Your choice of new electronic suites

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Bucky
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Krogen Manatee 36 North Sea
I guess it's time to begin considering updating these old, mixed breed electronics. *If you've had a look at some of the new electronic suites to include radar, depth, plotter, GPS, etc., which way would you go if you were updating to the latest. *I'm figuring less than 5 grand for everything. *Would you mix and match? *This would all be for coastal cruising, loop and Bahamas. *Thanks in advance.
 
Ultimately, your cost is going to be in the size of the display(s). And going in under 5 grand might be tough....are we doing autopilot also?
 
I am old style , I prefer one unit to fail instead of all at once.

I don't care if my holding tank does not autodump , every time I get 3 miles out.

When the wireless matures to the point that its reliable , watching the fuel flow on the radar might be amusing.
 
I've been very happy with the Furuno 1834-C. It has radar, chartplotter on the screen. You can add a depth sounder/transducer to get that info on the screen. You can add an engine room camera to get that data, you can interface your autopilot. You can add Sirius weather, and AIS receiver. Or you can have the stand alone units you have and add them to the 1834 when the others go bad or as money is available.

I have only the charts and radar on mine currently. Other depth works fine and I'm not sold on AIS yet. This model is getting long in the tooth, but there are lots of them out there so support should be good for some time to come. And, the best part is you might be able to do most of it for the 5 boat units.

Ken
 
A Furuno NN3 is easily $3500 then add in a gps and a 4kw digital scanner and +$7,000 shows up. While your at it AIS and DFF are nice to have - another $2,000. Labor --?? Yes, you can mix and match but not the plotter and radar. NMEA 2000 on everything too. Good luck and let us know what you select.
 
Just a comparison between the 1834C and the newer technology NavNet3 that Sunchaser mentions.

Furuno 1834C
Product ID: FU1122-45 MFG ID: 1834C
Furuno 1834C Sunlight Viewable 10.4" NavNet Color VGA 640 x 480 TFT LCD display AR-coated, high-brightness display unit for improved sunlight viewability. 1834C has 4.0 kW Transmitter, 36 NM Radar/Chart Plotter with 10.4 Inch Color LCD Display and 24 Inch Radome.
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours

MSRP/MAP Price $5,095.00 Our Price $3,745.95

The 1834C Radar GPS Network fish finder Network weather facsimile a multistation integrated navigation network, NavNet vx2 lets you build your navigation system according to your needs.
The Furuno 1834C unit is part of the NavNet vx2 family, which means you can add components to it. If you need a GPS/WAAS fix, simply add the BBWGPS GPS/WAAS receiver. If a fish finders is what you need, you can plug in the BBFF1 Network Sounder and it will turn the unit into a fish finder. And if you want multiple displays, you can have up to four displays in a single network.

Furuno 1834C Radar/Chartplotter Features

All display units are capable of controlling any component connected to the NavNet network
Perfect for single or multi display installations
Fully supports C-Map MAX chart.
Utilizes SD cards for chart and memory.
Fast chart drawing speed.
Straightforward Plug n Play installation with wizard style set-up.
AR-coated, high-brightness display unit for improved sunlight viewability.
Select chart type below.
Sunlight Viewable 10.4" Color VGA (640 x 480) TFT LCD Display
AR-coated, high-brightness display unit for improved sunlight viewability.
Automatic GST (Gain, Sea Clutter, Tuning) Receiver
Target or Echo Trails with Selectable Time Intervals
Enhanced graphics with 256 color full VGA presentations
Improved screen redraw, scroll refresh, and memory cache
New Quick Point L/L direct entry waypoint
100 target AIS display with I/F module and external AIS Rx
Simplified installation with new Network Wizard set-up
Adjustable (In or Out) Radar Guard Zone Alarm
Picture Off-Centering or Target Zoom Mode
Cursor L/L Position Display **
Watchman Mode activates the Radar for Safety and Security
On-Screen Display of Vessel Position, Heading, etc. *
Waypoint Lollipop On-Screen, to simplify Navigation * or **
Full Functioning Infared Remote Control
Radar Overlay available with appropriate heading sensor (ie. PG500R)
Vessel Position Display in L/L or Loran-C TD's
North-Up, Course-Up or Automatic Course-Up display modes
Plotter, Nav Data, Steering Director or Highway display modes
Up to 8,000 points for ship's track and marks, 999 waypoints, 35 quick points, 1 MOB, 200
10.4" Navnet VX2 Display 1 navionics configuration
White Plastic Facia Cover 1
Mounting Bracket 1
Mounting Knob 2
 
