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post #1 of 4 Old 08-14-2017 Thread Starter
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B&G Sailsteer vs Garmin Sail Assist

HI All...

I need a chart plotter in a week for a cruise from New Brunswick, Canada to Newport, RI, US and have to make a quick decision. One the boat arrives it will be used both for cruising and racing. I think almost any plotter is okay for a cruise but racing is a different story.

I saw this thread on a similar topic:

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/electr...gps-radar.html

Of course we now have the Zues3 and more Grmin units and firmware updates since then, but I am mostly interested in the sailing / racing specific features and how they compare. Googling didn't turn up much.

It seems that both units have some kind of start line assist and also layline prediction. Which works better and is easier to use? The Zues Sailsteer display looks pretty cool, I have not seen the Garmin yet.

Also, does either display speed targets?

Any other thoughts? I'm not concerned about radar and sonar but I would like AIS.

Thanks!

Last edited by jarcher; 08-14-2017 at 01:53 AM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-14-2017
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Re: B&G Sailsteer vs Garmin Sail Assist

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarcher View Post
HI All...

I need a chart plotter in a week for a cruise from New Brunswick, Canada to Newport, RI, US and have to make a quick decision. One the boat arrives it will be used both for cruising and racing. I think almost any plotter is okay for a cruise but racing is a different story.

I saw this thread on a similar topic:

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/electr...gps-radar.html

Of course we now have the Zues3 and more Grmin units and firmware updates since then, but I am mostly interested in the sailing / racing specific features and how they compare. Googling didn't turn up much.

It seems that both units have some kind of start line assist and also layline prediction. Which works better and is easier to use? The Zues Sailsteer display looks pretty cool, I have not seen the Garmin yet.

Also, does either display speed targets?

Any other thoughts? I'm not concerned about radar and sonar but I would like AIS.

Thanks!
My RayC80 is getting old and I will have to bite the bullet and select a new system. I use a stand along T7 in the cockpit as a plotter only... don't race and so the lay line thing is not part of my sailing experience. The plotter boat track is pretty good for figuring "lay lines" and so forth... but again I am not racing and looking for every tiny advantage.

But at some point the race committees may decide that electronic racing is verboten... seems like an unfair advantage. Yea it's cool and the genXers love tech... with the last AC the epitome of gameboy yacht racing. Turned a lot of sailors off.

Tell us how this works out. I don't like Ray interface and the B&G T7 may be worse. I'm interested in your assessment of Garmin.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-14-2017
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Re: B&G Sailsteer vs Garmin Sail Assist

Hello,

I used to have a Garmin 740S. I upgraded to a B&G Vulcan 7.

My Electronics:
Raymarine Evo 100 autopilot
Simrad RS35 VHF / AIS receive
Raymarine ST60 speed, depth, wind (connected to Seatalk to NMEA 2000 converter)

My comments on the Vulcan:
Easy to install and works fine. My Garmin unit was on a N2K network, the Vulcan connected to the same network. During setup it found all of my other devices and shares data just like the Garmin unit did.

Vulcan vs Garmin (740S - so no sailsteer or layline info)

Vulcan Pros / Garmin cons:
-Sailsteer / layline information is cool. I do race my boat (casual beer can type stuff) and the sailsteer screen helps me recognize wind shifts and when to tack. With the electronics I am less likely to overstand a mark or tack to early and have to make additional tacks. My garmin unit was too old to have information so I can't compare the two
-StartLine Data: You set up the start line (very easy to do) and the Vulcan displays line bias, distance to line, etc. One key piece of information is doesn't display is the time to the line. Without that info I don't know if I am going to be early or late. Very silly that it doesn't display that info, because the device certainly can calculate that info
-Touchscreen - works well, easy to use, I figured it out quickly, etc. I haven't had problems with using it in the rain
-Wireless support - built in to the Vulcan. I can connect my phone and display the vulcan screen on it. I can connect my IPad and control the vulcan. You can also connect to a wifi hotspot and download upgrades, user manual, etc.
-COST - The Vulcan line is significantly cheaper than the Garmin line
-Data screens - you can display a screen of data which includes target boat speed.

Garmin Pros / Vulcan Cons:
-User Interface is easier to use
-Main Plotter screen is (IMHO) better than the Vulcan. I found it easier to set up the garmin screen the way *I* wanted it. The vulcan can be customized, but I prefer the Garmin unit (I gave my Garmin to a friend. I race on that boat so I still use that unit on a regular basis). I have customized the Vuican display, but it's not as easy.
-Running A Route - when you are navigating a route with the garmin unit it displays a bright magenta line right to the waypoint. It displays cross track error. So you can easily see if you are on course or not. The Vulcan unit does not display that info. Instead it has a 'steer' display which goes positive or negative to show you which way to steer. Not a big difference but I prefer the garmin unit. Perhaps there is a way to get the Vulcan to display the same thing? I haven't found it.

Conclusion:
I wanted to upgrade to a plotter with sailing specific features like laylines, sailsteer, etc. The B&G Vulcan is significantly cheaper than the comparable Garmin product. I have never used a Garmin product with the sailing specific features, so I can't comment on them other than I would assume they work fine. If I could have purchased a Garmin unit at a comparable price I would have. All things considered I am satisfied with my Vulcan 7. I paid under $500 for it, and that included a free Navionics chart upgrade. That's a great deal IMHO.

Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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post #4 of 4 Old 08-16-2017 Thread Starter
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Re: B&G Sailsteer vs Garmin Sail Assist

Thanks Barry, I appreciate your very helpful comments :-)
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