Upgrade electronics package for 2008 Helmsman 38

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capran

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
208
Vessel Name
Honu
Vessel Make
Helmsman 38/Mariner Saville 37
Back story. Bought her 2 years ago. Knew at time very outdated instruments. The chart plotter was Navnet which is basically pictures of charts of varying quality. Knew the furuno radar had issues. didn't work at sea trial but PO got it going which lasted 2 months. Depthsounder needed to be turned on at the flybridge, warmed up and set to varying depth parameters and even then, not 100% reliable in 2 8 week cruises. Could not get the radar serviced/problem solved. So, here's what I have ordered. 1) Lower helm Garmin 8616XSV 16" 2) two date repeaters GMi20 for the two brows currently installed. current is GPS and a depth repeater and am told each of new brows will give up to 4 data readings. 3) Upper Helm GPSMAP 943. (currently the only thing up top is depth). 4) new transducer Airmar B744V. I know speed through water is not really necessary, but I prefer knowing it to judge current. sometimes adjusting course can help alot. 5) wind sensor Garmin G wind. I know that too isn't necessary, but having sailed all my boating years felt it was helpful info to have. Out in a sailboat, had wind in your face and better at judging speed and direction, which helps when docking that bigger boat. Hope I'm not making the second biggest mistake in my life (still wondering if switching from sail was the #1). and any recommendations to figure out how it all will work? Still pisses me off they don't even include manuals.
 
Similar to what I have. Garmin is just fine. I have the G wind and love it for docking.
 
Similar to what I have. Garmin is just fine. I have the G wind and love it for docking.
Thanks. That was my thought re: docking. When sailing I was always so tuned into the wind, and now there are times when approaching the dock I can't get an accurate read on speed and direction. I hope the upgrade won't be too difficult to operate. I'm so old school, my first 7 trips to the Bahamas were made with no Depth sounder (sounding lead only), no knot meter (used a chip log to occasionally measure speed) and a sextant for morning, noon and sunset sights. Got my first handheld gps in 93.
 
Still pisses me off they don't even include manuals.
All manuals are easily accessible on line. The 8616XSV manual is accessible in the MFD itself. My current boat is all Garmin (after Raymarine, Trimble, Furuno and Simrad) and I am a big fan. Take time to learn it. It has immense possibilities. You didn't mention your engine but it may be possible to display engine data on the MFD and GMI20s.
 
To be very honest about it! I had Garmin for years and I did like it. Bought my new used boat and it had a 1 year old Simrad 12" MFD and Auto pilot. I will never go back to Garmin.
 
All manuals are easily accessible on line. The 8616XSV manual is accessible in the MFD itself. My current boat is all Garmin (after Raymarine, Trimble, Furuno and Simrad) and I am a big fan. Take time to learn it. It has immense possibilities. You didn't mention your engine but it may be possible to display engine data on the MFD and GMI20s.
Interestingly, it is a Northern Lights Lugger Engine. 4045DF270 Very basic, with no electronics, so I suspect it won't have that interface.
 
To be very honest about it! I had Garmin for years and I did like it. Bought my new used boat and it had a 1 year old Simrad 12" MFD and Auto pilot. I will never go back to Garmin.
two years ago tried to get a Furuno guy in Anacortes to come out and fix the radar. The PO made repeated calls and couldn't get a response. I'm 6 hours away from the boat and the storage facility said they only install Garmin, so felt a bit stuck. another option might have been to put the boat in the water, and find another yard that deals with something else, pay their daily rate and try to get it scheduled. Or come over, put the boat in the water, pay the daily moorage at Cap sante and try to arrange details. sigh. imperfect choices and solutions.
 
Trouble shooting the newer unit is a lot easier than units over 15 years old. I say this as a general statement. Where some of the Radar components where installed outside of the dome and there wiring was very complex. Around 2010 they stated using Cat5 wiring from the dome to the display and all the radar components were built into the dome.

If needed to the dome alone could be set in for repair. Easily use a tester on the cable.

One thing that I was very happy about Simrad. The radar dome was over 12 years old when I bought the boat. So I wanted to up grade that too. The the connector to the old dome would not fit the new dome. But Simrad made a adapter for $45 so the cable did not need to be replaced. Which would have been a ton of work!
 
