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Old 11-22-2021, 11:51 AM   #1
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Garmin, Furuno or Raymarine?

Advice I'm receiving is to stay with one manufacturer when it comes to electronics. Great, but my boat has a small plotter from Raymarine, an aging radar from Furuno (48" open array) that still has a CRT display then another small plotter from Garmin at the flybridge station. Finally I have bought and am yet to install a Standard AIS VHF that is NMEA2000. Then the autopilot is Furuno with an 'Octopus' drive unit but no controller or head unit

So, no Simrad but pretty much everything else. I need advice on what makes sense when I upgrade the radar, add the AIS and complete the autopilot systrem. In doing these upgrades I would like to end up with a larger display that is a MFD.

OK guys, let the sage advice flow.......
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Old 11-23-2021, 08:03 AM   #2
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My last experience with Raymarine was 20 years ago, minimum system, worked well... but comments wouldn't be relevant to their current products.

Previous boat we started with a mish-mash of Cetrek, Lowrance, and a Furuno radar and GPS. I kept the two Furuno components and built the system out with Furuno MFD, fishfinder, DST, and AIS. Keeping the radar/CRT was meant to be "until it fails" and then I'd replace with a Furuno radar that would display to the MFD. That radar never failed, and while the CRT is old an unromantic... and I couldn't overlay radar onto the nav chart... it always worked just fine.

With two ICOM VHFs. I do like redundancy.

Current boat has some non-working stuff plus a Garmin MFD, radar, and DST. Radar will overlay onto the nav chart, or I can split screens and keep nav and radar semi-separate. Works OK. Limited to Garmin G3 BlueCharts.

My plan is to install a Furuno MFD, FF transducer, and AIS to run alongside the Garmin stuff. If the Garmin radar craps out, replace with Furuno. Free NOAA raster (for a while) and vector charts and updates, plus choice of C-Map or Navionics at extra cost.

I could still get technical help on the previous Furuno stuff 10 years after installation. Garmin's reputation for that isn't great. although I don't have first-hand experience with them yet.

I need another VHF, for redundancy on that too.

I don't find the Garmin MFD to be any more "intuitive" than the previous and much older Furuno stuff. But then I'm about as intuitive as a rock, so usually actually read the manuals to figure out how to work stuff.

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Old 11-23-2021, 11:38 AM   #3
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I just all new Garmin installed.4212-12" MFD with 18" HD radar and Reactor auto pilot. The only issue I have is it is way smarter than me.
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Old 11-23-2021, 12:03 PM   #4
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My advice, do a search on this forum and read all threads that pop up. This has been discussed numerous times and the answer is always there is no answer. All three manufacturers have pluses and minuses and only you can determine which pluses are important for you.
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Old 11-23-2021, 02:45 PM   #5
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In my opinion, all major manufacturers offer similar products and functionality but differ greatly in the user interface. So your personal preference for ease of use at a particular price point will drive your decision.

I strongly recommend plug and play from one manufacturer. They design their products to work together. Simpler to install, easier to maintain.
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Old 11-23-2021, 03:19 PM   #6
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I like to stick to one manufacturer. Then if you have problems it is their problem no finger pointing. I like Raymarine. I have had excellent support from them. They replaced a DSM that was over 8 years old due to a manufacturing problem. I just bought a whole suite of Raymarine electronics for our new boat. My only complaint is that 2 days after the Quantum 2 radar was delivered they announced a new doppler open array radar…. Everything is out of date by the time you install it.
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Old 11-23-2021, 04:11 PM   #7
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Really liking the new Simrad full suite we just put in. Would expand your thinking to include them as well. Another choice that allows multiple sources for charting and allows buttons/joysticks as well as touchscreen at a very decent price point. Quality of their largest closed array radar is amazing. Sent them a emailed question. Response back in a couple of hours.
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Old 11-23-2021, 04:56 PM   #8
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Really liking the new Simrad

Sent them a emailed question. Response back in a couple of hours.
An important detail since the knock on them has been poor support.

Once upon a time?
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
My plan is to install a Furuno MFD, FF transducer, and AIS to run alongside the Garmin stuff. If the Garmin radar craps out, replace with Furuno. Free NOAA raster (for a while) and vector charts and updates, plus choice of C-Map or Navionics at extra cost.

I should have also mentioned I like the advantage of Furuno-TimeZero compatibility, same charts, etc.

-Chris
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:41 AM   #10
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Stick with one manufacturer as you will get get to know the interface, and use more features - IMO. I have all brand new Garmin on my Whaler - because I ordered it that way, and all Raymarine on my trawler, because it came that way. I prefer the interface on the Garmin, but support from Raymarine has been exceptional. I have a fully loaded Raymarine system - dual station, AIS, radar, auto pilot, SiruisXM weather, course Computer etc. and it works together seamlessly.

Choose one and run with it. I think they are all very good these days.
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:01 AM   #11
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Hmm, let's take AIS then as an example. My understanding is that AIS data pumped into the NMEA2000 pipeline is the same data regardless of the manufacturers product that captured it. Subsequently the MFD that displays this data on a chart could also be from any manufacturer. The data packets if following NMEA2000 protocols should be generic.

Am I missing something?
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:06 AM   #12
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I used Garmin for the past 10 years. The new to me boat had new Simrad from the past owner. Its definitely a step up!!
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Old 12-03-2021, 02:21 PM   #13
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Just a note of caution regarding Raymarine. When I replaced my old Cetrek autopilot I just assumed the new Raymarine unit would be as good or better than the Cetrek - after all, it was 30 years younger. Not so.