So what is wrong with your present old electronics?* There is nothing wrong with mixing electronics if they work.* The cheapest way to go is with a bundled package where you get one screen and several applications.* Most of the major brand have bundles packages, Raymarine, Furuno, and Garmin, which are pretty much plug and play.* If the old electronics work might want to keep them as back up?*
*
I am of the old school like FF where I like each application separate with it own monitor, and have back up for each.* That way in one can go with out the entire package, and there is a back up for each.* Furuno is what the commercial use so that is what I would*tend to go with as they have bundled and unbundled applications.* Back 15 years ago we went with Rayathone, now Raymarine, Furuno was foreign made and had limited parts and service in the US, where as Rayathone had parts and service. However, now Furuno seems to have good parts and service in the US.
*
We do not have a back up radar, but have been watching/looking at the new broad band for close range and better detail as we have 30+ mile Rayathone.* So before we head north plan on having a back up broad band radar unit.* Garmin as a new player for pleasure boats, and to new for me.* So Furuno would be first, Raymaine second and Garmin maybe as a basck up.**
*
I am not sold on AIS because you can see boats/ships with AIS on http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/


-- Edited by Phil Fill on Tuesday 24th of May 2011 06:41:19 PM
 
2bucks wrote:
I've been very happy with the Furuno 1834-C. It has radar, chartplotter on the screen. You can add a depth sounder/transducer to get that info on the screen. You can add an engine room camera to get that data, you can interface your autopilot. You can add Sirius weather, and AIS receiver. Or you can have the stand alone units you have and add them to the 1834 when the others go bad or as money is available.

I have only the charts and radar on mine currently. Other depth works fine and I'm not sold on AIS yet. This model is getting long in the tooth, but there are lots of them out there so support should be good for some time to come. And, the best part is you might be able to do most of it for the 5 boat units.

Ken
*We are in the process of replacing all of the old, non-working electronics on Dorian I, plus adding some stuff that wasn't on board before. Our thinking is that we will be keeping the boat for a minimum of 10 years so let's equip it once with reliable electronics so that we shouldn't have to address any of it again during ownership.

With that in mind we went with the Furuno 1834C & extras. The extras include a 7" display for the lower helm, depthsounder module, autopilot (two control displays) and a weather station.

I agree that this product suite is getting a bit long in the tooth but on the other hand it has been well proven and subtly improved upon since its introduction early in the last decade.

We also went with an icom 504 VHF c/w Command Mike III.

We too are not sold on AIS but I think that is a function of how much commercial traffic you have to deal with.

Our decision to go with these products was ultimately based on their reputation *for being bulletproof. It's hard to find any negative comments about Furuno. You can pay now or pay later.*

Because these products are networked, there is the risk of losing everything, although the chances are low. As long as you have some kind of redundancy you should be fine. In our case we have a stand alone depth sounder, paper charts, our old VHF, and three compasses, one hand bearing.*

Um, we were not under $5K.
 
Thanks for the opinions. Selecting a proven system rather than "the latest" would likely help me stay in the 5K range, but add-on capability is a must. I doubt I can do much about how dated the electronics will be when I sell the boat (I mean, things are changing rapidly), but I can do something about having good equipment now. I'd keep one of my older chart plotter/GPS units and the depth finder, but the Admiral wants something more modern that she can work with. Given that she loves her I-phone and I-pad, I'm afraid that might mean touch screen as well. There goes my 5K budget.
 
