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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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Old 07-11-2010
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New Electronics

I plan to upgrade the electronics on my 40' cutter. She will be used for blue water cruising and possible some distance racing. Features of Simrad, Furuno and Raymarine have caught my eye. Any comments or opinions regarding reliability, performance and support will be greatly appreciated.
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Well...what do you mean by electronics? AIS, RADAR, VHF, GPS, Chartplotter, Depth, Speed, Wind, Autopilot?

Going with a system that uses/supports NMEA 2000 would probably be a good idea at this stage of the game. It also depends on your budget.

I'd point out that Raymarine is currently in transition, as they recently were bought out by FLIR, and availability and support may be an issue with them during the transition. I know that getting some parts from them has been very difficult, depending on what it is.

Garmin doesn't make a sailboat autopilot AFAIK, but their gear is otherwise quite good, and their chartplotters are more intuitive than most other brands. Their radar, the 18HD is pretty well regarded for a lower cost unit, but doesn't have the features that some of the higher-end Furuno and Raymarine units will have.

TackTick makes speed, depth and wind instruments, but little else. I have and like their wind, speed and depth instruments, and would point out that they can interface with other brand gear via an NMEA 0183 interface, but it is a dated interface that will be soon obsolete IMHO. If you need an autopilot, chartplotter or radar, you'll have to go elsewhere.
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By electronics I mean MFD's at the helm and navstation, Radar (broadband or digital HD), AIS B and a full compliment of instruments and transponders.
NMEA 2000 is a given. I have an ST6000 autopilot with the ST6000+ control head that will be upgraded with an X30 Corepack and ST70 Control Head.
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Since you already have Raymarine gear and are upgrading it, you might want to stick with Raymarine for the rest of your hardware. Raymarine is no longer on the verge of bankruptcy, since they were bought out... so availability should probably become better as FLIR gets a handle on Raymarine and integrates it into their company.
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thanks for your input
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Don't know if you already purchased something, but I would recommend looking at Furuno. They have really made progress the past few years making a total sailing package. You can go with a Navnet 3D MFD, their autopilot works with sailboats, they have a full line of sailing instruments and Maxsea software. It's worth a look anyway.
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