Debate Time - Garmin, Raymarine, Furuno?

GPS, Sonor, Radar, Fish Finder, etc. Discuss electronics installation and upgrades.
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jashmen
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Wed Apr 22, 2020 9:33 am

Looking to update on my 1978 36. Leaning toward Garmin, but have not done anything due to shutdown. I would like the system to:

Single MFD that can Bluetooth to a tablet for flybridge
Replace current green blip radar
possible forward sonar to avoid grounding
Auto Pilot
Make my knees not hurt so much

Suggestions? Favorites?

Jeff

Jkraft
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Fri Apr 24, 2020 10:08 am

When comparing these it becomes a little bit difficult because you can't really use someone's opinion of Ray-marine that had one in 2003 and said it was junk because electronics are constantly changing.

That being said, I regularly use Furuno and Garmin and both systems are modern (within the last year or two). I think for the price point, Garmin is at the top of it's game. Customer support is a little dicey with Furuno. If you have a Furuno problem you are probably going to have to hire your electronics guy to come out and help. Garmin can usually walk you through it on the phone.

I will also say that Garmin is super user friendly. I recommend going with the same brand for all of your units so they "talk" to each other correctly. I have my Garmin GPS tied in with the autopilot and auto route and the boat will literally go wherever I tell it the destination is without touching a button. It will also follow its return track on your way home. It is also tied in with the Fusion stereo (also a Garmin product) so that you can change your radio settings right on your screen. That may be a nice feature for you on the bridge if you don't have audio control up there.

The only complaint I have about Garmin VS Furuno Is that I think Furuno products are more built to last a very long time VS after Garmins hit a few years old they become "legacy" products meaning that they don't make parts for them any more. This isn't a huge deal as you can usually find parts on ebay or amazon but it is something to keep in mind.

I did have some ray-marine products I used in 2009- autopilot, GPS, and Radar and back then they were not user friendly and I hated them. BUT I have not used their new stuff and that opinion should not be used in comparison.

I have heard good things about Simrad also recently.

If I were you I would talk to your local installer and ask their opinions. They usually will steer you in the right direction depending on how you use your boat, whether it be for fishing or cruising.
2002 28 TE with 315 Yanmar “Hair Of The Dog”

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Tree
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Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:47 pm

For me - furuno is commercial. Raymarine is like the apple of the marine electronics world - it’ll fit most users ( I’m not biased because they’re a client of mine and I’m full Raymarine).

I do see the attraction to simrad though. Some really good stuff out there but I still don’t see them as a big player even though they clearly are.
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coolchange
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Fri Apr 24, 2020 4:36 pm

for me a lot has to do with who will be there to help when (not if) i need it cause if you get a great deal but no one near you has any experience with your "great deal" you will be ___________ .

PS: I have Furuno chart/radar and love that it always works and in my 6 years with it have had zero problems (and it came with the boat)
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DesertAlbin736
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:59 am

Won't argue for one or the other, but I have a Garmin 741xs (touch screen) combo chartplotter & so far have had good luck with it. My boat came with an older Garmin fishfinder & transducer & was able to keep using the legacy 6 pin transducer in traditional mode by adding a 6 pin to 8 pin adapter box. The 741 came with all the BlueCharts I need preinstalled including US & Canadian coastal waters as well as 14,000 US lakes. I have it linked to a Standard Horizon GX2200 Matrix VHF with AIS receiver via NMEA 0183 so AIS targets show up on the chart display. Only thing I'd do differently if I had it to do over would be to go with a Garmin VHF that could link via NMEA 2000 network since I didn't notice the Standard Horizon only has NMEA 0183 capability. Don't have all the other fancy stuff like radar or even a stereo but if I did a Garmin radar unit could tie into the 741 display as well as controlling the stereo. My boat came with a Raymarine tiller pilot autohelm but I don't use it because it's a pain to set up & doesn't hold course well. To set it up have to lift floor panel in the aft cabin, attach a stub tiller to the rudder quadrant & attach the the tiller pilot to that & operate from driver's seat with a wired remote. More trouble than it's worth.
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jashmen
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:27 am

