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Old 13-08-2015, 05:57   #1
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Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

I've been allowing myself to fantasize a little about building a new boat, a fantasy which might never be realized, but one can dream, right?

When I got to electronics in my thoughts about how to specify it, I realized that I probably wouldn't go with Navico again. Something which surprised me, since I have loved this gear despite the problems with it.

The whole idea and functionality of the Zeus plotters and Triton MFDs is fantastic, but I have had to learn to leave with constant bugs and glitches, and why should I? My system is better now than it was, but I still have constant problems with the pilot keypad -- it crashes at least every few days. The plotters crash from time to time; the non-touch Zeus RELIABLY crashes when you shut it down. The pilot gets confused. The worst thing lately has been a lag in display of project course line, which eliminates the useful of the plotter for close maneuvering.

I'm just tired of it -- it's obviously not engineered and developed to standards of critical use equipment, however great it is in so many other ways.

I think it will be back to Ray, or over to Furuno, next time around.

My last Raymarine plotter, from the Pathfinder era, never crashed once during my ownership of it. Not one malfunction or glitch of any kind. It worked like military hardware, and that's the way crucial navigation instruments should work.
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Old 13-08-2015, 10:23   #2
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

More items in my litany of bugs:

1. Won't keep a MARPA lock

2. False alarms, especially depth alarms.

3. Switching off an alarm sometimes doesn't work. Stays configured in the other instruments although it was turned off in the Zeus.

4. Suddenly announces "Arrived!" when still 60 miles away from the waypoint, and invites you to stop navigation.

I could go on. It's simply full of bugs. Much improved after the last software update, but still (3 years later!) not ready for prime time.
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Old 13-08-2015, 11:15   #3
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

I'm glad you posted this as I'm (still) planning my nav electronics overhaul and was strongly leaning to B&G in part due to your previous posts on selecting it and how you seemed pleased with it overall. I suppose I'll be looking more closely at Furuno and Garmin now. I like Furuno from a quality standpoint, but it *is* pricey $$$. Garmin has it's proponents and also seems finished and of high quality, but I'm a bit leary of a single source for charts for the plotter(s). I've heard 2nd hand stories of poor/incomplete/low detail charts more often for Garmin than for others. At least with Navico or Furuno, you have a choice of E-chart vendors. I'll be following this thread closely.
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Old 13-08-2015, 11:28   #4
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
I'm glad you posted this as I'm (still) planning my nav electronics overhaul and was strongly leaning to B&G in part due to your previous posts on selecting it and how you seemed pleased with it overall. I suppose I'll be looking more closely at Furuno and Garmin now. I like Furuno from a quality standpoint, but it *is* pricey $$$. Garmin has it's proponents and also seems finished and of high quality, but I'm a bit leary of a single source for charts for the plotter(s). I've heard 2nd hand stories of poor/incomplete/low detail charts more often for Garmin than for others. At least with Navico or Furuno, you have a choice of E-chart vendors. I'll be following this thread closely.
I am pleased with it. It's lovely gear. It's become a love/hate relationship.

Perhaps the latest versions (Zeus2?) have the bugs better worked out. But mine is troublesome.

I would never go back to Garmin (although it's what I started with) due exactly to the cartography issue -- definitely a deal breaker for me.
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Old 13-08-2015, 11:46   #5
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Perhaps the latest versions (Zeus2?) have the bugs better worked out. But mine is troublesome.
I thought you had a Zeus2 unit as well. You certainly talked me into the latest model (Zeus2), citing its faster processing, etc. Or maybe you just have Zeus and Zeus Touch?

Anyway, guess I am glad I kept all of my ST60 instruments, and the Raymarine AP. The ST1 to STng converter worked well in getting all of the Sea Talk instrument data onto the N2K network. The Raymarine S1 wheel pilot gets the waypoint from Zeus as well, and I've not had any issues with that. Of course, I run the AP from the Ray control head, and not Zeus2.

Radar install is going on now - while the mast is down for standing rigging replacement. Hopefully 4G will work well and overlay with Zeus2 charts. I understand no MARPA as I just have the ZG100 GPS/compass. I might be ok with that, for now.
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Old 13-08-2015, 11:55   #6
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

Hhmm I have the Zeus2 and haven't had those issues yet!

