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Old 10-01-2012
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Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

We recently purchased our first sailboat and now that we're heading into storage season we are starting to think about items we'd like to have next season. There are no gauges, telltales (besides some red and green yarn we added), windex, etc currently installed. I'd like to have a depth meter, speedo, and windex.

I've started looking at the various systems that are out there and although Garmin doesn't have the best reputation for customer service their GMI 10 and related accessories seem fairly affordable (especially if refurbished). I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this system and if so what your thoughts are.

Cheers.
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Old 10-01-2012
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

I have the GMI 10, the DST800 depth / speed / temp sensor, and a Lowrance chartplotter, all connected via NMEA2000.

I normally have the GMI 10 displaying GPS speed, paddle speed, and depth. (you can go crazy with the custom screens on the GMI 10). Depth and GPS speed are also displayed on the plotter.

That's one nice feature of NMEA 2000 networking, data from any device is available to any other device on the bus.

I had one problem where I needed to update the software in the GMI 10 and you can only do that from a Garmin plotter, not the Lowrance.

My advice is, even though most brands offer NMEA2000, to try to stick to one brand.

Some other thoughts in no particular order :

GPS speed is much more useful than the paddle. The paddle is not very reliable - it regularly gets stopped by weed etc.

If you don't want a chartplotter, get a GPS "puck"

The depth meter is very accurate and reliable.

If I had wind data I would get a second GMI 10. Switching between screens will get old, and putting too much data on one screen would be confusing.

For serious navigating I would think about a fluxgate heading sensor which could also talk via NMEA 2000. Right now the GMI 10 will display GPS course, which is not quite the same as heading but still very useful.

If you have a heading sensor and a wind sensor the GMI 10 will calculate true wind.

I try and look on the bright side, my friends and family are never stuck for ideas for Christmas and birthday presents.
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

Thanks MarkSF, that's a lot of food for thought. I don't love the idea of being tied to a battery, especially since I'm currently moored and don't have any way of charging it while on the water, but being a gadget person I can't help but be attracted to the colorful screens. ;-)

I really like the simplicity of the NMEA 2000 system and would likely stick to Garmin products. I'm sort of torn on the a depth finder and not particularly thrilled with the idea of putting holes in the hull, but after running into a sandbar this season I'm reconsidering the tradeoffs.

I've seen a lot of Raymarine equipment but after pricing out similar hardware (especially manufacture refurbished) the Garmin hardware is pretty compelling. I don't foresee having a chartplotter but fortunately Garmin makes a NMEA 2000 network updater which I can hopefully find used somewhere since it does look like they're keeping the product up to date.
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

I could live with just a handheld GPS like the Garmin Montana and a depthfinder, but the latter would be hard to live without. Still, I guess most of the time it's good enough to know where you are, and what the tide is... Some handhelds will alarm if the water (in theory) is too shallow.

Sounds like a solar panel should be on your shopping list?
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfine View Post
I've started looking at the various systems that are out there and although Garmin doesn't have the best reputation for customer service
This comment surprised me. I have had excellent customer service from Garmin. Raymarine on the other hand can't even spell customer service much less deliver it.
blowinstink and obelisk like this.
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

Glad to hear that svzephyr44. When I was researching brands and reading reviews thats what most of the negative comments were regarding Garmin. Looking at how frequently they are pushing out updates though made me less concerned.
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Old 10-02-2012
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Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

I have the Garmin display and the triducer. Works great. Easy to read and configure. I plan to add a second GMI. I had to replace the windvane blade; excellent customer service.

Fair winds,
Greatketch33
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Old 10-02-2012
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

Hey,

If all you want is speed and depth there are much simpler ways to go. For example, for about $400 you can get a Lowrance Elite 4, which includes a 4" chart plotter and fishfinder / depth display. That will give you GPS speed and direction. Note that the depth transducer does not require a hole in the boat, as long as your boat is fiberglass, the transducer can be mounted inside the hull and it will be able to 'shoot through' the hull.

If you also want a wind display (not a windex, but wind speed and direction) then prices go up. The basic Raymarine system for this includes depth, speed (through water, provided by the paddlewheel transducer) and wind, is the ST60 cobo pack. It's a little pricey at about $1500. That will be Raymarine Seatalk or NMEA 1083, but since you aren't really networking the instruments together, it doesn't really matter.

Barry



Quote:
Originally Posted by jfine View Post
We recently purchased our first sailboat and now that we're heading into storage season we are starting to think about items we'd like to have next season. There are no gauges, telltales (besides some red and green yarn we added), windex, etc currently installed. I'd like to have a depth meter, speedo, and windex.

I've started looking at the various systems that are out there and although Garmin doesn't have the best reputation for customer service their GMI 10 and related accessories seem fairly affordable (especially if refurbished). I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with this system and if so what your thoughts are.

Cheers.
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

What happend to the blade Deric?

BarryL, I was thinking about the fish finder route and just going with a mechanical windex. One of the neat things about the electronics windex plus GPS is the ability to calculate actual wind though being new to sailing I'm not sure how useful that would be to me at this point.

Our sailing season is fairly short up here on the Finger Lakes and water temperature isn't important to me so the fewer holes I have to put in the boat the better, so it's nice to hear that the transducers can shoot through.

At the risk of maybe getting off topic a bit. What is your opinion on GPS vs through the water? Which do you find is more useful? Also what are your thoughts on the usefulness of actual wind vs apparent wind?
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Re: Experience with Garmin GMI 10 and related NMEA 2000 sensors?

I found a Garmin kit, GMI 10, windex, and depth, for around $900 and refurbished GMI 10's for around $250.
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