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Old 08-10-2010, 15:09   #1
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Tell Me About Garmin's Marine Line

I have a chunk of loot set aside on our refit for new navigation electronics on our new old boat. Never bought new electronics. Came across Garmin's Marine line and came up with a system, which I think ought to work alright.

Chartplotter
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=148&pID=37719

Autopilot & Control Unit "interfaced with chartplotter"
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=228&pID=68528
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=228&pID=13189

Radar - "Also interfaced with chartplotter"
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=151&pID=13489

Wind sensor, which also takes in temp and Baro readings.
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=288&pID=15014

This is my first cruising sailboat and Im not too sure how to shop for the right Nav equipment let alone use it yet and hope you all could steer me in the right direction. I plan on using it all, especially the Autopilot and chartplotter. Does anyone use radar enough to for out 2k for it?
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Old 08-10-2010, 15:57   #2
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I know nothing about your crusing grounds but on my boat the radar is the least used piece on electrial equipment Chart plotter first Buy the biggest one you can use
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Old 08-10-2010, 16:49   #3
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I hope that you are allowing for the drive unit for the autopilot. The first link under autopilot showes the corepack, but also says that it does NOT include the drive.
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Old 08-10-2010, 17:30   #4
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The biggest pluses about Garmin is the superb customer support and durability. The biggest limitation is being locked into Garmin charts.
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Old 08-10-2010, 17:35   #5
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Radar may well be the least used. But when you need it, it's very helpful. Long range is nice, but absolutely unnecessary.

It would be nice to hear some first-hand reviews here of Garmin systems, A/P especially, and how it compares to Raymarine's so-so stuff.
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Old 08-10-2010, 21:21   #6
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As for offshore

Radar has become even less useful now that AIS is available. But when your in dense fog the GPS is second runner up to the radar. You might want to add an AIS to your budget.

I'm looking for a VHF that the PA system will blast a fog horn every 1 to 3 minutes.
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Old 08-10-2010, 21:27   #7
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I have both a garmin and a raymarine plotter The garmin has built in charts and is user friendly The screen looks a little like a comic The ray marine is older but the screen looks very professional and serious it uses cmaps cards
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Old 09-10-2010, 00:29   #8
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Radar has become even less useful now that AIS is available...
Seriously? This does not show up on AIS. But is annoying to bump into.
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Old 09-10-2010, 00:42   #9
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My wife once said to me, “I’ll only use the GPS when it works like my iPhone”. I installed a Garmin 750 (touch screen) a few months back, and now she’s happily plotting the route for the day. Can't argue with that!
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:56   #10
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Radar has become even less useful now that AIS is available.
Absolutely, possitively NOT, especially without some strong caveats. At least up here in Maine AIS is NOT ready for prime time replacement of radar. IMHO AIS is a literally waste of money on this coast, at this point, unless you want and need to track the handful of commercial ships that move through very predictable passages, many of which can be avoided.

I have AIS and it is also NOT always real time, especially with pleasure craft of which perhaps 95% of the vessels on this coast do not TX AIS.. Out of 1200 boats in our mooring field I have seen TWO pleasure craft that TX AIS. Saw four more throughout the entire sailing season sub 40 feet, this is by far the largest boat population on the Maine coast. Counted about 10-20 LARGE mega-yachts with it but that is all in an entire six months.

Roughly 95% of the boats we encounter along the Maine coast are NOT displaying AIS, and neither are we with the Matrix 2100 so we are more part of the problem, rather than solution at this point.

When we do get a recreational vessel on AIS the system can be very SLOW to update the TX ships ACTUAL location. I have actually taken photos of my screen, see below, showing the vessel off my beam when the vessel TXng is now actually off my bow and already well passed me.

In real fog this is an UNSAFE feel good device that could potentially cause real harm if not used in conjunction with radar as a supplement or very carefully tracked during the refresh blips. In order to make the most efficient use of the AIS bandwidth available, vessels that are at anchor, mooring or dock or moving slowly are set to TX on a less frequent basis than those that are moving faster. The AIS refresh rate can range from as long as 3 minutes to as fast as 2 seconds for a fast moving vessel. The big problem is that not all boats are supplying SOG/STW info and you can be often guessing at the refresh rate. AIS class A boats are more accurate relative to what they are doing and tend to give the most information.

AIS, at least at this point, I feel needs to be used with respect if using them in an area that gets fog and with the understanding that only some commercial vessels (not commercial ships) and a small handful of pleasure vessels use and TX AIS. I have yet to see a commercial lobsterman who is TXing AIS and we have LOTS of those up here.

These photos should give you an idea of how inaccurate, compared to radar, AIS can be. We were doing 6 - 6.2 under sail and that boat was moving slightly faster than us but not TXng SOG. Look at my position on the chart at .3 nm range compared to the AIS vessel in red. If this was in fog, and your only device for collision avoidance was AIS, this could be very dangerous if you had not been tracking it for a while or they made a sudden course change. This was in bright sun so no danger and I only wish I had been spinning my dome. I moved less than .1 of a nautical mile when the AIS boat went from photo position #1 to position #2 in a split second refresh rate. Not cool if in pea soup and this is why I don't feel AIS is ready for a prime time "replacement" of radar at this point.

Sorry for the blurry photo.



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Old 09-10-2010, 09:10   #11
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Alright,
I am a firm believer in rather having it and not needing it than needing it and not having it. If it adds to the security for my family on board then its going on.

Thinking out loud here. With Garmins chart-plotter, is it possible to interface it with the autopilot and the autopilot actually runs the course plotted by the chart-plotter and in essence I only need to trim sails? Can I go one step further and automate an electric winch? And with my Garmin wind sensor I can trigger the winch to ease off when the wind picks up past a preset threshold. Is a configuration like this possible less than a small fortune?

If that works, then I could take a three hour nap while the boat sails over night and use the radar to trigger an alarm when any objects come into range.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:28   #12
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daddle & Maine Sail, Did you happen to notice at the top of my last post is says "as for offshore".

Both of your examples are for inland or coastal waters. When I'm out in the deep waters I worry about getting run down by the commercial ships and having a radar running all the time is a power consumer whereas AIS is not as bad. AIS may not be perfect but at least you know they are in your area so one can keep a lookout for oncoming trouble. And AIS has an alarm too.

For me Radar has one one function and that is in poor visibility. In the old days is was good for coastal dead reckoning along with the Loren C. Now GPS has replaced that.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:49   #13
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I am shocked at how many people feel that radar is not necessary. To me that is one of the most important pieces of electronics to have on board. I want to know what is out there at night and in bad weather and AIS just will not do that since most boats out here do not have it installed I can't see how AIS will keep you out of trouble.
Garmin seems to be a great value but I have heard the charts can be a problem for long range cruising.
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Old 09-10-2010, 12:13   #14
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I ambuying a new gadget soon as I get to the Caribbean (would be nice to buy it here before I go, but the price difference is DOUBLE!)

I'm only buying one bit.

What do you reckon its gunna be AIS or Radar?



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Old 09-10-2010, 12:22   #15
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I ambuying a new gadget soon as I get to the Caribbean (would be nice to buy it here before I go, but the price difference is DOUBLE!)

I'm only buying one bit.

What do you reckon its gunna be AIS or Radar?



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I see an AIS in your future.
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