upgraded to Ray simply because I am familiar with them and had no desire to run new wiring. Technology has made some leaps in the last several years but I see no need to chase the bouncing ball. I really don't have any need to see AIS targets displayed in virtual reality mode. (Almost like a heads up display mode)

Navionics on IPad gets a lot of usage even though I have 2 Ray screens in front of me. If I decide to do an ICW trek I will add Aquamaps to the IPad.
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Old 10-28-2020, 05:59 PM   #15
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I get a family discount on Garmin electronics so that is likely the direction I would go, but I do have concerns about touchscreen-only ops in rough conditions, though my negative experiences were mostly on smaller boats that experience rough chop quite differently than a trawler would.
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Old 10-28-2020, 06:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I went Simrad. When I was looking 2-years ago, I wanted a knob-input instead of just touchscreen. Simrad and Furuno were the two I looked at. Simrad was a more affordable option for what I wanted/needed. I've also seen some issues with updating Furuno firmware that was a bit troubling, and Simrad runs Navionics (as does Garmin, of course). Simrad has had issues running MARPA, though I have not fully tested so cannot speak to whether it's resolved.



I guess my point is the differences between the brands are not huge - some bolt-on functional differences, but nothing grand.



Peter


I donít think Garmin chartplotters can run with a Navionics chip yet. Perhaps some day. They have changed their pricing scheme for the navionics iOS app though, following their Garmin method of much smaller areas per purchase. When we started the loop in 2018 I purchased US and Canada as a single zone purchase, today it would require 6 different zones to get the same coverage at 6 times the price.
https://www.navionics.com/usa/go-boating/garmin-plotter
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Old 10-28-2020, 08:09 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MacPhid View Post
I donít think Garmin chartplotters can run with a Navionics chip yet. Perhaps some day. They have changed their pricing scheme for the navionics iOS app though, following their Garmin method of much smaller areas per purchase. When we started the loop in 2018 I purchased US and Canada as a single zone purchase, today it would require 6 different zones to get the same coverage at 6 times the price.
https://www.navionics.com/usa/go-boating/garmin-plotter
Garmin bought Navionics. Their BlueChart G3 charts are all Navionics charts now.
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:02 PM   #18
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I don't think a single manufacturer gives the best results, you didn't mention a bottom machine. I would select Furuno for a bottom machine (chirp), Radar and even auto pilot (or Com Nav) The nav system would be redundant with Garmin and Coastal Navigator. Vhf doesn't make much difference unless you need a second GPS receiver and AIS, but the antenna does and it would be a Morad.
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Old 10-29-2020, 06:57 AM   #19
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Thx for all the comments, give one some perspective on choices.


I should have included Furuno in the survey, didn't realize how big they are (Bigger than Navico, Simrad's parent). For the most part I thought they catered more to the fishing market and only recently got into recreation boaters. But they do have a great radar.


I can remember years ago when RayMarine (formerly Ratheon) has horrible service as least in my circle, but seems like that's changed.



Also, seems like Simrad's service has been questionable for a long time. One of the reasons I purchased Simrad was that my installer had good success in dealing with their poor support (and I liked the touch/knob screens).


Right now, I'd lean toward Raymarine, with a very close second to Garmin. Both have everything I want for the most part. Raymarines stability is a bit of a concern as Flir had them on the for sale block recently and only dropped it because of Corona. Garmin is a giant and very stable and will most likely be around, and overall, their support is excellent, and still supporting some of my old Aviation units that are over 10 years old.



Question for you Furuno experts? What choices in mapping are available? On their website, it's confusing. And, do they have autoroute?
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:10 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
Question for you Furuno experts? What choices in mapping are available? On their website, it's confusing. And, do they have autoroute?
Not an expert...

I voted "other" -- meaning Furuno. I could put up with the others, at least for a while, if the boat came fitted that way, but if installing my own choice it'd likely be Furuno. Over the years I've had a few "how to" questions; customer service response has been excellent.

FWIW, the Garmin units I've touched don't seem to me to be wonderfully "intuitive" as often claimed. But then again, I'm a "read the manual" kinda guy.

The system we had is old by now, so can't speak perfectly to their current cartography... but at the time the choice was NOAA raster (free), NOAA vector (free), C-Map vector ($$) and Navionics ("Gold" I think, $$). Any or all of those. Annual NOAA updates (free, easy download); dunno about the others.

Dunno about auto-route. That hadn't been invented when we got our system.

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