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Navigation and Communication Equipment: What Works Best?

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by DON GREER, Jun 13, 2008.

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  1. DON GREER

    DON GREER Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
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    My port is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    The time has come to spec all the navigation and safety equipment for an 80 foot boat I am building.

    I am looking at the usual radar, GPS, forward looking 3D sonar, bridge displays, yacht security, and so on and so forth.

    I would like to hear from those with practical experience as to what works well and what has issues.

    Any and all recommendations will be appreciated.

    Thanks………
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I'm sure my suggestions will be no surprise: GPS: Garmin, Northstar, Furuno;
    Radar: Furuno; VHF: Icom, Standard. Two items I wish I had on the yachts I captain are FLIR & AIS. A couple of obvious things that you'd think wouldn't even need to be mentioned, but that the ET's didn't do or balked at doing were tuning in the Radar (It's amazing the amount of boats I've been on where things on the left show up way on the right, etc.), tying the GPS to the VHF (distress), hooking up the intercom between helm stations and the hailer/ fog signal. Complete duplication of guages at both helm stations. Fuel flow scan. Not a big lover of engineroom video as it tends to promote fewer visits and wastes space at the helm. There are some toys on the market that do everything but brew your coffee. Keep it simple. Too many skippers get glued to the screens and forget to look out the windows. (I've run with people who would literally drive across land if I put the waypoint there.) Depending on your stage of developement (engines/drives) IPS and gyro-stablization.
  3. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

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    I am using a custom system based on mostly Simrad equipment (radar, AP50 autopilot, etc.) However, I realize on a 80footer it would be more beneficial to go for an integrated system like Simrad glass bridge, or any other system put together and integrated by a single producer. This has 2 advantages. You do not have integration bugs to deal with and you will have a single service who will be responsible for everything. Furthermore, because system is produced to be used by many it will be more user friendly and most probably more safe. For the brand to choose, I am happy with Simrad equipment and I know Furuno is also very good.

    A small note on FLS, my previous experience was poor. They were not effective at cruising speeds. I have checked Farsounder, which is expensive and also not guaranteed to be effective at speed as well. So, basically it can be useful for coastal approaches and not for detection of underwater floating objects during cruising at speeds above 10 knots.

    For night vision, unless you go for a sophisticated system, a good night vision binocular may serve the purpose.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Furuno Navnet system. It is the most flexible, user friendly and capable of doing just about everything. I would use Icom VHF's and furuno for just about everything else.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've got the same gear on my main job and agree, however I do like the Garmin GPS for accuracy, clarity and information. I carry a little old 176C. It's set up to give me: acuracy, dist. to wpt, time to wpt., 2nd wpt, eta @ dest, track, adjustment to steer, and current time all shown boldly as well as a big magenta courseline, orange vector line and black heading line. Also, changing those fields is a snap as is programing. It also contains charts for the entire east coast with no chips to bother with. I usually plug it in for info and as a backup no matter what electronics I have on a boat.
    I still remember the days when a Northstar could only run North-up and my old Garmin handheld could go heads or course up.
    Staying with one manufactures does make it easier to tie them together though. Not sure about Simrad though. I don't have much experience with them and didn't much like those I've used.
  6. nilo

    nilo Senior Member

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  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I work a lot of different chartplotters and radars and can generally pick them up fast just banging through the menues. I've only read one chartplotter manual (that was a Northstar952). I've jumped on several models of Garmin, Northstar, Furuno, Standard, Raymarine and a few others. No problem. A boat I was working last summer had the Simrad. It since died and was replaced with a Garmin, but that's another story.Twice I spent a few hours just banging and couldn't get a handle. I'm sure if I had the manuals it'd be OK, but that tells me it's not intuitive.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I agree, I too have played with a few Simrad units and they were definately not one of the easiest to figure out and use.
  9. comship

    comship Senior Member

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    In my opinion the best autopilots are Raytheon (attention not Raymarine) and as per the rest navigation equipemnt JRC
  10. Bootneck

    Bootneck New Member

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    There is a great, little known, british plotter called Microlplot. It interfaces to just about everything and there is nothing that can be done on a paper chart that can't be done on this plotter. The have a range that suites workboats to super tankers. It was designed by mariners for mariners.

