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Old 14-07-2012, 12:52   #46
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

The "Rebuild it yourself" market went the way of the Dodo in the late seventies,early eighties,,,the sale of parts to the ordinary Joe is discouraged nowadays.
Although "Limited Run" devices and parts will always cost more, as compared to bulk manufacturing.
However,,,the prices for the Seals & "O" rings pictured for the hydraulic Ram are being Grossly over inflated in price probably to again discourage home rebuilds.
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Old 14-07-2012, 15:39   #47
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

Quote:
Originally Posted by CnC40sailor View Post
This whole thing reminds me of the whole mac v dell argument. A few firm believers in each brand, each chastise the other. The bottom line is, things are usually more expensive for a reason. The question is, is it really worth it?
I don't think anyone is arguing anything or choosing "sides", and certainly no one is chastising anyone else. I mentioned I have components from just about everyone on our boat, Exile mentioned his B&G and Garmin gear, Goboatingnow talked about installing multiple systems, and JR gave us a real life example that the prices among manufacturers are all about equivalent.

The best thing about the most of the new gear is that you don't have to chose only one!

Mark
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Old 14-07-2012, 15:50   #48
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
It appears you have a multihull. Does this require two separate rams? (excuse my ignorance of these types of boats). If not, and you have no other backup, what spares for the B&G do you carry or recommend carrying. Myles has thus far talked me out of the rudder sensor, and also says the course computer (ACP2) has proven itself very durable.
Catamaran rudders are connected to each other, so that a RAM on one rudder also controls the other. Having two rudders do allow one to mount another independent autopilots as a backup.

However, we have no backup autopilot. We do now have a spare RAM after a lightning strike but it is not currently connected. And I guess we have a spare control head since our new B&G Triton gear also controls our Simrad autopilot. Autopilots are generally robust systems and few people carry entire spare ones because of the cost and storage issues.

Perhaps a wheel pilot would be a good backup for you? They cannot be relied on for long term hard use and won't work well in rough conditions, but they make a great backup for the short term your main pilot is down until you get to a port for repair/replacement. They cost a fraction of a main system and are "stored" ready to be deployed in an instance since they mount right on your wheel.

Mark
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Old 14-07-2012, 16:20   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj

I don't think anyone is arguing anything or choosing "sides", and certainly no one is chastising anyone else. I mentioned I have components from just about everyone on our boat, Exile mentioned his B&G and Garmin gear, Goboatingnow talked about installing multiple systems, and JR gave us a real life example that the prices among manufacturers are all about equivalent.

The best thing about the most of the new gear is that you don't have to chose only one!

Mark
Poor wording on my part, I ment it to mean the supporters of the particular brand chastised the products of the other.
And I think you got wrapped around the fact that I mentioned two brands, rather than looking at the bigger picture (not to sound rude). There were quite a few postings doubting the worth of the more expensive product/brand, (B&G representing apple and the others being dell in my earlier post). If you follow how the two advertise, you would see the correlation I'm attempting to make (I'm not doing to great to be honest). Some people have said B&G isn't worth it (what some people say about apple) while others note B&G's quality craftmanship as justification for the extra cost.
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Old 14-07-2012, 16:32   #50
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

Quote:
Originally Posted by CnC40sailor View Post
This whole thing reminds me of the whole mac v dell argument. A few firm believers in each brand, each chastise the other. The bottom line is, things are usually more expensive for a reason. The question is, is it really worth it?

Im not sure, a lot of pricing is brand positioning rather then reflected in the build quality or construction. electronics is fairly cheap, often the markups to get to the final price depend on market positioning, brand positioning and route to market.

For example Furuno always seems more expensive in Europe then the US, where Furuno goes head to head with other brands, whereas in Europe its more specialised suppliers etc.

Im always dubious about electronics price points , so much is because the marketing department got involved ( engineers hate the marketing dept,) .

dave
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Old 14-07-2012, 16:38   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow

Im not sure, a lot of pricing is brand positioning rather then reflected in the build quality or construction. electronics is fairly cheap, often the markups to get to the final price depend on market positioning, brand positioning and route to market.

For example Furuno always seems more expensive in Europe then the US, where Furuno goes head to head with other brands, whereas in Europe its more specialised suppliers etc.

