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electronics navigation instruments computer chart plotter MFD AIS VHF GPS OpenCPN

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#11 southernman

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:22 AM

Our Setup on current boat

 

- Hydrovane - used on any passage over 100 miles

- Big Autopilot below deck - used when motoring or short passages/harbour sailing

- Vesper AIS - awesome kit and now you can use the app on your smart watch awesome and wifi your complete network - we needed this before we updated the chartplotter to get everything wireless

- Instruments in cockpit all to NMEA2000

- Chartplotter Raymarine - use mainly when motoring and actually on the helm - use the ipad the rest of the time

- Radar new Raymarine Wifi - works really well and only power cable up the mast

- Ipad - we use this the most actually

- Iridium Go

- MacBook with back CMap etc on it

 

My feeling is the less wires the better hence wifi and so far it's worked well.  

 

Here is the best bit about this setup - low complexity for a lot of gear.  The bit that stuffs up the most is the bloody wind direction on the top of the mast!!!


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#12 island time

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 05:56 PM

Everyone is different, but im not sure I agree with you SM about the wires. Properly done, wires last a long time - 20 years or more. The masthead units from navico, the 506, has been in production pretty much unchanged for 15 odd years. Mostly in my experience masthead units fail due to bearings or physical damage if properly installed. You can change the bearings for under $20. They get full of salt and sand. Wireless units have exactly the same issues Plus more electronics at the masthead. There is a reason none of the major race boats use wireless units.
Wind vane steering is fine and good, it has one advantage over electronic pilots - it doesn't use electricity.
It has many disadvantages over a good autopilot. It only steers to wind, not navigation, no set/drift adjustment, poor performance in boats that are fast and have large fast apparent wind angle changes, no crash recovery, no gybe prevention, to name what immediately comes to mind.
To my mind, relying on a phone or tablet is a risky business. IMO safe navigation requires 3 independent data sources. Eyes can be one, gps plotter, radar, ais , sounder can all be others..
Everyone's level of acceptable risk is different.
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#13 lateral

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:26 PM

Everyone is different, but im not sure I agree with you SM about the wires. Properly done, wires last a long time - 20 years or more. The masthead units from navico, the 506, has been in production pretty much unchanged for 15 odd years. Mostly in my experience masthead units fail due to bearings or physical damage if properly installed. You can change the bearings for under $20. They get full of salt and sand. Wireless units have exactly the same issues Plus more electronics at the masthead. There is a reason none of the major race boats use wireless units.
Wind vane steering is fine and good, it has one advantage over electronic pilots - it doesn't use electricity.
It has many disadvantages over a good autopilot. It only steers to wind, not navigation, no set/drift adjustment, poor performance in boats that are fast and have large fast apparent wind angle changes, no crash recovery, no gybe prevention, to name what immediately comes to mind.
To my mind, relying on a phone or tablet is a risky business. IMO safe navigation requires 3 independent data sources. Eyes can be one, gps plotter, radar, ais , sounder can all be others..
Everyone's level of acceptable risk is different.

 

Are you talking about the 508 or 213 ? The B&G 213 do last a long time and are serviceable, but they are NMEA0183 & need a converter. I have heard a few discontented punters with the 508. The 213 is expensive.

There is a 608 listed now. Whats up with that?


Edited by lateral, 14 August 2017 - 06:45 PM.

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#14 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:34 PM

If you had a blank slate what electronics would you install today?

After much sussing I went total Raymarine head to toe.

 

The main theory being as much as they say all, most these days, brands will chat happily amongst themselves, Microsoft, Oracle, Blaa, Blaa and Blaa also say the same but in reality they do have times when a bitch fight happens and generally the loser is the end user. So having only the one brand means I only have one arse to kick or one motorbike to hold hostage if I have a failure that shouldn't happen as it should all play very nicely together being the same DNA.

 

I would have gone B&G but they don't have a big auto driver. I did consider B&G all over and the Ray AP but it's not a stretch to think if something was playing up B&G would say 'It's Ray' and Ray would say 'It's B&G' and I didn't want to be the pig in the middle. The same theory with other AP's I sussed, the AP being a big driver of the end decision.

 

Open CPN and so on is beyond my scope of being able to operate and it relies on a computer, something that isn't a fan of what is effectively a  dingy with a 1/2 arsed roof so a pretty moist bash n crash like environment.

 

One thing I did do after sailing on a small boat with a MFD mounted outside is made sure the one I got had knobs and buttons. The other one was pure touch screen only and on a small jumpy boat when it's wet it was near impossible to operate well and at times in heavy rain we just had to gave up. So mine is touch screen but also has knobs I can turn, buttons I can push for wet jumpy situations. Note we are talking a light 30fter so heavier or larger that may not be the problem it's is fore us little fellas.

