Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
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Best Electronics package for your boat.
There is no one system that is the best.
I have a combination of Garmin MFD/Radar/NMEA2000sensors tied via NMEA0183 to a Raymarine pilot and instruments. And am pretty satisfied with it for my shorted handed coastal cruising on a 31 foot sailboat here in the Northeast US.
To generalize you need to factor in:
Personal preferences: Do you have good experience with a particular brand. What about the User Interface (U/I) is it simple enough yet have enough features to satisfy your Nav style and requirements. Do you have friends or technician who use a particular brand and would be around to guide and support you.
Type of boat and type of cruising: Big and slow or long distance favor more complex equipment with more adjustments and cross checks. Smaller and/or fast or short range navigation favor quick and simple solutions without a lot of options....and everything in between.
Local knowledge and brand mix: If one brand is very strong in your area or where you will be cruising, there is usually a good reason.
Finally budget: A higher investment usually assures greater reliability and better support if something does go wrong. Their are exceptions to this but when looking at packages in particular it is a good rule of thumb. Interestingly this metric does not always equate to ease of operation.
I understand you may have been hoping for a more specific answer, but there just isn't one.