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Discussion Starter #1
Gents/ Ladies,

I just bought a new boat and plan to upgrade the whole instrument and nav array. I think I am getting some sponsoring from Raymarine for my trip, but I have to install the stuff myself.

Ideally I'd setup a Navpod with a few instruments (wind speed depth) at the helm, a repeater ST70 below at the station and a chartplotter connected to Radar and GPS. I'd then use a laptop as backup with C-maps or other system with a GPS backup.

Here's the question: can I install most of this electronic stuff myself or is it hard work which requires a lot of finetuning? I read numerous posts on the web with people having issues with seatalk and other NMEA interfacing... I thought with progress of time it had all become reasonably plug and play...

Thoughts?

JP
 

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I've found Raymarine's instructions reasonably easy to work with - most of this stuff is within the scope of a DIY'er.... but running all the cables can be a bit of a trick that an exerienced tech may well do a better job of (and/or take a fraction of the time to get it done).

We had no trouble interfacing old/new Seatalk on the last go round which was installing a new S-1 autopilot.
 

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I second Faster, Raymarine have one of the best tech manuals in the market, and connections are straight forward (well, almost plug and play). I agree also the most painful job is routing cables and drlling holes (Navpod can be ordered ready for ST60s). But a good electrical planning is essential. If you understand a bit SeaTalk and NMEA you can run cables in a wiser way, also plan on powering those instruments, while depth/speed/wind is trouble less power hungy, the plotter with radar on it will drink a lot of power, so cables should be thicker (read recs on manuals). Remember you want to be able to power instruments independently from the chartplotter. Plan a SeaTalk plus a NMEA routed to the nav table for future (well, you'll need it for the ST70 anyway)
 

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As long as you understand that SeaTalk is a proprietary protocol, and that to get NMEA 0183 devices to talk to the SeaTalk based ones may require a SeaTalk-to-NMEA bridge interface box, you should be fine.

You may want to have the chartplotter visible at the helm, rather than below. On smaller boats, a single display can often be used in both locations via a swing arm mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How hard is to replace old transducers for new ones which would work with Raymarine instruments? I guess that's a part of the question I still wonder

Also, Raymarine manual suggests quite a distance between plotter etc. and an SSB... that is not practical on a 40 foot boat like mine. do people just ignore that constraint?
 

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Our friends have the Raymarine plotter/radar at the helm and the SSB at the nav station perhaps 12 feet forward (Passport 40). Everything works fine.

Transducer swaps will depend on the specific shape of the original vs the new, and the contours of the hole(s) drilled for them. Many flush throughhulls are "countersunk" and if the present bore doesn't match then things are more complicated.
 
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