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Old 24-09-2018, 14:13   #1
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Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

Hello All,

I have read up on the Posts here and else where Ref. Radar(s), Multi Function, with AIS, Chart Plotting, Low Power Usage, Reliability, Etc., Etc.

Some of you may be aware that I'm updating my I-37 MS for a trip to New Zealand and return in 2019/ 2020 ?

My Budget is Not Strapped but I don't want to over buy by spending big bucks when middle of the road bucks.. will still get me there.

Again, I have read up on Radars for a week or so. People vouch for the Funono as having the best service & good reliability. The others i.e. Simrad, Raymarine, Garmin and others get honorable mention.

I have read that Radar's are power hogs and that's sort of a problem. I don't plan on operating my Gen. or Eng. Power more than 1 to 2 hours a day. I'm installing Fixed Solar Panels as well but not good for night operation.

I'd like to tie everything together in a Multi-Channel System -- AIS, Auto Pilot, Chart Plotting, Radar, the whole deal. Now, I have limited knowledge of the new multi-channel systems. I'm a retired Army pilot and experienced with auto pilots, navigation and all that. What (pilot info.) that has to do with updating my I-37 MS is an unknown value, it's like I slept at Holiday Inn Jr. last night or something like that ?!?

So, I'm reaching out to the Real Deal Owner's or have used the Multi-Function Radars... with everything working together or can be wired up this way.

Also, I have a older Raymarine Wheel Installed Auto Pilot. It's going to be replaced with a new autopilot. I see that hydraulic actuated autopilots are or should be more reliable but higher cost. Again, electrical power consumption will be a factor on a long trip. I may be stuck with a up dating with wheel type autopilot due to power usage. My I-37 MS is 14,000 lbs, and should be OK with the wheel autopilots... from what I read in the spec. sheets.


Thanks in Advance,

Avery
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Old 24-09-2018, 15:59   #2
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

We installed a complete Garmin electronics package (except for radios and autopilot) before we left on our circumnavigation almost eight years ago and have been continuously pleased with its performance. After six years of use, the sailing instruments needed replacing but Garmin swapped out the old ones for new at a cost of US$100 each. Last year we sent in the GPSMAP 6208 and they completely refurbished it (new mother board) for US$500.

We have found the Garmin products easy to use. The charts have been mostly accurate but relatively high in cost compared to Navionics, which we also use.

Good luck, fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 24-09-2018, 16:16   #3
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

The chartplotter you pick locks you in as to which charts you can use. My Furuno supports either Navionics or CMap. For the South Pacific I think CMap is better.

While Radar is a power consumer, most cruising boats do not use it that much. The 24 in antennas give much better target resolution than the 18in ones. These are usually marketed as 4kw vs the 2kw. They typically do not cost much more or use more power.

You don't say if you plan to use your autopilot as your primary self steering or use a windvane. If the AP is primary, you should have a below deck AP for reliability.
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Old 24-09-2018, 16:42   #4
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

The Autopilot is my Primary Means of Self Steering. I have read that... below deck is the way to go for autopilots & better dependability. The wheel type units are not that good for the long haul, or so I've read. My I-37's autopilot was inop. when I bought my I-37. So, I'm ready to move up to a better & more reliable unit.

Note: It will be a very long trip without a functional autopilot (understatement).

Thanks for the Good Info. .

Avery
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Old 24-09-2018, 17:14   #5
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

Go one previous generation. Or something along those lines. You can save a couple of thousand sometimes.

You will save on MFD and Radar maybe, not so much on the rest (which will be hard to get "older" versions). Again, find some options here:

https://search.defender.com/search.a...c010+clearance

Compare the SimRAD Zeus 2 refubrished packages vs the equivalent new Zeus 3. It's quite a difference in price.

Now, keep in mind the complete price package and availability of what you want (eg Wheel Auto Pilot). Because you will want to keep Radar/MFD/Pilot on the same "brand". AIS can be a generic box like Digital Yacht or Vesper Marine. No problems there, it's all good ole NMEA (0183 or 2k depending on your MFD and chosen system). To be quite honest people talk about a lot of things with marine electronics; to me today the important stuff is simple:

- wifi to a remote device for the plotter (avoid having more than a main plotter, and just wifi the screen to some tablet)

- good touch screen, but with physical buttons (for the love of god that salt water will make your touchscreen unusuable sometimes)

- the cost and simplicity of wiring (carry power on the same bundle for example) can be something that simplifies install if you are going to do it

Look at the whole thing, and choose based on looks too. You will be looking at thosde wind/depth instruments A LOT.

