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Old 24-04-2015, 06:56   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 7
Navigation/ Electronics on a new sailboat

Hi ppl,

We are currently building a 40ft steel sailboat and I'd like to ask your opinion about the Navigation/ electrical equipment.

The boat is going to sail all over the globe and I need a system that works well and is integrated with each other.

The stuff we need is going to be something like this:
Chartplotter. What do you recommend? Open cpn? Navionics? Need something to get the maps all over the place.
AIS: Vesper marine XB 8000?
NMEA 2000 system
Laptop? PC? Ipad? A boats own computer so I can navigate and get a weather?

I know the topic is huge and there is plenty of options but I would like to hear good experiences/ opinions which direction to go to.


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Old 24-04-2015, 22:27   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Puget Sound, USA
Boat: Lyman-Morse 54
Posts: 206
Re: Navigation/ Electronics on a new sailboat


Indeed a huge topic! My advice based on 20+ years of administering computer systems as well as owning two boats with full electronics packages in the last five years is, to the extent possible, to try to stick with a single vendor. If you have devices from multiple vendors, as soon as you seek support the finger pointing will begin and Vendor A will blame Vendor B's equipment and vice versa, and the onus is then on you to prove where the problem lies. Unless you are very comfortable with troubleshooting electronics and networks, going with multiple vendors just opens you up to a great deal of potential headache.

That said, our current boat came with all Furuno instruments / chartplotter / AIS / radar but with a Raymarine autopilot. The two brands worked but did not play nice together and the autopilot would occasionally drop out and go to standby and other times the chartplotter would intermittently lose communication with the autopilot. Those issues, along with other seemingly random (i.e., non-reproducible) problems that were only fixed by power cycling the entire 0183/N2K network, convinced me it was time to find a permanent solution. After extensive troubleshooting and getting the runaround from both Raymarine and Furuno, my project the past two months has been to gut the Furuno and Raymarine gear and strip out all the 0183 wiring and replace it with a full B&G package (with the exception of the AIS which is a Vesper XB-8000) and implement only N2K. I had Simrad on our previous boat and was very pleased with it so for this refit, I stuck with what I knew would work as the B&G and Simrad hardware is the same, only the software differs.

Everything plays well together, and the few occasions I have had to call Navico (the parent company for B&G / Simrad) for support during the install and commissioning were refreshingly straightforward with only a single vendor to deal with.

Hope this helps and happy to answer any questions if I can...
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Old 25-04-2015, 11:13   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 7
Re: Navigation/ Electronics on a new sailboat

Hi Pyxis, and thanks for the reply.

I have heard good things about B&G and simrad so one option could be following.

Radar: B&G 4G
Wind: Airmar 200WX
Speed: Airmar CS4500
Autopilot: Simrad HLD 2000, Simrad AC 42
Plotter:B&G Zeus at the helm
AIS: Vesper marine XB 8000
VHF: Which supports DSC
Satellite phone
NMEA 2000

Good ideas of a receiving weather?

The boat is a steel hull and weighs about 13000 kg.


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