DesertAlbin736 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:59 am
Won't argue for one or the other, but I have a Garmin 741xs (touch screen) combo chartplotter & so far have had good luck with it. My boat came with an older Garmin fishfinder & transducer & was able to keep using the legacy 6 pin transducer in traditional mode by adding a 6 pin to 8 pin adapter box. The 741 came with all the BlueCharts I need preinstalled including US & Canadian coastal waters as well as 14,000 US lakes. I have it linked to a Standard Horizon GX2200 Matrix VHF with AIS receiver via NMEA 0183 so AIS targets show up on the chart display. Only thing I'd do differently if I had it to do over would be to go with a Garmin VHF that could link via NMEA 2000 network since I didn't notice the Standard Horizon only has NMEA 0183 capability. Don't have all the other fancy stuff like radar or even a stereo but if I did a Garmin radar unit could tie into the 741 display as well as controlling the stereo. My boat came with a Raymarine tiller pilot autohelm but I don't use it because it's a pain to set up & doesn't hold course well. To set it up have to lift floor panel in the aft cabin, attach a stub tiller to the rudder quadrant & attach the the tiller pilot to that & operate from driver's seat with a wired remote. More trouble than it's worth.
That really does sound like a pain. I have an auto pilot on mine that doesn't work. It puts us hard to port only.

Jkraft
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:10 am

jashmen wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:27 am
DesertAlbin736 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:59 am
Won't argue for one or the other, but I have a Garmin 741xs (touch screen) combo chartplotter & so far have had good luck with it. My boat came with an older Garmin fishfinder & transducer & was able to keep using the legacy 6 pin transducer in traditional mode by adding a 6 pin to 8 pin adapter box. The 741 came with all the BlueCharts I need preinstalled including US & Canadian coastal waters as well as 14,000 US lakes. I have it linked to a Standard Horizon GX2200 Matrix VHF with AIS receiver via NMEA 0183 so AIS targets show up on the chart display. Only thing I'd do differently if I had it to do over would be to go with a Garmin VHF that could link via NMEA 2000 network since I didn't notice the Standard Horizon only has NMEA 0183 capability. Don't have all the other fancy stuff like radar or even a stereo but if I did a Garmin radar unit could tie into the 741 display as well as controlling the stereo. My boat came with a Raymarine tiller pilot autohelm but I don't use it because it's a pain to set up & doesn't hold course well. To set it up have to lift floor panel in the aft cabin, attach a stub tiller to the rudder quadrant & attach the the tiller pilot to that & operate from driver's seat with a wired remote. More trouble than it's worth.
That really does sound like a pain. I have an auto pilot on mine that doesn't work. It puts us hard to port only.
Once you have working autopilot it’s a game changer
2002 28 TE with 315 Yanmar “Hair Of The Dog”

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Norseman
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:00 pm

I have a mixture on Furuno, Garmin, Raymarine and Standard Horizon on my boat.
They do work together somehow, but it was a pain in the rear to hook it all up.
In the future, If I replace everything, it will be all of the same brand. :shock:
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RobS
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:52 pm

Norseman wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:00 pm
They do work together somehow, but it was a pain in the rear to hook it all up.
NMEA 0183 or 2000?
Rob S.
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Tree
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:37 pm

RobS wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:52 pm
Norseman wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:00 pm
They do work together somehow, but it was a pain in the rear to hook it all up.
NMEA 0183 or 2000?
I’d say a mix of both - only 2 cross overs on 0183 if I recall?
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Norseman
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:02 pm

. NMEA 0183 or 2000?
Both: The Garmin plotter is 2 years old with both ports/inputs.
The Raymarine autopilot is 19 years old, 183.
The SH radio is 4-5 years old, probably 2000.
The Furuno Navtex is 15 years old, so far stand alone, but I can hook it up to the plotter for a GPS signal to pick the nearest station: Don’t think that will happen, don’t plan on long range cruising hence the Miami station should be sufficient. (Or I get bored and start to take the boat apart again to run wire all over to hook it up.. :shock: )
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RobS
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:56 pm

There in lies the problems, it’s not the mixing of brands it’s the mixing of vintage. I did a new package on my CC and I purposely mixed brands as I feel different manufacturers do better at certain items than others but it’s all N2K and the communication is 100% plug n play and works seamlessly....
Rob S.
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Luck is the residue of good design.

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