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post #1 of 28 Old 1 Week Ago Thread Starter
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Help Select a New Electronics Package

Shiva is going on 35 years young and still have some of her original B&G instruments which are working fine... but getting long in the tooth as they say. Some of my instruments are networked with NMEA 183 but it's time to go to an N2K system. I am not crazy about the Ray C80 (at nav desk) and a bought a B&G T7 for my cockpit plotter. I am thinking about a Zeus 3 to take the place of the old T7 which will move to the nav desk and be on the network. Cockpit dash will be rid of the 6 - 4x4 B&G displays and a KVH sail comp and be replaced with perhaps 4 B&G Tritons. Of course a new wind instrument... wired is a PITA to install,,, but how good are the wireless ones? Then a new radar and network in an AIS B and the VHF DSC.

The KVH will remain and provide compass info in NMEA 183 output as will the GX2200 VHF

The Tritons set to the following defaults (if possible):

Triton #1 - DEPTH - COMPASS Heading
Triton #2 - BOAT SPEED (transducer and perhaps SOG)
Triton #3 - WIND - TRUE, APPARENT, GRAPHIC
Triton #4 - GPS - SOG, COG, CTW, XTE, DTW, TTG

I can change the page of course. I want the displays easily readable from the helm... although I usually am positioned close to the companionway when sailing. I hand steer to and from the dock and mooring or to anchor.

The new Zeus3 will be in the same coach roof winch under the dodger.

Does anyone one have experience with these B&G, comments, suggestions???
What about Furuno or Garmin?

This is not an evolutionary step but a whole new system... N2K which I have no experience with.

When it's done I will have some old perfectly working electronics to give or sell.

Give me your best shot!

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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

In 1 post you have more initialisations and Acronyms that the whole User Manual of an aircraft carrier.

Apart from that I have no advice
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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

hahahahahahahahaha

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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

We have had the Tritons since they first appeared many years ago. Just bought 3 more for the new boat. The way you want to set them up is easy to do - and you have many more options than those you list. One of my favorites is a page containing dual scrolling graphs of wind speed and direction (true or apparent - your choice).

We also have a KVH compass on this boat, but it is going to be dedicated to a backup autopilot, and replaced with a 9-axis N2K compass for main navigation and AP. If you want to continue to use it for the N2K instruments, you will either need a converter like the Actisense, or go through a chartplotter that can do the conversion. If you are getting a Vesper AIS, it might do the 0183-2000 conversion also. I know it converts both of those to 0183 wifi output, but I'm not sure it converts them internally on both buses.

We chose Furuno for the chartplotters on both boats. Not so much for the plotter, but for the radar. Furuno's radar is heads above anyone else's consumer radars, and for us, radar is more important than the chartplotter. Having said that, Furuno's chartplotter is very functional, and extremely rugged. I just don't appreciate chartplotters much at all because they all remind me of using 10-15yr old computers. We do all our planning on a computer, and use the chartplotter just for a display in the cockpit (when it isn't being dedicated to radar).

The new boat currently has a Garmin chartplotter and radar. The display of the charts is very good, and it is relatively easy to use, but I hate it. Once one wants to dive just a bit deeper below skin level on it, there is nothing there. It is truly made for people to just slap on the dash and go - assuming that that will be all the functionality or adjustment they will ever want.

I stay away from Raymarine because I boycott companies that refuse to adopt standards. When I see what RM owners need to do to step out of being locked into RM for adding on a separate piece of gear, as well as all the converters, etc they need just to operate their RM gear itself, it reinforces why I don't buy Raymarine gear.

I too am in the middle of a refit and will have a Garmin 7212 plotter and HD radar for sale, along with lots of Raymarine ST60 stuff. I also have a brand new, unused Simrad Precision 9 nine-axis NMEA2000 rate compass that will be for sale.

