Click for Cheoy Lee Click for Abeking Click for Fendertex Click for Walker Click for Nordhavn

1985 46´Bertram Sportfish - Electronics/Display Choices

Discussion in 'Bertram Yacht' started by Navatech, Apr 11, 2013.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.
  1. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    OK, I have a (recently purchased) 1985 46´6" Bertram Convertible.

    It has the standard instrumentation on the flybridge (see picture). I haven´t had the boat in the water yet but I suspect that at least some of the instrumentation is either nonfunctional or malfunctioning. As such, I had an idea:

    2-3 color LCD type monitors. These would be used to present engine data (temperatures, pressures and various alarms), GPS, depth, fish finder, radar. I believe all this is possible today with NMEA 2000 technology. Basically I'm thinking of the equivalent of what in aviation terms it would be called "glass cockpit". A "glass helm" if you want. Am I crazy?

    Any ideas what I should be looking at?

    The boat has a Furuno open array antenna on the top of the half tower. It also has a Garmin GPS antenna there. In addition, there are 2 transducers in the bottom of the hull. Everything else (screens etc) is missing. Current condition of existing equipment is unknown. The boxes hanging on top are empty save for a VHF radio.

    How should I proceed with doing my homework on this?

    Are there any displays that are just displays (i.e. no built-in GPS, maps etc)?

    Flybridge.jpg
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    These guys have plenty.

    Hatteland Display AS - HD 12T21 MMD

    A glass bridge is not that unusual on larger vessels, you might have to settle for something hat has a few things displayed on the one screen for a vessel with the space you have.
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,749
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Keep all of your engine gauges regular gauges. You want engine gauges to work when all else fails and for them to work all of the time. Analog engines gauges are a lot more durable than lcd displays and computers and all of that stuff.

    As for the other electronics figure out what you need and don't need. I like to have two nice screens so I can split fishfinder/radar/chartplotter between two screens and at least use the chartplotter or radar on a full screen depending on what I'm doing and the other stuff split on the other screen. I would want all 3- radar, charplotter, fishfinder. Also a standard depth gauge that just displays the depth (non fishfinder) is important as well.

    Yes, they do make lcd screens that are just screens VEI monitors are very popular for example. But that also requires going to "black box" units. A little more complicated of a setup IMO.

    A glass bridge so to speak works great when your helm is in a glass bridge, not so well in an exposed flybridge on a 46' SF.
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Nice units, but not commonly used on the smaller boats I see around, I'd be more inclined to go with Furuno or Garmin. I also don't like touch screens on boats which tend to get bounced around in heavy water.
  5. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    Ormond Beach, FL
    I think you'll find that recreational marine electronics are not as advanced as those used in general aviation today. Electronic engine, glass screen engine gauges with separate probes for each cylinder and exhaust gas temp, turbine inlet temp etc are common on small airplanes but not so with most boats. I think the new big dollar diesels have some options in this regard but not for my Detroit Diesels.

    You might consider bringing all of the navionics down from the old overhead box ... getting rid of that and increasing the panel real estate to the left of the helm. GlassTech in Miami FL GlassTech - Bertram Yachts & Boats - Miami probably has a mold for a lower panel extension for your boat (they did mine). http://www.glass-tech.com/custom-consoles.html They will even cut the different holes if you send them the new Navionics units. Furuno has some wonderful glass ... two of their 12" screens would be lots of capability as they can do split screen.
  6. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    There's always the old analog gauges on the engines themselves. And if somebody has to keep watch down there then so be it. I've done it before. Plus, with multiple screens (the most vulnerable chain), there would be redundancy in the system. As for the sensors and "black boxes", they're all solid state and pretty much as reliable as the analog versions.

    I already have almost new 2 Raymarine C140W MFD's (taken off my old boat) so I'm more then halfway there. I don't have much use for radar but as I have the Furunu pedestal and array I will be looking into getting it to work.