Hope this helps.
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Old 25-09-2018, 09:28   #6
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

Gaucho and All,

I value your post (reply) and your money saving points make a lot of smart business sense. I have learned thru the years that chasing the latest version of computers out there is not the smartest answer.. money wise.

So, I'm going to look for a generation back model. I will verify that it was a four or five star model. I could save 50% or so and free up money for other items, 2nd EMB, 2nd Emer. VHF Hand Held, etc.

Thank You All,

Avery
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Old 25-09-2018, 10:23   #7
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFly_27 View Post
your money saving points make a lot of smart business sense. I have learned thru the years that chasing the latest version of computers out there is not the smartest answer.. money wise.
I agree with your thoughts as that has been my way of doing business as I got older. The younger me always had to have the latest and the greatest, so much money I've thrown away.

That being said I will throw out one caveat, even tho I am not knowledgeable in this area. You will have to do your own research which shouldn't be very difficult.

RADAR: I have read the latest models are much more power efficient than older models. I would assume, yes I know, that means much older than one generation back. But as I said it should be easy to compare power usage between models.

Good luck and sounds like a great adventure!
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Old 25-09-2018, 10:53   #8
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

I have just updated to the raymarine wifi only chirp radar. It draws only about 1.1 amp when transmitting. It will pair with any MFD that has lighthouse on it. My unit is a C95 that is great. I did not want touch screen in the cockpit. You can get the raymarine AIS but I found a used Icom for $200 that works beautifully. A friend of mine and I bought them at a boat show two years ago and got a pretty good discount. If your interested he may be selling his because he ended up getting the wired version. Mine works great but the one thing I don't like is it will not do a chart overly. Only side by side. I really like the power consumption though. 1.1 amp I can run it all night and not worry.

On the wheel pilot. I have a 20 year old Raymarine auto pilot with a motor and chain drive and it has never failed my. No seals to leak or anything like that. It is a bigger motor than the wheel pilot and is mounted below the wheel in an enclosed area but the same principal. My course computer is the original series 100 no bell and whistle really but it works.
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Old 25-09-2018, 16:11   #9
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

Agreed that linking everything into one screen makes the layout and installation simpler but there are 2 arguments against it. First is the 'eggs in one basket'. If the plotter goes down you loose all your nav, not good! The second is that there are some very good products in each category but often the best solution is not all from one company. For example I really like Garmin for GPS but vesper do some really good AIS transceivers with there own screens. You can link it together either with the old NMEA system or 2000.
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Old 25-09-2018, 16:50   #10
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

Last year I updated to a Garmin 741xs MFD with their radar and Sirius satellite weather and sound receiver antenna. I also installed a Garmin autopilot with a below deck linear actuator. My AIS comes from my Standard Horizon VHF via NEMA 0183. Iím very pleased with the performance. I can operate and monitor all functions through my IPad. The cost was relatively low and Iíve always found Garmin instruments the easiest to operate.
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Old 25-09-2018, 17:20   #11
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Re: Advice on Reliable -- Multi Function Radar w/ AIS/ Plotter, Etc.

I have strong views on the radar/chart plotter integration. Radar is fantastic when you learn how to use it. When close to shore, it gives you comfort when the radar picture matches the chart. When offshore, it allows you to sleep when guard zones are setup properly. When you race, you can track the other boats around you using MARPA and relative speed. Sometimes AIS may be wrong or a military ship may not transmit the signal (this past weekend, there was one warship in the middle of the shipping channel without AIS. When it got dark, the San Pedro Coastguard lost its patience and politely asked the warship to either switch on the AIS or move away from the channel). Anyway, you will use radar a lot more than you think.

The way to go is modern solid state radar from Raymarine, Garmin or Navico. All of them consume little power and have the option to interface to a PC without a plotter (for future use or to display the picture on a big screen TV below). Next, I suggest you get two identical chartplotters, one below deck, one at the helm. New units consume less than half an amp. You want identical units so that if one fails, you can replace the helm unit which is much more useful. Next is the autopilot, whatever you like, below deck is better. Then you must have a good heading sensor and sailing instruments (wind, may be two wind vanes to be on the safe side). Everything else, you will figure out. My favorite system today would be a Quantum radar, two a65 Raymarine displays (you can go larger if your helm allows) and the best gyro you can afford.

I also like Garmin for its ease of use but the Garmin autopilots/instruments are not popular, so eBay parts are hard to get. Raymarine has a very good used market.

During used to be better but it is no longer better (or the other systems caught up) and it is incredibly expensive both new and used.

Good luck,
SV Pizzazz
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