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Old 07-01-2020, 14:01   #1
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New old boat in need of updated electronics

I know this is a powder keg.
Me: Been all over Puget Sound over the last thirty years. Used Charts and Compass now looking at new toys and tripping.
Will be doing San Juan Islands in May and some Canada trips later in summer. Would like to setup as expandable or work with so far my head hurts and half the folks I talk to are dumber than the local pilings. Or very prejudice to a brand.
1.) New Chart Plotter/ DS and VHF with ais what say the crew?
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:11   #2
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

To quote Dirty Harry, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.

NMEA2K network, feed it depth, speed, wind etc. Vesper XB-8000 connected to the N2K network gives you AIS that gets transmitted all over the boat via WiFi as well as the N2K data available in the same Wifi hotspot. With AIS and N2K data available either networked or over WiFi you have chartplotter options from cheap (ipad or generic android tablets running fantastic apps like Navionics or slightly clunker apps like OpenCPN) to however many $ you want to throw at Garmin or Raymarine or B&G or (insert here).
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:24   #3
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

Wow great info. Now more study ing to figure out what you recommended
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:26   #4
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

The possible answers range far and wide. Depends on your needs, your goals, and your budget.

I mainly use a handheld chartplotter (Garmin 76cs), although I also have a larger one mounted at the chart table (Garmin 721), and also use iNavx with Navionics charts on my iPad.

Depthsounder: Major ones are Garmin and Raymarine. Lowrance, Furuno, Hummingbird are other brands. Relatively easy to swap out existing one if you're out of the water. If no thru-hull, then I'd mount it to shoot-thru-the-hull (unless your hull is inappropriate).

VHF: Again, lots of good options. If you only want AIS-receive then there are a number of good radios cheaply available. AIS transceive is slightly more expensive and complicated (but not much). Vesper seems to be a good choice.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:36   #5
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekdiver View Post
Wow great info. Now more study ing to figure out what you recommended
What is the boat? is there an autopilot and if a yacht do you want wind/depth/speed on the chart plotter in addition to the existing instruments?

Simple set up with Raymarine would be a small network with CP, VHF, AIS linked together by NMEA2000 network called SeatalkNG for RM. B&G have similar products and NMEA2000 connections. Easy to add autopilot into the mix if required or at a later date. All plug and play now with these manufactures.

Older instruments (Wind/speed/depth) can be added via converters.

A number of AIS transponders have wifi so can connect to an iPad if you need.

Deals will end shortly as the season kicks off and folk start getting ready for Spring so worth looking on line before then. Or visit local dealer and see if they can do a deal on a package, so they keep there turnover going during a bleak month.

The autopilot, CP, VHF and AIS is pretty much our network and apart from AIS, stuck with Raymarine to avoid compatibility problems.

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Old 08-01-2020, 08:44   #6
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

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Originally Posted by tekdiver View Post
....... half the folks I talk to are ........ very prejudice to a brand.
People tend to gravitate to what they are familiar with. The next generation of a brands product will likely look and work somewhat similar to the previous version, and use similar nomenclature.

Folks are typically introduced to a specific brand because it is what was on their first boat, or their friends boat, etc. Then when upgrade time comes, it's perceived to be easier to integrate and use the same brand. Time and repetition tend to reinforce such behavior and resulting opinions.

Asking people's opinions while simultaneously attempting to dismiss people's opinions is a bit of a paradox. You're going to get the same replies and opinions here that you get on the dock. Same people, different medium.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:27   #7
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

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Originally Posted by rudykruger View Post
NMEA2K network, feed it depth, speed, wind etc. Vesper XB-8000 connected to the N2K network gives you AIS that gets transmitted all over the boat via WiFi as well as the N2K data available in the same Wifi hotspot. With AIS and N2K data available either networked or over WiFi you have chartplotter options from cheap (ipad or generic android tablets running fantastic apps like Navionics or slightly clunker apps like OpenCPN) to however many $ you want to throw at Garmin or Raymarine or B&G or (insert here).
What RudyKruger said. I went 2,000 miles to Alaska and back from Anacortes with this setup, running Navionics on iPad and Opencpn on a Mac as backup. They alwauys agreed, by the way. He didn't mention radar, which I would personally want on board.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:36   #8
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

Don't come to Canada without a radar
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:40   #9
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

