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    New Electronics and I need opinions please!

    I'm getting ready to install new Electronics i.e. Radar, GPS, Sonar, and likely an AIS receiver. I'm not up to date on who has the best packages with the best features. I've always had Furuno and I don't think you can go wrong choosing that system, but I find it to be seemingly much more expensive than say Garmin or Lowrance. I'm just starting research on this but need to make a decision soon and get it installed before April Halibut season. I am an avid fisherman usually in depths of 600ft or more, I only need one screen but it needs to be at least 10". I only use my Radar for close in navigation but wouldn't mind being able to overlay weather. If you would, I would really like to hear opinions to help me decide.

    Thanks,
    Wayne,

    Washington State, Salish Sea, Everett

    1993 2859, 5.7L, Bravo 2, Seahawk II MMSI 338384974
    1988 Trophy 2160, 4.3L, VP Duoprop MMSI 338120888
    1988 1750 Bass & Ski, Force 125

    #2
    Wayne, I had to replace my radar a year and a half ago and it was an eye opener. What I found was the multi function display system is pretty cool. I went with a Garmin 942 display and radar antenna kit. It has the gpsmap built in and I added the coastal maps. Installation was easy and the screens intuitive. Last summer I added a transducer and can now get totally distracted by the information options. The system also sets up a WiFi so I can use my iPad and iPhone as remote units. I can add AIS at some point and can use either 0183 or a backbone for integration. I’m not a big fan of any one manufacturer, I just have used Garmin for my gps for years and am keeping things as compatible as I can. I had no problem downloading my waypoints and routes from my Garmin 525 card and still use that unit as a backup.
    I will admit that it was confusing when shopping because of the supplemental features. The one thing that annoys me is that the gps will zoom in much closer than the radar. I haven’t tried to bring the gps to 1/8 mile and see what happens with the radar scan yet, but while navigating the Snohomish River I want the map that detailed, but the radar doesn’t go that close. Next time I’m out I’m going to try it, but it may be a case of zooming in as close as I can on the radar and using the Garmin 525 to keep me in the channel.
    Good hunting for what’s going to work for you.
    P/C Pete
    Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
    1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
    Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
    MMSI 367770440

    Comment


    • Seahawk II
      Seahawk II commented
      Editing a comment
      Pete, I've had lots of Garmin fish/depth finders over the years and always found them to be good units. So this is part of brining myself up to date on what's available and works well. Subjectively, Furuno and Ray Marine were consider the gold standard on integrating everything together in a salt environment . Garmin and Lowrance were considered fresh water gear. Wayne

    #3
    The brand names and models will be up to you.

    As for powering these new items, I would strongly suggest bringing a new fresh dedicated circuit forward.
    This means both the Positive and the Negative and sized appropriately.
    In other words, DO NOT power these items from the OEM hull harness.


    .
    Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
    2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
    Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
    Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
    Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

    Comment


    • Seahawk II
      Seahawk II commented
      Editing a comment
      Rick, I agree completely, dedicated circuit. The voltage drop from the OEM harness causes the unit to frequently re-boot on engine restart. Wayne

    #4
    My old boat had a Furuno Radar that was early 2000's vintage. It was far superior in picking up targets to the Garmin 24 Fantom that I bought when I replaced the non-functioning Raytheon. Granted I had a lot more hours on it than I do the Garmin, but for ease of use and having the ability to overlay onto charts probably washes out in the end.

    If I was using this Garmin for finding birds for fishing I would be greatly disappointed, but for navigating and easy installation it is a good unit. I think part of the target recognition is that some of the small stuff gets lost with color gradiants and overlay. The old monochromatic CRT was much more binary.

    This all can be done on the 7" but I think the 9" is the practical limit on how small to go and use as a single MFD if you are going to have radar. Bigger is better to get all this information but there are practical limits to what fits each boat physically, what the user wants to do, and how much you want to spend.