Phil Fill wrote:So what is wrong with your present old electronics?* There is nothing wrong with mixing electronics if they work.*

-- Edited by Phil Fill on Tuesday 24th of May 2011 06:41:19 PM
*

Phil: *Ya know, mostly what is wrong with my old electronics is that they are tiny, hard to read screens, and although reliable, my Admiral can't play with them, so you know what that means. *She was in the West Marine Candy Store the other day, and just kept looking at the big screen models. *Yeah, I like them too, but cheesh.....big bucks. *Of course, she got to playing with them and also preferred the touch screen models. *God help me.*
 
I'm starting with a clean slate here too. My choice is Garmin! I work in the aviation industry and the Garmin products are the hottest most in demand avionics out there. They just
came out with a new series of touch screen GPS/NAV/COMM's that are un real. Their reliability and support has been top notch as well. Guess I am a little biased huh.
Hope to put on dual Multifunction displays, 8" on fly bridge and 10" at lower helm. 24" radar, sounder and xm weather should round out the package. Already have
a new autopilot, Northstar NS3300, as the garmin only works with hydrolic steering. As for communications, Icom VHF's and either Icom or Yeasu Ham rigs. My 2 cents worth.
Bill
 
Enola B wrote:
.....My choice is Garmin! I work in the aviation industry and the Garmin products are the hottest most in demand avionics out there. ......
Hope to put on dual Multifunction displays, 8" on fly bridge and 10" at lower helm. 24" radar, sounder and xm weather should round out the package. Already have a new autopilot, Northstar NS3300

_________________________________________________________________
* * * ** Being an MFD junkie, I think you'll be really happy with your choices.


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Sunday 12th of June 2011 09:20:58 AM
 

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We kept it close to $5K by...

Keeping the CRT Furuno Radar.* It's little used and bullet proof.*

We put in two new DSC/VHF radios, properly connected to the GPS for auto distress.*Tested and kept old antenae.*

Added AIS receiver only, shared one VHF antenna.*

Put in a small Furono combo plotter fishfinder with new transducer and GPS antenna.*

The shop then created a wiring harness to hook all of the above to a PC at either station.* Got a used laptop for $0 from work and added RosePoint Coastal Explorer.* The small Furuno 7000 is daylight viewable and all we need on a sunny day.* We use the laptop when running indoors or to load routes into the Furuno.

*

As for Autopilot?* Well, that was another story and came it at about $7K.
 
OK, I think I've been beaten into submission about the 5K budget. I told my Admiral about this today, and she continues to dream about the touch screen type display, and I can see the budget falling apart. I suppose for our anniversary next month, we'll shop the touch screen w/ chart plotter that includes plug-ins for radar, depth, weather, autopilot, and anything else on our eventual want list. Believe it or not, her I-pad on Google Maps saved us the other night when we got on one of those sand-bars in Biscayne Bay, which had a clear indication of it's area and shape. Plotter lost signal for a few minutes, pitch black with no markers and few references. I'm going to include the I-pad with Navionics for back-up.
 
Guys

Can some of you give me your impressions on the SIMRAD models? My boat is building and the installation is new. I'll have a saloon command and a flybridge and I have already a NX40 Chart/GPS and a AP28 Autopilot. Any ideas to complement the suit in a economical mode?

Thank you for your help

Fernando
 
Watching the Crab Boat skippers,*on the TV show Deadliest Catch,*using their plotters to set and retrieve pots and navigate in those rough seas probably convinced me to drag myself into the 21st century. *I felt like a kid in the candy store, when it came time to upgrade and shop for new electronics after 30 years.

We spend a lot of our boat time fishing and crabbing and I looked for a system that would work well for that pupose plus have good long range cruising features. * There are a lot of excellent electronic systems out there that will fit that purpose and you have to look for the features and components that best suit your boat, personal preferences and budget.

I talked to many boaters and dealer, I finally settled on a Garmin networked system. After a year and many trips I am still astonished at the versitility and ease of operation of my Garmin network. The accuracy of their maps, chartplotter and GPS is truely amazing. *The ability to add on to or upgrade the system by connecting component and integrating directly to the network with an ethernet cable is fool proof and plug-n-play.*

You can spend as little or as much as you want. *A big savings with the Garmin network was good documentation for DIY and the ease of installation. *I purchased my components through the internet and I installed the system myself. *With a little electrical skill and some basic tools anyone can do it.

**
 
Edelweiss: *May I ask what series components you settled on with Garmin? *I don't do any fishing, but my Admiral says she wants a contour of the bottom in shallow areas on-screen. *Does you network produce that also?
 
Portuguese wrote:
Guys

Can some of you give me your impressions on the SIMRAD models? My boat is building and the installation is new. I'll have a saloon command and a flybridge and I have already a NX40 Chart/GPS and a AP28 Autopilot. Any ideas to complement the suit in a economical mode?

