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Old 01-03-2012, 13:56   #1
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Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

I am going to have to replace all my instruments I suspect, being they're from 1982. I have an oyster 39, with older B&G instruments and a NECO autopilot. I am thinking I should replace them with the same manufacturer (B&G), but don't know all that much about things of this nature yet. Given I live aboard, I am thinking of getting an flat panel tv for both entertainment and hopefully having the ability to use as a larger display as well.
Essentially, my question and I'm sure it'll be a passionate debate is, if you had a clean slate what would you recommend installing for a Bluewater cruiser.

Thanks for everyone's responses.
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Old 02-03-2012, 13:45   #2
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

I have the same challenge to replace b&g H2000 system. The driver is now looking to find a system with a 31mm transducer dia. That looks to be limiting options. The H3000 reads well in my research however service from my existing system has been marginal. I thought about going wireless with tacktick also based on quick installation but return to my problem with through-hull dia...
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Old 02-03-2012, 20:27   #3
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

I just purchased and installed a Garmin GWS10 wind instrument (combines wind speed & direction with air temperature and barometric pressure in one unit) combined with an Airmar DST800 (sold as a package through Garmin) which has depth, speed and water temperature in one through hull transducer.

The installation was easy, and so far (1920nm) the instruments have worked flawlessly. They network easily with the latest NMEA 2000 chart plotters (I have Furuno NN3D MFD's) and again the install is so simple it would be a crime to pay anyone else to do the work (other than perhaps the masthead work).

Have now ordered the B&G Triton displays (x5) and B&G Triton Pilot Add-on System, all NMEA 2000 which means it should be as easy to install and plays nicely with the other equipment.

My 2 cents..
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:16   #4
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

Have you received your Tritons yet? If not, do you know when they will actually ship? We ordered 3 of them and the pilot controller when they were announced. The shipping date was supposed to be December, then Jan, then Feb, then March, then April...

Then they stopped telling me when they would ship.

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Old 03-03-2012, 06:36   #5
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

if I were to start fresh I think currently I would look at the Tack Tick wireless system, anything on a boat that involves less wires in my mind is a plus
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:47   #6
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

Had a guest aboard last year with an iPad running nav software (Novionics I think), sure was slick and presents some interesting possibilities as part of a new system.

Re large screen flat screen TV. Have seen boats set-up this way with large screen mounted on a swing arm. Even had one on my boat for a while. Trouble is, the marine environment can be harsh on electronics designed for household use. Mine died after just a few years.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:48   #7
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

I have replaced all of the systems with Raymarine.
Was mostly B&G 70%, Raymarine 20% and others mixed together and talking well.
But old.
I do not think you need to keep any of the old system. Clean slate is clean slate.
May not be compatible with newer systems, and leaves you free to chose your favorite systems. Start with the westmarine catalogue - good info there and price comparisons...
I am happy with raymarine, but there are issues with all of them - none are perfect.
I agree with wireless too. Less wires, and less hair-loss pulling them thru is better.
However, when comparing wired/wireless I always think of Sikorsky comparing helicopters/fixed wing.
When asked by the military:
"Do you know when helicopters will be faster than fixed wing?"
"yes"
"when?"
"never"
"do you know when helicopters will be safer than fixed wing:
"yes"
"when?"
"never"

sent from my iPhon...
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Old 03-03-2012, 14:42   #8
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Have you received your Tritons yet? If not, do you know when they will actually ship?
Mark
OK we are in the same boat. I ordered via Defender (they had a sale on these recently), but no word yet on when they will ship.

For those with a fear of wires you need to look at the NMEA 2000 equipment.. simple doesn't describe how easy these bits go together, and you will be able to remove miles of old cables and connectors from the boat.
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Old 03-03-2012, 15:09   #9
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

Same opportunity on our boat. 1983 Camper-Nichoson with commically old B&G. We seemed to also have had a lighting strike as well that took out the B&G; datamarine; GPS, alternator.

After much sould searching, bought Simrad NSE-8 chartplotter and Raymarine depth,wind, speed. I added the Lawrence broadband radar and simrad broadband depth & contour scanner. At the time, Simrad was the only manufacturer using LED backlighted screens so it uses less power. My autopilot is a very old Simrad as well and the new chartplotter will be able to operate it when the old controls fail. Two years later, I think I might be tempted to use a PC based system. The reality is that you pay about 5 kilobucks for a chartplotter with a marinized low end computer and pre-aged obsolete electronics. Once you own the Barbie, You spend a pile to buy her accessories (maps). The PC based systems seem to share a lot more stuff available from the internet and are capable of networking if you need it. We chose to configure our system as independant devices. That way, I don't need to run some of it if I don't need to. This saves power. The reality then is that I don't really need or use the networking capability.

