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Old 11-01-2014, 07:28   #1
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B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

hello all, im looking to replace my non-functional RM st50 st4000 system. I recently went to my local west marine and "the guy" swears by the B&G zeus mfd coupled with their radar. I have to say, the "sailsteer" software is rather impressive, especially since my wife's ability to sail is limited. I like the idea of being able to just say "follow the green line" and go do other things.

anyway, "the guy" was telling/ selling me that B&G was designed "by sailors for sailors" and that its the best thing since apple pie.. it uses less power, the radar is better, it cost a little less money than ray marine, blah blah blah..

only one problem .. nobody is talking about it on this forum.. it gets me thinking.. if it was soooo good , one would think every boat in the mooring field would be fitted with it.. in fact when I search the other threads everyone talks about the "big four" , garmin, lowrance, ray marine and hmmm.. I forgot the other one.. but not B&G..

so.. anyone fit their boat or sail on a friends that is fitted with B&G.. how do you like it

thanks
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:36   #2
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

I have B&G on my CS36M, nothing fancy, circa 1995, speed, depth, wind, still going strong. Problem is there's not a lot of service in North America. I screwed up the fly on my wind instrument, squished the little prongs in the plug. Couldn't get it repaired, the two dealers in North America wanted to replace it. Finally a fellow CF member in Annapolis who worked on them for the Navy training sailboats fixed it for me.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:40   #3
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

B&G are a well respected line of top end marine electronics.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:56   #4
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

If "follow the green line" is the criteria you're using to choose new electronics (AP, chart plotter), all the brands to that (the line may be a different color ).

The Navico line (B&G, Simrad, etc.) has a good deal of respect from price/performance POV. Cruisers that have the latest vintage like it.

Do yourself justice and look at/compare them all, Raymarine, Navico, Garmin, Furuno.
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Old 11-01-2014, 08:23   #5
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

I install Raymarine (and have a complete Classic E-series, radar etc.) on my own boat. I am going to be selling the whole package to purchase a Simrad system (effectively the same as previously noted, B&G, Navico, Lawrance and Simrad). I have now installed about six Simrads (mostly NSS model) on boats this last year, and I'm sold. The Broadband 4G radar is way cool, uses a fraction of the power a magnetron version consumes, and has plenty of range for my needs. AIS covers the big guys who are way over the horizon, and the Structure Scan depth unit is like seeing a sepia-toned photo of the bottom. I'll probably keep the Raymarine auto pilot because Simrad doesn't (yet) have an equivalent.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:00   #6
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

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Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
I install Raymarine (and have a complete Classic E-series, radar etc.) on my own boat. I am going to be selling the whole package to purchase a Simrad system (effectively the same as previously noted, B&G, Navico, Lawrance and Simrad). I have now installed about six Simrads (mostly NSS model) on boats this last year, and I'm sold. The Broadband 4G radar is way cool, uses a fraction of the power a magnetron version consumes, and has plenty of range for my needs. AIS covers the big guys who are way over the horizon, and the Structure Scan depth unit is like seeing a sepia-toned photo of the bottom. I'll probably keep the Raymarine auto pilot because Simrad doesn't (yet) have an equivalent.
Huh Simrad has great autopilots.

My take in Europe is that Simrad are always very expensive, much more so then Ray and Garmin , with Furuno in the stratosphere .

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Old 11-01-2014, 10:17   #7
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

I installed a Simrad is20 wind system recently, it is top notch. I believe the transducer is by B&G. I am thinking of replacing my Garmin GMI 10 with the Simrad MFD and maybe adding the is20 tack display.

The devil with this equipment is in the details. The Garmin is supposed to be able to calibrate my NMEA2000 speed paddle, but it just crashes when you try. The Garmin is supposed to be able to work as a tack wind display, but there is no adjustment to the damping so the direction pointer dances around like crazy and the result is useless.

The Simrad / B&G MFD has adjustable damping and I am willing to bet that the calibration works too.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:25   #8
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

I think your question about a chartplotter/radar has been confused with sailing instruments like depth sounders, and small MFD's here because you used the word MFD.