Thank you for your help

Fernando
*Although I don't have direct experience with SIMRAD equipment, we did look at them closely when looking to upgrade our electronics.*

The two items that captured our attention were the Broadband Radar and the Structurescan depthsounder (I believe it is also referred to as broadband.) Both I believe are the wave of the future but I wouldn't go with them quite yet, as they are still getting "bug fixes".*

SIMRAD seems to have a loyal following and I haven't heard anything negative about their products other than somewhat limited performance currently in the above mentioned products. Depending on what you are looking at, you may also want to consider Lowrance products as they are the same or similar (same company) but priced less and some models have less features which may or may not be important to you.
 
Healhustler

I went with the*Garmin GPSMAP 4212 Plotter it comes with the US G2 Chart loaded, and I added the GMS 10 Network Port,*GSD22 Remote,*Intelliducersensor*thru hull Mount NMEA 2000 Depth and Temp. transducer and weather mapping, etc; *You may be just as happy with a 4210 or 4010, I wouldn't go any smaller though.

*You bet, it gives you all of that and more. *I can't even begin to list all the features. *Some of the things we like for fishing are, the ability to split the screen, put bottom features on half and the chart on the other, plus see your speed over ground and over water, depth, battery voltage/alarm, ability to mark hot fishing spots, name and mark set crab pots, with WAAS accuracy of 6 feet, all at the same time etc. etc. *

For navigating you can set courses and store for later use or setup on the fly with way points, off course alarms, depth alarms, time underway and time to destination, ground and water speed, pull up tide charts and current tables for anywhere in US and lots of other things. Garmin goes up to the 7000 series now, but you would probably be just as happy with the 4000 series, unless you want touch screen, satellite imagery and a really big display. Large size display is nice, but it's got to fit at your helm. *10 or 12 inch was going to be maximum for me and I ceiling mounted mine which gives me excellent screen viewing from the helm or on the deck as well.

Watch for specials; Some of the online wearhouses like WMJ Marine, Defender Marine, etc. offer combined specials that include plotter, GPS, network expander, gsd22 and transducer, weather, xm radio all for one price. They will often beat the price of buying individual components. *Be aware of the shipping cost and whether they charge state sales tax. *Hope this helps

Larry B

*
 
Wow, Larry. That's a lot of info. Yes....my Admiral wants the touch screen (she loves that on her I-Pad). I'm playing like I'm not that excited about it, but you know.....she's the Admiral.
 
Conrad wrote:2bucks wrote:
I've been very happy with the Furuno 1834-C. It has radar, chartplotter on the screen. You can add a depth sounder/transducer to get that info on the screen. You can add an engine room camera to get that data, you can interface your autopilot. You can add Sirius weather, and AIS receiver. Or you can have the stand alone units you have and add them to the 1834 when the others go bad or as money is available.

I have only the charts and radar on mine currently. Other depth works fine and I'm not sold on AIS yet. This model is getting long in the tooth, but there are lots of them out there so support should be good for some time to come. And, the best part is you might be able to do most of it for the 5 boat units.

Ken
*We are in the process of replacing all of the old, non-working electronics on Dorian I, plus adding some stuff that wasn't on board before. Our thinking is that we will be keeping the boat for a minimum of 10 years so let's equip it once with reliable electronics so that we shouldn't have to address any of it again during ownership.

With that in mind we went with the Furuno 1834C & extras. The extras include a 7" display for the lower helm, depthsounder module, autopilot (two control displays) and a weather station.

I agree that this product suite is getting a bit long in the tooth but on the other hand it has been well proven and subtly improved upon since its introduction early in the last decade.

We also went with an icom 504 VHF c/w Command Mike III.

We too are not sold on AIS but I think that is a function of how much commercial traffic you have to deal with.

Our decision to go with these products was ultimately based on their reputation *for being bulletproof. It's hard to find any negative comments about Furuno. You can pay now or pay later.*

Because these products are networked, there is the risk of losing everything, although the chances are low. As long as you have some kind of redundancy you should be fine. In our case we have a stand alone depth sounder, paper charts, our old VHF, and three compasses, one hand bearing.*

Um, we were not under $5K.

