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Old 10-08-2017, 05:29   #16
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

I upgraded our electronics last year. The biggest reason was to add AIS.

I specifically did not want the latest, cutting edge gear. I wanted a system that had been available for a couple of years, with the ability to update the firmware and the charts. I felt like this would give me the best shot at a reliable system from the start.

No issues so far. (Knock on teak)

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Old 10-08-2017, 08:38   #17
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

2012 Furuno radar, chartplotter. New charts for Furuno in Feb of this year for FL and Bahamas. However, I picked up a $50 ipad during an AT&T promotion in January, and put Garmin BlueCharts FL and Bahamas charts on it for less than $50, if I remember correctly. I updated the iPad charts recently for about $25, whereas the Furuno chartplotter updates would cost $250, and they are a PIA to install. I use the iPad in preference to the Furuno "real" chartplotter. If there is another AT&T promotion, I will definitely get another iPad as back-up. Also have Navionics on the phone, but I'm not a Navionics fan due to errors I have seen firsthand in their charts. I also have a 76-year-old sextant and paper charts of Southeast coastal areas north of Mayport.

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Old 10-08-2017, 08:40   #18
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

By the way, if you use an iPad, get a LifeProof waterproof case for it. I also have a 2013 AIS, btw.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:46   #19
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

I recently helped a friend with a delivery, the full length of lake Ontario. He asked me to bring my handheld gps as a backup to his.

I brought my trusted, tried and true Garmin etrex yellow...its like 20 years old. Works great. It got me across and ocean.

Much to my surprise, my friends GPS was a Garmin GPS12...about 5 years OLDER than mine. His father loaded it with coords for every bouy on our route about 20 years ago, so he's reluctant to let it go...still works flawlessly.

Another surprise, I also had all the key waypoints in my gps, loaded at least a decade ago...still good.

So it was an easy trip to navigate. I have no hesitation at all to older electronics, and especially garmin.
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:53   #20
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

Nuts. New out of the box should be just as if it were any new piece of equipment. With same performance and longevity. Only difference is that features and other equipment it can hook up to may be restricted. I have a Garmin 740s that installed in 2013. Decided to install radar and new chart plotter on bridge and move 740s to lower station. Everything works fine but the 740 will not talk to the new radar as the technology has moved on. The 740 supports radar but I would have had to purchase one on the still produced "older" models to get both to use the radar. Decided it was more important to have the newest on the bridge where I am 99% of the time.
Yours will do everything it was designed for. And if those features are what you need then no problem.

Most of the new features have to do with user interface such as touch screens, wifi capabilities, integration with touchpad apps. If these are of no interest to you the. Nothing lost.
Other new features since then are depth sounder related such as chirp that is used mainly by serious fishermen. Radar much the same but most new ones use less power and some have Doppler features that help a little in readability. Use what you have until something else comes along that gives you some functionality that you can't resist.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:34   #21
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

My Raymarine electronics (autopilot, plotter, wind, depth, speed) dates to 2008, installed 2010. Although obsolete (to Raymarine) customer service is good and first problem was autopilot drive motor replacement which is in process. World charts were factory installed, not updatable. That's no issue to me because inshore I tend to use Seaclear II or OpenCPN with the latest NOAA charts on a 15" laptop. My little, 7" plotter is seldom used inshore.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:35   #22
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
I've got an RDF from the 1970's, & a Sextant that's a few years newer.
What do you do with an RDF? Threw mine away a few years ago.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:54   #23
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

My backup GPS is labelled " Raytheon " not " Raymarine ". It would have to be more than 20 years old. Still works.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:02   #24
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

My old Magellan NAV 1000 GPS could be thrown away, but it still works. The Furuno 1720 Radar still works after a $400 Magnetron replacement a couple years ago. The PO installed Signet SL60/SL80 knot, depth, and wind instruments are still working flawlessly (knock on wood). My 40 year old compass leaked dry this year and was replaced.

My daily Nav system is OpenCPN on my ~$300 HP Notebook/Tablet with a $30 USB G-Star BU353-S4 GPS dongle and a $60 dAISy AIS receiver. I got into this setup while waiting for the next generation of Raymarine, Furuno, Garmin... chart-plotters to come out and IMO they were expensive and clunky to operate.

IMO getting married to a particular brand for all nav gear has limited value and all gear will be outdated in a couple years, so why even try to stay current as long as my old gear works?
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:03   #25
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

We navigated the San Juan Islands with an Iphone connected to a big screen even though we had all the fancy equipment onboard. Granted, not practical everywhere but it worked great.
Your advice makes no sense. My Furuno radar is from 1978 and worked great until I removed it during current refit.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:04   #26

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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?


Your coordinates say that you are in that nifty little marina at the end of Semiahmoo spit. Good place to be :-). It means, among other things that you needn't worry about stuff like Garmins - unless doing so gives you joy :-). Once you are ready for Blue Water, I might be a little more in favour of serious navigating gear. But that means a sextant and the reduction tables. A chartplotter is only a toy :-)!

That whole patch of water off Semiahmoo, from there all the way down to Seattle and all the way out to Port Townsend and Pedder Bay - for that matter all the way to Neah Bay - is PILOTING water. That means "use your eyeball, and know the shoreline" Also all the water north to and including the Broughton Islands. The Salish Sea is just a big bathtub. You can't get lost. A little confused now and then, but never lost :-)!

