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MikeRPSU 09-26-2008 02:19 PM

NMEA 2000...Soliciting Thoughts
I am embarking on a refit of my Tartan 372's electronics. While there is a lot I don't know yet, I do know that I've settled in on Garmin as the core (already purchased the 4208 Chartplotter).

I am looking to replace the old DataMarine masthead unit, transducers and instruments with the following:

Garmin GWS/GMI 10 Bundle Masthead Instrument Combo
Garmin 18 HD Radar
Maretron DST100 NMEA 2000 Triducer (speed/temp/depth)

All the pieces are NMEA 2000 certifed. So tell me this is as easy as plug and play? It all seems to good to be true. The only NMEA 0183 instrument will be the older Autohelm 4000 Wheel Pilot.

And because I am staying with NMEA 2000 devices, I am assuming this means I do not need items like Garmin's Sounder device (GDS 20/21/22)? The masthead and triducer install instructions indicate not (plug into the NMEA 2000 network).

One other aspect....for a primarily Great Lakes sailor, does it really matter whether the triducer has a plastic or bronze housing (I tend to over-engineer so I am leaning to bronze).

Anyone's thoughts, ideas, criticisms and other general opinions welcome.


tommays 09-26-2008 02:49 PM

I have ONLY done 2000 on power boats with fuel flow and tank level and it worked well

While great strides have been made in 2008 compared to past years we are still pretty far from a USB computer standpoint in everything working with everything

With the big problem being the host units abilty to take data from everything and make a usefully display of it

My lowrance has a custom diaply page in which you can show anything connected how ever you would like BUT your limited to whats in the units firmware

There is also a whole big thing with all the plugs and connectors not being 100% the same ,lowrance was on board early and as a result they have blue plugs and red plugs that are not compatable :rolleyes:

You do need to think it out becasue of the need to have termation at each end of the network backbone

sailingdog 09-26-2008 04:48 PM

Since you're sticking with all one manufacturer, any NMEA 2000 bugs that are currently out there shouldn't bite you on the butt too badly. :)

The GDSxx series sounders are for using the multifunction chartplotters, particularly the smaller stand-alone models, rather than the bigger modular units, as a fish finder. You shouldn't need one for just depth data, since the triducer will provide that.

You will probably want a box to connect the autopilot and DSC VHF to the GPS at a minimum. IIRC, the 4208 will have NMEA 0183 connections as well as NMEA 2000 ones, so you may not need a separate interface box.

T37SOLARE 09-26-2008 05:46 PM

I've also decides on a full N2K network, but I'm going with Furuno.

Just received all the equipment this week, FI series instruments and a NavNet 3D display for the helm. Looks like I'll be installing everything the week after next, just waiting on the teak instrument box for over the companion way.

Thinking of replacing my Raymarine radar and adding AIS next season, then waiting until we are able to head south in a couple years to upgrade the autopilot.

One issue I've run into is finding a N2K to PC USB box. Really don't want to have to run a NMEA 183 output from the plotter just for the computer, but I do want a redundant backup system.

I'll post my experiences once it's up and running.

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