Mark
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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

I am aware of the flexibility of the Tritons... but I don't want to spending time pressing buttons and viewing data. I don't do route planning or need or want waypoint libraries... The chart plotter is just a screen to show where the boat is, depths and display AIS and RADAR... My AP which is simple and reliable does not display compass info so I want a "readable" fluxgate compass and I have the KVH which will do... even if it's not the latest and greatest. The compass info will be displayed on the Tritons and the plotter.

No Raymarine so the plotter will be B&G, Furuno or Garmin... and the determinant may be the charts. B&G has their sail steer making their plotter a sailboat friendly one.

I have a few multi function features on some of my cockpit displays which gives me choices of data to view. The alternative is to have more instruments or instruments with readable multi lines of data... which I think the Trintons have. Also I don't need a terribly large screen as I am viewing the plotter from close range... not across a cockpit. I will look at the Furunos as I know they have a great rep for radars and that is another thing will will drive the MFD selection.
Not a biog fan of touch screen only devices either.

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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

Hey,

It sounds like you will have a great system.

I have never used Furuno so can't comment from experience. Their plotters seem oriented to fisherman and power boaters.

I have used Garmin, Raymarine, and B&G. Since you are not interested in Raymarine I will only discuss Garmin and B&G. IMHO there is not that much difference between the two. B&G was the first to offer sailing specific features like SailSteer. Since then Garmin has added the same functionality. I haven't used the Garmin version but it looks fine on the webpages. I suspect there is really very little difference between the two.

Both have new wind instruments.

I use Navioncs charts on my B&G plotter. Garmin owns Navionics, so I strongly suspect that a Zeus running Navionics will look very similar to a Garmin running Bluechart.

If you plan on keeping the Triton display I would go with B&G just to keep it in the same family. If you plan on getting new displays then I would go with whoever is cheaper.

Good luck,
Barry
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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

It sounds like you will have a great system.

I have never used Furuno so can't comment from experience. Their plotters seem oriented to fisherman and power boaters.

I have used Garmin, Raymarine, and B&G. Since you are not interested in Raymarine I will only discuss Garmin and B&G. IMHO there is not that much difference between the two. B&G was the first to offer sailing specific features like SailSteer. Since then Garmin has added the same functionality. I haven't used the Garmin version but it looks fine on the webpages. I suspect there is really very little difference between the two.

Both have new wind instruments.

I use Navioncs charts on my B&G plotter. Garmin owns Navionics, so I strongly suspect that a Zeus running Navionics will look very similar to a Garmin running Bluechart.

If you plan on keeping the Triton display I would go with B&G just to keep it in the same family. If you plan on getting new displays then I would go with whoever is cheaper.

Good luck,
Barry
Everything will be new... so no commitments yet. Only KVH compass will remain as I see no reason to get another compass. I had a brief experience with the Triton and it looked great... so no experience with Furuno or Garmins. I DON'T want a touch screen only interface for the plotter. And radars don't offer inter operability...so the plotter choice determines to radar or the other way round.

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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
I am aware of the flexibility of the Tritons... but I don't want to spending time pressing buttons and viewing data. I don't do route planning or need or want waypoint libraries... The chart plotter is just a screen to show where the boat is, depths and display AIS and RADAR... My AP which is simple and reliable does not display compass info so I want a "readable" fluxgate compass and I have the KVH which will do... even if it's not the latest and greatest. The compass info will be displayed on the Tritons and the plotter.

No Raymarine so the plotter will be B&G, Furuno or Garmin... and the determinant may be the charts. B&G has their sail steer making their plotter a sailboat friendly one.

I have a few multi function features on some of my cockpit displays which gives me choices of data to view. The alternative is to have more instruments or instruments with readable multi lines of data... which I think the Trintons have. Also I don't need a terribly large screen as I am viewing the plotter from close range... not across a cockpit. I will look at the Furunos as I know they have a great rep for radars and that is another thing will will drive the MFD selection.
Not a biog fan of touch screen only devices either.
Guess I wasn't clear about the Tritons. I was trying to say that they can be set up exactly how you listed you wanted them. You wouldn't have to push buttons or go to different screen pages - all the data you wanted can be set up permanently the way you listed it, and they will always display these data.

