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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
first time user..

I am after some advise on selecting an electronics package on a 15Ton 38ft steel yacht. we fitted raymarine E series hybrid touch to my brothers yacht and have had problems with it shutting down, reverted to Ipad on coastal trip.

needing radar, plotter, auto helm, wind instrum etc.

seems raymarine is the most user friendly, but reliable??

any views, pros cons of other brands?? spending lots of $ so all advice taken on board
 

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Maine Dub
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I can't speak for other brands but I put new Garmin, plotters, radar, sat radio and below deck auto pilot on my boat 3 years ago. Have had no issues, spending about 60 days a season on the boat.:)
 

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Old enough to know better
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From what I have read they all are to one point or another bad. Some customer service is horrible, others are flaky in operation, but if you go to pro level they are at least reliable. I think that is where people go wrong, they think they are going to be pro level function out of consumer grade goods.

So given that I would head to West Marine or someplace that has multiple setups and see if you like the interface. That is really important, as you will have to go through the interface every time you use it. Then ask locally what people are using and what they like and dislike are. I would check to see if there is a firmware update on the Raymarine E series, as I think I recall that is there latest model and perhaps has a software fix for it.

But if you want total reliability look at what the professional watermen are using. There livelihoods are on the line. They are normally too busy to learn new systems too so you will likely have good interfaces there as well. I think as these systems get more complicated, the more there is to fail, so perhaps keeping it simple is the answer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cheers for that, good advice, sorry it took a while to reply, (couldn't work out how to)

You are right there is a factory fix for raymarine E series, I am hoping that it will not be needed when I buy. re kitting whole yacht elec so want to use same brand all through, although looking at wireless mast fittings, ie wind etc

seems people rely on ipad these days even some comercial guys and off shore yachties???..
 

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Remember you're a womble
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Not sure if anyone relies on an iPad, but lots of people use them. Personally I wouldn't have one but there you go.
 

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...But if you want total reliability look at what the professional watermen are using. There livelihoods are on the line...
Well, that would be Furuno.

Coast Guard
More pics HERE.

Commercial Fishing
More pics HERE.

I'll be the first one to tell you, that if you want a lot of bells and whistles, go Garmin, but they are relatively new to the marine market, and from what I hear, their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. If you want super intuitive, ease of use, and a price point that's hard to beat, go Raymarine. But if you're willing to pay a bit more, don't mind a steep learning curve, and reliability is foremost, Furuno all the way. That's what I did.

P.S.
I'm not affiliated with Furuno in any way
 

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first sailed january 2008
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I think Garmin has great customer service. You an call right up and talk to a guy in Oregon. I know less than most but I think of them as

Garmin-newer but the easiest and best. Especially the best GPS technology. Best house charts. Mid cost.

Raymarine-the more fancy brand. My little experience with their customer service was when a trailer was parked at a boat show and me and one other guy were in it and they wouldn't answer my questions about autopilots. Although I think they are known for having the best autopilots.

Lowrance- the blue collar, decent quality, good customer service but since they cater a lot to fisherman, and not always big fancy fishing boats but like they have some of the cheapest fish finders and chartplotters. But you get the most for you money. They come often with preloaded charts.

Hummingbird-mostly low level for fishermen

Simrad-harder to use, good quality. Good radars.
 

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Dirt Free
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My personal favouite is Furuno, especially for radar as I find their use quite intuiitive and their manual written by an actual english speaking person.

I also find Garmin reasonably intuitive and reliable.

I have had many problems with Simrad plotters and radar.

Comnav is by far the most reliable and easy to use autopilot on the market.

I do not like Raymarine plotters at all particularly when radar is used on the same display as some of the most basic adjustments are buried several layers down in a menu maze and anytime you change something on the radar you get changes on the plotter (sometimes small, sometimes huge). These are the only units I keep the manual at the helm on deliveries.

I do like the old Raymarine XX series radars as menus are minimal and the frequently used adjustments are knobs just like the older Furunos.
 

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I have had many problems with Simrad plotters and radar.
I have been considering Simrad because they make a tiller pilot for larger boats (mine is a 35'). Raymarine's tiller pilot is limited to around 32' if I remember right. So, I am considering building the electronics around the Simrad product line. If I understand things correctly, the plotters need to be used with the same brand of radar, depth guage, etc. Only Nemea I/O devices can be used interchangeably.

I would definitely appreciate opinions.
 

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I have been considering Simrad because they make a tiller pilot for larger boats (mine is a 35'). Raymarine's tiller pilot is limited to around 32' if I remember right. So, I am considering building the electronics around the Simrad product line. If I understand things correctly, the plotters need to be used with the same brand of radar, depth guage, etc. Only Nemea I/O devices can be used interchangeably.

I would definitely appreciate opinions.
If you stick to NMEA 2000 (all major manufacturers have NMEA 2000 now) you can mix and match within some limitations.

Radars and MFD's must come from the same manufacturer (as radar is not a part of NMEA 2000 standard)
With depth, speed, temp and wind sensors can share data with plotters and display units in the NMEA 2000 network.

Note that there is no standard for calibration and software updates.

An autopilot can normally operate in three different modes
  1. Steering to a compass course (fluxgate -most have rategyro today)
  2. Steering to relative wind (need wind direction from wind sensor)
  3. Steering to way point need integration with MFD (plotter)
For 3 to work you need the MFD to be connected.

To control the autopilot from the MFD I think you will need both to come from the same vendor.
 
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