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Old 01-10-2018, 11:27   #1
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B&G or Garmin?

After a few months of using a B&G Vulcan 9, it will be returned due to a faulty internal volt meter. I’m not so happy with the user interface and may swap it out with a Garmin 942xs. Any thoughts from those of you who own either?
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:42   #2
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

Currently I own a Garmin 741xs. The unit is very intuitive and it performs well.

That being said their support is not great after the one year honeymoon. They basically consider the 741xs obsolete (3 years old) and they only update the software for the unit when it suits their needs. Their only need is when it means more money for them. IF you want to see how the support is going to be just look at what they did to Active Captain.

The 942xs will work well for you, but don't expect any software upgrades/support after the successor to the 942xs unit comes out.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:29   #3
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

Before my current B&G stuff I had a Garmin 740s.
The Garmin was less capable, but a whole lot easier to use, and was much less complex, withe the Garmin you didn’t even need a manual, just try to figure out B&G’s manual.
However after not having it for long at all, it quit, I called to see about sending it back to be repaired and was told we no longer support that product.
I did get it repaired as it had been bought through a program Garmin has where employees get a huge discount, and at the time I was a Garmin dealer. Had I not been it would have been buy a new one.
So if you go with Garmin buy something that has just been released and you may get lucky and get five years of support out of it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 13:14   #4
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

I had Garmin chart plotter on old boat for 10+ years. My response when asked about support......don't know, never needed it.
I also had Garmin autopilot 8 or 9 years, no issue.
Had Garmin wind instruments and VHF for 3 years, no issues.
I will be replacing Raymaine on new boat with Garmin.

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Old 01-10-2018, 14:15   #5
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

B & G Has excellent support & 2yr warranty + 5yr fault discount program.
Three years, so far so good.
Then, tech HQ is only an hour away. YMMV.
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Old 01-10-2018, 15:47   #6
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

Thanks for all of the replies. B&G has a similar complicated menu for settings as my old Simrad plotter. I had to keep the manual nearby. Drove me a bit crazy! The B&G is almost as bad.
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Old 01-10-2018, 16:04   #7
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

I have had two Garmin plotters, a 740s that I've replaced with a 942sx, a Garmin handheld GPS, three auto GPSs and four more in the family. The 740s is about 10 years old, and some of the auto units 15 years old and never a problem with any. All of these are very intuitive and easy to use. I don't think I ever even looked at some of the manuals.

BUT, I have the same complaint as others, Garmin drops support for units in as little as 2-3 years. I can't even buy new chart chips for the handheld unit. Tech support is OK at best. Speaking of chart chips, you can use ONLY Garmin chips, no support for any other source or format and they are not all that cheap.

My AP is a mix of Simrad and B&G. Tech support before purchase and during installation is the best, absolutely perfect. But it took reading the manual AND tech support AND some experimentation plus a little guesswork luck in a couple of the steps in installation.

Bottom line, I have a love hate relationship with both. I would look very closely at the other brands before buying a Garmin plotter again for the issues mentioned but I do love the ones I have, so far. I also like the quality of the Simrad/B&G equipment and the support but it at least for the AP more demanding to use.
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Old 01-10-2018, 16:27   #8
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

I'm Garmin 100%. I have their 7612, Autopilot, AIS, VHF, Sounder, Instrument display and flow meters on both engines and generator. I have never had any issues with them. I've sent my AIS back to get a new MMSI and they actually replaced it with a newer unit at no cost. I wish they would have better "How To" videos since you can do so much more with their chartplotter and other systems but that's my only complaint.
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Old 01-10-2018, 16:34   #9
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

I have a Garmin 7607 Xavier.... really nice easy to use unit with many optional add ons. B & G is high tech for racing (from what all my racing friends say). Very happy with Garmin so far... a cruiser here
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Old 01-10-2018, 17:31   #10
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

xsv not Xavier...... spell check
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Old 02-10-2018, 15:22   #11
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Speaking of chart chips, you can use ONLY Garmin chips, no support for any other source or format and they are not all that cheap.

That is a very good point. A few years back Navionics was trying to get on Garmin chartplotters and they did as an additional chart. Garmin was not happy at all and did a software update to keep them off all their new stuff.


Then they bought Navionics.....
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Old 02-10-2018, 21:10   #12
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B&G or Garmin?

Got Garmin 721 and 740s plotters, Garmin hd radar, Garmin gmi 10 wind and depth, and Garmin ghp reactor autopilot running an L&s ram. All pretty much flawlessly, for about 6 years now. The 740 has a screen issue once last summer, but a reboot cured it. Installation was simple, did what it said it was supposed to out of the box, and I have no complaints really. Except for their weak wind unit. I’ve gone thru 2 of them- they get saturated by ice in the winter and die. $400 a pop. Never had to read a manual, intuitive devices and menus. I’ll buy again.
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Old 02-10-2018, 21:41   #13
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

Garmin bought Navionics?!?!
Oh well! There goes *that* plan 😕
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Old 02-10-2018, 22:13   #14
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

I've had Garmin on two boats for over 10 years. The only hardware failure was the push to talk switch on the remote VHF handset (which Garmin replaced under a 3 year warranty). Only had to call support twice in ten years. They were fine.

But more importantly, it is the only system that is easy enough for both my wife and I to use without constantly referring to a manual - I don't even know where the manual is.

I don't quite understand the "end support" problems. The software doesn't stop working when Garmin comes out with new models. Sure, the new models have neat features but why would I expect Garmin to just give me all those new features on my old equipment? As long as my six year old Garmin chartplotter is working as well as it was on day 1, I can't really complain. There's no problem buying new charts even for the 10 year old Garmin chartplotter on my last boat (or so the new owner told me).
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Old 02-10-2018, 22:41   #15
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Re: B&G or Garmin?

Anyone ever run both B&G and Garmin plotters on the same boat?
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