Thanks. That was my thought re: docking. When sailing I was always so tuned into the wind, and now there are times when approaching the dock I can't get an accurate read on speed and direction. I hope the upgrade won't be too difficult to operate. I'm so old school, my first 7 trips to the Bahamas were made with no Depth sounder (sounding lead only), no knot meter (used a chip log to occasionally measure speed) and a sextant for morning, noon and sunset sights. Got my first handheld gps in 93.
I have a 2007 (Hull #7). I also upgraded all of my electronics, incl autopilot, and also added AIS. I stayed with RayMarine and have been very happy with it on both my previous 2 sailboats. You will definitely benefit from having water speed. I also strongly recommend interfacing your Autopilot with your GPS/MFD. In the Salish Sea, running routes on the AP will keep you off the rocks. AP on just magnetic will definitely NOT. Regarding wind instrument, I do very well with a bit of yarn on the burgee staff attached to bow. ⛵⛵️🛳
 
I have a 2007 (Hull #7). I also upgraded all of my electronics, incl autopilot, and also added AIS. I stayed with RayMarine and have been very happy with it on both my previous 2 sailboats. You will definitely benefit from having water speed. I also strongly recommend interfacing your Autopilot with your GPS/MFD. In the Salish Sea, running routes on the AP will keep you off the rocks. AP on just magnetic will definitely NOT. Regarding wind instrument, I do very well with a bit of yarn on the burgee staff attached to bow. ⛵⛵️🛳
survey says hull info: XOD13709J708. our boat yard said that doing the auto pilot would add great to the already 20,000 price. I sure hope it stays usable. It's one of the few things that seems to work ok. I just hope I can figure it all out. Way out of my league and really missing my sailboat. :(
 
I think you will learn the Garmin setup pretty quickly, it's has an intuitive GUI, especially with the touchscreen. I know some will poo poo the Garmin system, but I've been happy with mine which was installed by the PO and although they are vintage 2014, they work fine. I just added a new12" 1243 touchscreen unit to my flybridge and it still shares all information including depth contour with the original units, can't complain about that.
I found using the heading hold function on the AP to be most useful when our boat was in the Salish Sea. Did some routing and experimented with the Garmin, but there was too much traffic, logs, etc. to deal with to have it follow the route. I would use it just for planning and just follow using the heading hold for the most part. YMMV.
 
survey says hull info: XOD13709J708. our boat yard said that doing the auto pilot would add great to the already 20,000 price. I sure hope it stays usable. It's one of the few things that seems to work ok. I just hope I can figure it all out. Way out of my league and really missing my sailboat. :(
My entire system install was about $16K, including the new AP. The hydraulic drive itself does not need to be replaced. The technology of the electronic parts of the AP have greatly improved. That said, it may still be possible to network you existing AP with your Garmin system and that connection is incredibly valuable. I also forgot to mention that VDO makes an excellent engine monitoring system. Definitely worth checking it out. A very comprehensive engine monitoring system is extremely important, especially when you may be operating close to max engine load. ⛵⛵️🛳😊
 
My entire system install was about $16K, including the new AP. The hydraulic drive itself does not need to be replaced. The technology of the electronic parts of the AP have greatly improved. That said, it may still be possible to network you existing AP with your Garmin system and that connection is incredibly valuable. I also forgot to mention that VDO makes an excellent engine monitoring system. Definitely worth checking it out. A very comprehensive engine monitoring system is extremely important, especially when you may be operating close to max engine load. ⛵⛵️🛳😊
Sounds like you got an amazing deal on your package! My quote was 20k Lower helm Garmin 8616XSV 16", two date brow repeaters GMi20, Upper helm which currently has only depth to have GPSMAP 943 with a 9 inch touch screen. (went with a size that would fit the current space. Transducer Airmar Triducer (depth, temp and speed through the water, Garmin "G-wind". Our single engine is the John Deere Northern Lights 85 hp Lugger engine. reportedly a simple and reliable engine. ( but I do miss my Universal Weterbeke M35 on my sailboat. Put over 20,000 miles on the boat and working on it was easier than the Lugger.)
 
My upgrade quote is about half what you guys are quoting, but mostly because I have less equipment and smaller MFDs. GPSMAP 743 at both helms, 24" Fantom radar, radio with AIS, and the network interface to integrate the Cummins SmartCraft data. Based on you guys' enthusiasm, I may add the wind stuff and upgrade the basic sonar transducer to the Airmar unit. Sounds compelling.

IMG_3145.jpg


The small MFDs are to maintain the factory look of the rather small instrument pods. Our Mariner 37 is hull 3.
 