We also installed a Watchmate AIS 850. This is one of the best pieces of hardware on the boat. It consumes 3 watts; has a built-in GPS; and does anchor watch. It is so simple you do not need to ever read the book. The Simrad NSE-8, however, is more like programming a VCR in the 80s. I still can't make it do my bidding.

I guess you have to decide what you will be doing and what you expect from the equipment.
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Old 03-03-2012, 16:42   #10
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

When starting with a "clean slate" my recommendation is to pick a one brand and buy all the equipment from this one manufacturer, this way you are sure to minimize incompatibility and not tearing your hair out "why the hell is it not working" the big question is who should it be, there are many of them out there, well established Raymarine, Furuno, Garmin. and new comers such as Tac Ticks and many others. Decide what you need to buy, get offers from as many sources as possible and factor in the important (very important) service and spare parts availability, after all your will be stuck with these items for a long time.
In my case I replaced my B&G instruments with Raymarine (not necesarily the best choice) except for the chart plotting which I use a PC based chart plotting (open CPN) and I am going to buy a tablet device as a portable navigational aid.
Again my choice was based on a variety of factors which in your case may be differrent but the principles stay the same.
Good luck.
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Old 03-03-2012, 17:11   #11
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

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When starting with a "clean slate" my recommendation is to pick a one brand and buy all the equipment from this one manufacturer, this way you are sure to minimize incompatibility and not tearing your hair out "why the hell is it not working" the big question is who should it be, there are many of them out there, well established Raymarine, Furuno, Garmin. and new comers such as Tac Ticks and many others. Decide what you need to buy, get offers from as many sources as possible and factor in the important (very important) service and spare parts availability, after all your will be stuck with these items for a long time.
In my case I replaced my B&G instruments with Raymarine (not necesarily the best choice) except for the chart plotting which I use a PC based chart plotting (open CPN) and I am going to buy a tablet device as a portable navigational aid.
Again my choice was based on a variety of factors which in your case may be differrent but the principles stay the same.
Good luck.
Why didn't you use the Raymarine RNC software? It integrates with the Raymarine system very well, also with the newer plotters you can go wireless and use your iPad if you wish.
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Old 03-03-2012, 17:41   #12
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Re: Looking to replace all my instruments, what would you do with a clean slate

If you're replacing everything, I don't see any compelling reasong to stick with B&G. In fact, the current generation of B&G instruments is probably not compatible with 1982 B&G instruments, and they probably use the same Airmar speed and depth ducers as everyone else. Whatever you do, I recommend NMEA 2000.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:17   #13
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

I was not aware of the RNC software, please enlighten me.
My reasoning of staying away from Raymarine chart plotting is strictly economical, I want to stay away from having to buy Raymarine charts wihch add unnecesarry expense that could be avoided by using shareware software and charts.
But then again if you have a way of doing all the chart plotting without the extra cost I'll more than glad to hear about it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:35   #14
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

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I was not aware of the RNC software, please enlighten me.
My reasoning of staying away from Raymarine chart plotting is strictly economical, I want to stay away from having to buy Raymarine charts wihch add unnecesarry expense that could be avoided by using shareware software and charts.
But then again if you have a way of doing all the chart plotting without the extra cost I'll more than glad to hear about it.
Shareware charts and plotting is more than likely pirateware, not shareware. Aside from the ethical issue, I am not aware of any good way to keep "shareware" charts up to date. You will have to spend some money if you want good, up to date charts, and in my view this is money very well spent.

Besides that, this type of chart displays on household electronics, not marine electronics. THere have been other threads on this discussion, but I think most people think that if you are sailing in unfamiliar areas and really rely on your plotter, you had better have at least one real marine plotter on board.

I have used Raymarine plotters and electronics for many years and like them. I have also use Garmin, which I like less.

But I am in the market for new electronics myself, and have done a lot of research. I like the Simrad and B&G stuff now. I particularly like the Simrad broadband radar, which besides having some unique perfomance advantages, is quite inexpensive. I like the B&G Zeus plotters, which are the same as the Simrad NSE plotters but with some unique sailing functions -- at about the same quite reasonable price (the same as Raymarine or Furuno).

For wind instruments, log, and depth I think they are all more or less equivalent, and as long as you go with NMEA2000 should be compatible with any NMEA plotters. I like the Airmar ultrasonic wind instrument which also has handy weather functions. I am planning to leave my Raymarine wind, log, depth instruments and ST60+ displays for the time being -- they are ok for my needs so far. If you're replacing those, you have a wealth of choice including the very nice Simrad displays.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:05   #15
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Re: Looking to Replace All My Instruments - What Would You Do with a Clean Slate

I think RNC software is ray marine's interface to PC - but not shareware!!!
I have E series screens - very happy with them - Building new helm with twin screens. Will be much better than running 30ft from the existing helms to the nav station to take manual positions!!
Had the laptop out there with cables, etc. not in the same league as a marine multifunction screen.

Looked at simrad at the boat show - seems like extremely great systems - but more expensive - I believe.
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