Multifunction displays Raymarine o Garmin,other
Going to go with new electronics on a refit, radar depth chartplotter. I have a good electrical background and some electronics, Are these units as advertised plug-n-play? Kinda like the Garmin stuff with the touch screen. I want to do this correctly and to be as current as possible. Looking for a little coaching and direction. Thanks for any recs given, Have a Great Day. John B
The new watch-word in marine electronics is NMEA-2000, a more capable protocol (than NMEA 0183) for inter-brand, inter-instrument connectivity. The big benefit is that individual instruments such as Garmin's GPS; Faruno's Radar; Raymarine's autopilot's; Tac-Tics wireless, etc, etc can be chosen for their respective strengths and connected together with the certainty that they'll function as you'd expect. I think N2K, as it's called, is a HUGE advance both conceptually and in reality. Actually, the concept was always there but N2K brings practical inter instrument-networking to the fore
Work the question backwards........
A Chart plotter is designed to make navigation at sea easier, so start with the Charts.
Garmin uses Bluecharts original, G2, or G2 Vision.
Raymarine uses Navionics
Furuno uses Navionics or C-Map
Where are you going to cruise? What type of vessel? (e.g. a sailboat will probably have Raymarine instruments inboard which may suggest going with their Plotter).
A "Form follows function" approach may prevent you being seduced by some of the current bells and whistles that may be of little practical value.
Getting a relevant copy of "Practical Sailor" would be a great place to start.
For a background in what's new and improved in Marine Electronics, I would spend a couple of hours reading Panbo - www.panbo.com
IIRC - Furano's NavNet 3d looks like a good N2K system
As someone else wrote, NMEA2000 is the way to go. However, not everyone plays nicely. 'Simple' things depth information, wind speed, that sort of stuff is standard for NMEA2000. Radar is not. So if you really want everything on one display (chartplotter, radar, depth, etc.) then make sure to get at least the radar and chartplotter from the same place. This should be easy to do, Raymarine, Garmin, Lowrance, etc. all do that.
What is your budget? Raymarine is expensive, Garmin is mid range, Lowrance is cheap. I don't know where the other stuff falls in.
Do you plan on integrating your DSC VHF Radio? Most VHF's still use NMEA0183 (NMEA2000 VHF's are just starting to come on line) so make sure whatever chartplotter you get has at least one NMEA0183 port (most do).
If I were going to start now, I would definitely use a wireless wind instrument. Either Taktik or Maretron.
One last thing, do read Panbo, and do check out Maretron. http://www.maretron.com/
Let us know what you decide on and how it works out.
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