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Old 01-09-2015, 11:49   #16
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

I am very happy with my 5 year old Raymarine system. They even replaced an out-of-warranty autopilot when one of their authorized techs made it irreparable. Their phone support is very good and their support for discontinued models is good. I have issues with some of the materials that they use in the construction of their autopilot, some of the parts are not very UV resistant and their radar cable mildews, while other plastics don't.

Standard Horizon wouldn't even talk to me about their chartplotter when they no longer sold it.

ICOM has hoops to jump through to get a simple handheld VHF repaired.

Cuyler Morris of Morris Yachts recommended Raymarine to me and I am happy with the whole system.
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Old 01-09-2015, 13:13   #17
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

I am a liveaboard and agree with most of the comments above,, I have RayMarine, Furuno, Icom, Garmin and other lesser known devices

Marine Electronics seems to last about 6 years now and then you find the broken bit and most of the other bits that may still be working are redundant and need to be replaced as well or require expensive adaptors to make them compatible

Why oh Why can we not have wireless and plug and play!!!!

The computer industry tried to have propitiatory equipment and communication protocols many years ago and eventually learnt their customers would not go for it

OK Rant over

On a separate note

I think I read somewhere recently that Beneteau no longer use RayMarine but I cannot remember who they have switched to.
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Old 01-09-2015, 15:40   #18
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

I Wouldn't have Lowrance gear on my boat again ever 2x chart plotters both the same age die with the same symptoms on two different boats and both when taken back to the AK NZ agents At different times were told we have never seen this before no repair no replacement and both within a week or so of warrenty expiration Two boaties with Garmin chart plotters now and no problems at all.Bernie
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Old 01-09-2015, 16:12   #19
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

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Originally Posted by Revelations View Post
We need to buy a complete new navigation system for our yacht - chart plotter, radar, autopilot, sounders, instruments, etc. Besides buying a robust and reliable equipment we are also looking which brand have the best worldwide support.
If you are looking for telephone support then IME Furuno is best, Raymarine second and everybody else is a mile away. Of course you need to be able to do the work yourself based on the instructikns you get.

Vesper has the time zone issue but they provide very good support by email.

If you are looking for "technicians" that will go to your boat be prepared for endless disappointment.

All that is about work that does not require parts. When parts or replacement of a unit is required my usual choice is to work through the USA toll free number and provide a US address, then have a friend in the US forward to the boat. Americans are very demanding customers and they get better service!



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Old 01-09-2015, 17:53   #20
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

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Originally Posted by Triumphant View Post
I think I read somewhere recently that Beneteau no longer use RayMarine but I cannot remember who they have switched to.
B&G

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Old 01-09-2015, 20:22   #21
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

One will find that, in each category of marine electronics: communications, navigation, self steering..., one product/line, from one company, stands out. Perhaps it's ICOM for VHF radio, Furuno for depth-sounding/fish-finding, Garmin for chart plotters, B&G for sailing instruments, for example--each with their particular specialty.

So it is not a simple matter to just decide on 1 manufacturer, if you care to choose the best electronics.
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Old 01-09-2015, 20:48   #22
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

While it is tempting to cherry pick different manufacturers

I think you have to look at what the small boat commercial guys choose as an indicator on reliability and compatibility in interfacing.

Also what the large installers like Radio Holland prefer to work with.

Furuno always seems to come out near the top and are very proactive in solving their own products interface glitches by providing free software updates.

I hate it when different electronic manufacturers point the finger at each other, when an interface problem arises

If researching new electronics keep an eye out for a Fish Expo near you to visit....
You get to talk to the service manager rather than the sales manager
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Old 01-09-2015, 21:12   #23
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

Regarding integration of multiple systems vs. single vendor:

Boat 1: All B&G, all factory installed.

Boat 2: Garmin Chartplotter, RayMarine autopilot, Maretron wind, Evinrude engine (networked), SIMRAD VHF/AIS, all wired and installed by me.

Boat 1 has been buggy and glitchy, with the V50 radio issues, autopilot disconnecting, and instruments dropping off the network and needing circuit shutoffs to reset.