*An update. This has been a very problematic install in that every major component shipped by Furuno was faulty.*
<ul>[*]The 10.4" (1834c NT) unit was not sunlight viewable and required - after many denials from Furuno - a software upgrade, which was an improvement but still not great.[*]The autopilot display (511) developed a blemish after being out in the sun for a few hours; a faceplate replacement didn't help so a complete display unit replacement is on its way.[*]The WS 200 unit failed intermittently and has now been replaced.*[*]While out cruising we have been plagued by charts dropping off, the radar ceasing to function, and the depth sounder going blank - once at a most inopportune time.The suspected culprit is the 7" display which has the chart chip and radome connected so it is acting as a server for itself and the upper 10.4" display. It will be replaced once they can find a new unit.[*]The depth number on the scrolling graphic display shows intermittently. This apparently was fixed a couple of versions ago but crept back in in subsequent versions apparently.[*]Along the way the hub & original C-Map chart card were replaced to see if they would fix the chart issues, which they did not.[/list]
Throughout all of this my dealer has been great but his dealings with Furuno have not been the best. And he is the one who has to absorb all of the costs of his techs spending huge amounts of time troubleshooting the problems, which all came back to faulty equipment, not faulty installation. Furuno has been quite snarky in fact to the tech folks here.

I turned the boat over to the dealer on May 16 for the installation; it is now August 30 and we're not done yet.
 
Thanks again Conrad for taking the time to post this update. Sure sorry to hear of all the problems you are having but luckily, you have a great dealer to support you. I have pretty much the same electronics you have and have not had any problems (knock on wood) except for the WS 100 which does not display true wind.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Ron
 
I just added a chartplotter because my Raymarine some what dated unit had a very slow refresh rate. I got a Garmin 740 series which is there cheapest touch screen unit. I can't say enough about touch screen and would highly recommend it.
 
Conrad....can't thank you enough for your update and telling it like it is. I sure hope your Furuno experience doesn't turn out to be the Rocna of systems.

Timjet....you know, I was looking at that 740 for a buy right now, and wait another year or so to update the rest. The 740 is something I'd like as a back-up system to my new suite, and the touch screen is a real bonus (Admiral loves to play with it). Since I see full time cruising another 2 years away, and I don't like anything else I have for a backup, it may be just the ticket.
 
BTW, here's a shot of my old antiquated electronics. *My plan will be to build a new console for the electronics suite, and most likely build in some electronics boxes overhead when I re-do the hardtop.


-- Edited by healhustler on Saturday 10th of September 2011 06:20:31 PM
 

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healhustler wrote:
Conrad....can't thank you enough for your update and telling it like it is. I sure hope your Furuno experience doesn't turn out to be the Rocna of systems.
*You're very welcome! I hope to be able to provide an update that tells how everything worked out perfectly in the end; I'm cautiously optimistic that the replacements will work as advertised.*

Re the Rocna, which we purchased in February (it hasn't been our year has it!), the latest Practical Sailer talks about the Rocna quality issues and suggests that the 33 pounder is okay. Finally good news.
 
I cannot say enough about the Garmin 740. I added their autopilot this summer and will add the 24mi HD radar when the 1984 vintage Furuno craps out. Fantastic customer support.
 
The centerpiece of my electronics is the 10.5" Garmin chart plotter. I really like it and want a plotter for 1 or 2 of my smaller OB boats. I'm like FF and the others that like stand alone systems. I have for years insisted on having two sounders otherwise I have no backups. And I like one of my sounders to be a fish finder showing a bit of "history". Sounds like your Admiral has been watching too much TV. This touch screen mania serves no purpose that I can see. Remind the Admiral she's not the commanding officer. Here's my nav stuff and I see no reason at all to spend more money.
 

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nomadwilly wrote:
*I have for years insisted on having two sounders otherwise I have no backups. And I like one of my sounders to be a fish finder showing a bit of "history".
* * * ** I do the same thing, Eric. My NorthStar* has the fish finder & the Standard Horizon is set to record the depth below the keel for skinny water navigating.


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Monday 12th of September 2011 09:32:26 AM
 

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Keep posting guys....I haven't sprung for a chart plotter or radar yet. Winter project. Pretty sure it will be Garmin though based on my past experience.
Eric- think sounding line, marked in fathoms tied to lead weight.
 
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