Since your buying a new system I suggest making sure everything is NMEA 2K and then add components as you need.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:45   #10
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekdiver View Post
I know this is a powder keg.
Me: Been all over Puget Sound over the last thirty years. Used Charts and Compass now looking at new toys and tripping.
Will be doing San Juan Islands in May and some Canada trips later in summer. Would like to setup as expandable or work with so far my head hurts and half the folks I talk to are dumber than the local pilings. Or very prejudice to a brand.
1.) New Chart Plotter/ DS and VHF with ais what say the crew?
Greetings!
Sailing the San Juans and Southern Gulf Islands is a breeze.
We do it every year, Canada, with extra time.
Last year, we sailed the end of September to October.
A great easy trip this year.
In other years I've single handed this year I had crew.
The equiptment I had,
7" color CP, Older Standard Horizon CP150
Standard Horizon VHF w/AIS receive, 2 LARGE RADAR REFLECTORS HIGH UP‼️
Signal horn- Eco horn.
Honda 1000 inverted power generator
Faria depth display and transducer.

My wish list:
A nice Color Radar display.
With chart overlay.
Good Depth sounder

Shipping lanes here are used regularly, but the traffic depends.
I've in the past, used Seattle VTS, Canadian vessel traffic control to inquire on possible container ships rounding blind areas, Haro at Boundary Pass, calling before beginning crossing there.

I'm not sailing at nite, although have many times, as it's difficult to see any debris or post heads sticking up.
Your largest difficulty would be occasional heavy wind, use WX, check before leaving.

And patchy to blanket Fog, common in late summer early Fall.
Been in both, used only CP.

AIS, didn't tell me when the Trident Sub. Popped up not more than 500 ft from me, or the Destroyer accompanying it.
Ghosting out of the Fog, but they planned that cause they were on the Bridge with Eyes on ME!!
I do carry a portable GPS, cell phone.
You'll want a good cabin heater for those rainy, colder spells.

Do you really need to know wind speed?
You'll know if you need to reef I'm guessing.
Wind direction? Relative to course and heading.
Depth is important‼️
Most important thing.
Stay within channel markings, esp around areas heavily silted in, Padilla Bay is a Good example.

You'll find current is variable with where you want to go, so Things like Capt.Jack tide charts help a lot with timing your passages with the Puget Sound in mind.
Higher and lower tide exchanges happen mainly during Solstice and the Equinox.
Large exchanges require knowledge of very powerful Currents and Rocky areas.
For easier install use the NEMA 2000 components!

It's really not that difficult.
Cheers,
SV Cloud Duster
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Old 08-01-2020, 13:12   #11
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New old boat in need of updated electronics

IMHO only buy what doesn’t work. There is a GREAT article in this month’s Practical Sailor written by a very intelligent delivery captain that you would find useful.

On my boat there is SeaTalkNG, NMEA0183, NMEA2k and SeaTalk-1 all playing nicely and streaming on WiFi.
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Old 08-01-2020, 13:15   #12
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

I was in the same position with my 1976 Grand Banks, which I acquired 2.5 years ago. It has a sound hull and running gear with many of the well-known time-related deficiencies repaired or replaced, but was purchased (and priced) very much as a project boat. The previous owner replaced the ancient central electrical system and when doing that removed *all* of the old electronics gear including the ancient radios, radar, and other instruments. I considered this lack of instruments a positive thing in the purchase since I could start with a clean slate with instruments and not have the anxiety of trying to decide whether to replace or integrate with older junk.

I ended up going with a Garmin multifunction chart plotter unit (multifunction display, or MFD) with built-in depth sounder, sonar, and radar processing capabilities. As a central brain it minimizes the need for extra screens for these common functions. Like most multifunction central brains from the major vendors, it can work with many other NMEA-2000 standard devices like AIS receivers or transponders, wind systems, tank level systems, and engine monitoring and control systems. All the major vendors offer primary multifunction chart plotters that can perform these functions, so choose the primary functional integrations that you want and then choose a vendor and the model of MFD that supports your requirements.

To my Garmin MFD, I added a Garmin depth transducer, Garmin AIS 800 transceiver, a VHF radio with GPS receiver, and a second VHF radio with GPS and AIS receiver capability. Both radios have DSC (digital selective calling). I chose Standard Horizon radios for their cost effectiveness and features. Garmin radios have some integrations with the Garmin MFD, but I didn't feel that the features were worth the extra coin. The Standard Horizon radios use the older NMEA 0183 bus standard, but can be bridged into the NMEA 2000 network as backup inputs as needed. I wanted two radios for redundancy and the GPS and AIS features as backups to the main system, so I didn't require that they be integrated into the central MFD. I am an information security engineer by career and tend to think about redundancy and risk management by default when practical to do so.

