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Old 24-11-2014, 08:22   #16
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Our electronics are at that 10 year point and we're starting to see little glitches in the workings.. plotter, radar, autohelm,
Selling off the the old stuff and buying new.... For us, its pretty easy to justfy the new systen due to the use we have gotton out of the old..
Besides, we're not sure if we will ever be in a place where we can repair the older system..
So for us, after 10 years, we're going for new..........
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Old 24-11-2014, 08:27   #17
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How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

I've just completed my 12th season with Raymarine Pathfinder Chartplotter, radar and sonar. On the last day of a cruise from Kentucky to SW Florida and back last fall and winter, I had Chartplotter failure on the last day! I found a used Pathfinder Chartplotter, bought it for $400, and was in the process of beginning the swap out when I found a broken ground wire. Fortunately, I hadn't taken the plotter out yet. Fixed the wiring issue, turned it on and it worked perfectly. Now I have a spare.

It may all fail tomorrow, and if it does, I'll have to replace the Chartplotter, radar and sonar all at once as all have gone digital. The price of the newer stuff is much less and it has the added benefit of display to IPads. I wonder about the quality, but it may last just as long.

I added the Digital Yacht IAIS, while on the cruise last year after getting to Mobile from Kentucky Lake.. It sends wireless AIS information to an IPhone or IPad and outputs usb to a pc. It displayed on my RayTech software on my PC but only Class A. I used it with INavX on my IPhone and IPad, but until this past weekend, only one device at a time. Returning up the TennTom last spring, it was very helpful avoiding meeting tows in some of the hairpin turns, and I could anticipate what to expect at the locks. With a simple software upgrade, I converted it myself to be able to receive on multiple devices at the same time. I used it yesterday as I traveled south 43.5 NM to my winter slip.

My ST60 wind, speed and depth instruments still work fine as does my below decks 6000 Autopilot. I'm not in the market to sell my boat, but I think my electronics still has lots of life left. I'm sure someone buying would figure they needed a new package, but in fact there could be several more productive years left on these units.


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Old 24-11-2014, 08:36   #18
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
I agree with all the posts except that for plotters you MUST be able to update the charts. Especially if you are a newbie having current chart will keep you out of trouble.

For the frugal there are ways around this - iPad charts- but being able to update the chart data may be a factor.

I don't update my plotter charts and sail mostly in Southern NE. What do you see as the peril of my not doing so? A moved buoy? Shoaling? As these are my local waters I don't expect the environment to change terribly without noticing.

Charts should be free and offered by the gov. PERIOD.
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Old 24-11-2014, 08:47   #19
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

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Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post
Why is it the advice you get from a broker trying to sell you a boat is so different than the sound advice you get from sailors?

While long term plans will (hopefully) include distant tropical destinations, it makes sense to evaluate everything on board for the intended use. I often think back on the days my dad and I had nothing more than a compass to get us across and up and down Lake Michigan. It quickly became apparent a depth sounder and knotmeter would be nice additions. When we installed a LORAN many years later, I thought we were the bomb! But we went for a long time with nothing more than wind, depth and boat speed instruments, a compass, a sextant and paper charts,

When I look back on those days, I have to laugh at myself for fretting about getting up to speed with today's technology. Thanks for reminding me.
Brokers have points of view that are for the most part generalized and are focused on evaluating value from a seller's and buyer's perspective. Certainly 10 years is the outside limit on electronics contributing to a boat's market value, but that does not mean that they are not serviceable or without value in and of themselves.

My boat has an older Garmin suite that I really like. I find it much easier to operate and find the information displays to be much better that some more recent units, particularly from Raymarine and Furuno, who IMHO clearly need to hire better usability and user experience designers. I'll replace my system when it no longer meets my needs (because of lack of support/parts or general reliability) or when something so compelling in value comes along that it makes sense to make the transition.