    We've had all kinds of displays (glass) in exposed conditions (flybridges, CC's and what have you not) for decades now. As long as the units have been properly built for these conditions they're reliable. And that's why we have water proof standards.

    In short, I hear you and I understand where you're coming from, I even agree with you that you should always have a "Plan B" (preferably old school practically indestructible technology) but technology is going forward. Granted, the leading edge may not be that reliable but the stuff I'm thinking of has been trial tested now for at least a decade.
  7. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    Actually, much of both is spun off from military applications. As for advanced, this technology has been around (the civilian market) for at least a decade if not two. Last but not least, when something stops working on a boat you're still floating (practically indefinitely), when something stops working on a plane you're flying only for as long as your plane can glide...

    In addition, dual engined recreational marine boats are the rule rather then the exception whereas dual engined general aviation is the exception rather then the rule.

    Last but not least, it's possible to get a tow from another boat but (with the exception of a glider being pulled into the air) I have never seen a plane being towed.

    There's nothing there except for a VHF radio and an audio unit...

    Actually, I like to have my stuff in front of me. And, as for the "real estate on the left" I like to have an old school chart under a plexiglass plate there. Think of it as my chart table :)

    They're close by so I'll definitely will go and see what they have on offer.

    That's a neat trick (assuming you're not referring to plain old PIP which has been around for years). Having said that, I already have two practically new Raymarine C140W MFD's (taken off my old boat).
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,749
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Look, I've been doing this and running yachts a long time now. When it comes to engine gauges, you want traditional gauges that work when the key switch is turned on. You don't want to have to fumble with a computer and going through menu's to make simple engine gauges work. Every boat I've been on that has gone to computer based engine gauges (non OEM) with an LED monitor, they simply do not last. What is a lifespan of a PC on a boat like yours 2-5 years. What is the lifespan on any LED display on an open FB like yours, 5 years +/-. What is the lifespan on a chartplotter without any issues (5-10 years maybe). What is the lifespan on standard gauges 20 years a lot of times. Not to mention a PC needs AC power, so then you're constantly relying on another variable (a generator or inverter). Not to mention very few people want to buy a 46' Bertram with all of this stuff on it that they need an electronics guy on speed dial. They want to turn the key look at analog engine gauges and go fishing.

    But, to answer your question, yes you are crazy. Because none of this stuff will work properly in the long term and isn't really we suited for your size boat. If, you're talking about installing it on a 200' Feadship in a pilothouse, yes. But not on an open flybridge 46' SF that is going to get spray and bounced around.

    Also, touch screen is near impossible to operate on a boat like yours. If you're running at cruise it is a total nightmare in any sea over 1' to try to move your finger around a touch screen. That and it gets all covered in sun screen, salt and crap within hours making it harder to see.

    As for the black box stuff, you can install that, but it's overcomplicating your install. You need a place to mount the blackbox stuff, all of the extra cables to run, and again overcomplicating it. Also, blackbox systems don't like dirty power (noise) which your size/age vessel is probably going to have.

    Put your Raymarine C 140's up there, keep the analog gauges (make sure they work properly) and put your money into repairing all of the other items you mentioned the vessel needs fixed, or use it to convert the vessel to 24 volts. And yes, you definately should have radar and it is very important. Both for nighttime navigating and heavy rain or fog. I would definately like to have radar if I'm running the boat up from the Carribbean to Florida.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I have mixed feelings about a lot of the new stuff. I like the quality, clarity, digital readouts and the amount of info you can put on a screen, but I hate scrolling through menus and auto-tune. I just want to turn a nob or push a button that's right there to adjust my radar or put on an EBL, etc. The smart gauges that give you one or two items of engine info and then you have to scroll for more are ridiculous. I want everything in front of me at all times so I can constantly scan them without having to scroll through screens.

