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Old 26-01-2019, 10:22   #1
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Chartplotter, Radar etc Upgrade

My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a 42 foot Leopard Catamaran that we plan to live aboard. We're looking to spend the next 3 to 5 years or possibly more moving about the Caribbean. Since we plan to spend a lot of time making crossings from island to island I want to do an upgrade with the best electronics I can afford. Fortunately I can do most if not all of the installation myself. I am hoping that my budget of around $5000 to $6000 will cover all of it

The boat still has the original equipment Raymarine electronics package that it came with in 2001 and I am looking to upgrade the system but get conflicting info on what are the best units available today.

This is what the boat is equipped with now. I would like to replace most if not all of it and add a radar that will overlay on the Chartplotter

  • Deep sounder: Raymarine ST60 Tridata
  • Speed: Raymarine ST60 Tridata
  • Log: Raymarine ST60
  • Wind: Raymarine ST60 + windex
  • Chart plotter: Ray Marine RC435I
  • Auto Pilot: Ray Marine ST7002
  • Autopilot - Raymarine ST6002+ Radio
I have searched through the forums but can find very little information on the subject.


I would very much appreciate feedback from people who have installed new electronics packages that wirelessly network since that seems to be the most reliable way to go for connections. I would also appreciate real-world experience from people actually out there using the products.

Thanks for any info or thoughts you can give me.
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Old 26-01-2019, 10:58   #2
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

I also would like thoughts on the continuing viability of the autopilot and control head and if the new chart plotters will network with this system.
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Old 26-01-2019, 11:47   #3
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

We’ve been using the Raymarine e125/127 over the past 8 months on the 62, and would like to find out if it will work with the older 2001 Raymarine autopilot on the 53. The hybrid touch screen on the e125 is nice.
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Old 26-01-2019, 11:57   #4
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

I just replaced all my electronics. I had them professionally installed. I was advised that the wireless products were not the most dependable and cable connections were the norm. Since I never had any cable issues with my previous electronics I stayed with them.
Reliability is my primary consideration and cost was not a factor in my decision process. I am also a cruiser, so weight was not a factor.
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Old 26-01-2019, 18:42   #5
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

i would not go the wireless route.

if all the st60's are working. I would leave them. a seatalk adapter can be bought and all the data can be shown on any new screen.

I would replace the screen, add radar, add a new transducer to the screen. that will give you soanr + redundancy if the st60 depth ever failed.

I would also buy an AIS.

the existing pilot should keep working with any screen (go to waypoints), the above seatalk converter for the st60 gauges will also share the pilot data to the new screen.
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Old 26-01-2019, 20:24   #6
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Re: Chartplotter, Radar etc Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigal56 View Post
My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a 42 foot Leopard Catamaran that we plan to live aboard. We're looking to spend the next 3 to 5 years or possibly more moving about the Caribbean. Since we plan to spend a lot of time making crossings from island to island I want to do an upgrade with the best electronics I can afford. Fortunately I can do most if not all of the installation myself. I am hoping that my budget of around $5000 to $6000 will cover all of it

The boat still has the original equipment Raymarine electronics package that it came with in 2001 and I am looking to upgrade the system but get conflicting info on what are the best units available today.

This is what the boat is equipped with now. I would like to replace most if not all of it and add a radar that will overlay on the Chartplotter

  • Deep sounder: Raymarine ST60 Tridata
  • Speed: Raymarine ST60 Tridata
  • Log: Raymarine ST60
  • Wind: Raymarine ST60 + windex
  • Chart plotter: Ray Marine RC435I
  • Auto Pilot: Ray Marine ST7002
  • Autopilot - Raymarine ST6002+ Radio
I have searched through the forums but can find very little information on the subject.


I would very much appreciate feedback from people who have installed new electronics packages that wirelessly network since that seems to be the most reliable way to go for connections. I would also appreciate real-world experience from people actually out there using the products.

Thanks for any info or thoughts you can give me.
My "grown" way:
Had all Raymarine, only the AP St7002 is kept as spare. Ais500 & ST70 still in use. The E120 was the terrible unit. For some unknown reason the Raymarine Autopilot/E120 combination was to slow reacting.

After Raymarines wind sensor died I installed Airmars PB200, this included gps & compass, but the windsensor part broke, gps & compass kept as backup. Can it be windsensors do not like hurricanes?