 

I considered WIFI but the weight of wire used is bugger all and wire is far more reliable, comment based on assorted small but still very annoying niggles with many things WIFI. Also for me wire is traceable so if I have an issue I can track wires around on the chance I may find something. I haven't the faintest idea what a Whiffy (the things that fly around inside WIFI) looks like so any failure would only get a blank stare.

 

As IT said it is very much horses for courses so I'd suggest you start by saying 'I dont want.....' and then see what's left and speak to IT. He does play with all the options so I'm sure is more than capable of telling you where you are wrong ;)

 

Edit, I do think B&G's MFD software is the better option if you plan to race. Ray is OK though....and certainly can make my starts any worse then they already are. 


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#15 island time

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:07 PM

Ha KM, all the current MFDs Are computers. They mostly run Linux, hidden from the users...
There is, IMO, a hole in B&Gs line up for a decent drive unit for a smallish tiller steered yacht that crosses oceans. That's KMs issue.
However Raymarine simply don't have the same high end pilots like the H5000 series for serious sail boats. B&G were 1st, 2nd, in the last Vended Globe for a reason.
I've just been sailing a 60ft boat through the reef systems of Fiji for a couple of months. It has the same H5000 pilot. On a recent 70nm passage, with over 30 way points to thread through the reefs, I did not need to touch the helm once, and we were never more than 300mm from our planned track! It really is a great piece of kit. Oh, crew of 2, so plenty of sail trim and work to do without having to helm.
Still, it would be stupid on a small harbour racer.
It all depends on the person and what they want their boat to do.
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#16 southernman

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 10:37 PM

Everyone is different, but i'm not sure I agree with you SM about the wires. Properly done, wires last a long time - 20 years or more.

 

Wireless is the future though.  Just look at where the world is going, also less weight aloft etc etc, just saying.  A wire fault can't be fixed at sea in most cases if it's in the mast, a wireless puk can be replaced in a matter of minutes.  

 

Re windvane, sure you have some points but again simplicity wins, for instance 3 boats I left Tonga with all lost power charging and all ended up hand steering or had autopilot issues, oh and if we loose our rudder we do then have a built in emergency steering ability.  Are you suggesting that you pack a complete spare autopilot if it breaks down?  If you go with your theory of 3 points of safety for navigation surely the same applies for steering a boat i.e. 2 autopilots and one person to hand steer?  The windvane points you raise are very model dependant and not true for all vanes and all boats.  Sure if you are driving a Vende boat probably not the right choice.  For the majority of cruising boats a windvane is an excellent choice.  

 

Could I also suggest that an Ipad in a waterproof case is also a computer and just as secure as some frankenstein pc  built from chinese bits?  Of course the same rules apply 3 points of reference which is a point but that point remains the same for all equipment and risk assessments.  Anyhow the Ipad get's it's GPS signals from the same place a connected PC does and also a chartplotter in most cases, an external GPS antenna.  The good thing with the Ipad is that it also has an internal GPS if you buy the correct model.  

 

PS new wing mast on cat is fitted with wireless and it's a race boat first and cruiser second.  


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#17 island time

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 08:35 AM

Yep, all fair points SM,
But I'd have to say that you do have three steering options on most boats. Manual, normal steering, ap or wind vane, plus the emergency steering required for cat 1.
No, I don't carry a complete spare AP. I carry a few of the most likely spares - pretty much the same as a wind vane system, no one I've met carries an entire spare, but they often have some parts.
WiFi - I'm not against it, I use it on my boat for the ipad etc, just not on primary systems.
Finally, and with respect, the boats with autopilot or power systems failure were not properly set up or supplied (with spares/backup systems) to begin with.
What works on holidays in the gulf is often inadequate on a long voyage.
As a side note, I've had one ap computer failure in over 40,000 NM in my own boat. Everything else I've been able to fix or bypass with systems or gear on board.
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#18 lateral

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 09:25 AM

Are you talking about the 508 or 213 ? The B&G 213 do last a long time and are serviceable, but they are NMEA0183 & need a converter. I have heard a few discontented punters with the 508. The 213 is expensive.

There is a 608 listed now. Whats up with that?

Talked to Navico.

The 608 is an update on the 508 rectifying a possible issue that had been identified.


Edited by lateral, 15 August 2017 - 09:28 AM.

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#19 island time

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 10:12 AM

Sorry, yes, shouldn't do numbers from memory. The 608 can be identified by the two silver stripes on its mast....
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