I don't have a B&G autopilot or Radar though. I just have a Zeus2 and Triton pack. I noticed there was a new update for the Zeus2 just released (July 30, 2015), but I haven't applied it yet.

I have very limited use yet, but so far I have been happy. My only complaint is the Zeus2 touchscreen can be pokey sometimes. I'm hoping the latest updates fixes that as its listed as one of the bugfixes.
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Old 13-08-2015, 12:43   #7
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

Dockhead,
Well, I hear 'ya!!!
It used to be that Marine Electronics were designed and built to help the crew / save lives, etc....nowadays, it seems like most of it is designed and built for the "wow" factor!! (just like a smart phone!)


Regarding Ray and his buddy Furu....I like 'em both!!

And, while my Raymarine gear (E-120, E-80, S3G, ST-6002+, ST-60+, etc.) is not current production, it holds it own against anything on the market today, and does it reliably, and with relatively low power consumption...
(my first software version for the E-120 and E-80, did have a minor glitch that caused the display to brighten/flash occasionally, but that was fixed straight-away, and have never had any issue, with any of it since!!)

And, speaking of our friend Ray, from years ago...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
When I got to electronics in my thoughts about how to specify it, I realized that I probably wouldn't go with Navico again. Something which surprised me, since I have loved this gear despite the problems with it.

The whole idea and functionality of the Zeus plotters and Triton MFDs is fantastic, but I have had to learn to leave with constant bugs and glitches, and why should I? My system is better now than it was, but I still have constant problems with the pilot keypad -- it crashes at least every few days. The plotters crash from time to time; the non-touch Zeus RELIABLY crashes when you shut it down. The pilot gets confused. The worst thing lately has been a lag in display of project course line, which eliminates the useful of the plotter for close maneuvering.

I'm just tired of it -- it's obviously not engineered and developed to standards of critical use equipment, however great it is in so many other ways.

I think it will be back to Ray, or over to Furuno, next time around.

My last Raymarine plotter, from the Pathfinder era, never crashed once during my ownership of it. Not one malfunction or glitch of any kind. It worked like military hardware, and that's the way crucial navigation instruments should work.
I had a Ray RL-70RC/Pathfinder on my current boat when I bought her in 2004....and while the B&W display didn't excite me, it was 100% reliable....

And, years before that, had a Raytheon R40XX (made by JRC, I think)...

But, back-in-the-day....early/mid 1970's....we had a Raytheon 3100....what a beast that thing was!!
100% reliable, but you had to use the black hood to view it....but had great target discrimination with its big 3'+ radome (housing a slotted-waveguide antenna)...
It drew 18 amps at 12vdc....but damned thing never quit...(after I replaced it, I had it my garage for about 10 years...and then gave it to a "storm chaser" who mounted it on his van, and he used it for about 5 years...)

Yes, I've used Furuno gear on other boats....but I prefer Ray....


Just thought I'd add some of my thoughts...

fair winds..

John
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:29   #8
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

Dockhead,

You are the only cruiser we know... Someone who's actually out doing it for months or years at a time.... Who's not using an iPad.

Time to get with the times and add some convenience and ease of operation to your life. Forget those permanently installed and usually out of date expensive boat show gizmos.

Buy a couple of cellular iPads, put them in Lifeproof cases along with a Lifeproof life jacket.

Had dinner last night with a wonderful, charming German couple who've been cruising for thirty years... The past ten years on their Oyster 53. I asked if they used an iPad.... "Of course we do... Doesn't everyone?" Was the reply.
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:29   #9
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

Dockhead, is all your problems just with the Zeus chart plotter? We have 3 B&G Tritons, a pilot controller and a Simrad AC42 AP (same as the B&G AP with a different sticker), and have had no problems with them, or with software bugs. There was a couple of bugs early on in the first version of the Triton software, but those were solved 3 years ago.

