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Old 16-12-2014, 01:00   #16
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

From all the feedback I've gotten here (thanks to all) and a bit more research...

I'm compromising on a partial touchscreen interface.

It appears that broadband, albeit not as good as 4KW at squall detection, is decent, and the near range in an unfamiliar foggy harbor kinda makes the compromise worth it.

I think I'm going to go with the B&G Zeus2 7" with 4G Radar for about $3000, maybe will go for the 9" for another boat buck (or even the 12" for $$).

B&G seems to be the one really aimed at sailors, with cool features including SailSteer, LayLines, SailTime, GRIB, WindPlot, Tides, Currents, etc.

They seem to have the most charting options: Navionics, C-MAP MAX-N, Insight, Insight Genesis, NV Digital, & charts created w/ Navico Mapcreator

The most ways to connect data, etc: NMEA 2000, 0183, Ethernet, Video in, and options for Wireless & Sirius

The radar is OpenCPN compatible so even if I can't afford the 9" I can use OpenCPN on a bigger screen at the chart table.

And I can add ForwardScan or StructureScan options in the future.
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Old 16-12-2014, 01:04   #17
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

The B&G Zeus 2 is a great system. I would have recommended that except you said no broadband!! I'm sure you'll be very happy!!
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Old 16-12-2014, 04:46   #18
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgesner View Post
From all the feedback I've gotten here (thanks to all) and a bit more research...

I'm compromising on a partial touchscreen interface.

It appears that broadband, albeit not as good as 4KW at squall detection, is decent, and the near range in an unfamiliar foggy harbor kinda makes the compromise worth it.

I think I'm going to go with the B&G Zeus2 7" with 4G Radar for about $3000, maybe will go for the 9" for another boat buck (or even the 12" for $$).

B&G seems to be the one really aimed at sailors, with cool features including SailSteer, LayLines, SailTime, GRIB, WindPlot, Tides, Currents, etc.

They seem to have the most charting options: Navionics, C-MAP MAX-N, Insight, Insight Genesis, NV Digital, & charts created w/ Navico Mapcreator

The most ways to connect data, etc: NMEA 2000, 0183, Ethernet, Video in, and options for Wireless & Sirius

The radar is OpenCPN compatible so even if I can't afford the 9" I can use OpenCPN on a bigger screen at the chart table.

And I can add ForwardScan or StructureScan options in the future.
This is very much like my system, and I can recommend it. It's what I chose after much study.

Do go with the larger plotter if you can swing it, or better yet, two 7" ones to mount side by side (see below).

Another thing: I'm sure you'll be pleased with the 4G radar (I certainly am), but don't expect miracles from it. It is not radically better than the best pulse radars (like Furuno) close up. Happily, it is not radically worse at detecting squalls or seeing at distance. It will save you some power, and it is instant on, which are good things. But it is not in any way "revolutionary", as the makers would have you believe.

The sail-specific features are very cool, but create another problem -- how to display it. The split screen on my 8" 800x600 screen is barely usable. You would really like to be able to display the SailSteer screen and plotter screen at the same time, so you will start to want two MFD's at the helm.

With good heading data, the radar overlay works great, so you will not be too unhappy not being able to display a radar screen and a plotter screen at the same time. But SailSteer really wants its own device -- it's that good.

I notice that the hot professional race boats in the marina where I keep my dinghy do it that way -- two 8" Zeus MFD's on either side of the companionway. One set on SailSteer and the other on plotter.
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Old 16-12-2014, 15:55   #19
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

Dockhead,

I like your suggestion, two side by side Zeus2 7" units give more screen area for about the same price versus a single 9" unit, and the 9" unit is just bigger without increased resolution. I'd have to go to the 12" unit at 3x the price to get more screen area and more resolution, and I like the redundancy that twin 7" units provides.

That said, is it possible to to have the plotter screen displayed on the Zeus at the same time as the SailSteer screen is displayed a laptop or tablet?