I consider the above equipment my personal essential toolkit on the boat for safety. Navigation duties can be handled reasonably with Navionics or other software nav package on an iPad (must be cell-capable), and I do have that for planning and backup but I prefer to have an integrated central system with depth, radar, and AIS as the boat's central nervous system. I added a Garmin radar dome to the above essential equipment because I plan to do more year-round boating here in the Puget Sound with its standard dose of crummy weather in the non-summer seasons, and radar is a valuable data input at night and when visibility is limited.

It is boat show season in many regions of the country. Boat shows are a great place to make a deal for equipment bundles at discounts from vendors. As long as you start a conversation with serious intent with a vendor or reseller they will usually honor any show discounts for a couple of weeks after the show. This lifts the pressure of "buy now" that you can sometimes get at the show. The Seattle show is January 24 through February 1.

Best of luck with your research.
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Old 08-01-2020, 14:34   #13
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

As others have said, start with putting in an NMEA 2000 (N2K) backbone. Stick with the recommended DeviceNet connectors. I find the Maretron cables and multi-connection boxes to be the best way to go. Then use "smart" transducers from Airmar (depth, speed, temp) which will output direct to the backbone. It is possible to buy adapters for old transducers to connect to N2K but I think it is better to put that money towards the newer smart units, and they aren't that much money. Do not waste your money on proprietary transducers - they are almost always Airmar units with different labels and higher prices.

In my backbone I placed a multi-connection box at the nav station, another in the saloon for the compass and AP controller, and a third in the head at the base of the mast (for depth, speed, and eventually weather sensors).

Choosing the chartplotter is probably the most difficult choice. Any of the major suppliers will do the job, today. Some have a reputation for dropping support for new charts just a few years down the road, so avoid unless you plan on replacing the chartplotter every 5-10 years. Do spend some time to understand the chart options. Garmin famously sells their own charts. Others offer C-Map or Navionics, or both. Some include NOAA charts (US) for free. Others bundle some commercial charts. Also, some units are very easy to use, in part because they have fewer features than other units. It is hard to know if features that may be desired in the future are present: fully featured systems have far more features than would be of interest. I have helped install most of the major brands, and in most cases there is one or more desired features missing (not that they are critical).

Tied to the choice of chartplotter is the radar. These days if the bank account allows a solid state radar scanner is the best choice, but traditional radars work well at a lower price. Navico (including Simrad, B&G, Lowrance) led the way in solid state radar but today others offer comparable products.

Personally I am very glad that I decided on spending the extra money for my Furuno chartplotter. Furuno is professional-grade equipment, and has an incredible number of features. It also comes with NOAA charts, updated annually for free. Both Navionics and C-map charts are available. The NA service is just up the Columbia River in Camas, WA, and the techs are very helpful (they are in the booth at the Seattle Boat Show). I appreciate that most won't want to spend the extra money for Furuno, but I assure you that you are getting more for that money.

Greg
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Old 08-01-2020, 16:06   #14
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

Great info. Yeah will be headed to Seattle boat show Do a whole day and take some classes and see what I can learn
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Old 08-01-2020, 17:19   #15
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Re: New old boat in need of updated electronics

Quote:
Originally Posted by tekdiver View Post
I know this is a powder keg.
Me: Been all over Puget Sound over the last thirty years. Used Charts and Compass now looking at new toys and tripping.
Will be doing San Juan Islands in May and some Canada trips later in summer. Would like to setup as expandable or work with so far my head hurts and half the folks I talk to are dumber than the local pilings. Or very prejudice to a brand.
1.) New Chart Plotter/ DS and VHF with ais what say the crew?

I have also sailed all over the Northwest, BC, and Alaska over the last 24 years; early on with charts, dividers, and a Garmin 45 GPS...I still have all the charts. Think about what informational functions you want rather than the glitter of new toys, bells and whistles the Boat Show will be trying to sell you. Whatever electronics you buy this year will be outdated next year.

I use my laptop with Coastal Explorer charts. They are local, very good support, and they have Canadian charts available as well. I plot my route and then copy it to my Garmin GPSmap 76CSx handheld which is powered from the house bank and positioned at the helm.

I use a Vesper Marine Watchmate 850 AIS plus a Vesper Marine SP160 splitter with my older fixed Icom VHF. It plugs into my laptop and displays the targets and also provides the GPS source for the charts...never had a problem with the setup which was easy to install. AIS is very handy and the 850 lets them see YOU as well as you see THEM...I WANT TO BE SEEN!

I still use the original Raytheon R20XX RADAR when necessary which isn't often, usually fog.

This setup has completed roundtrips to Hawaii and Alaska...I couldn't be happier or ask for more.

Good Luck on your voyage.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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