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Old 13-08-2015, 13:35   #10
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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Dockhead,

You are the only cruiser we know... Someone who's actually out doing it for months or years at a time.... Who's not using an iPad.
We definitely run in different circles. Not only do we see catamarans actually sailing and people cruising safely on production boats, we don't use an iPad for our primary instruments, radar or autopilot. We don't know very many people at all using an iPad for primary instruments, and don't know of any way to use one as an autopilot or radar.

Us, and many people we know, have iPads and use them as auxiliary devices, but there is a lot to be said for having small, independent wind, depth, speed type displays.

Maybe you could help Dockhead out by explaining how ARPA works on your iPad and how the iPad could control his autopilot better?

Mark
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:38   #11
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

I have an NSS8 with the 3G radar and a B&G wind sensor and dont have issues. It even plays nice with my non B&G AIS transponder.

The simrad VHF I have had issues, but I sent it back and the replacement has been working fine.

Having radar/AIS overlay on the chart is pretty amazing, and being able to switch to instrument/fishfinder view is great, no idea how you'd use an ipad for that.
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:41   #12
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

I have a Zeus/Triton stock combo on my boat, and I've had a different set of irksome bugs.

Most of mine turned out to be bus errors on the NMEA2000 bus causing problems like the Autopilot dropping off line (reliably) every time the B&G VHF with AIS receive was turned on. I've learned to avoid them by turning on the VHF before I turn on my nav equipment circuit.

Another irksome bug is the chartplotter crashing on boot when there's a B&G chart-chip selected as the chart source rather than the built-in low-res charts, if you hit the "accept" button on the splash screen too soon, but not if you wait for a minute. Truly baffling that one.

There is definitely a strong whiff of "not ready for prime time" with this generation of B&G gear.

Compared to my last boat, where I installed al the electronics and integrated a Garmin chart-plotter, RayMarine autopilot, Maretron wind instrument, and MadMan WiFi repeater and had ZERO issues with anything, everything working together just fine, I find having these issues with a stock all B&G system to be rather amazing.

Love the SailSteer screen though. I'd have a hard time giving that up.
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Old 13-08-2015, 13:44   #13
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

Dockhead, do you have a B&G VHF on your network? There is a thread about that, and I experienced this radio causing all sorts of buggy behavior with B&G equipment on another boat. Once that radio was pulled out, everything worked perfectly.

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Old 13-08-2015, 13:46   #14
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

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We definitely run in different circles. Not only do we see catamarans actually sailing and people cruising safely on production boats, we don't use an iPad for our primary instruments, radar or autopilot. We don't know very many people at all using an iPad for primary instruments, and don't know of any way to use one as an autopilot or radar.

Us, and many people we know, have iPads and use them as auxiliary devices, but there is a lot to be said for having small, independent wind, depth, speed type displays.

Maybe you could help Dockhead out by explaining how ARPA works on your iPad and how the iPad could control his autopilot better?

Mark
Nobeltec. Raymarine instruments and auto pilot. Furuno radar. iPads and PC. Six times GPS and chart plotting redundancy. No interconnecting bugs to worry about or exterminate. KISS.
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Old 13-08-2015, 14:49   #15
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Re: Tired of Bugs in Navico Equipment

I don't understand. You are using your iPad as an autopilot and radar? What is all that other stuff for? You told Dockhead to ditch everything for an iPad. BTW, I think he does have an Android tablet on board, as well as a PC. Does it have to be an iPad?

His current problems don't seem to be interconnecting bugs. As for KISS, don't your instruments provide data to your Nobeltec, autopilot and radar? If so, how do they do that without interconnecting? AIS isn't integrated anywhere? Wifi is still an integration, with a higher potential for bugs than wired NMEA. I don't think you have thought out your non-interconnection hubris very well, nor how KISS your system really is - particularly if you are relying on wifi.

Do you really have six ipads/PC's on board for independent chart plotting redundancy? Just an honest question. We have seven independent chart plotting devices and 11 GPS devices on board - many of which were acquired incidental to other purposes (our freaking camera has a GPS that can be used for position fixes, for example).

While we are happy with this redundancy, we don't use our camera, nor our iPad, as our primary instrumentation.

Mark
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