Thanks - Rusty
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Old 17-12-2014, 05:08   #20
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

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Does the Furuno allow you to download NOAA charts or just comes with them preinstalled? If that's the case then the Furuno also uses proprietary formats, just allows you to use more than one proprietary format.

Our NN3D uses NOAA raster and vector charts, C-Map vector charts, and I think Navionics (i.e., there's a fourth, but I'm not perfectly sure what brand). All four chart types can coexist, and they're user selectable on the fly.

The NOAA charts are prepared by MapMedia for both MaxSea Time Zero (and presumably other MaxSea versions) and are available for download from Furuno and from MapMedia. The NOAA charts come pre-installed (in the U.S., at least) and then users can download and install subsequent replacements as updates are incorporated (although that's usually only an annual process). Not sure if MapMedia does anything to C-Map and (Navionics?) charts but they're available in the same way. NOAA charts are free downloads. Installation is simple.

AFAIK, the newer Furuno Touch versions use the same charting options.

I dunno if that makes them proprietary or not... but it may be that MapMedia adds some middleman process that deals with seamless zooming and scrolling... so the plotter (or MaxSea on a laptop or iPad) can display appropriate sections of various NOAA raster charts (for example) with no time delay as the user scrolls across areas that come from separate charts, or as the user zooms in on an area where chart scale would change on the originals.

-Chris
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Old 17-12-2014, 05:25   #21
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

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Originally Posted by rgesner View Post
Dockhead,

I like your suggestion, two side by side Zeus2 7" units give more screen area for about the same price versus a single 9" unit, and the 9" unit is just bigger without increased resolution. I'd have to go to the 12" unit at 3x the price to get more screen area and more resolution, and I like the redundancy that twin 7" units provides.

That said, is it possible to to have the plotter screen displayed on the Zeus at the same time as the SailSteer screen is displayed a laptop or tablet?

Thanks - Rusty
Unfortunately, you cannot display a different screen via DVI or GoFree than what you see on the Zeus. You can only mirror what's on the plotter.

So you need a second plotter to display a different screen, unfortunately.
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Old 17-12-2014, 07:21   #22
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Our NN3D uses NOAA raster and vector charts, C-Map vector charts, and I think Navionics (i.e., there's a fourth, but I'm not perfectly sure what brand). All four chart types can coexist, and they're user selectable on the fly.

The NOAA charts are prepared by MapMedia for both MaxSea Time Zero (and presumably other MaxSea versions) and are available for download from Furuno and from MapMedia. The NOAA charts come pre-installed (in the U.S., at least) and then users can download and install subsequent replacements as updates are incorporated (although that's usually only an annual process). Not sure if MapMedia does anything to C-Map and (Navionics?) charts but they're available in the same way. NOAA charts are free downloads. Installation is simple.

AFAIK, the newer Furuno Touch versions use the same charting options.

I dunno if that makes them proprietary or not... but it may be that MapMedia adds some middleman process that deals with seamless zooming and scrolling... so the plotter (or MaxSea on a laptop or iPad) can display appropriate sections of various NOAA raster charts (for example) with no time delay as the user scrolls across areas that come from separate charts, or as the user zooms in on an area where chart scale would change on the originals.

-Chris
So you can use all the different chart formats BUT they have to come from Furuno or MapMedia, meaning you cannot go to the NOAA website, download the free charts and use them with your plotter? If you cannot use charts unless you buy them from the maker of the plotter or their authorized source then by my definition that would mean the plotter uses proprietary charts.

So is there a charge for updating the NOAA charts from Furuno or MapMedia? If they are free (like they are direct from NOAA) then I guess it doesn't really matter if they are proprietary or not.

