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Old 12-07-2016, 11:51   #1
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B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

All:
Considering either a B&G multifunction display or the equivalent in Simrad. The hardware looks identical but I'm told the software is different:
B&G is "made for sailors" and it talks about cruisers and racers. Simrad is made for sailors but not strictly. We're strictly cruisers. Perhaps the only race we might do well in is one with exactly the same boats but that's unlikely so we're sailors going from here to there and enjoying ourselves. Can anyone shed some light on which would be better for us? B&G or Simrad? We have a Downeaster 38 ketch and I would get a 12" (diagonal) screen.
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Old 12-07-2016, 14:00   #2
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

Use your friend Goo... to find the operators manual for both models and compare the functions they offer.
As far as I know it is the same software, but maybe some implementations differ.


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Old 12-07-2016, 14:12   #3
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

I have a Simrad, which I got as a warranty replacement for a failed Northstar plotter. (Northstar no longer existed, so another Navico brand was offered) I didn't know the B&G version existed at the time, assuming it did.


I've since looked at the B&G, and I think the sailsteer software could still be useful even if you're not a racer. Especially if integrated with a Simrad autopilot. I'm not a racer either. (Unless another boat is going the same direction)


I don't know if you lose any of the Simrad features by buying B&G, that's probably what you'd need to research.
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Old 12-07-2016, 15:47   #4
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

I am told that as a general rule, the B&G and Simrad are pretty similar (in some cases identical, but with different badges) but that the B&G is aimed primarily at the sailboat market and the Simrad at the power boat market. One thing I can say is that same-generation B&G and Simrad items seem to interface seamlessly into our NMEA backbone, so mixing and matching seems to work well - we have a mixture of B&G, Simrad and Lowrance and they all talk to each other and play nice...
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Old 12-07-2016, 15:57   #5
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

I purchased a Simrad NSS and sent it back in exchange for the B&G. The units are identical hardware wise, but B&G has sail specific software. The decision point for me was SailSteer functions with the ability to calculate laylines with the B&G version.

Actually, the one out of the box hardware difference is that the Simrad unit is supplied with a steel mounting bracket and thumb screws whereas the B&G unit is supplied with a sealing gasket to use for flush mounting. If you want to flush mount the Simrad you'll need to order the gasket separately and if you want to mount the B&G independently you'll need to order the bracket and thumb screws.
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Old 12-07-2016, 16:00   #6
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

B&G has sailing features such as laylines and race start timers, virtual starting lines etc.

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Old 12-07-2016, 19:22   #7
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

The bng doesn't have a built in sounder. One big diff in hardware. So either you run n2k transducer or buy a network sounder box
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Old 12-07-2016, 20:00   #8
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
The bng doesn't have a built in sounder. One big diff in hardware. So either you run n2k transducer or buy a network sounder box
Not sure what you mean.
Our standard B&G through hull paddle-wheel log incorporates a sounder and a thermometer, so we get boat speed (through water), depth and water temperature all in one....
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Old 12-07-2016, 20:25   #9
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

When I chose my B&G, it had the sailing software and the Simrad had the very advanced fish finder software. Each has its values and it's too bad they don't let one unit do both things!
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Old 12-07-2016, 20:33   #10
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

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Originally Posted by contrail View Post
When I chose my B&G, it had the sailing software and the Simrad had the very advanced fish finder software. Each has its values and it's too bad they don't let one unit do both things!
We have a B&G Vulcan that does both the advanced sailing and fishfinder software, fwiw.
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Old 12-07-2016, 21:07   #11
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

I guess another way to look at it would be, why NOT get the B&G version? Is the Simrad cheaper? Does it have features the B&G lacks? Are they more valuable to you then the sailsteer features?
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Old 13-07-2016, 00:21   #12
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

Pricing should be the same - dealer costs are - at least in this part of the world. Simrad is aimed at the power vessel market, and the software is more inclined towards that, and fishing. B&G is squarely aimed at sailors - and has the sailing applications. Go B&G on a sailboat, every time.
Oh, and even though the hardware is often virtually identical, it is not possible to put the sailing software on a Simrad.


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Old 13-07-2016, 11:14   #13
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

Navico is the parent company of B&G, Simrad and Lowrance.
There are also a few products branded as Navico, as well.
Each brand is targeted at a specific group of boaters. Fishing (Lowrance), power (Simrad) and sailing (B&G), generally speaking. With Simrad there is overlap.
As they are all part of parent company Navico, they are designed to work together and can be interfaced without difficulty.
It is true about B&G being the sailboat specific branch of the overall company, but Simrad stuff crosses over into all three brands ( B&G, Lowrance, and Simrad) as a kind of the bigger brother of the triad.
I have B&G mutil-function displays (Zeus 2s) and B&G Triton instruments interfaced with Simrad autopilot components. I also have a Navico wireless autopilot control. All works seamlessly and is highly recommended.
Simrad is the branding for all autopilot stuff, by the way.
For sailing, I recommend using B&G when applicable. As others have mentioned, the SailSteer function is quite nice.
Not just for racers.
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Old 13-07-2016, 14:13   #14
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

This winter, we installed a complete new electronics package as part of a major restoration. We chose B&G, and we LOVE it. The SailSteer presentation and the laylines are designed for the sailor, and you don't have to be a racer to find it extremely useful (we're cruisers, not racers). In terms of quality and software, my guess is that Simrad is just as good, but B&G was designed with sailors in mind.
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Old 13-07-2016, 14:44   #15
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Re: B&G vs Simrad regarding MFD

I find the T7 is not user friendly to set a waypoit... see the course line to the waypoint and have a simple panel showing DTW, BTW, TTG or Time of arrival. Is this information is there, I can't find it. For a stand alone showing boat's position on a chart... it's fine. I have no data inputs into the unit.
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