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Old 10-07-2013, 16:27   #16
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

Garmin Kool-Aid here, too. Have had Raymarine stuff since 1988. There products have been bullet-proof reliable. You do have to read the manuals, though. They don't play well with others.

Started with Garmin with a handheld in early 90's. Since then the boys from Lenexa have bullied their way into the aviation market and with the purchase of Interphase and ComNav now have the marine business corralled. As they are utilizing hardware designs across both markets, the software/cartography seems to develop glitches that need periodic updates. But it is drop dead intuitive. As you must wait a year for your custom build, you can learn Garminese with one of their handhelds. After a month, you will be able to navigate the boat or fly a Garmin avionics equipped Cessna!

I would like to see the other guys stick around competitively speaking after seeing what Garmin's control of the Avionics market has done to pricing, but realistically speaking, one split order ain't going to save the rest.
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Old 10-07-2013, 16:30   #17
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NO electronic chart should be used exclusively. If a sailor does they are going to be in trouble. Was Navionics different from Explorer...yes! But by using both chart types, responsible decisions can be made.
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Old 10-07-2013, 16:43   #18
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

I've had a Garmin 4212 and GMR41 radar for a few years now, added GHP12 auto pilot, ais transceiver. Love the equipment. Can't say about service, have never needed it. I installed all equipment myself.

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Old 10-07-2013, 17:12   #19
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

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Originally Posted by svpattyd View Post
We have a Simrad NSE 8 and have found it to be very reliable. Yes it uses non explorer charts, but we carry paper charts anyway and the differences are minimal. Our Simrad auto pilot works well with a reasonable amount of energy. We have not had to use the service side of the company yet.
The Simrad plotters now use both Navionics and CMap cartography. Explorer charts are distributed through CMap, so you can have those charts for the Bahamas. They are a separate purchase, but that is true for all.

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Old 10-07-2013, 17:12   #20
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Garmin is the way to go.

1) They really do have the best service network and support.
2) They are simple to use without a manual.
3) DIY installation.
4) NMEA 2000 cable and connectors are cheap.
5) USA, Bahamas and Caribbean are pre loaded
6) Garmin GMR18HD radar is excellent
7) Can have your iPad with Bluecharts mobile using the same charts as a backup and linked to your chartplotter
I had a Garmin 5212. The manual is a joke. It is like the quick-start guide. If you want to know any details on how to do things (No, it is not in the manual! ) you have to call them. The wait is not bad. They are very helpful. But you better write it all down after you review the recording you made of the call becasue if you need to remember to "do that again" in a month or so.......... At least this sieve-like mind has to have a reference.

Maybe there is a Garmin (logic) "Dummys" book. I never checked.

But dangggg is that touch screen nice.

I tried to learn how to convert Active Captain routes into the Garmin secret code and put it/them into the plotter but it never happened. I had suggestions and help but it never happened.

I had a 76CX hand held that would use up a fresh set of batteries in the anchor watch mode before I would wake up in the morning. The menu choices - the logic - did not click with me. I would set it up different. But it is a really nice unit.

I would probably stick with Garmin hoping to learn. unless I had a lot more money, in which case I would post a thread like you did and hope that member that has done service on all of the systems for years comes on and reminds me what he said he would buy.
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Old 10-07-2013, 17:24   #21
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

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I tried to learn how to convert Active Captain routes into the Garmin secret code and put it/them into the plotter but it never happened. I had suggestions and help but it never happened.
I use GPSBabel to convert my waypoints, tracks, and routes between my marine planning programs (Active Captain) included to my Garmin chartplotter.

GPSBabel converts waypoints, tracks, and routes between popular GPS receivers and mapping programs. It also has powerful manipulation tools for such data.

GPSBabel: convert, upload, download data from GPS and Map programs
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Old 10-07-2013, 17:32   #22
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

Personally, I'm a mix and match guy. But if you want everything from one manufacturer, and you want the best system overall, I will buck the trend here and say Navico, which is Simrad and B&G.

The most important part of a system is the autopilot, and Simrad is going to kick everyone else to the side on this. Absolutely no comparison. Those who argue differently have not used one.

For radar, Simrad has broadband, which nobody else does. If you prefer pulse, their pulsed radar is going to be as good as anyone else's except Furuno.

For small cockpit MFD instruments, you have B&G's Tritons, which right now there is nothing that compares to them. Raymarine's i70 is the only other one that comes close, but it is a big gap. Simrad has equivalent models to the Triton with a few less functions on them.

For chartplotters, the Simrad series (multiple choices like everyone else) are good, intuitive and use both Navionics and CMap cartography. The B&G Zeus, which is the same as the Simrad with additional capabilities, is simply amazing if you are interested in the technical side of sailing. No other chartplotter will calculate and use polars, and run laylines constantly updated using wind, speed, COG and current data.

I think most of the answers so far have focused mostly on the chartplotter and not the overall system components.

You did not mention what your boat is, but if it is a larger build, it is very important to make the correct decision on the autopilot, and you should be focussing there. If a smaller boat, then most of the pilots will work, and some will provide you with more functionality.

You also did not say where you planned to sail. If in fog, then radar becomes a big factor in your decision.

If you plan to race at all, cockpit MFD's are important.

If you are building a large boat that you plan to race in fog, then you should not buy all of your gear from a single manufacturer.

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Old 10-07-2013, 18:06   #23
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

I agree that mix and match is good for getting the best gear for what your sailing needs are. I have Furuno instruments and autopilot and they play nicely with my Garmin 5208 chart plotter.

I anchor by Garmin chart plotter & Garmin Radar all the time when I night sail and in fog not even seeing the bow of the boat.

My guests where amazed when we pulled into Cuttyhunk harbor at 2:30 am in fog and woke up the next day to see the packed harbor.
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:41   #24
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
I use GPSBabel to convert my waypoints, tracks, and routes between my marine planning programs (Active Captain) included to my Garmin chartplotter.

GPSBabel converts waypoints, tracks, and routes between popular GPS receivers and mapping programs. It also has powerful manipulation tools for such data.

GPSBabel: convert, upload, download data from GPS and Map programs
I tried that and got them as far as onto a SD card. I could not get them into the machine. I even had suggestions and help. Garmin did not want to help because it was not converted "properly" with Garmin sold "stuff".

There are steps in the 5212 to do things with the memory card that are not in the manual. No reference, hints, nothing!
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Old 19-07-2013, 15:13   #25
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
Garmin is the way to go.

1) They really do have the best service network and support.
2) They are simple to use without a manual.
3) DIY installation.
4) NMEA 2000 cable and connectors are cheap.
5) USA, Bahamas and Caribbean are pre loaded
6) Garmin GMR18HD radar is excellent
7) Can have your iPad with Bluecharts mobile using the same charts as a backup and linked to your chartplotter
I was told that the preloaded charts were not detailed enough, is this true? Anyone using just the preloaded charts?
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Old 19-07-2013, 19:38   #26
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

The pre-loaded Garmin charts are what I have been using for 4years now. Detail is great.
Use the same charts on my iPad using Garmin Blue charts mobile for $40
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Old 19-07-2013, 22:08   #27
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Re: Electronics Suggestions Wanted

Used to have Garmin, switched to Simrad. Chartplotter, radar, depth all integrated. Just added AIS transducer. Works perfectly. Never had a repair issue, but dealers have been great.
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