    I looked at some of the other manufactures stuff but the Garmin equipment brings a lot of value for what you pay and if you hunt around there are enough sellers of the stuff that you can do quite well against MSRP.
    1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
    1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
    Nobody gets out alive.

    Comment


    • Seahawk II
      Seahawk II commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree, 9" MFD minimum but I a want 10" or larger. Even a 9" display is pretty small for my old eyes when trying to navigate in crap weather. I have a 10" MFD on the 2159 Trophy and had in on my Victoria. On the Victoria I cut a hole to fit it inset to the left of the instrument panel. The back of it was accessible in the head. On the 2159 I put it on a swing arm that swung through the door from around the inside of the cuddy. That works well because I can swing it back into the cuddy and lock the door. Out of sight out of mind. On the 2859 I have that big platform/dash right above the instrument panel.

    #5
    Anyone using Lowrance? I have a friend that is a Lowrance devotee but I've lost contact. Anyway thanks for the input and please keep it coming. Thanks!
    Wayne,

    Washington State, Salish Sea, Everett

    1993 2859, 5.7L, Bravo 2, Seahawk II MMSI 338384974
    1988 Trophy 2160, 4.3L, VP Duoprop MMSI 338120888
    1988 1750 Bass & Ski, Force 125

    Comment


    • Gsherwood
      Gsherwood commented
      Editing a comment
      I use Simrad, same overall company. I have the GO 7” XSE which doesn’t support radar. Nice unit though and usually bundled with a nice transducer. I will buy a 9” that supports radar for the other helm.

    #6
    I have all the same questions I've been looking around and the Furuno stuff looks amazing but you pay for it. From what I've seen Garmin seems to have the price point. One thing I still don't understand. If I have brand A rader. and brand B MFD if they both have nema2000 back bone will they work together?
    1992 2452
    5.0 alpha1 gen2

    Comment


    • Gsherwood
      Gsherwood commented
      Editing a comment
      You need marine Ethernet for radar. There is unit , I think from Furono, that works over WiFi, but it’s low resolution. It will see ships, but not birds.

    #7
    Radar data doesn't go across NMEA background.
    1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
    1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
    Nobody gets out alive.

    Comment


      #8
      Originally posted by Seahawks II
      Rick, I agree completely, dedicated circuit. The voltage drop from the OEM harness causes the unit to frequently re-boot on engine restart. Wayne
      Wayne, ideally we would incorporate something like the BlueSea 7622 ML ACR unit that would prevent a voltage drop.


      We would power the new electronics circuit from the HLBB, and then use the 7622ML to bring the SLBB in during cranking only.

      I did this on my own boat. Works well.


      .
      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

      Comment


      • Seahawk II
        Seahawk II commented
        Editing a comment
        Rick, what is the HLBB and the SLBB???

      • Metrodriver
        Metrodriver commented
        Editing a comment
        I got lost with those terms too. Add ACR to the list.

      #9
      Originally posted by Seahawks II
      Rick, what is the HLBB and the SLBB???
      Ah... good question.

      These are some abbreviations that we have adapted over the years.

      HLBB = house load battery bank
      SLBB = start load battery bank

      A few more:

      ACR = auto charge relay
      VSR = voltage sensing relay (of which does the same as an ACR)
      MBSS = Main Battery Selector Switch (#1 - ALL/BOTH - #2 - OFF)
      BS = battery switch (on/off only)


      RIPWICTMT = Rick is picky when it comes to Marine terminology

      Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
      2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
      Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
      Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
      Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

      Comment


        #10
        Ooooo, you like opening a can of worms, don't you?

        Here's the deal...

        Garmin is easy but lacks functionality in most cases. If you have NMEA 2000 backbone and are wanting to display gauges then you need to go with either Navico (B&G, Simrad, Lowrance), Raymarine, or with Furuno.

