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post #1 of 8 Old 04-13-2015 Thread Starter
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Best MultiFunction Instrument

Hi All,

I purchased a Oday 30 last year and now I'm planning a full upgrade of instruments and electronics spread out over a few years. I have mainly done short day sails on a very protected river but will be hoping to head out into a larger bay as this season progresses. Both are very well marked and I will only be sailing in good weather, during the day and not racing. So for phase one of the project I'm looking at installing depth & speed gauges/sensors and continue to use my iPhone/Ipad for charts, wind and weather.

I did a little research and both Raymarines I70 and Furuno"s RD33 will give me the upgrades I'm immediately looking for and provide me with the ability to incorporate other functions (wind speed, direction, etc) as I build out my electronics package over the next few seasons. Question is - is there something that will satisfy my needs at a lower price point (Garmin, Lowrance?) than these units without sacrificing performance, etc? Any insight or thoughts are appreciated.

Last edited by Pcpk; 04-13-2015 at 12:28 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-13-2015
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Re: Best MultiFunction Instrument

take a look at the Lowrance HDS7 - it does it all, plus some.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-13-2015
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Re: Best MultiFunction Instrument

In my opinion, the best use of the Ipad nav apps is as a planning tool, and as a backup to a proper marine device.

The price difference between an MFD, and a chartplotter, is not that great and you'll have a proper device that's meant for marine navigation.

You'll get the best ease of use if the nav app will talk to the chartplotter, and upload routes to it. I have the Garmin BlueChart app on the ipad, and I am thinking of changing to a Garmin plotter for this reason.

I have a Lowrance HDS 5 right now, and like it for every reason except ease of use, which is dreadful.

Remember the boat that ran aground off Hawaii when the Ipad started demanding that the captain log into the cloud, rendering the nav app useless?

Also there are plenty of reports that the touch screen doesn't work when wet.

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-17-2015
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Re: Best MultiFunction Instrument

I'd recommend looking at a B&G combo pack. Maybe add a Vulcan later. Ipad only as a repeater for Vulcan and planning sw.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-17-2015
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Re: Best MultiFunction Instrument

If you plan to build to longer voyages, you'll be happy to have installed a proper chartplotter now. For your near term plans, anything will do.

Your navigation would seem like eyeballs are primary and you i-device is secondary. That works. Put the iphone-ipad in a lifeproof case, however. It makes them fully waterproof, but can still be charged, take pics, etc. They are bit pricey, so if you are managing a tighter budget, one of the $20 glorified zip lock bag style work fine too. You just have to remove to charge.

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-17-2015
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Re: Best MultiFunction Instrument

Do you know how to use a chart? Can you plot a position from a GPS waypoint? Can you plot a position from a point using the latitude and longitude scales on a chart? Can you dead reckon your way from one point to another? Can you draw a course using the compass rose?

As far as satisfying your needs a 20 buck chart, a divider and a plotter should save you a few bucks. I know, it's old school but if you can't do the basic navigation in protected are you going to do it 20 miles from your home port?

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post #7 of 8 Old 04-17-2015
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Re: Best MultiFunction Instrument


Some more or less random thoughts on this.....

I would only install NMEA2000 / SeatalkNG / whatever each manufacturer calls it. This will make adding additional devices very easy (just plug and play).

Check out Ben Ellison's posts on Panbo (Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub). He tests ALL electronic devices and provides a lot of really great info.

If you plan on buying depth and speed now, you are probably better off buying a depth / speed / wind combo pack. You will want wind information, so bight the bullet and get it now. All the manufactures have special bundles if you buy all three. This includes Raymarine, Garmin, Simrad, B&G, etc. Expect to pay $1000-1300 for this.

Once you have the instruments, it's not THAT much more expensive to buy a plotter as well. You can get a nice plotter for $500.

Who is going to install all this? You can easily double the cost if you are going to pay someone.

good luck,

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-17-2015
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Re: Best MultiFunction Instrument

I bought a generation older IS20 combi/wind pack for $1 under 1000. Its simrad equipment, and runs on simnet (which is NMEA 2000 compatible).. each device has a simnet in/out and in the middle a NMEA 0183 connector. Adding a plotter later is my long term goal. Many think I'm nuts because I am on a small lake, most can't fathom that I won't always have the boat on the lake.

Just noticed they are another $100 down on the price of that system (since its now 2 generations behind I guess)... regardless, the design is good, backlight is selectable, white LED, or red...
Simrad 22098438

That's a pretty stellar price for something that'll integrate pretty easily with newer plotters.

So it'll do, speed, depth, apparent wind, apparent wind speed, true wind, true wind speed, air temperature, and water temperature. Comes with everything in a box. Later add a simnet plotter... I integrated a standard horizon VHF with DSC... I should have gotten AIS... but oh well.

Oh I added a simrad TP22 tiller pilot... I can't yet tell you how all this works.. I have about 3 weeks to splash.. testing it all worked pretty flawlessly.

"Rum Line" a 1982, S2 7.9 - Production boat limit tester, blue-water bucket owner, with wine taste on a beer budget.

Last edited by SHNOOL; 04-17-2015 at 12:31 PM.
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