I recently completed a 15 day passage on a friend's boat, who has the Furuno NavNet system. Not only did it spontaneously reboot several times a day (and required a maddeningly long 5 minutes to load each time), but it stopped working with the maretron masthead transducer. I'll take old and reliable over newer and capricious any day of the week.
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Old 24-11-2014, 10:38   #20
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

On my boat, I have wind, speed, depth, radio, and an autopilot that are from 2008/7. Now I am looking at a chartplotter and perhaps radar. I see no reason to replace the existing instruments.

I would like to integrate them if possible, but will live with out it if not.


To me, I see two types of instruments. Those that get immediate information from the environment and those that overlay knowledge with environmental observation.

Unless. Integration is both a problem and a requirement, there is no reason to change the first category until it is broken or your requirements change. The second category(chartplotters, EIPRB, and maybe the radio) may need updating more frequently since those features change.

By the way, how hard is it to integrate raymarine st60 instruments with current chartplotters?


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Old 24-11-2014, 10:42   #21
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Chartplotter, schmartplotter. Just run OCPN on an old laptop with a USB GPS plugged in. An android with Marine Navigator for backup. U.S. charts are free. Proprietary architecture chart plotters are a big ripoff and a terrible deal for the consumer.
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Old 24-11-2014, 12:11   #22
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julie Mor View Post
Why is it the advice you get from a broker trying to sell you a boat is so different than the sound advice you get from sailors?

While long term plans will (hopefully) include distant tropical destinations, it makes sense to evaluate everything on board for the intended use. I often think back on the days my dad and I had nothing more than a compass to get us across and up and down Lake Michigan. It quickly became apparent a depth sounder and knotmeter would be nice additions. When we installed a LORAN many years later, I thought we were the bomb! But we went for a long time with nothing more than wind, depth and boat speed instruments, a compass, a sextant and paper charts,

When I look back on those days, I have to laugh at myself for fretting about getting up to speed with today's technology. Thanks for reminding me.
If I may offer a slightly difference perspective:

Think about your computer. No doubt you could still produce documents and spreadsheets with your 1980 IBM PC 8088, which is more solidly built, to boot, than the stuff you buy today. But progress in computer performance accelerates all the time, so you might find yourself wanting to upgrade. Especially as performance goes up faster and faster and prices decrease.

The same thing has happened with marine electronics. Hardly any of it do you really need, although I would include three things: (a) chart plotting at the helm; (b) AIS; and (c) DSC in the need category. But you may want what progress offers.

It is just recently that, for example, chart plotters have started to resemble computers rather than military hardware. They have become much cheaper, much less ruggedly built, and they improve at a much higher speed. Only a year and a half ago I took delivery of I think the first B&G Zeus Touch delivered in the U.S. (four months late!). Now it's already obsolete, replaced by the much improved Zeus Touch II. That's already a speed of change like smartphones or tablets, not like the heavy and very expensive plotters of yore. I could still be using my old reliable Raymarine RL80CRC+, which was about 10 years old when I replaced it, and which was still perfectly reliable, but the difference in functionality between that and the new Zeus is simply incredible!

The main "excuse", in my case, for upgrading perfectly functioning electronics was the inability of the old Raymarine to use large area charts, and to display AIS data. I also wanted a better radar, and I wanted a modern N2K network instead of the very awkward old fashioned NMEA0183 network.

I got far more than I bargained for! The improvements went far beyond the "excuses".

So really -- it's all up to you how often or even whether to upgrade your electronics. But there has been so much progress, that you might really just want to.
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Old 24-11-2014, 12:46   #23
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

You're absolutely right about want vs. need, Dockhead. :-D

It's the same for our boats, really. We might think we need them, and I suppose it could come to being dragged, kicking and screaming from my boat when I'm 98 or something, but I do believe (sacrilege!) that I don't need her to actually survive. Uh, maybe you shouldn't tell Jim! ;-)

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Old 24-11-2014, 14:03   #24
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

The argument to update to take advantage of newer charts is the main reason I no longer have Garmin gear. I had a perfectly good GpsMap 235 that Garmin no longer supported with charts, I actually liked the plotter itself but could not find the chart I needed new or a used on eBay. When I replaced it I went with Standard Horizon because they use Jeppenson C Map charts that I can update when I think it's beneficial. I will stay away from any plotter that uses the manufacturers proprietary charts in the future.