        The way I see it, Furuno is the best... bar none. The moment commercial fishermen, Coast Guard, Ferries, Police, Navy, to name a few, start picking up Raymarine, Garmin or Navico... that is the moment I'll change my mind. And honestly, they have a great wireless radar that will work on your iOS or Android device without a problem... for $1,000. Otherwise their DRS4-NXT is the best possible radar system on the market. You can get it, and an MFD for about $4K. The cool part is that with Furuno, the Autopilot can be easily controlled from the MFD, so no need for a second screen, and the system is completely modular. If you already have a heading sensor and GPS on the NMEA 2000 network, then you can just purchase the Computer (and pump if you don't have it) for about $625. Other places you have to get the computer, heading sensor, and few other things all together which bring the cost up.

        Another great thing about the Furuno is that it is not picky about network integration. The radar uses regular ethernet cabling and will plug into your standard ethernet hub, while Raymarine uses a proprietary protocol which only works on Raymarine network hubs. Same thing with Navico.

        Second best would be the Raymarine, but be ready to pay through your nose because it is all proprietary so once you go Raymarine, you stick with Raymarine.

        Oh and check out www.seabits.com a friend of mine runs the blog site and does a ton of reviews on electronics. It is a rabbit hole you'll never get out of.
        Ships n Giggles
        1993 Bayliner 4388
        MMSI# 367412710
        Day Island Yacht Club
        Commodore

        Comment


        • Seahawk II
          Seahawk II commented
          Editing a comment
          Just went over to check out seabits and I agree a deep rabbit hole. Thanks!

        • Shipsngiggles
          Shipsngiggles commented
          Editing a comment
          Steve is a great guy. He goes over the top on some things, but I have to say that he BUYS all his gear and reviews the products impartially. If a company gives him a product he doesn't keep it and returns it. If he wants it, he buys it. So there is a level of credence I give his reviews. If he's not willing to put it on his boat and pay the money to do it, why would I?

          If you want to save some money, check out the Halo20 and Halo20+ radars and use OpenCPN as a charting/navigation option on a laptop/PC. The good thing is that the PC will replace an MFD through the OpenCPN interface, you can fully control the Halo radars through the software. You just need a good quality heading/gps sensor. The Airmar 220WX is a good weather station that has gyro heading sensor and a good GPS receiver for the halo. Then you can get one of the cheaper MFDs from them as a fish finder/sonar. You can find a refurbished Go9 unit for $500 which will also control the radar as well from the upper station. You can have a secondary mounting location for it at the lower helm for fishing purposes if you want to and just disconnect it from the top and bring it to the bottom helm.

          The auto pilot, I'd still go with the Furuno unit. If you already have the pump, then all you have to do is get the computer. With the Airmar weather station you'd have the heading sensor, and for $650 for the computer you'd be in good shape. Then you'd need to get a control display or two, and you'll be set.

          Honestly though, if you want to have a solid system, then you really need to just go Furuno all the way and get it done. It's not as expensive as people make it sound.

          - DRS4-NXT is $2K and it is BY FAR the best solid state radar unit 24" or smaller. It will do things the older commercial units won't, and that's saying something.

          - Furuno TZTouch 2 12.1" MFD is $2K, and it will do fish finder, control your GPS, and this is where your money saving comes from... it will control your Autopilot, so you don't have to get a second control display for AP.

          - Airmar (Furuno Owned) weather station is about $1,000 but it has GPS($150 feature), Heading Sensor ($550 feature), and Pitch/Roll data (helps big time with autopilot). So in essence you paid $300 for a weather station and $700 for other components you need anyways.

          - Furuno Autopilot is $650 for the Computer... that's it. You already have the heading sensor and GPS, so if you have the pump, you're good. If you don't, then you need to get a pump which is about $200 for an off the shelf brand. But check out the Furuno AP, it has some features that as a fisherman you'll like... like keeping your bow always pointed in the right direction regardless of the current so that your lines don't tangle up. It's freaking awesome. And it operates without the rudder sensor if you don't have one. It's nice to have, it's not a must have for Furuno.