Boat 2 has zero issues *even though it has an earlier version of the same buggy VHF/AIS*. Nothing to do with my competence, all I've done is properly connect things together and test.

Going with a single vendor doesn't mean you won't have problems, it just means they don't have anyone else to blame--which doesn't mean any of it will get fixed. I'm running now --three-- workarounds to keep problems from happening or fix them on my B&G system.
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Old 01-09-2015, 22:43   #24
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

We have a Furuno chartplotter, radar and GPS - we also have B&G Hydra 2000 navigation, instruments and autopilot.

During the past 9 months, we encountered endless problems with the B&G products and could not get anybody to work on it - neither could we fix it ourselves. In addition, when the B&G was still working, on occasion the autopilot would lose it's bearings - although essentially in heavy waters. The email support was simply telling us what each fault code meant - but not how to sort it out. We also found that the B&G product shelve life is about 5 to 6 years and then one can no longer buy replacement parts.

On the other hand, the Furuno stuff have worked flawlessly and we can still buy replacement parts for the old NavNet2 chart plotter, radar, etc.

Because of this, we are now partial to buy a one brand range of products and we are seriously looking at Furuno.

Thank you for all your comments and wisdom.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:24   #25
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

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On the other hand, the Furuno stuff have worked flawlessly and we can still buy replacement parts for the old NavNet2 chart plotter, radar, etc.
The B&G Hydra 2000 is long out of production (the model name gives you an idea of its age), while the Furuno NN2 is still a current model.

So the difference in parts availability isn't surprising. Particularly when one considers that the manufacturing facility for the H2000 was shut down and the company sold to Simrad, then Navico with only the current model assets.

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Old 02-09-2015, 10:41   #26
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

I don't want to hijack this thread but I would like to expand it a bit. In planning your nav equipment, I think you need to consider the charts. I have 2 raymarine MFDs (one inside and one out) This should provide some redundancy. And, if the outside one fails, I am moving the inside one out there. I do want a display at the helm.

WRT the charts, the Raymarine uses CF cards. No apparent way to back them up except to buy a second one. Gets expensive. I'm looking at the possibility of PC software and charts, both as a backup and also for a better planning tool. Any suggestions from this group would be apprecieated.

re: Raymarine My ST 50 instruments were 15 years old when we finished our 10 year circumnavigation. Cust service was good the few times I had to call them. There was a good dealer in New Zealand and in Trinidad. I did have to replace the depth transducer.

The one frustrating thing with Raymarine is the lack of backward compatability. I think that each new generation should at least be backward compatible with the last generation. Not sure what the other vendors are line. I've only had Raymarine for the last 20+ years.

Anyone have any thoughts about PC charting? Or should I start a separate thread?
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:59   #27
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

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Originally Posted by svseawitch View Post
The one frustrating thing with Raymarine is the lack of backward compatability. I think that each new generation should at least be backward compatible with the last generation. Not sure what the other vendors are line. I've only had Raymarine for the last 20+ years.
Not sure what you mean.. Raymarine is VERY backwards compatible. They sell cheap devices to allow old Raymarine devices to connect to new devices. Devices from the 90s can still function with the newest gear.

They also provide software updates and adapters to allow old Raymarine plotters to use new SD cards.

As to backing up the CF cards. I have never tried but you should be able to just copy the files over to another card formated the correct way. All the encryption information is included in the files. There is nothing special about the CF cards they use.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:21   #28
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

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Old 02-09-2015, 14:52   #29
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Re: Navigation equipment. Best woldwide support?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
The B&G Hydra 2000 is long out of production (the model name gives you an idea of its age), while the Furuno NN2 is still a current model.

So the difference in parts availability isn't surprising. Particularly when one considers that the manufacturing facility for the H2000 was shut down and the company sold to Simrad, then Navico with only the current model assets.

Mark
Hi Mark
You said all; "The B&G Hydra 2000 is long out of production ..." which illustrates the problem. You buy something and within a short space of time, it is out of production. Incidentally, we bought the Furuno chart plotter before the B&G equipment and by your word, it is still in production. There are consumer benefits to be derived from this - the Furuno products have a much longer shelf life and available spare parts. Which is sadly not the situation with B&G products.
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