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Old 10-08-2015, 13:26   #1
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Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

I recently bought a 2005 sailboat. I believe it has the original navigation equipment from the builder. I'm loathe to replace it (the cost of course!) so I am wondering if I can get some advice. In a perfect world I'd like to get new up to date equipment that uses a graphical interface.

Is the equipment below top-of-the line and worth saving? I've been told that Furuno is "bulletproof". Or should I just bite the bullet and buy new? I find the 1833c very clunky and difficult to use and layout routes in. I had OpenCPN on my laptop and have done the route planning and navigating with it.

Furuno Ethernet Hub "HUB-101"
Furuno GPS Receiver
Furuno 1833C Radar/Plotter, 36 mile range, C-MapNT
Furuno GP-7000 Radar/Plotter display, C-MapNT
At the Helm Furuno 7" Radar/Plotter Repeater, C-MapNT (not working, still shows our position as our last port of call!)

The boat also has a "Nauticast B" AIS Transponder, which I understand is junk now since it cannot be reprogrammed for a new boat name/ownership.

I met a person who recommended I go with an I-Pad and Navionics for navigation and use the laptop and OpenCPN as a backup. The 1833c would still be needed for radar and AIS, and I would have to replace or repair the repeater at the helm (might be just connection issues).

And yes, I do carry paper charts and have as third backup a handheld battery operated Garmin GPS.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 10-08-2015, 13:40   #2
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

Hhmm I just did a very similar change over except my boat had Raymarine gear of the same vintage (2004). Some of the Furuno gear you listed was definitely top of the line in its day. Not sure what I would have done if my boat came with that.

In any case here is what I chose to replace my gear with..

1. Kept the Raymarine Radar and C80 (as the radar display), moved to nav station.
2. Replaced C80 at the helm with B&G Zeus 2
3. Replaced the ST60 instruments with B&G Triton kit (speed, wind, depth, gps)
4. Added Vesper Vision at the helm for AIS transponder. It also puts NMEA 2000 data on wifi and feeds OpenCPN on laptop (or any program that can read NMEA 2000).
5. Use existing SmartPilot with NMEA 0183 to Zeus 2

My entire cost for the replacement was under $4000 USD. A large part of keeping the cost down was reusing existing where it made sense and settling on a small plotter screen (7"). Going up to a 9" screen added over $1200 to the price.
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Old 10-08-2015, 13:53   #3
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

You have a 53' boat built ten years ago and made to sail around the world, so if a ten year old boat was in your sights--and clearly it was, why not ten year-old electronics? But where are you going to sail? How much did this boat cost and what percentage of that price might new electronics cost? Just because equipment is old, does not mean you have to replace it so if it's all working and it was good some years ago, why replace it? It really depends on your needs and your cruising plans of which you have told us nothing--so perhaps that would be in order. Other than a repeater that is not working, what is your question, problem, challenge, concern other than gear is old? These days, six months is old when it comes to electronics....
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Old 10-08-2015, 16:10   #4
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

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Originally Posted by Paul Annapolis View Post
You have a 53' boat built ten years ago and made to sail around the world, so if a ten year old boat was in your sights--and clearly it was, why not ten year-old electronics? But where are you going to sail? How much did this boat cost and what percentage of that price might new electronics cost? Just because equipment is old, does not mean you have to replace it so if it's all working and it was good some years ago, why replace it? It really depends on your needs and your cruising plans of which you have told us nothing--so perhaps that would be in order. Other than a repeater that is not working, what is your question, problem, challenge, concern other than gear is old? These days, six months is old when it comes to electronics....
Good questions all. We've been sailing for 20 years on smaller boats that didn't have much electronic gear so this is all a learning experience. We plan to spend four or five years in the Caribbean and then if all is well sail to the Med for another four or five years. Therefore, the equipment needs to be reliable.

I'm more concerned with the "it's trash if it's over ten years old" type of thing I've heard on this forum. That's why I asked the question about the quality of the equipment. If it's generally known to be reliable and long-lasting I'm not going to replace it. The value of the boat is pretty high, and $5k to $10k for new nav equipment would not be a big issue.

We plan to live-aboard and sail the boat for 10 years, so if I could reasonably expect the equipment to last that long I wouldn't replace it.
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Old 10-08-2015, 16:20   #5
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

Nobody can give you a definitive answer on the quality of your equipment--anytime questions such as that appear on CF, all you get are a whole lot of opinions one way or another way. What's the hurry? Use what you have and see what you like or don't like and then upgrade and see what makes sense for you. Don't rush out to spend the money now. What may turn out to be even more important is the condition of the wiring and connectors and general quality of installation. You have lots of options--take your time.
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Old 11-08-2015, 05:38   #6
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
Is the equipment below top-of-the line and worth saving? I've been told that Furuno is "bulletproof". Or should I just bite the bullet and buy new? I find the 1833c very clunky and difficult to use and layout routes in. I had OpenCPN on my laptop and have done the route planning and navigating with it.

I'd suggest you use the boat for a year or two while you think about it. The stuff you've got should be good, even if it might not have the latest and greatest, network integration (although the Ethernet Hub is suggestive of networking), wireless, whatever...

Over time, you might find ways to tweak your systems, which could be relatively painless with single units here or there, or you might decide to update all or only a portion of it... based on what you learn over time.

