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Old 04-11-2009, 13:51   #1
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Anyone Using Garmin Electronics ?

I'm trying to find anyone with actual experience running the Garmin products on their sailboat. In particular the GWS 10 Wind Sensor, the 4200 series chartplotter, and the GMR18-HD Radar.

I use Garmin products in the air and on the ground, I figure why not on the water. I'm very familiar with the menu layouts in their product line and all of their other products are very intuitive, I'm just looking for some real world assessments before I start seeing Benjamins flying out of my wallet.

Also with these new network cables as small as they are for both the wind unit and the radar, did you have to step your mast to install or were you able to use the existing coax to pull the new cable?

Daniel
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Old 04-11-2009, 14:36   #2
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I have the GMI-10 display. Works great. There are some improvements they could make, perhaps they already have, as there is an updated firmware available. The voltage alarm is set in whole volts - useless. Wish it got it's power form the network - but it is a separate connector.

I may be putting in their wind sensor in the future.

Chris
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Old 04-11-2009, 14:43   #3
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Garmin is starting to be a serious competitor to Raymarine and Furuno's higher end systems. Its good stuff. We have a Garmin radar/GPS/chart plotter system on one of our smaller research boats at work. I have been very happy with it. Of the medium to lower end electronics systems, I think they are better than Lowrance, etc.
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Old 04-11-2009, 15:17   #4
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I am considering putting in the 4210 with the wind sensor and 2 of the GMI 10 displays plus the HD radar. I have always been a fan of the Garmin products and I imagine that some of the improvements that witzgall mentioned will get addressed. That is part of what I love about Garmin is that they listen to the end users.

I was almost sold on the package until I saw the new broadband radar units and now I'm hesitant to buy the HD radar until I see what future this technology will have with other manufacturers.
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Old 04-11-2009, 15:20   #5
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Cruising World just did a short article on broadband radars. To sum it up, less power required, no magnetron required, better short distance resolution but lower range. Overall, they seem to be a better thing for sailboats.
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Old 04-11-2009, 16:28   #6
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I have the 4210 and HD radar. Really a fantastic system I think. The radar is amazingly sensitive - usually picks up crab pot buoys on chesapeake bay (depending on the waves). Excellent in full sunlight too. Some have said the screens arent customizable enough for them. Whether that is a problem depends on whether you do or dont like the options they offer. I think they are great - After a year I have no regrets and would do it again in a second.

My advice is to do what I did - Go to the boat show and play with all the various options you are thinking about. It will give you a good idea of how they look and how user friendly they are.
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Old 04-11-2009, 18:21   #7
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I have also made the decision to go with Garmin. I am going with a elcheapo AIS receiver to plug into the Garmin network but the rest will be Garmin including the autopilot. I was really impressed with the 4208 when I did the touchie feelie. I had intended to go with the 4212 but I realized even the 4210 would be overpowering on my Flybridge dash. The 4208 seemed huge to me and the $1600 and change did not hurt either, (Star Marine Depot).

This is going on a Mainship 34 and if I need a really big picture I guess I can pipe it into the flatscreen in the cabin.

Hobart, Da Mule
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Old 04-11-2009, 19:38   #8
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I have also made the decision to go with Garmin. I am going with a elcheapo AIS receiver to plug into the Garmin network but the rest will be Garmin including the autopilot.

Hobart, Da Mule




Mule,

Which Garmin Autopilot have you decided on? I was under the impression that they didn't have a unit that was compatible with sailboats. I talked with Garmin 3 or 4 months ago and they said that they had no current plans for one, did I miss something or have you figured out a way?

I may end up feeling the same way concerning the size of the screen. I haven't found the 10" on display anywhere yet, but I finally saw the 4212 and it was a monster, far bigger than what I need in the cockpit with me. I wonder how much less power the 8" unit draws than the 10"? Hmmm... I may be convincing myself even as I type.


sck5,

The screen issue had apparently been a problem for others as well. They now have an update that will allow the older units to go much lower than before, however, all of the newer units shipping out now can go all the way to black with much more controllability. I'm glad to hear of the radar's capability, I think I may still hold off on the radar for now to see what happens in the next year or so. In the meantime my cruising will be within the realm of nexrad coverage and I will probably just use it for weather and have to trust my eyes and plotter for navigation.
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Old 04-11-2009, 19:44   #9
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Cruising World just did a short article on broadband radars. To sum it up, less power required, no magnetron required, better short distance resolution but lower range. Overall, they seem to be a better thing for sailboats.
David,

I agree that on the surface it looks like a superior product, I just would like to see some more manufacturers get in on the game. I think a little competition will improve the overall quality of the product and also bring the prices down a little more.

Quote:
I have the 4210 and HD radar.
I meant to ask you before if they had to pull your mast to run the new wire or if they were able to snake it through the previous run?

Daniel
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Old 04-11-2009, 20:00   #10
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David,

I agree that on the surface it looks like a superior product, I just would like to see some more manufacturers get in on the game. I think a little competition will improve the overall quality of the product and also bring the prices down a little more.

I agree completely. Like all new things on the market, the prices eventually drop and the product gets better.
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Old 04-11-2009, 20:26   #11
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"I meant to ask you before if they had to pull your mast to run the new wire or if they were able to snake it through the previous run?"

I have it on one of the backstays with a self leveling mount. Others dont like it that way but I think it is quite good. A little expensive but far easier to do the wiring runs and also easier to get at down the road if I need to. Yes, it isnt quite as high as it would be on the mast but it still works very well. The old (and I do mean old) radar was on the mast - but there really is no comparison to that old green screen with the hood.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:11   #12
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[QUOTE=s/v Geneve;357144]Mule,

Which Garmin Autopilot have you decided on? I was under the impression that they didn't have a unit that was compatible with sailboats. I talked with Garmin 3 or 4 months ago and they said that they had no current plans for one, did I miss something or have you figured out a way?

I may end up feeling the same way concerning the size of the screen. I haven't found the 10" on display anywhere yet, but I finally saw the 4212 and it was a monster, far bigger than what I need in the cockpit with me. I wonder how much less power the 8" unit draws than the 10"? Hmmm... I may be convincing myself even as I type.


sck5,

My boat is a Mainship 34, 1982 vintage. That is a powerboat, 200 hr Cummins 250. PO did not need anymore than 200hp, so she is over powered but that is correctable by keeping at NO more then 2500 RPM. At 17 knots she goes scary squirrley. Over more than 400 mile range, and maybe a lot more, do not know yet. So as for blow boat autopilot and Garmin????? Me, I just don't know.

The screen on the 8" seems really big to me, but I am used to a NUVI and 76. I also am removing as much of my electronics as pratical when I am leaving the boat. Friend of mine suffered a heart attack while at sea, he put in at the nearest spot at the nearest point, when he got back at his boat was stripped. South Louisanna. So my electronics, as much as reasonable will be unplugable to go into a go bag, or into a steel lockbox in the bilge.

Hobart, Da Mule
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