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Old 10-04-2017, 20:19   #1
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Raymarine or B&G

I've been out of sailing for at least a decade. I just bought a Raymarine ST1000 autopilot to replace the old one that came with boat. The new one offers SeaTalk and NMEA input/output.

All my instruments are very old and probably will be replaced over the next year or so. I've been doing some preliminary research and I'm shocked by the state of the technology today. It looks like I need to hire a network IT consultant rather than a electrician.

So, the question of the day is: Should I consider SeaTalk since my autopilot speaks it natively? Or stick to NMEA compatible instruments only for replacements? Raymarine is compatible with SeaTalk but most other instruments are based on NMEA.

I have a smaller cruiser, so the only instruments I'm considering is speed, wind, and depth. I have a USB GPS antennae and OpenCPN on my laptop. Is there a reason to buy a newer NMEA or SeaTalk chart plotter, too?

The outlay for this looks like it could total up to $2,500 minimum. Does anyone recommend wireless over wired networks? I have extensive experience with wired and wireless computer networks. But have no clue what works best on the water.


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Old 10-04-2017, 20:30   #2
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

Since you have Raymarine, I would recommend sticking with all raymarine stuff. No matter how many times I am told that's NMEA makes everything interoperable I still think a common language for everything is more reliable.


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Old 11-04-2017, 13:53   #3
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

I'm looking at the i50/i60 Wind/Speed/Depth Instrument Pack for Raymarine. It has everything I want and need for a reasonable price. Does anyone know if Raymarine has a hub where you can plug everything in together to tap in with a laptop or tablet? Can you plug in a repeater multifunction display for inside the cabin?
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Old 11-04-2017, 19:48   #4
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

I went through the exact same process. My boat has all 90's vintage raymarine stuff. Initially was looking at B&G because I liked the sail friendly software of their MFD's and forward scan option.

I ended up with Raymarine. The new lighthouse software does pretty much everything the B&G does for sailors now. The new and past MFD's are all designed to be upgrade-able for years to come for both software and hardware improvements. eg) New sonar options. It was just simpler to get new raymarine stuff to talk to the old than going with B&G.

Now if you are replacing everything, I would just go with whatever gives you the best price/service warranty in your local area.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:00   #5
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

IMHO, the new standard for marine networking is NEMA2000. I wouldn't buy anything that is not clearly labeled as such. Some companies use marketing names of their own invention instead of NEMA2000 even though they are NEMA2000. If they do this, I won't buy from them. I chose a Garmin Chartplotter a few years ago mostly because it was one of the few I found at the time that was clearly labeled as NEMA2000.

I have a mix of Airmar, Garmin, Martron and iCOM NEMA2000 stuff and it all
plays together perfectly as expected.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:11   #6
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

Originally Posted by MooGroc View Post
IMHO, the new standard for marine networking is NEMA2000. I wouldn't buy anything that is not clearly labeled as such...

I have a mix of Airmar, Garmin, Martron and iCOM NEMA2000 stuff and it all
plays together perfectly as expected.
I have a mixed helm too, and everything talks fine (NMEA 0813 for the old stuff, NMEA 2000 for the new.)

I'd be OK with anything that's N2K compatible, even if the manufacturer has their own pet name for it in larger font, but I like the idea of taking them to task for trying to confuse things.

I'd never let marketing ploys lock me into any one manufacturer.

I've made a couple more updates since this diagram, but the networking all still works fine:
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:29   #7
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

I've been around Raymarine stuff for 30 years and never found it much above "Commercially acceptable"
Two generations of Raymarine chart plotters I've hated. Wind instrumentation and associated software completely inaccurate. I recommend you cut your losses now and integrate your "Seatalk" autopilot into networkable Nmea 2000
and look elsewhere for all future needs.
I personally love my B&G and their focus on sailing with their software.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:04   #8
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

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 cruising.

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, AIS, weather and charts 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 dash repeaters.

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
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Old 12-04-2017, 07:00   #9
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

Best thing to do is to try them and see which is more intuitive for you. Seatalk nG is NMEA 2000 with propritary cables, but you can get an adapter cable.

Ray is better about providing software upgrades for old stuff. B&G comes out with new models and orphans the old.
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Old 12-04-2017, 08:00   #10
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Re: Raymarine or B&G

From a smaller cruiser perspective as I am also in the midwest with a trailer sailor. I keep my autopilot divorced from the rest of the system as I don't want that thing getting any clever ideas...

I originally bought a Raymarine A67 MFD (last year) and once I started looking at integrating it to the Standard Horizon radio to put AIS targets on the screen and adding in wind instruments I quickly decided that it was less hassle to cut my losses on the Raymarine gear and just jump ship over to B&G. Additionally, I found myself being constantly annoyed by minor nuisances with the Raymarine that I could generally get sorted but everything is just a hell of a lot easier to work with when you have a standardized system like NMEA-2000.

I now have a B&G Vulcan 7 which gives me wind data directly on the plotter instead of having to have it on a separate display and allowed me to easily adapt the NMEA-0183 data from the radio to the plotter as well.

I have been pretty happy with it, although I did really like the option of using NOAA raster charts on the Raymarine (lighthouse).

Raymarine going in last year

B&G replacing it this year

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