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Old 24-11-2014, 14:11   #25
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

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I agree with all the posts except that for plotters you MUST be able to update the charts. Especially if you are a newbie having current chart will keep you out of trouble. .......
Often, an "updated" electronic chart is the same as the one you are replacing. If the actual (paper) charts of the area haven't been updated, there's no point in spending money on newer electronic copies.
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Old 24-11-2014, 14:15   #26
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

After doing a lot of research i found that the only outdated electronics you are likely to find on a boat are loran and satnav. They are no longer supported by ground stations or satellites.

To the best of my knowledge, everything else still works.
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Old 24-11-2014, 15:10   #27
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

My, guess anything that doesn't require outside input, will serve you forever or until it just wears out, if you already have all the software you need . Anything using outside input eg, sats, he is probably correct.
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Old 24-11-2014, 15:43   #28
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
If I may offer a slightly difference perspective:

Think about your computer. No doubt you could still produce documents and spreadsheets with your 1980 IBM PC 8088, which is more solidly built, to boot, than the stuff you buy today. But progress in computer performance accelerates all the time, so you might find yourself wanting to upgrade. Especially as performance goes up faster and faster and prices decrease.

The same thing has happened with marine electronics. Hardly any of it do you really need, although I would include three things: (a) chart plotting at the helm; (b) AIS; and (c) DSC in the need category. But you may want what progress offers.

It is just recently that, for example, chart plotters have started to resemble computers rather than military hardware. They have become much cheaper, much less ruggedly built, and they improve at a much higher speed. Only a year and a half ago I took delivery of I think the first B&G Zeus Touch delivered in the U.S. (four months late!). Now it's already obsolete, replaced by the much improved Zeus Touch II. That's already a speed of change like smartphones or tablets, not like the heavy and very expensive plotters of yore. I could still be using my old reliable Raymarine RL80CRC+, which was about 10 years old when I replaced it, and which was still perfectly reliable, but the difference in functionality between that and the new Zeus is simply incredible!

The main "excuse", in my case, for upgrading perfectly functioning electronics was the inability of the old Raymarine to use large area charts, and to display AIS data. I also wanted a better radar, and I wanted a modern N2K network instead of the very awkward old fashioned NMEA0183 network.

I got far more than I bargained for! The improvements went far beyond the "excuses".

So really -- it's all up to you how often or even whether to upgrade your electronics. But there has been so much progress, that you might really just want to.
There are major steps... like the introduction of NMEA183 and then N2K... Today most things are produced to be networked and this is a big step... and means an entire system and wiring change... Big step. You might be able to make a slow transition to these integrated platforms... but a whole suite is quite spendy and hard to justify. The plotter may the basket with all the eggs are and if that goes down... who knows? A small Zeus with antenna in the cockpit is a decent solution.... no repeaters necessary.
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Old 24-11-2014, 16:35   #29
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

The reason why I feel charts should be updated. Is the first time I took my boat to Miami I was using 10 year old paper charts. SOB the draw bridge to Dodge(?) Island was replaced with a fixed bridge.

So yes updating charts is a handy feature. Especially for newbies.
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Old 24-11-2014, 16:52   #30
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Re: How Long Before Electronics Are Outdated?

It depends on the advances in technology.
VHF? .....heck to me old school is fine.
GPS with lat and lon only? ....a chart plotter/gps is a huge improvement.
Radar? IF the old CRT is working fine keep it.


The other side of the coin is longevity.. many electronics don't last that long.. although I've had old radars that all seem to keep working! If you are 5+ years into some electronics and going for offshore cruising... buy a new one...
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