Today: Airmar NMEA2000 intelligent triple sensor (depth, speed, temp), compass: navico, wind & barometer: lcjcapteurs.com (including mast rotation sensor "smart" you might not need), B&G Autopilot, B&G Triton Autopilot head with remote (I like the multifunctional sailing display), B&G Zeus≤. AP-drive is Jefra (bcs all metals planetary gear). Radar is B&G

Actisens nmea0813/2000 and nmea2000/usb converter

Shipmodul multiplexer, newest model combines and talks multiway: seatalk+nmea0183+nmea2k+usb+ethernet (mine is the older BT-model)

Some stuff is for backup if something fails if you wonder about redundancy.

Zeus≤ or any other MFD I would not buy any more, I have 2 ordinary Foxcon Nettop PC's since 2011 & 2014, never failed, added memory, changed harddisk to SSD only, openCPN is best software today and you buy official ENC-charts, free in US, everyone I know has some old CM93 to roam the world or more, I still have my old fugawi software displays my navionics charts on PC. OpenCPN you can download satellite pictures from most reefs and create an overlay, just like a radar picture. Saves a lot of time and some daggerboards

And this is my personal reason for abandoning navionics, 2004 they built a new container port in subic/Philippines, 15 years later, despite reporting, there is still no trace in Navionics leisure charts, even worse, chart references moved, tracks I sailed years ago are still correct, but it is annoying when your chart puts you on land that only exists on their chart.

For added security there is Plan2nav from c-map and embark will be added next week. Considered the price of a yacht, multiple charts should be worth it, they are only similar, not same

OpenCPN accepts ethernet radar input and control your AP

In short: no need to throw away everything, long range goal a network of independent intelligent sensors that work together. Yes radar dome, PC & touchsensitive waterproof monitor I would buy first, together with Shipmodul multiplexer or something similar.

If you are interested in a 2010 Schionning Wilderness 1320, pm me, it was never advertised and I might change my mind just after writing. But the Leopard is a nice ship too ;-)
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Old 26-01-2019, 21:46   #7
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

Unless there is a problem, I just can’t see the point in throwing away perfectly good instruments. The ST60 series have been the go-to displays since before I bought a boat in the mid-90s, and still probably the most used today. The depth display displays depth. What else do you want it to do? Having a reliable depth/speed/wind display in a fixed position is all you need. A new display will show identical data.

The only equipment that has gone quickly out of date is the chart plotter. These become laughable after 10 years or less, of course.

You are missing AIS, and if you use something like the Vesper XB8000 you will not only get this, but you will also get integration of your existing data into NMEA2000/SeatalkNG but also Wi-Fi. This will immediately enable you to use any combination of computers/IPads/tablets for chartplotting and AIS and overlaying all existing data.

Now you can also choose to buy a more up-to-date chartplotter either as a primary (if you get a posh one) or secondary (buying a cheaper one) display. This display could also overlay radar. My boat came with a small screen but current Raymarine chartplotter, and it works perfectly well as a backup to my main displays. I see no reason to spend thousands on a large chartplotter only for it to go out of date in short order. Any chartplotter (including my iPad or Iphone running SEAIQ, my computer running opencpn, or the raymarine one) can set waypoints and control the autopilot.

I really can’t see the point in buying more than the chartplotter, radar, and AIS unit.
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Old 27-01-2019, 04:52   #8
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Re: Chartplotter, Radar etc Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigal56 View Post
My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a 42 foot Leopard Catamaran that we plan to live aboard. We're looking to spend the next 3 to 5 years or possibly more moving about the Caribbean. Since we plan to spend a lot of time making crossings from island to island I want to do an upgrade with the best electronics I can afford. Fortunately I can do most if not all of the installation myself. I am hoping that my budget of around $5000 to $6000 will cover all of it

The boat still has the original equipment Raymarine electronics package that it came with in 2001 and I am looking to upgrade the system but get conflicting info on what are the best units available today.

I'd be inclined to just use the existing electronics for a year or two while thinking about it. Maybe adding radar early. You don't mention VHF, but I assume there is one? If not, that'd be an imperative... and some of the newer VHF radios offer a path toward AIS if that interests you (ICOM 605s are an example; there are likely others).