    I absolutely concur with Capt. J's statement above. Forget touchscreens on any boat that bounces. You have to brace your forearm and take a fast stab, and all the while your face is close enough to smash on something if you hit a wave. I also like stuff that I can open up and work on if it goes down, but that's pretty much gone today.
  10. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    You're assuming I was going to remove the existing gauges. That wasn't my plan. The "glass" gauges allow me to see the data from a sitting position. The existing gauges are hardly viewable from a seated position.

    You're a assuming a system set up around a computer. With NMEA 2000 and my existing Raymarine MFD's that would be entirely unnecessary.

    A lot of times. However, they can (and do) fail like everything else. I would have redundancy. If the analog fails I will have the "glass" and visa versa. The glass would also allow me to add gauges that currently don't exist on the boat. E.g. digital tachometers, pyrometers for the exhaust and boost for the turbos. Yes, one can (and many do) go without them but they're nice to have.

    You're assuming I want to sell. I just got the boat and I haven't sold a boat in less then 4-5 years of ownership. I think I'll keep this one for at least that much with one caveat, everything is for sale if the price is right. So, if I get offered a really good price I'll be more then happy to go shopping for a replacement.

    Normally there wouldn't be any "operating" of the "glass" gauges aside from "booting up" the display and possibly some small adjustments done while the engines are warming up. The one exception would be the "last check" system for night time watch keeping. Also, after I became a dad I found out that baby wipes have endless uses. They're like duct-tape in that way. So I keep both on hand :D

    I suggest you read up on NMEA 2000 technology. As for boxes (black or otherwise) and cables, I can stash a full grown man in the space under the console. As for dirty power, no electronics like those which is why a lot of stuff (like the Raymarine MFD's) come with a special box that both "cleans" the power and sets it to what the unit requires.

    All part of the plan anyway.

    I have decided to do the conversion in stages - when the need arrises. I.e. when something goes it will be replaced by a 24 volt version if I can't find a 32 volt alternative.

    This is one part of your post that I'm definitely going to heed (you're not the only one who's told me this). Hopefully all I need to get the Furuno unit operational is a used (preferably) display. Not so much for navigation purposes (both of the Raymarine MFD's do that) but more for what I call "proper watch keeping" purposes. Making sure not to run over or be run over by other traffic.
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    9,874
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Glad to hear you added this. Granted you live in the sunniest part of the Sunshine state, but pop it out to 24 miles and it's great for showing you where the edge of those scattered storms are so you can go around or between them. It's also great for picking up that buoy by the inlet at night when its light is obscured by the light of 100 boats fishing and the lights on land such as you'll find by Lk. Worth, not to mention the idiot that didn't turn his nav lights on.
  12. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,468
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Modern electronics have become too complex, loaded with mostly useless but cool bells and whistles relying on way to many boxes and connectors... Looks great on paper, cool to impress your friends but in the end, I like the KISS method

    Every boat I ve been on over the past few years that had the latest networked system had occasional bugs like mystery reboots, loosing the sounder, freezing etc... Intermittent stuff that's almost impossible to troubleshoot

    Again we re taking small to medium sized boats here... I think the improved reliability on the bigger boats come not only from the environment they are installed but also by the installer. These guys don't just operate out of a van installing mostly small stuff.

    Last year the ray marine sounder on a 60 footer kept loosing the bottom. Owner called Marine max, they came a few times, at $90 an hour... And never fixed it. Turned out they ran the Xducer cable on top of an air handler motor which of course caused interference...

    So I ll take a dedicated GPS plotter (garmin for intuitive interface) , a dedicated radar (Furuno with trails), a separate sounder, and that's about it... You can keep all the complicated stuff, networking, overlays and all.
  13. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Messages:
    461
    Location:
    Ormond Beach, FL
    I have a Furuno Navnet 3 setup on my Bertram 28 and the same on my Bertram 54. Both have been trouble free and are absolutely wonderful chart plotters. Each also has the open array radar and sounder.