The Raymarine has no 'Dodge' feature, where you swing hard to port or starboard and then come back onto the original heading. This is absolutely necessary in the Pacific NW where floating logs are the norm. Instead, I must 'click' a number of degrees off course, pass the hazard, and then click an equal number of opposite clicks to get back on heading. Except, the clicks aren't always the same. Nor does the '10 degrees' swing feature work reliably, which is odd. Both could be added in software without any change to the hardware.

Further, if you don't buy the main display unit, you can't upgrade the system software.

While Raymarine's SeaTalk-ng cabling is easy to use (plug and play) it's not cheap.

My 2 cents.
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Old 12-03-2021, 03:55 PM   #14
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I'm with Uncle Matt - my full conversion from 16 year old Raymarine to Garmin - 2 MFDs, Fusion 18" radar and custom radar arch, but sticking with old Raymarine auto pilot works great. (Auto pilot not linked directly to MFDs.) As Matt noted, the Garmin complex is far more capable than I am. However, making settings adjustments per the manual instructions have made the presentation on the MFDs better and better. I am completely satisfied with screen clairity, radar ability to pick up and clearly display targets, etc. The main nav chart and sidebar data is very complete and easy to read both chart and nav data. It's a whole new world, whether at the cabin pilot station or on the flybridge.

Reviews on competitor products are impressive, too. My choice of Garmin was based on recommendations of my mechanic and the full time electronics independent installer.

We are all so fortunate to have a choice between several capable manufacturers, each with multiple models and price points.

Garmin 942 (down) and 1242 (up) MFDs fit the spaces available and were great and cost effective choices for us. The pulse compression Fantom radar has a low power draw, safer 40W radar signal, amazing sensitivity and highly pragmatic displays make us far more situationally aware than ever. I imagine purchasers of competing new nav and radar technologies are similarly delighted.
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Old 12-03-2021, 04:44 PM   #15
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We've been very happy with our Garmin chartplotters. This year we added an iPad Pro with Navionics and Aqua Map for additional navigation capabilities.
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Old 12-03-2021, 06:58 PM   #16
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2016 I installed my own Garmin electronics in my then new-old boat (1976) 40' Viking Sportfish with upper and lower helms. Most everything was on the flybridge though I did do a slave cable connect to a 24" flat screen TV in the main cabin so people fishing could see what was on the main chart plotter. The whole lineup was radar, conventional-down view-side view sonar, AIS transceiver, Black box VHF radio with all functions in the handset, SIRIUS XM Weather/entertainment radio, Autopilot, G3 maps with extra Great Lakes features. I found the plug and play part easy and mounted all black boxes on pegboard under the console with a second layer pegboard for organizing NEMA 2000 cabling and related wiring. I know I could have gotten by with fewer antennae but I ended up with six GPS ones including two heading sensors, one for radar and one for the Autopilot. Everything worked smoothly together and never messed up. Since I ran my own cabling and wiring there weren't any mysteries about what was where. Two detractors from this success story. Garmin products seem to get rotated off the shelf kind of quickly in favor of newer products even though the older products are working just fine. If I have to replace a component the good news is I made for easy access to black boxes so changing them out would be easy. The 12 volt electrical requirements for each component are specific so each one has their own circuit breaker with different amps and some have additional inline fuses. The one thing I really wanted was a GFI arrangement for DC voltage supply and couldn't find any. The best I could do was turn on electronics after engine start and turn everything off before engine shutdown.
Final thought is confirming the plan to go 100% with one manufacturer.
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Old 12-03-2021, 08:12 PM   #17
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Very timely for me. If you looking for a cheap way to go, I just replaced all of my old Raymarine equipment and have it on ebay. 72 mile color radar, E120 12" mfd, fluxgate compass, autopilot, fish finder, GPS antenna, all of the cables and black boxes. Everything works. https://www.ebay.com/itm/16520209179...2Cchnl%3Dmkcid sorry for the self serving long link. You can call me at 1-310-962-0565. Leave me a msg. I ended up buying Furuno and I'd be happy to tell you why.
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Old 12-03-2021, 11:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2savage View Post
Advice I'm receiving is to stay with one manufacturer when it comes to electronics.
Everything in electronics is pretty much on par with only personal preferences to guide you.

I went with Raymarine last year as I wanted to also stick with the same brand.

I bought a new FLIR, Quantum 2 Radar, AIS, Clearcruise with Raymarine camera, 12” + 16” Axioms and Autopilot which are all fully integrated.

Only thing we had to ‘plumb’ in was the Fusion Apollo stereo.

Only problem now is I’ll have no excuses for getting lost…
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Old 12-04-2021, 09:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWT View Post
An important detail since the knock on them has been poor support.

Once upon a time?
There first level support was poor. But when I reached 2nd level! They knew their stuff. It was a quick fix.
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Old 12-04-2021, 01:12 PM   #20
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My advice, do a search on this forum and read all threads that pop up. This has been discussed numerous times and the answer is always there is no answer. All three manufacturers have pluses and minuses and only you can determine which pluses are important for you.
True!

Maybe decide which feature is most important to you as well, and try to ignore historic reputations.

I chose all Furuno as I was impressed with their radar as well as the recently upgrade UI and ease of use, which used to be a negative compared to Garmin and now is a positive.

My last consideration is who your trusted installer supports the most as well.

Everyone likes what they chose especially compare to their legacy installations so it’s a no lose choice.
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