FWIW, I prefer radar usually NOT overlayed on the plotter. Wouldn't turn down an overlay capability, I'm just more used to radar being a separate function... with a dedicated crew member if necessary.

Another FWIW, I also prefer a same-maker suite of electronics (allowing an exception for VHF). That seems to eliminate the "it's the other guys' fault" problems when it comes to networking.

That in turn tends to semi-negate the "best units available" approach, assuming that Furuno may be "best" in one category, Raymarine in another, Garmin in a third, etc. I'm more interested in the "best net result" -- not so much in the "best single unit for a given function."

I'd have guessed the budget for a full suite would have been more like $20-25K, although that includes some redundancies (e.g., VHF, depth)... and I haven't been following prices lately.

-Chris
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Old 27-01-2019, 05:17   #9
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
I just replaced all my electronics. I had them professionally installed. I was advised that the wireless products were not the most dependable and cable connections were the norm. Since I never had any cable issues with my previous electronics I stayed with them.
Reliability is my primary consideration and cost was not a factor in my decision process. I am also a cruiser, so weight was not a factor.
Which ones did you have Installed?
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Old 27-01-2019, 09:13   #10
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

I have ST60s (8 displays: 2 Tridata, 2 Wind, 3 Graphic, 6002+ AP control head on a 400G course computer), all SeaTalk1. Last year upgraded the E80/E120 to Axiom9/Axiom12Pro with the STNG/SeaTalk1 adapter.



The Axioms work with the ST1 Autopilot, the only limitation being that engaging the autopilot has to be done on the AP control head, after which it is happy to follow waypoint and routes from the Axiom.



Radar was/is RD424HD digital so it worked with both E-series and still does with the Axiom, kept the same 8-port Network Switch.



Still like the ST60s, no plan/reason to change. The Axiom9 are light-years ahead of the E-series and older, and the 9 at boatshow prices was excellent value.


My opinion, freely given, and worth every penny.



Fair winds and calm waters...
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Old 27-01-2019, 09:21   #11
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tillsbury View Post
Unless there is a problem, I just canít see the point in throwing away perfectly good instruments. The ST60 series have been the go-to displays since before I bought a boat in the mid-90s, and still probably the most used today. The depth display displays depth. What else do you want it to do? Having a reliable depth/speed/wind display in a fixed position is all you need. A new display will show identical data.

The only equipment that has gone quickly out of date is the chart plotter. These become laughable after 10 years or less, of course.

You are missing AIS, and if you use something like the Vesper XB8000 you will not only get this, but you will also get integration of your existing data into NMEA2000/SeatalkNG but also Wi-Fi. This will immediately enable you to use any combination of computers/IPads/tablets for chartplotting and AIS and overlaying all existing data.

Now you can also choose to buy a more up-to-date chartplotter either as a primary (if you get a posh one) or secondary (buying a cheaper one) display. This display could also overlay radar. My boat came with a small screen but current Raymarine chartplotter, and it works perfectly well as a backup to my main displays. I see no reason to spend thousands on a large chartplotter only for it to go out of date in short order. Any chartplotter (including my iPad or Iphone running SEAIQ, my computer running opencpn, or the raymarine one) can set waypoints and control the autopilot.

I really canít see the point in buying more than the chartplotter, radar, and AIS unit.
+1
you are been sucked into the I need a new computer every 2 years because its faster, although all I do is surf the internet (typing this on a vista computer)
if it works why are you replacing it , it is very easy to interface 183 and 2000 networks,
And to be fair your cruising grounds dont warrant the cost, and effort of a full system upgrade, but as I always say to people its your money and who am I to say what you spend it on.
Me I just coming from it as a penny pinching Scots man also thinking about the enviro.
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Old 27-01-2019, 09:23   #12
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

I'm in the process of doing what you have in mind right now. Like you, I have older ST60+ speed/depth/wind instruments and an ST6001+ auto pilot. I'm upgrading my MFD to a modern raymarine unit and adding digital radar. One of the primary reasons for the upgrade is the better MFD and the installation of a SeatalkNG network for better integration. I'm also adding Raymarine AIS. The ST stuff works fine.