          So with about $6K of hardware you've gotten yourself a full boat electronics setup that you can expand on later. You'll need ethernet cabling for radar and MFDs, a network router (Furuno is the only one that will support off the shelf network solutions), a NMEA 2000 backbone if you don't have one ($200 expense to start with), and some elbow grease and your own time investment.

          If you go garmin, the AP is $2K, no discussion. You HAVE TO get the heading sensor that's independent of anything else. You HAVE TO get the rudder sensor if you don't have one... and they won't warrant the install unless you get their pump (from what I hear, not verified). The control display is $600 or so...
          It's $2,800 for the 24" solid state radar. Yes, you can get smaller but we're comparing apples to apples here.
          $2K for 12" MFD

          You're well over $7K for a comparable system... price it out, I'll wait!

          Still need a GPS, which your AIS transponder will have so it's a wash... but with the Furuno setup you have GPS and heading data redundancy in case of failure. Plus as a fisherman, you really want the weather data in case the weather turns, you can pack up and jet.


          Same will happen with Navico if you go with the full set of devices.

          So, while Furuno might look expensive at first sight, it's actually a reasonable option for the quality of goods you get... I've heard of Garmin failing, Navico brands too, I had a 30 year old furuno radar on my boat that still worked... Like I originally said, the day that Coast Guard, Law Enforcement, Ferry Service, Commercial Fishermen, and few others switch away from Furuno... that will be the day I will think of other brands as better. Until then, Furuno is the king, all else are just followers.

          Coincidentally, if you look at Seabits Steve's boat, it's mostly Furuno gear.

        #11
        Good stuff! I'm not looking for weather station or auto pilot right now but I sure do appreciate the info. I'm going to start pricing and again, I completely agree with your take on Furuno quality. Thanks!
        Wayne,

        Washington State, Salish Sea, Everett

        1993 2859, 5.7L, Bravo 2, Seahawk II MMSI 338384974
        1988 Trophy 2160, 4.3L, VP Duoprop MMSI 338120888
        1988 1750 Bass & Ski, Force 125

        Comment


        • Shipsngiggles
          Shipsngiggles commented
          Editing a comment
          I wasn't looking at the weather station either, or the autopilot, but you start looking at the cost of some things, and all of the sudden you start realizing that you might as well spend just a tiny bit more and get more features. My autopilot is the old Autohelm unit, and it's on its last legs. You can't find replacement parts for it any longer so anything I do to it from now on is going to be to either make it work as is, or replace.

        #12
        Ships, Pricing out the Furuno system as you say is around $6-$7K. But I want chirp and 3-D and all the latest down imaging sonar for fishing. Buy the DFF box and a transducer and it adds another $3-$5k. Then add in all the rest of the crap to mount it and network it and you are looking at $10k. No doubt a fantastic system with the ability to add weather, auto-pilot, and AIS but I'm was thinking/hoping to go all in at around $4K, meaning radar, sonar, AIS. With the ability to add weather and auto-pilot later. I'm going to keep pricing, learning and take a deeper dive into Lowrance. You are correct, "Can of worms", so to speak about covers it LOL!
        Wayne,

        Washington State, Salish Sea, Everett

        1993 2859, 5.7L, Bravo 2, Seahawk II MMSI 338384974
        1988 Trophy 2160, 4.3L, VP Duoprop MMSI 338120888
        1988 1750 Bass & Ski, Force 125

        Comment


        • Shipsngiggles
          Shipsngiggles commented
          Editing a comment
          Full 3D imaging sonar for furuno is about $1,500 with sensors and everything else. Not sure where you get the $3-5K. AIS is $350 for a class B transducer... so you really don't have that much more extra to go with.

