I'm a big Garmin fan. I retired my old 3206 today after almost 20 years in service
. I'll keep it under cockpit
seat as a backup.
Now I have a Garmin 942XS which is really nice. Same type of feel you get with a modern iPad. It also connects to iPads and my Android phone
very well via wifi
so you can lay in your bunk and see exactly the same screen
as is on the chartplotter. Chart updates and software
updates all happen through your phone
when it connects to device on boat.
I also connected the Raymarine ST60+ instruments via NMEA2k and Seatalk
converter so I get all the depth and wind goodness on the Garmin. Allows you see how tight you can sail. I also use a few of the racing
functions a couple times a summer.
Mine is a touchscreen, which I'm still on the fence about. In nice weather
, it's awesome. When salt
spray is blowing through the cockpit
, it can get a bit wonky. I think the tradeoff is worth it. I compared to Raymarine Axiom series and the Garmin was easy choice.
Connecting up DSC with VHF is pretty simple. I have an old but bulletproof Icom
M502. I just connected MMSI and GPS
to it yesterday. Works great. I'd probably spring for the new version which allows NMEA2K connectivity. NMEA2K is so much nicer than NMEA0183 but I have legacy stuff so I deal with it. I found the building of the NMEA2k network to be fun and it's awesome when everything just "works".
is connected as a GPS
receiver to my Garmin so it can steer a course with XTE, next waypoint etc. That's a handy feature to have.
I don't have AIS but if I did I'd probably get a Vesper as they seem to have the best following. Connect it up with NMEA2k
If you are getting Garmin for 40% off I'd say that's an even better reason.
I've only upgraded my chartplotter, everything else is legacy 20 years old but still works fine. Sure a new wind instrument or autopilot
computer would be great but I like those systems to be simple. The chartplotter is where I spend most of my time.