I guess the bottom line is... the bottom line. Assuming similar quality, coverage and accuracy of the charts how much will the charts set me back? I started adding up the cost of a complete set of paper British Admiralty charts for UK, Ireland and the western Med and it was many thousands. I think I stopped adding at about $6,000 and was still a long way from all the charts needed for a European cruise. Garmin chart chips for all western EU and the Med are about $850. I think the complete US charts were around $100. Have a ballpark for the Furuno charts?
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Old 17-12-2014, 09:56   #23
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

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So you can use all the different chart formats BUT they have to come from Furuno or MapMedia, meaning you cannot go to the NOAA website, download the free charts and use them with your plotter? If you cannot use charts unless you buy them from the maker of the plotter or their authorized source then by my definition that would mean the plotter uses proprietary charts.

So is there a charge for updating the NOAA charts from Furuno or MapMedia? If they are free (like they are direct from NOAA) then I guess it doesn't really matter if they are proprietary or not.

Have a ballpark for the Furuno charts?

Don't know if charts downloaded direct from NOAA will work or not, never tried. Mostly 'cause I never thought to try to do that, but partly 'cause it'd probably mean many individual downloads for a given area... whereas with the MapMedia versions, I get every chart for an area (e.g., US East Coast) no matter what scale with one click. (and I can walk away, do something else while the download is happening, etc.)

The Furuno/MaxSea/MapMedia charts for our system are here Products - Charts for NavNet 3D & MaxSea TZ and most (maybe all?) US charts are free, at least to me. The C-Map charts have a fee, as I think you'd expect... and I see some of the other Caribbean charts have a few too...

-Chris
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Old 17-12-2014, 11:01   #24
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

The Furuno Navnet3D charts are available as C-Map or Navonics sold through Mapmedia. The US charts are free. A mega-wide C-Map chart that covers a large area, such as the South Pacific or West Europe will cost about US$570.
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Old 17-12-2014, 13:51   #25
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

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The Furuno Navnet3D charts are available as C-Map or Navonics sold through Mapmedia. The US charts are free. A mega-wide C-Map chart that covers a large area, such as the South Pacific or West Europe will cost about US$570.

So that would be the additional non-NOAA charts that are available (we have and use both raster and vector, often simultaneously).


I know C-Map charts are vector charts; I haven't noticed those being free like the NOAA charts... looks like about $300 each, here http://www.furunousa.com/Products/Pr...ap+by+Jeppesen.

Couldn't remember whether Navionics was the other chartmaker for NN3D or not. Are Navionics charts also vector charts?

-Chris
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Old 17-12-2014, 15:41   #26
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

Furuno uses CMap and Navionics, as well as the NOAA raster and vector charts. There are also some raster chart packages for areas outside the US. All of these charts are recompiled/packaged by Mapmedia to a Furuno proprietary format.

The NOAA charts are free and updated regularly. You can download them at will. While technically they are provided in a proprietary format, this is because they are given the ability to be displayed as 3-dimensional charts both for land and sea features, as well as formatted to work very quickly when zooming, rotating, etc on the Furuno chartplotters.

Also, the Mapmedia packages provide sonar fishing charts and high-res photos that can be overlayed on the navigation charts. All for free.

So it seems a little over-principaled to eschew free charts which have been enhanced with extra display and usage capabilities, as well as provided with sonar and high-res photo overlays, just because they are put in a proprietary format to allow all of that.

The CMap chart package we bought cost $300 and covers the entire Caribbean, the US Gulf coast, all of FL, the Bahamas (minus the Explorer charts), all of Central America on both Caribe and Pacific sides up to San Diego. With photo charts, although they do not have high-res in most of the coverage. As shown attached.

Mark
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Old 22-12-2014, 14:02   #27
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

So any update? What did you decide on? Zeus2?


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Old 22-12-2014, 14:31   #28
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

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So any update? What did you decide on? Zeus2?
Planning to go with a pair of Zeus2 in 7", one at each helm, and a tablet that can easily be moved between helms for a second screen.

Thanks - Rusty
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Old 26-12-2014, 12:26   #29
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Re: Picking chartplotter and radar is so frustrating

If I'm in the wrong spot for this question would someone point me to the correct place?

I'm wondering if anyone is using the SiriusXM weather receiver made by AirGator for the WXMate receiver. I need the software that is for it.

Thanks,
Bill
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