The Zeus is a fantastic chartplotter for sailing functions. No other chartplotter comes close to offering the sailing capabilities that the Zeus does (making and using dynamic polars, sail steer, dynamic laylines, etc). B&G built their entire business and reputation on this stuff and the Zeus is the trickle-down of their top racing gear.

If these sailing performance functions are of primary important to you, you really don't have any other choice because no one else has them. If other functions are of primary importance, then you should look at all competing chartplotters/radars to see who implements those functions the best for you.

The 3G/4G vs. pulse radar power has been discussed in detail several times on these forums. The reality is that the power usage is a marketing thing - in real life, the only savings in power for the 3G/4G over pulse is if both units are turned off and not scanning. In use, the power is pretty close to equivalent.

As for being "better", again this is discussed in these forums. 3G/4G have somewhat better resolution at very close ranges, but are not effective at very long ranges. They also have problems seeing rain, so if identifying squalls or thunderstorms beyond a couple of miles is important, these units are much less effective.

The "follow the green line" sail-steer is a completely different animal than a magenta line or plotter route.

Having sailed with both, the Simrad AP's outperform Raymarine without question. By a long shot. I don't have any experience with RM's newest Evolution models, though.

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Old 11-01-2014, 11:33   #9
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Quote:
I'll probably keep the Raymarine auto pilot because Simrad doesn't (yet) have an equivalent.
Now why in the world would you say that? Is there some function your RM autopilot has that Simrad doesn't? If so I would like to know about it.
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Old 11-01-2014, 14:19   #10
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Calm down folks, I'm not intimating that the AP24 (hydraulic) is not a great autopilot. I'm merely pointing out that they don't have a linear drive unit (electric) that matches, for my needs, what the Raymarine does for me.
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Old 11-01-2014, 15:15   #11
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

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Calm down folks, I'm not intimating that the AP24 (hydraulic) is not a great autopilot. I'm merely pointing out that they don't have a linear drive unit (electric) that matches, for my needs, what the Raymarine does for me.
The Simrad autopilot computer Ac42 will drive the ray electric linear drive

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Old 11-01-2014, 16:17   #12
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

AC42 for the type 2 linear drive, and AC12 for the type 1.
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Old 11-01-2014, 19:18   #13
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Our Simrad AP computer drives a Raymarine Linear drive.

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Old 12-01-2014, 07:54   #14
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Re: B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
I install Raymarine (and have a complete Classic E-series, radar etc.) on my own boat. I am going to be selling the whole package to purchase a Simrad system (effectively the same as previously noted, B&G, Navico, Lawrance and Simrad). I have now installed about six Simrads (mostly NSS model) on boats this last year, and I'm sold. The Broadband 4G radar is way cool, uses a fraction of the power a magnetron version consumes, and has plenty of range for my needs. AIS covers the big guys who are way over the horizon, and the Structure Scan depth unit is like seeing a sepia-toned photo of the bottom. I'll probably keep the Raymarine auto pilot because Simrad doesn't (yet) have an equivalent.
I first would like to thank all CF members for putting their 2 cents in.. its truly appreciated.. Roy m , you have the exact idea I do. At this moment I think i'd go with the B&G T7 and the ray marine Evolution wheel pilot. As for the radar 3G or 4G? As far as I can tell the only difference is the distance of coverage. "the guy" said the 3G covers around 15 miles and the 4G covers around 40.. I have 2 questions. 1. why be prudent enough to have a 40 mile range?? and 2. I still haven't committed to instruments. either raymarine I70 or B&G T41 . my judgment is they both do the exact same thing and are equal in quality, its a matter of which manufacturer is giving the better deal.. which do you like and why?
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:01   #15
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B&G MFD/ THOROUGLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

I would not buy a new Raymarine autopilot I'd buy a Simrad one as there is lovely integration between the Simrad/b&G MFDs and its autopilot.

If you are keeping a Raymarine pilot , that's fine and could be justified, if not and you are buy a new control head and computer , then Buy an simrad ap24 head and ac42 computer , it will happily drive the type 2 ray linear electric actuator.

Despite what people say , at the level of MFDs , autopilots and instruments , try and stay within the same manufacturer. N2k is good for swopping sensors , not much else ( because the standardised PGNS don't go far enough

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