Im always dubious about electronics price points , so much is because the marketing department got involved ( engineers hate the marketing dept,) .

dave
It was just a general obaervation.
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Old 14-07-2012, 19:05   #52
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Catamaran rudders are connected to each other, so that a RAM on one rudder also controls the other. Having two rudders do allow one to mount another independent autopilots as a backup.

However, we have no backup autopilot. We do now have a spare RAM after a lightning strike but it is not currently connected. And I guess we have a spare control head since our new B&G Triton gear also controls our Simrad autopilot. Autopilots are generally robust systems and few people carry entire spare ones because of the cost and storage issues.

Perhaps a wheel pilot would be a good backup for you? They cannot be relied on for long term hard use and won't work well in rough conditions, but they make a great backup for the short term your main pilot is down until you get to a port for repair/replacement. They cost a fraction of a main system and are "stored" ready to be deployed in an instance since they mount right on your wheel.

Mark
The wheel pilot is a good suggestion, and one that is likely my best option when I start doing longer passages. I've looked at the new Ray X-5 model but it's displacement limit is 16K lbs. which is far below my 40K. Of course, these stated limits are highly variable and my boat does balance up quite easily. The only wheel pilot I've seen that appears suitable for heavier boats is the CPT. At about $2K, however, it is about the cost of a spare ram. It can be kept in a box down below until/unless needed, is completely indp't of the boat's main electronics, uses it's own (unsophisticated) compass, and seems to enjoy a good rep. To the extent it has performance limitations, it is only used as a backup to get you into port as you point out. At $2K, it is an expensive backup, however. Might be worth it for the piece of mind if nothing else.

Dan
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Old 15-07-2012, 15:49   #53
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exile View Post
Comforting to hear that B&G remains a viable option for a cruising boat. It seems that when these great old cos. get bought up by big conglomerates something goes missing -- usually any semblance of support.

Is your new system NMEA 0183 or 2K based? Why did you have to replace all the wiring/cables? Does B&G make radars? Btw, I love my XM weather (displayed on Garmin plotters). There are various configuration choices which I'm sure you have too, incl. overlay, split-screen, etc. Just have to play with it.

Nice boat, btw!

Dan
Dan, I had gen-one Furuno MFDs and Simrad sailing instruments previously. No N2k bits at all, and a proprietary backbone with just a little N0183. Wasn't worth trying to reuse old wiring. I could rant, however, as I'm sure most people could with any system, as to the number of wire runs needed to make it all work. I now have an Nk2 backbone that nearly everything connects to, plus a B&G proprietary network (ethernet based I think) that connects the two MFDs and some other specific B&G gear (radar, sounder, AIS). Plus still one piece of N0183 so my older VHF can get a gps feed from the MFDs. Plus video in and out cables, plus plenty more. My supplier drew up excellent CAD schematics that made it all easy to know just what to do, but it still was a ton of wires, connectors, tees, hubs, etc. One frustrating point is N2k runs are gender specific - need to get the male and female ends all going in the right directions.

The rant, which I'm sure I could find elsewhere on CF, is did the NMEA world get it wrong? Couldn't almost all this work off of ethernet technologies if it had started there? Use self-attached RJ45 connectors everywhere, no big fat proprietary connectors and packaged wire lengths leaving lots of excess, no gender problems, no practical length restrictions, mini-hubs where needed, maybe translators where needed? Not trying to pick a fight here by any means but if manufactures could go back a few years, play nicer together and buy off on ethernet I think schmucks like me, as well as professionals, would find it a lot less work to wire a boat. I don't know if Raymarine and Garmin also deserve this rant. End of rant. Also, sorry this is off topic to OP.


Separate from this I expanded the on-board stereo system, and added a Wifi network. A lot of great bonding with my boat over the winter!

Dan, I think our two boats are cousins with Ted Hood playing a hand in both. A Bristol was in the running for my purchanse last year.

JR
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Old 15-07-2012, 18:23   #54
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I think it would be useful to further discuss which brand or type is better than the others... many posts in this thread sound like they are all equal, which isn't true of-course.