I'm integrating the Seatalk 1 stuff into the SeatalkNG network with the adapters that Raymarine sells. They're about $100 a piece and I've used two of them, one close to the ST instruments and one close to the auto pilot controller. BTW, the adapters also provide two spur connections (a spur tees of the SeatalkNG backbone to connect an networked unit). That's not nothing 'cause spur tees cost $25 each, and you need a spur for each SeatalkNG item you network.

The system isn't up and running yet, but I'm confident it'll work well.

I think your budget is a little light. Just the MFD and radar will set you back $5k. Ais will add another $1k and the raymarine cables are surprisingly expensive.

Anywho, good luck on your project. I'll be happy to answer any questions that I can.
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Old 27-01-2019, 09:33   #13
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

My boat had no radar when I bought it and as it turned out, a dead AP brain . To buy radar which for me is an absolute must have I could buy a radar unit only or for not a lot more buy a bundle and get an MFD which I have grown to love. I use all my old NMEA 0183 analog instruments, wind, depth. Added Forward scan and a transducer for that as well. Nice thing about the MFD was that the model I bought has built in wifi so it can display on a tablet anywhere and functions can be controlled on a tablet as well. I bought btw the B and G Vulcan 9' MFD and 24 mile radar. This package is around 3K with the forward scan. Another point to consider is that the Microsoft Surface Pro has a tablet like function but is not a tablet in the sense it works with tablet apps. I bought the cheapest AIS transceiver I could find as the radar and MFD have all the belles and whistles built in. I just needed the box to send/receive. Replaced my dead B&G AP brain with a new B&G brain and precision 9 compass. Left the 24 year old hydraulic ram in place. Works fine. As others have said, I wouldn't replace that which is not broken. Those old ST units are super reliable and give you all the info you need.
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Old 27-01-2019, 10:00   #14
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Re: Chartplotter, Radar etc Upgrade

I would buy a sextant for the tme when everything crashes/your batteries die etc. A plastic one will do at a pinch, plus a little hand held calculator and the "forms" to get your position, plus, of course, the appropriate paper charts....they usually don't crash but do get dirty,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigal56 View Post
My wife and I are in the process of purchasing a 42 foot Leopard Catamaran that we plan to live aboard. We're looking to spend the next 3 to 5 years or possibly more moving about the Caribbean. Since we plan to spend a lot of time making crossings from island to island I want to do an upgrade with the best electronics I can afford. Fortunately I can do most if not all of the installation myself. I am hoping that my budget of around $5000 to $6000 will cover all of it

The boat still has the original equipment Raymarine electronics package that it came with in 2001 and I am looking to upgrade the system but get conflicting info on what are the best units available today.

This is what the boat is equipped with now. I would like to replace most if not all of it and add a radar that will overlay on the Chartplotter

  • Deep sounder: Raymarine ST60 Tridata
  • Speed: Raymarine ST60 Tridata
  • Log: Raymarine ST60
  • Wind: Raymarine ST60 + windex
  • Chart plotter: Ray Marine RC435I
  • Auto Pilot: Ray Marine ST7002
  • Autopilot - Raymarine ST6002+ Radio
I have searched through the forums but can find very little information on the subject.


I would very much appreciate feedback from people who have installed new electronics packages that wirelessly network since that seems to be the most reliable way to go for connections. I would also appreciate real-world experience from people actually out there using the products.

Thanks for any info or thoughts you can give me.
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Old 27-01-2019, 10:18   #15
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Re: Chart Plotter, radar etc. upgrade

If I lived and sailed someplace with lots of fog, or planned to sail alot of coastal at night, then I absolutely see the use in a radar. But..if you sail places without fog, and/or mostly daysail, what will you use it for? I'm a retired airline pilot, and I know how to use radar! We've had our boat for 19 years, and have sailed the Philippines, to and around Thailand, the Medd, and now the NE Caribbean. Except for dodging unpredictable freighters on a few night sails around the PI, and the very occasional squall to dodge, we have never needed nor used our radar; it gets turned on 1/yr,just to see if it still works. I, for one, would not spend alot of $$ on the best/latest/most dazzling radar- a forward-looking sonar (for those unknown, strange bays), very good chartplotter AND an independent backup, AIS, radios(VHF, HF if you're going transoceanic, AND a VOX intercom/walkie-talkie), and WiFi capability would be much higher on my list. And, of course, you still need a good AutoPilot and basic (wind,depth, boat speed) sailing instmnts .
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