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  #11  
Old 08-13-2013
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Re: best electronics package

I've used Raymarine stuff on my 28-2, and I'm pretty happy with it. I have an e7d MFD, X5 and P70 for the autopilot, ST70 display head, ST70 speed instrument that works with my old Autohelm Tri-Data transducer. The SeatalkNG networking is easy to work with and I like the small diameter cables.

My only complaint is that I wish they had more sailing specific features. It is also annoying that the ST70 and i70 display heads have display modes (like relative wind direction graphs) that can't be done in the e7d data page or on the p70.

If I were buying again today I might take a closer look at Garmin, it seems like they are doing some interesting things.

I only own one piece of Simrad equipment, a RS35 VHF radio, but based on my customer service experiences and the terrible bugs in this device I wouldn't buy another piece of their hardware. This is too bad because the Zeus MFD looks awesome for sailboats.
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2014
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Re: best electronics package

Hi Alex

I'm curious, what within the Garmin line do you find attractive for the sailors?
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2014
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Re: best electronics package

Since August things have changed a lot and I'm fully in the Raymarine camp. Since then they've made charts free (for US) and have embraced open standards for GPS waypoints and tracks. The UI has become simpler and better and the prices are dropping, the A65 can be had as cheaply as $600.

There are also rumors that they will be putting more sailing specific features (like laylines) into upcoming versions of the Lighthouse II firmware.

They have also provided me with good customer service. My ST70 was bought used and wouldn't take firmware updates, but Raymarine fixed under it warranty really quickly.
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Old 03-17-2014
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Re: best electronics package

Thanks for that.

I do understand you've had service issues with Navico products. That said ...

I'm close to pulling the trigger for a b&g triton package and maybe a zeus 7 touch (good deals right now). I generally like what Navico is doing w/ the Triton displays, GoFree wifi, the zg100, and particulary the GoFree APIs ... a major manufacturer opening up their interfaces for third party developers.

Not so sure about b&g service and support.
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Old 03-17-2014
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Re: best electronics package

Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Garmin seems to be winning on price. Raymarine on sheer breadth and interconnectivity. Simrad wins on capability (HD Radar), and Furuno seems to win on ruggedness (if at the price of new features). Just my opinion.

I'm likley refitting my boat with Raymarine soon. But I'm watching the open source community very closely. I love how OpenCPN can do radar overlay (on a Garmin scanner). Other people have reverse engineered Airmar tranducers.

$5k being your budget, I'd look at Garmin.
I'm a huge Garmin fan when it comes to Chartplotters (especiall since they use the Explorer Charts in their Bahamas electronic charts).

I have two Garmin chartplotters on my boat, set up completely separate from each other, for redundancy. It's nice to be able to set them to different views and to know that if one goes tits up, the other should keep working.
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Old 03-17-2014
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Re: best electronics package

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoobaGooba View Post
Hi Alex

I'm curious, what within the Garmin line do you find attractive for the sailors?
The 400 series of sounder/chartplotter is a great deal. You can usually get them for less than $400 if look for a deal. And, you don't need a huge screen on a sailboat like you do on a powerboat, because you're just not moving that fast.
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Old 03-17-2014
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Re: best electronics package

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoobaGooba View Post
I'm close to pulling the trigger for a b&g triton package and maybe a zeus 7 touch (good deals right now). I generally like what Navico is doing w/ the Triton displays, GoFree wifi, the zg100, and particulary the GoFree APIs ... a major manufacturer opening up their interfaces for third party developers.
I agree that providing GoFree APIs is great. I took a quick look at the documentation and they've made it very easy to interface NMEA 2000 data over WiFi. I hope that Raymarine does the same.

The Zeus 7 has always looked like a nice sailing oriented package to me. They were just getting released when I bought my e7d (and were quite a bit more expensive a year ago) or I might have gone down that path.

What do you prefer about the Triton to the i70? I haven't seriously looked at either, my ST70 (prior version of the i70 and not as nice) meets my needs for now. The Raymarine A65 MFD is so close to the price of either that it would be tempting as a 6" data display.

I have had much better customer service with Raymarine than Navico.
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