Hey Capran, are you using the GMI 20s to display wind data or more general information? Seems like Garmin should offer something like Maretron panels that can be configured to display about whatever you want. Is that the GMI 20?
 
Hey Capran, are you using the GMI 20s to display wind data or more general information? Seems like Garmin should offer something like Maretron panels that can be configured to display about whatever you want. Is that the GMI 20?
The dealer said you can configure the "eyebrows" to read up to 4 things each. but haven't even thought about it. (produces too much anxiety). as the matter of fact, as of recently they hadn't started the work and now might consider cancelling it. We took our anchor hatch in and the head of that dept quoted est of 400. we were on a land trip last Friday and got an email that it was done, and the charge is 2700! Never any mention or call about it going over by 700%. Now I'm thinking if they do the same on the estimate of electronics, the bill would be over 100,000. I guess they see power boat and they think "gold mine". WTF!
 
What are "brows" or "eyebrows" in this context?

-Chris
We currently have two displays up above the helm windows. One is the depth, and the other is the GPS. they are about 6 or 7 inches by 4 inches (a total guess. could be 5X8. on the original estimate, he referred to those spaces being "eyebrows". In the estimate, he put 2 "GHi20 data repeater displays and identified the location as "Lower Helm overhead brow". I am totally new to trawler jargon.
 
Ah yes, instruments mounted in the overhead “dash.” Very nice.
not sure how I'll configure them. they said you can include 1, 2 or 4 things in each unit.I may want to have one with SOG and STW. (to be able to see effects of current on speed.) and want wind speed, and obviously depth, and maybe have GPS coordinates in case of emergency. not even sure how it all plays out, or if we even move forward, I've now had two issues with the company. One, I left specific instructions re Zincs. They don't allow you to even do your own in the yard any more, with a flimsy "it's the state" excuse. so I told them all the zincs but one are in the box in the aft lazarette. and want them to keep the thruster zinc so I can look at it re wear. They installed their own zincs and didn't keep the thruster zinc for me to look at. did they even change the thruster zinc? afraid to try to open it to look as I've heard it's not easy. and the big issue of the 400 quote on the hatch which resulted in a 2700 charge.
 
Not a good track record so far. That’s frustrating. Do they let other contractors work on boats in their yard? Big project to take on without the right trust.

My interest in the GMI 20 is to display certain data in the salon and stateroom to access or monitor while aaay from the helm or overnight.
 
not sure how I'll configure them. they said you can include 1, 2 or 4 things in each unit.I may want to have one with SOG and STW. (to be able to see effects of current on speed.) and want wind speed, and obviously depth, and maybe have GPS coordinates in case of emergency. [snip]
Here's the instrument layout I use:
Instrument Screen Layout.jpg
 
I haven't really thought it through yet either, and when I do, it might change by location or season or something. Guessing my 4 items would be depth, dew point, SOG, and water temperature. I like that Raymarine allows a graph as an output type. Does the Garmin GMI 20 also allow that?
 
I haven't really thought it through yet either, and when I do, it might change by location or season or something. Guessing my 4 items would be depth, dew point, SOG, and water temperature. I like that Raymarine allows a graph as an output type. Does the Garmin GMI 20 also allow that?
I am assuming it does, since they said it could be configured for up to 4 readings per unit. It's pretty much "all Greek to me", given my simplistic background of sailing for 40 years. I miss the days not worrying about equipment failures because we had no equipment. No knot meter, no GPS, no radar, no depth sounder, no inboard engine, no battery charger, Living off fresh caught lobster and fish. LOL.
 
I am assuming it does, since they said it could be configured for up to 4 readings per unit. It's pretty much "all Greek to me", given my simplistic background of sailing for 40 years. I miss the days not worrying about equipment failures because we had no equipment. No knot meter, no GPS, no radar, no depth sounder, no inboard engine, no battery charger, Living off fresh caught lobster and fish. LOL.
You could certainly eliminate all that equipment from your trawler too..... just sayin.
 
That does sound good, and now more than ever.
Those were the good old days. (cruised a total of 15 months during our first 7 years on the Pearson. when first mate would get tired of lobster, we often traded lobster and fish for Charterers steak and ice.) Then changed boats to the PNW for 7 summers and our lobster changed to crab. With the Catalina only cruised in the islands for 5 summers of 2 1/2 months each until Francis knocked her over while in storage at Ft Pierce. Cruised the PNW from 05 thru 21, and then bought Honu spring of 22. But boating isn't getting easier, or cheaper, so can only take one year at a time.
 
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