Here's my comment on this. It is based on my experience with my boat and nav electronics
over 32 years,living aboard and bioth local and offshore
I began with Loran
C and now have maybe 8 or more devices which support GPS
My boat came equipped with B&G wind, depth
and log. Remarkably the wind works perfectly and has been atop the mast
for 32 years and a bunch of hurricanes. The log worked perfectly until the yard broke it at haul out
. The system is no longer supported so changed to a Airmar log and had the B&G CPU modified. I think the B&G log was better.
The decision will be informed by your boat architecture, your style of sailing and your budget
A MFD seems to be the display for radar
and tranducers. These things can deal with a whole range of inputs. You can even drive your AP from the GPS enabled MFD.
I have a ray c80.... I find it's fine but I don't like the user interface and all the menus. This seems to be present on all units with few "buttons" and many functions.
My MFD was installed in the nav station. But I am not there much of the time and so the display is not seen really. I now added a stand alone B&G T-7 which has NO imputs and an internal GOS antenna
. I mount it in a winch
under the dodger
and only use it for sailing. I can see it from anywhere in the cockpit
, but these things are meant to be viewed from no more than 3 feet I would think. The B&G had cockpit
I don't interface the AP with GPS but I DO designate a mark and get the bearing and input that into my AP and see my progress... course and heading lines on the plotters.
I don't bother with waypoint libraries and never used a route
in my entire life of sailing more than 40,000 miles. This is not needed...
Be advised that inputing everything into one MFD is putting all your eggs in one basket.
I find the T7 even less user friendly than the C80... I am not a fan of touch screens... but they too seem to be the interface we are being forced to use in everything.
My Audi has an advanced electronics
package. I can't figure out most of it and don't want to waste my time fiddling with this. I consider this a huge fail from Audi. Why do I have to struggle to see/find my odometer? MENUS
Keep it simple... and if you can use stand alone instruments. Networks are easier these days... but you need to have basic data available to you where you sail... and sunlight and night time viable.
I dread the day I will have to replace my system. I am probably too old to learn all the new stuff.
Keep it simple... that is a nautical sensible prudent approach