    I have to admit to some bias, I used to work for them.
  11. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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  12. HiSeasYacht

    HiSeasYacht New Member

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    Marine electronics

    I only have 23 years in the marine Electronics industry and definately would not suggest GMDSS equip for an 80' yacht,Theres a wide range of equip availiable and mostly it depends on your budget! You could spend 500,000.00 down to 10,000.00 to adequately outfit an 80' yacht. A Furuno RC 1830 console for sea-area A3 costs around 40k, Thats JUST for Communications only!!! Furuno is my #1 Professional choice for radar,AIS,Fishfinder,Sonar etc... The new NAVNET 3d in a Blackbox version is nice if you plan on a glass bridge detup which I recommend using the furuno LCD screens as it just looks nice to have a glassbridge with all matching instruments and Possibly a Extron crosspoint matrix switcher to switch between the various video inputs, Remember tou will be dealing with DVI-D and sxga mostly with this type of video switching, I have even used Extrons software on a small touch screen to Drag and Drop any source video on up to 8 different screens for a nice easy to use Glass bridge, Or Nobeltec Admiral on a Quad core XEON machine with multiple Dual DVI-D video cards can make a nice system as well ar even a nice back-up to the Furuno system, Just make sure you select different transducer frequencies for the furuno BBFF module since Nobeltec uses Northstars sounder module which is fixed at 50 and 200khz NON Diplexed Transducer,s Ais is nice and the furuno fa150 as a full blown AIS or you can opt for a recieve only version which does not transmit your vessels info! Simrad autopliots or ansuhutz,or Plath are other options just depends on your budget, If you own a steel boat a litton gyro is recommended, Not a fluxgate as however as a cheaper option the Maretron solid state compass will suffice, As far as sat tv is concerned I solely recommend SEATEL, as they are the best TVRO system around, If you want Orbit call Merle Wood in FT Laud I think he still has a 32" he cant give away!! shall we go on....Vessel monitoring and control.........Simon or or even Maretron again depending on weather or not your engine,s have a J1939 gateway which Maretron converts to NMEA 2000 for their system.....Did I miss the Nera or Thrane and Thrane FB 250 or FB 500 for satellite communications and internet ...Inmarsat based or SEATELS 4006 for Vsat....Maby a Service selector to switch between Inmarsat,Vsat,Wifi, Internet sources...As you can see the possibility are endless...Just depends on your needs, and budget,as well as your geographic plans for the vessel,
    Mike


    Nilo, Simrads system IS Nobeltec admiral marketed under the simrad name using their cpu and different displays
  13. DON GREER

    DON GREER Member

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    My port is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    SONAR and more

    Thanks for the heads-up.....lots to look at for sure.

    I hope to keep my navigation/communication budget at 250K. All of my boating will be in the Pacific Northwest.

    I’ll look at the NAVNET 3d in a Black box version as I do plan a glass helm. At the same time there are instruments that I want as individual hard wired components to satisfy my old school attitude of knowing status on site without pushing a button.

    Thanks for the notation on SEATEL as well; I’ll look at that on the net.

    The boat I am considering (78 President) is a sky lounge so there is only one helm, although a number of navigation remotes for docking.

    One product of great interest is the Farsounder FS3DT, (about 100K) a 3D sonar package that looks really good. I am interested in knowing who has independent experience with it and what they think of it as a functional component of boating. As a diver I am also hoping it will help me identify "things" under the surface.
  14. HiSeasYacht

    HiSeasYacht New Member

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    sonar

    I just wrote a long post and it wes removed! Was I not allowed to use my personal E-Mail????
  15. GCW

    GCW New Member

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    Based in Kent, England however, weekdays I can be
    From a concept standpoint I would reccommend that you look at a "Open System" with respect communications/interfacing to offer maximum flexibility for Bridge layout and functionalty.

    For example Radar manufacturers are now offering "Black Box" solutions having standard interface(s) because this is their core expertise. They understand that customers are now requesting "Clean Looking Bridges" having matching dispays typically for new builds.

    With regards to navigation, Nobletec Admiral would offer you flexibility in interfacing and the ability to display information on up to 7 displays plus the option of a "Glass Bridge Network" for sharing information.

    The above topology would give you the best of both worlds in terms of familiarity interms of fubctionality of dedicated equipment i.e. Furuno plus the flexibility of displaying infomation to suit your needs.

    I have it on good authority that Brian Trone of Anchor Marine Electric Ltd,
    Phone: (250) 386-8375 has experience on putting "Open Systems" together Nobeltec/Furuno/Nauticomp to name but a few...
  16. HiSeasYacht

    HiSeasYacht New Member

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    Open bridge

    I agree exactly, Furuno Navnet 3d, And Nobeltec admiral running on a Dell Dual or Quadcore XEON Machine with XP pro operating system, I have a similar system running on the "Chairman" A 80' Palmer Johnson which is owned by the Commodore of the OceanReef Yacht club in N Key Largo, However Mr Greer also wants a computer based 3d sonar,Now you have 3 DVI-D video sources to switch among Im Guessing,4 displays, The Furuno Displays Have only 1 DVI-D input so I would use an Extron Matrix switcher to seamlessly switch the Digital inputs, As well Im sure he wil want satellite tv,cameras,vessel monitering etc... as well on those displays so Extron makes a nice although costly Crosspoint Matrix switcher, And using their software and an additional Small Touchscreen display located on the helm you can ,DRAG and DROP various Digital,Vga,svga,xga,Rgbhv,inputs on each display and Label them accordingly.....Really makes a nice,And Impressive,Glass bridge