    On the big Bertram, I have a second 10" screen (a Garmin 3210). I run the XM Radio and XM Weather on it but it doesn't come remotely close to the Furuno for use as a chart plotter. I am hooked on the Furuno Chartplotter as it's like looking at a paper chart with ALL of the same detail.

    There are plenty of things on the boats that have given me finicky problems but not the Furuno equipment.

    Is anybody running electronic instrument displays from a 2 stroke Detroit Diesel? I have not seen it.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,749
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Yes, the Furuno's are my favorite, but if you're not familiar with them, navigating through the menu's to change or find things is more complicated than the VX2's

    Yes, I was involved with a Bertram with 12v92's. A guy in Fort Lauderdale came up with well electronic gauges about 10 years ago. Bob Maretron. The problem is it relies on using a PC windows based computer, which you also have to have a mouse to obviously open the program etc, as well as 120 volt a/c power........
  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,749
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    If you want all of that. Rather than wasting tons of money on all of this glass bridge stuff that's not going to increase the resale hardly at all. I would highly recommend and consider, saving your money, ripping out the old Detroits, and installing CAT C15's (or C12's) in the boat with the CAT digital displays that display all of this info and the CAT Controls. You'll get a much better resale when you want to sell the boat, much cleaner running engines, better performance, better fuel economy, and all of the gadgets and info that you want. With something that greatly improves the vessel, not to mention the engines will have 24volt alternators, starters, etc.......and you can then convert the boat to 24volts without wasting money swapping Detroit alternators and starters......and have a warranty.....and then you have a few pumps to convert, some may even work on 24Volt, and you're done and have a classic Bertram with modern power, equipment, and performance
  16. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    That's a human failure rather then a technology or equipment failure.
  17. Navatech

    Navatech New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    For the 2nd time, I'm not looking to sell this boat anytime soon. Of course, if somebody with more dough then brains will make an outrageous offer I'll have him sign the dotted line quicker then you can shake your head but that's neither here nor there. Nor should it, IMHO, be a guiding factor in my CURRENT considerations.

    Having said that, the solution you suggest is on the order of at least 80,000 - 100,000 US$ (my rough guestimate) whereas my goal is to spend no more then 5% of that on the "glass". I most probably won't even look into that until my engines are up for an overhaul as prices and technologies keep changing.
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,468
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    It doesn't matter... Bottom line is the owner had a malfunctioning sounder because of the clueless installer. This is the problem with complicated installs and networked system, they are hard to troubleshoot. Had it been a stand alone sounder, the main suspect would have been the xducer and they would have right away checked the cable. With the networked system, it could be configuration, a software update, a network problem, ,a black box problem, etc..
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,749
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I understand that, but you want a boat that you're going to keep for 5 years and enjoy on top of it all. I understand that installing CATS is expensive, but at the same token you mentioned you want all of those engine vitals and you also wanted to convert the boat to 24 volts anyways. So in essence you're going to be spending good money after bad to achieve what you want and essentially buying and changing things that will mostly make your boating experience a hassle instead of an enjoyment.

    Spending the money once on modernizing the machinery will achieve all of your wants and in addition to that you will have a turn key boat, without having mechanical issues, that will perform a lot better and save you on both fuel costs, headaches and hassles, and probably would have to do rebuilds on those detroits in that time period anyways. The fuel savings alone over 5 years of usage will take a good chunk out of that $80-100k. You come here and ask for advice and when several people give you solid advice, you argue with them and are going to do what you wanted to do in the first place anyways.
  20. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    1,992
    Location:
    Dana Point, Ca
    Repowering with new @ $80K - $100K is a pipedream. It is at least a $250K proposition when done by a reputable yard. Gears/Shafts/Props/Paint/Cables the list will go on and on.

    You will not recoup your investment and the fuel savings will not make up the difference in 5 or 10 years, as the average boater does about 250 hours per year. Even at 4 x that rate, you are not making a dent on the overall picture, as the added wear and tear on your new equipment has the depreciation clock ticking.

    There are a few reasons to repower but recouping your investment is not one of them.