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Old 26-11-2022, 08:51   #1
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Garmin or B&G

I know this is probably close to "which anchor is best" post but hoping I can get some useful feedback.

Through a family member I can get 35-40% Garmin products. I have used B&G and do like them and they seem to have more sailing features. I don't care about all of the sonar type fishing features that Garmin seems to be loaded with. I will be purchasing a chart plotter in the 9-12 inch range and 3 4" multi function displays. My sailboat currently has a Garmin radar and chart plotter. The chart plotter screen is all but non useable so I haven't done a lot of playing around with the unit. Not sure if the radar is compatible with the B&G system or if that will need to be replaced if I go with B&G.

Please offer any feed back with using either of these 2 brand. Although I love the idea of saving some money, more importantly is that I enjoy using the units I purchase.

Thanks
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Old 26-11-2022, 09:10   #2
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Re: Garmin or B&G

Radar is still proprietary as far as I'm aware, they only work on a chartplotter or MFD of same manufacturer. Also vintage may be a problem, legacy pieces may not be usable, your radar might not work with new MFD, you must check for that.
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Old 26-11-2022, 09:17   #3
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Re: Garmin or B&G

following.
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Old 26-11-2022, 10:06   #4
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Re: Garmin or B&G

Personally if I was starting again I would go garmin , but raymarine autopilots in a long tradition from autohelm have always been better if not the best for the money.
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Old 26-11-2022, 10:51   #5
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Re: Garmin or B&G

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Personally if I was starting again I would go garmin , but raymarine autopilots in a long tradition from autohelm have always been better if not the best for the money.
My current auto pilot is Raymarine below deck unit. Actually the PO install 2 complete separate systems because he wanted redundancy. I can switch between the two with the flick of a switch. I plan on keeping this setup for as long as it lasts.

I like integration but also believe our boats can be to integrated sometimes. I don't like the idea that one system can disable other important systems.

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Old 26-11-2022, 11:37   #6
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Re: Garmin or B&G

If you race or are a serious sailor, there’s only one choice B&G. Their data presentation is the best.

If you sail casually, they are all the same! Just comes down to what tickles your fancy.
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Old 26-11-2022, 14:39   #7
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Re: Garmin or B&G

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If you race or are a serious sailor, thereís only one choice B&G. Their data presentation is the best.

If you sail casually, they are all the same! Just comes down to what tickles your fancy.


I donít agree all the same info is presented on all the major mfd brands just differently Each supports ď serious sailers ď )
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Old 27-11-2022, 05:35   #8
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Re: Garmin or B&G

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Originally Posted by flee27 View Post
I will be purchasing a chart plotter in the 9-12 inch range and 3 4" multi function displays. My sailboat currently has a Garmin radar and chart plotter. The chart plotter screen is all but non useable so I haven't done a lot of playing around with the unit. Not sure if the radar is compatible with the B&G system or if that will need to be replaced if I go with B&G.
AFAIK, radars and their compatible displays are still maker-specific; no mixing and matching.

If an updated 9-12" Garmin MFD might be compatible with your existing Garmin radar, and combining that with your big discount possibility, seems like Garmin would be a decent choice.

We have a Garmin MFD, radar, and DST. MFD model introduced in 2015, approx. 2Ĺ generations old now, essentially orphaned except for chart updates. Works OK. Only vector charts, adequate, $100/year for annual updates. (Compared to free annual updates for NOAA raster and vector charts on our Furuno MFD.) I dunno about sailing-specific features (or not).

Don't know anything about B&G.

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Old 27-11-2022, 07:09   #9
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Re: Garmin or B&G

Depends what you want to get out of the chartplotter. If like many sailors you are using it for general navigation, hazard avoidance, radar, and depth then either one will work fine. If you are planning to use it to set laylines and better visualize wind data, and you have the sensors to provide the necessary inputs for this, then B&G might be a better choice.



Check chart availability for the areas you intend to visit. You may find that there are important differences, although this is less true than was once the case.



Plan on replacing the radar as part of the MFD upgrade.
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Old 27-11-2022, 08:15   #10
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Re: Garmin or B&G

If you plan to cruise to the Bahamas, Garmin is not compatible with electronic version of Explorer charts
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Old 27-11-2022, 09:09   #11
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Re: Garmin or B&G

If your chartplotter will be exposed to the elements at the helm, consider a unit that supports both touchscreen and buttons/joystick. A wet touchscreen will be frustrating and usually at exactly the moment you need to adjust it most.

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Old 27-11-2022, 10:14   #12
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Re: Garmin or B&G

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If your chartplotter will be exposed to the elements at the helm, consider a unit that supports both touchscreen and buttons/joystick. A wet touchscreen will be frustrating and usually at exactly the moment you need to adjust it most.

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I have never found that to be the case with my Garmin touchscreen. That includes five singlehanded runs to Bermuda in all weather conditions including a full gale in the Gulf Stream. Iím not familiar with the suitability of other brands touchscreens. Previously I was 100% Raymarine but that did not include the touchscreen feature.
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Old 27-11-2022, 10:36   #13
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Re: Garmin or B&G

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I have never found that to be the case with my Garmin touchscreen. That includes five singlehanded runs to Bermuda in all weather conditions including a full gale in the Gulf Stream. Iím not familiar with the suitability of other brands touchscreens. Previously I was 100% Raymarine but that did not include the touchscreen feature.

Great to know. My previous experience is with a tablet in wet conditions and it was a real pain.
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Old 27-11-2022, 10:39   #14
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Re: Garmin or B&G

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Great to know. My previous experience is with a tablet in wet conditions and it was a real pain.


Yeah raymsrines Achilles here is thd unsuitability of their touch screens in rain and now no knobs. They admit this in their manual to boot.
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Old 27-11-2022, 11:23   #15
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Re: Garmin or B&G

I think price is a perfectly good decision criteria because all the major chartplotters are very good now. They all have too much functionality making them more complicated than necessary. I have no need for 3D, stereo controls, and autorouting but seem stuck with having it in my chartplotter.

Garmin recently added a bunch of sailing features - B&G still has more but these are mostly aimed at racers (like picking the best end of the starting line). I just want a good apparent wind and VMG display for cruising - which they all have now.

Some dislike the Garmin proprietary charts but I've always found them particularly easy to read as the text sizes correctly at all zooms even when using Head Up display. Some charts screw up the text if used in other than "North Up". And now that Garmin owns Navionics and has integrated them into the charts, it's hard to complain. The chart updating process over the internet and charts are inexpensive (no need for the expensive "Vision" charts which are mostly for fishermen).

I've used Garmin on my last three boats because it was the one my wife found easiest to use (I had her try a bunch at a boat show). The interface does seem slightly more intuitive and easier to remember than the others. I don't think I've ever opened the manual. Since she's at the helm a lot, it's important for safety that she be comfortable with the navigation gear.

I've also found Garmin's reliability to be excellent and the few times I've called support has been quick and well handled. Networking is also well implemented (a place that Raymarine continues to lag). Never had any problem with water on a Garmin touch screen.

Finally, I think Garmin will ultimately "win" the battle. They are a Fortune 500 company and own non-commercial aviation which requires much higher quality than marine to pass FAA muster. Raymarine was bankrupt in 2008 when it was bought by FLIR. Before Covid FLIR put Raymarine up for sale but then stopped with evidently no good offers. Now FLIR has been acquired by defense powerhouse Teledyne who likely has no interest in the recreational marine market. B&G was part of a private equity "roll up" where it was mashed together with Simrad and Lowrance. It's not a very well capitalized company and presumably the private equity guys will sell it to someone one of these days to take their profit.
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