I get by with paper charts that came with the boat. And here is the trick: For shoreside use I have a hunnertandfiftybuck retrofit GPS for my car. I take it with me in TP. Every fifteen minutes or so I read the coordinates off it, and plot them on the paper chart. That's it! That's all I need to know. The read-out is accurate to 30 feet, or so, ANYWHERE that you or I are likely to go. I plot the coordinates on my paper chart every fifteen minutes or so because MyBeloved LOVES being on the helm and gets grumpy if I want to steer :-)! So I get seriously BORED unless I make a fetish of the navigation.

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans publishes a simply WONDERFUL book of SMALL SCALE (i.e. large features) charts of our waters, including some of yours. It's called "Chart 3313" and if you are gonna go north, you shouldn't be without it. Beats chart-plotters all to heck!

If you are worried about water depth ("soundings") - don't be. I use the centuries old device called a lead line. Your famous and delightful Samuel Langhorne Clemens took his pen-name from that device when he was a river pilot on the Mississip: "Mark Twain". Mine is simple. It's just a piece of net twine and it has a "sinker" like you use for fishing for a lead weight, and it is marked with as many immediately adjoining figure eight knots as the knots are fathoms from the lead. Abracadabra - an INFALLIBLE sounding. Night or day. No juice needed.

Every so often I want to sneak twixt rocks in order to save distance. Bit tricky that, given our reef-filled waters. But the drop-offs are always steep. And the reefs in the summer time are marked by bull-kelp that you can spot at a fair distance. So I ask MB to take station in the pulpit and keep a sharp look-out in our track. You can SEE bottom betimes while the water is still deeper than your draft. I chunk along at a quarter knot or so, because at that speed using full bore in reverse TP will stop dead in half a length. A few minutes of going slow like that, and we are through the Zone of Uncertainty. If you go up a dead end, or for any other reason chicken out, you just back out in the very track you followed coming in :-)

So dismiss what salesmen at WestMarine will tell you and dismiss what you read in the glossy mags. It's mere marketing guff meant to separate you from your hard-earned money.

Later in the summer we'll be down Oak Bay way. Maybe we can meet on the International Border. Your Coasties and ours needn't know anything about it ;-).

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Old 10-08-2017, 10:12   #27

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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

USAF studies on electronics, done in the late 60's and early 70's, totalled it up this way:
Given proper design, engineering, and manufacturing practices?
Discrete electronics (transistors, capacitors, etc.) can be expected to last 100 years.
Integrated circuits can last 1000 years, at which point they only fail because the circuits have electroplated themselves into new configurations.

The OP's Garmin? Sure, it could be junk or a parts maker could have cheaped out, but that falls into the 100-year life expectancy. Even if you cut that in half a few times because the sealed case is too hot inside, and the parts are just commodity grade, it certainly shouldn't have a problem after three years on the shelf. Although DOA electronics and premature failures are a plague these days with everything and it seems like everyone is eager to throw things out.

New features being attractive? Sure. But that's a different story.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:14   #28
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

Originally Posted by redhead View Post
In 2014 we bought a Garmin chartplotter/radar set up, never dreaming it would take us this long to do the refit.

We are on the hard now for bottom work and a new transducer for depth sounder. While talking to our friend in the business he made a remark "Well your equipment is so old it'll break down soon, so don't commit to Garmin unless - yaddah, yaddah."

We were shocked at the remark, mostly because even though it's 2014 we just took it out of the box about 2 months ago and even more so that 3 year old equipment would be expected to break down - that it's just a fact of life.

I am now making a sound like a dinosaur - is this the offhand remark of someone in marine electronic sales or can this be so? I know many people want the newest equipment and that's not who I'm asking. I'm asking old farts on a budget like myself. Is my big investment really on it's last legs?
Well, put it this way, I just replaced the LORAN.
Bristol 31.1, SF Bay.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:24   #29
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

We still combine paper charts, coastal nav, parallel rules, dividers, and a hand bearing compass, along with our hand held GPS, and of course my wrist watch. And have a chart # 1 handy .

And, we also , when bare boat chartering, use the binacle mouted GPS, moving map, but those are not always accurate. We back that up with charts and cruising guides. And our own hand held GPS.

Same ol mantra from long ago, we use everything that we have and not rely on just one nav instrument.

We also use the ships compass, depth sounder and ....knot meter ( if and when that rascal might work ). In fact, when going thru our usual systems check out, I match up the ships compass with my hand bearing compass, specially when sailing bareboats . Or vessels that I have not previously sailed.

Erica is sextant wise , but no longer has one. But, if we were out there making long ocean passages like many of the sailors here on CF, we would have a back up sextant, to all of the super slick electronic navigation instruments.

Yep, we are dinosaurs, and probably will just keep on keeping on mixing the coastal piloting and navigation with the ships GPS and our hand held GPS .

As to the question.....I would not like to have brand new nav units, that would not work, or has a planned obsolete date programmed , and it croaks
after instalation .

Welcome to the electronic gizmo wonderland of the present.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:58   #30
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Re: How Old is Your Nav Equipment?

My old 1980 LORAN worked fine until they turned off the transmitters.

My GPS chartplotter is a Garmin model 2210 which is at least 10 years old and no longer sold. It works FINE.

Even I am getting old, but I am not yet ready to be dumped and replaced.

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