Again, you will need a NMEA0183-2000 converter to get the KVH compass data on the rest of the instrumentation. You could probably wire it to the chartplotter's 0183 interface, and then have the chartplotter put it on the 2000 bus. I recommend having it directly on the 2000 bus using a converter instead. That way you don't need the chartplotter active just to have compass data.

The Tritons have SailSteer, so you will already have it. I thought I would really like this functionality, but after playing with it, I find it a bit annoying and not as useful as I had hoped. I wouldn't base a plotter decision on it.

Furuno plotters use both CMap and Navionics raster and vector, along with NOAA raster and Vector, and also some specialty charts like fishing charts and another type that escapes me, but isn't really used by sailors. It comes with all charts preloaded, and you buy unlock codes for the ones you want. The US NOAA charts are all free. To give an idea of pricing, we bought the CMap Caribbean for $250. This covers the from Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Eastern Caribe, North part of South America, Central America, and the Pacific coast from the top of South America to San Diego. I think it may have the widest choices of charts among the manufacturers.

However, the Furuno is a touch screen device. They sell a little control pad with it that has buttons and stuff on it, and can control the whole plotter. They also have a phone/tablet app that can control the plotter. I also wasn't a fan of touch screens, and still have some doubts, but we just spent 3 months sailing this new boat with a Garmin touch screen and it worked out just fine. In fact, it seemed more natural. I spent 3 months with a Furuno touch screen and that was also fine - but it was in a trawler pilot house and not in a sailboat cockpit. I still have hesitations, but we have a new Furuno touch screen waiting to be installed, so I guess that horse has left the barn...

Again, there is no consumer radar as good as the Furuno - and that is why we have a Furuno touchscreen plotter now, even though I have trepidations about it. We just delivered our boat 2,000nm with a current Garmin radar, and I have much experience with the B&G radar, and I am horrified how bad they are in comparison. I have no experience with Raymarine's radar. All manufacturer's radars will show you boat targets in general, but if you want ARPA, true motion, complete tunability and tweaking, and other more advanced functions, then Furuno is the only game in town. If you want to see squalls, and track them, don't go for the broadband offerings (even Furuno's).

Mark

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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

Thanks Mark... I have a Brookehouse MUX which I think converts 183 to 2000.... but when I actually buy a system... I will cross that bridge. I am not terribly charmed by the sailsteer... looks interesting... maybe for racers... I lived without it and I can continue... but I will play with it if I have it.

As far as touch screen.... I suppose I am not too old to learn... phones are touch screen and I am OK with them. We'll see.

Too bad radars are not interoperable. I heard B&G has a new radar on the way.

Really want a readable plotter which I can turn on all the layers.... AIS, RADAR, currents, weather... and so on. I am familiar with Bluecharts and Navionics and I think old C-map all vector charts.

34 years of reliable performance of B&G is a strong reason for brand loyalty...

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Re: Help Select a New Electronics Package

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
As far as touch screen.... I suppose I am not too old to learn... phones are touch screen and I am OK with them.
It isn't the learning that I have trepidation about - after all, any new plotter requires learning. A lot of learning, actually, since they all access different things in different ways using different modals.

My concern is usability in a wet environment, or salty fingers, or prune fingers from being wet, or dirty fingers from wrangling an engine issue, etc.

It wasn't an issue using one for a few months, but we didn't really have any bad weather, etc during this time.

I love B&G gear in general, and have owned it for 16yrs, but I hate their radar. Their Tritons are the bomb - I don't know why anyone buys any other small MFD. Their autopilots are also at the top, and much, much better than the Raymarine ones I have used (and is on our new boat - but not for long).

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