For example, name any recreation class compass/heading sensor that beats either Airmar or Maretron... I don't think there will be any, while many might not even have heard either of these two brands. Their N2K interface allows use with respectable familiar brands.

cheers,
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Old 15-07-2012, 19:29   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr_spyder

.....

The rant, which I'm sure I could find elsewhere on CF, is did the NMEA world get it wrong? Couldn't almost all this work off of ethernet technologies if it had started there? Use self-attached RJ45 connectors everywhere, no big fat proprietary connectors and packaged wire lengths leaving lots of excess, no gender problems, no practical length restrictions, mini-hubs where needed, maybe translators where needed? Not trying to pick a fight here by any means but if manufactures could go back a few years, play nicer together and buy off on ethernet I think schmucks like me, as well as professionals, would find it a lot less work to wire a boat. I don't know if Raymarine and Garmin also deserve this rant. End of rant. Also, sorry this is off topic to OP.

Separate from this I expanded the on-board stereo system, and added a Wifi network. A lot of great bonding with my boat over the winter!

Dan, I think our two boats are cousins with Ted Hood playing a hand in both. A Bristol was in the running for my purchanse last year.

JR
Yes of course NMEA got it wrong. The delay between conception and market implementation of NMEA 2000 meant the technology was superseded. But its where we are.

Dave
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Old 15-07-2012, 19:32   #56
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi
I think it would be useful to further discuss which brand or type is better than the others... many posts in this thread sound like they are all equal, which isn't true of-course.

For example, name any recreation class compass/heading sensor that beats either Airmar or Maretron... I don't think there will be any, while many might not even have heard either of these two brands. Their N2K interface allows use with respectable familiar brands.

cheers,
Nick.
Yes but not really relevant. The basic sensors by the big four are " adequate" ( or in some cases are rebadged airmar ) whereas maretron is really a specialist n2k sensor company.

It's bit like I can get Bembo brake upgrades for my car and get superior breaking. but the Oem units are " adequate" and meet the needs of most people.

Dave
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Old 15-07-2012, 21:20   #57
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

Adequate. Hmmm, sounds like a NA CEO talking, like my products are adequate...

I have been following the voyage of Nereida and she has had autopilot problems for almost the whole way for more than 1 1/2 circumnavigations. That is after an autopilot failure put her first Nereida on a Mexican beach. Would that be adequate?

These are not non stop circumnavigations by the way and almost all of her autopilot systems have been replaced at least once. She now has 2 systems installed and is still having problems. I wont mention the brand but you can find out yourself pretty easily.
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Old 15-07-2012, 21:33   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow

Yes but not really relevant. The basic sensors by the big four are " adequate" ( or in some cases are rebadged airmar ) whereas maretron is really a specialist n2k sensor company.

It's bit like I can get Bembo brake upgrades for my car and get superior breaking. but the Oem units are " adequate" and meet the needs of most people.

Dave
I think it is very relevant as the B&G heading sensor I used to have was a joke compared to the 2 I mentioned above while costing more. I can't call it adequate at all!

cheers,
Nick
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Old 15-07-2012, 21:35   #59
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adequate means meets the requirements of the product usage. Most product engineering is in truth designed so as to be adequate for the intended use ( adequate heat sinks, adequate drive power etc)

Most big four electronics products are adaquate for the intended use my the vast majority of ordinary sailors and boat usage. Specialist companies fill the need for high performance or very low cost entry level systems. NMEA 2k has spurred the creation of further specialist sensor companies

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Old 15-07-2012, 22:20   #60
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Re: Can We Over-Engineer this? B&G Rant !

This most recent dialogue does raise an interesting issue over "commercial" vs. "recreational" grade systems, sometime which experienced sailors like those on s/v "Morgan's Cloud" have written about. There doesn't seem to be any literal distinction, but systems originally intended for or used by commercial fisherman, for e.g., would qualify. The W-H autopilot is a good example that comes to mind. What's scary is that the vast majority of cruising boats never stress these systems like, for example, the circumnavigation of s/v Nerieda noted above. As a relative newcomer to this experience, I've generally been disappointed with the quality of both the products & the service I've experienced in the marine world. Not that I haven't had good experiences, it's just that they have only come after a lengthy, frustrating and expensive learning curve, an experience that seems to have been shared by many others.
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