SailNet Community banner
  • SailNet is a forum community dedicated to Sailing enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about sailing, modifications, classifieds, troubleshooting, repairs, reviews, maintenance, and more!

Opinions on total-package electronics brands?

3172 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.

1 - 1 of 11 Posts
I believe you are intending a phased installation. The question is: whichever OEM you choose, will the component you install today (2009) be capable of integrating (seamlessly) with the item you may wish to install 2 years later?

An anecdote:

My yacht's keel was laid in 1995 and fit-out completed in 1996. The electronics then were Autohelm ST60 (probably state-of-the-art then) and a Raytheon Z10 radar. Now it is 2009, the chartplotters are Raymarine C80 and C120; the radar is a RD218; the GPS is RS125; the A/P controller is a ST60+ along with the wind display; there is an AIS500 installed. What hasn't changed is the A/P hyd pump; fluxgate compass; wind speed/VMG displays; wind sensor; course computer (type S3) and two multi-function displays; Sea-talk data bus is the same as installed in 1996. All working and talking to one another, without any OEM or 3rd party interface units.

I cannot comment on other manufacturers but the transmigration from Autohelm through Raytheon through Raymarine has been a non-event (apart from re-sizing the cut-outs for the upgraded equipment).

As for "mix-n-match" OEMs - well, that is a brave new world, where you have make the right choice now, and hope the manufacturers don't change plugs/compatibility in 2 years (a la mobile phone handset manufacturers (eg. Motorola, Nokia).
See less See more
1 - 1 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.