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Opinions on total-package electronics brands?

3174 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jnkendal
I am looking to completely re-outfit my boat with electronics. I'm looking for opinions on the best single brand to build my system with. I would like full integration of autopilot, fishfinder, anemometer, knot meter, GPS, radar, weather, etc. I don't intend to purchase all the components at one time and therefore require a continually expandable system. I know all major marine electronics companies (Furuno, Raymarine, etc) utilize some network like this... so which brand is better? I've heard opinions that Raymarine is overpriced, unreliable, and the support is spotty? Is the same true of Furuno? Is there any other viable option better than them both? Garmin?

Any and all opinions are much appreciated.

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I would disagree that Raymarine offers the best price. I've found Garmin to offer the best value overall. For the money (factoring in chart costs) I found their plotters are the best as well as their radar solutions. Garmin crams in a ton of features for the price, and some of their features are freebies while others charge. Plus, there's a large user community for Garmin products that can tinker/hack and "community enhance" their offerings by virtue of the fact that their GPS units are fairly ubiquitous.

However, Raymarine seems to offer the most complete offerings END TO END. This includes some very niche type products (in the grand scheme of things) such as the Man Overboard wrist bracelets and even an AIS offering. Plus they are the one with the largest service and installation resource footprint...nearly everyone works on Raymarine.

I guess what I'm trying to say is use Garmin to save money/bang for the buck, but use Raymarine if you like EVERYTHING to be one brand/network.
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