          Again, when comparing like for like, Furuno is cheaper. They just don't do low low end. I consider the 20" Domes to be the lower end, same with the 9" displays. They are too small on either end to be fully useful and get the detail they need for some things.

        #13
        All in for $4K you will have a Garmin 9in MFD with integrated sounder module, high end transducer, and an 18" dome, AIS might be the one that gets you over unless you get receive only NMEA 2K module.

        I don't know the Lowrance / Simrad systems as well but you might get there at same price.

        I run a PC for my primary nav setup and have a Garmin 942xsv + 24 Fantom Radar that was all installed last year. Is it everything to all people? - No. It is however very plug and play and interface is quick to learn.
        1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
        1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
        Nobody gets out alive.

        Comment


        • Shipsngiggles
          Shipsngiggles commented
          Editing a comment
          @NotSure... OpenCPN is the only option for PC use. Furuno has TimeZero, but they are all crap.

        • kwb
          kwb commented
          Editing a comment
          I use Rose Point/Coastal Explorer. I have for a number of years across the last 3 boats. I had used Nobeltec in other peoples boats from time to time. Early on I played with OpenCPN but wasn't impressed and haven't looked back. I know a lot of people use it based on posts but I haven't actually seen the setup they are running. I will say that the 22" monitor is really nice on the PC but having played with the Garmin last season I probably would have happy with a 12" Garmin and not doing a PC. I am working towards a glass dash at some point and will then revisit if the PC stays or if I add a couple of MFD's.

          When I had the 28 and to some extent the 38 I went with the PC because the functionality of having the PC let me have my entire music collection, watch OTA TV, and to play DVD's. Now with the PH the PC isn't doing any double duty, music has all gone onto a USB stick into the back of the stereo, or we stream. Salon has its own TV & BluRay but again streaming is possible. Lots of changes in the tech over ~15yrs since I did the first one. The 15" display I had on the 28 would have cost nearly as much as the boat if I had picked one of the MFD's on the market at the time.

        • Shipsngiggles
          Shipsngiggles commented
          Editing a comment
          @kwb

          I run Coastal Myself because on my boat there is very little space for multiple MFDs and with a 24" monitor I can have the chart and all my gauges put together in a single display. I haven't seen any system so far, anywhere, that provides as complete of a boat management system as Coastal Explorer does with their Nemo box. With Nemo2 coming out in the near future, the functionality will be even greater. Now if I could just get a radar to work with it, life would be grand.

        #14
        TZTL12F 12.1 MFD $2695.00 built in GPS, built in fish finder, which doesn't appear to be 3D.
        24" doppler radar $2095.00
        DFF-3D black box $1695.00
        Transducer $1595.00
        Total $8080.00

        What am I getting wrong?
        Wayne,

        Washington State, Salish Sea, Everett

        1993 2859, 5.7L, Bravo 2, Seahawk II MMSI 338384974
        1988 Trophy 2160, 4.3L, VP Duoprop MMSI 338120888
        1988 1750 Bass & Ski, Force 125

        Comment


        • Shipsngiggles
          Shipsngiggles commented
          Editing a comment
          MyGreenOutdoors.com was running a special on the display for $1987 a few days ago, I guess that ended.

          I'll be honest, I didn't calculate in the cost of the 3D box... that is where I was wrong. I thought that all of the MFDs were 3D sonar capable, my apologies.

          I honestly am not sure if 3D is necessary, maybe add it on at a later time? Not sure what you would want to do.

        #15
        You are getting nothing wrong - that is the ballpark you get into. Your display size and 3D are the big drivers. That is why I said for your budget you are going to end up with smaller display, probably give up on AIS, and your transducer choices may need to be pulled back from a wagyu tastes to something more pedestrian.

        Gotta pay to play.
        1999 Sandpiper Pilothouse - Current
        1989 3888 - 2011-2019, 1985 Contessa - 2005-2011, 1986 21' Trophy 1998-2005
        Nobody gets out alive.

        Comment

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