I don't seen an autopilot, which would be a good thing... but I still wouldn't suggest you run right out and get one of those until after you've got some experience with the boat.

Nauticast (?) might be able to reprogram your AIS for you; ask them (if you haven't already), before assuming it's toast.

-Chris
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:03   #7
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

Get all new stuff and gift all your old junk to Familyvan?

Sent from my XP7700 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:14   #8
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

Recent (or well maintained) paper charts, parallel rules, dividers, binoculars, sextant, hand bearing compass, accurate clock or watch, pencils, logbook.

If you can, have GPS. Radar good if you already have it.

Paul Annapolis comments are good & reasonable.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:46   #9
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

If it does what you need then only replace it if you like new toys to play with. Kind of a "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach. With today's smartphones you already have redundancy of GPS and charting for almost free (Navionics and GPS Essentials applications). AIS and radar are both high no my "like" list but not as easy (read cheap) to have redundancy but is possible.

A friend runs a boat for a very rich person and he now carries almost no spares on board. Instead of spending lots of money on parts that may never be used, he just eats the FedEx charge whenever something is needed. Can get anything on short notice pretty much anywhere in the world. The boat is twin engine so that resolves a lot of the engine spares at sea issues.

All comes down to what you want to do. No right or wrong here.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:48   #10
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

We just replaced all our electronics with B&G we used 4g broadband radar .zuess2 chartplotter s and a triton wind speed..which is 5 insruments in 1 once installed very easy to use and work flawlessly...just my opinion
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:03   #11
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

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Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
The boat also has a "Nauticast B" AIS Transponder, which I understand is junk now since it cannot be reprogrammed for a new boat name/ownership.
Are you sure? A little googling shows that the Nauticast B was based on the same SRT board as many of its competitors at the time. Reset of the MMSI won't be achievable with the "end user" version of the software which came with it but in the absence of other information I'd expect it to be resettable with the "dealer" version of the software (or judicious application of proprietary sentences which could be tracked down with a little sleuthing).

As others have said, don't ditch your electronics unless you have a reason to. I have 25 year old raymarine ST50 seatalk instruments which still do what they're supposed to and by a circuitous interfacing route can provide my laptop with data over IPv6. By comparison my 4 year old Raymarine AIS 500 which according to one dealer I spoke to has a reputation for reliability just failed for no apparent reason with a "fixed repair cost" (aka Raymarine don't bother repairing them, just replacing the whole board) as high as many new units.,
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:10   #12
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

Furuno stuff is very good. If you haven't used your boat that much, I would second the recommendation to use it a while first. Then you will know what is not what you want and what specifically to look for in new stuff.
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:11   #13
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

My plans are very similar to yours (carribean, maybe over pacific). Let me further explain why I changed my equipment as I think the other posters are missing this.

It came down to integration for me and availability for me. I wanted to add AIS so I began researching the connection between my plotter and AIS. Turns out Raymarine had discontinued the cable I required. So looking into a new plotter I discovered the headache between NMEA 0183, Seatalk and NMEA 2000 conversion. Although it was possible, it required extra bits and connections. The final straw that broke the camels back was when my Tri-data got water intrusion.

So now I ended up with a well integrated system built on rock solid NMEA 2000 connections. Its very easy to add new components. As an example, I just added 2 fuel senders that connect NMEA 2000 and show my fuel levels on both the plotter and the Tritons. The job took 1/2 hour to "plug" the new units in.
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Old 11-08-2015, 10:20   #14
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

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Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
Good questions all. We've been sailing for 20 years on smaller boats that didn't have much electronic gear so this is all a learning experience. We plan to spend four or five years in the Caribbean and then if all is well sail to the Med for another four or five years. Therefore, the equipment needs to be reliable.

I'm more concerned with the "it's trash if it's over ten years old" type of thing I've heard on this forum. That's why I asked the question about the quality of the equipment. If it's generally known to be reliable and long-lasting I'm not going to replace it. The value of the boat is pretty high, and $5k to $10k for new nav equipment would not be a big issue.

We plan to live-aboard and sail the boat for 10 years, so if I could reasonably expect the equipment to last that long I wouldn't replace it.


I go along with what several others have said.

- If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If it's ten years old its trash opinion is nonsense. Does the stuff still work? Can you deal with a slightly clunky interface? Do you have some urgent need for new and shiny?

Bottom line, I cruised for years with a VHF, paper charts and RDF and a sextant. As long as the charts are up to date what's wrong with using an older unit? Old or new, have a backup: paper charts, guidebooks, handheld GPS, whatever.

- Even if you do decide to change no need to be in a big rush. Play with the gear that you have, determine your needs from your personal cruising style and then think about updating.

- Cannot comment on specific models but in general Furuno is good gear.
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Old 11-08-2015, 15:45   #15
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Re: Opinion/Suggestion on Navigation Equipment

Much of the "10 yrs old.." comment is based on a state of development. 10 years ago, we had Analogue instruments, so lots of separate wires. Now we have Digital and they connect on a bus.
This does not make the older gear useless, just makes interfacing between things more complex.
I believe in the older gear, so unless you have a problem, stay with it but..... Make a plan for what you would like and any replacements or additions you buy, fit that plan, so you get an integrated system.
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