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45. Please describe your Electronics and Navigation Gear. Wind & Depth Instruments. Radar, Radar detector and reflector. Autopilot. If you have mechanical autopilot and wind vane, which is better for you; when do you use each? Use this section for...
Raymarine Depthfinder: Works well in less than 200'. When deeper, often shows shallow depths instead of ---. Raymarine Wind Direction/speed: Needs constant re-calibration for wind direction. Raymarine Autopilot: Power hog; not good in following seas; noisy
Raymarine ST60 depth has failed to find soundings several times when the water was less than 100 feet. No fault could be identified in the transducer or the instrument. It usually starts working again when powered off then on. Raymarine ST60 wind instrument shows accurate speed but will not show wind direction if it is from the starboard side of the boat.
I will never buy another Raymarine product again. I have ST-50plus instruments and now they are up to ST70 and they keep changing the products and do NOT make replacement parts. So, I have 4 instruments for the pilothouse and cockpit and the only recommendation they make is to upgrade to a new set of instruments. Oh yes, they are not compatable so I have to buy all new when one instrument fails. This does not change in newer instruments either; this is built in obscelescene so they can sell new instruments at our expense. I love the Simrad Autopilot, it is super but the compass is too expensive and when it fails, it is just a minor $900 thrown out so you can buy a new one. My original cost over 1500 and it failed and Simrad just said, too bad!
Standard Horizon depth sounder is erratic and undependable. Likes to jump to 600 feet and count down over about 3 minutes for no reason whatsoever. Very disconcerting.
Bremar autopilot, very old system (probably 29 years old) that needs to be upgraded / replaced
LCD displays on three of the four NAVMAN instruments I bought failed. NAVMAN was very good about replace all of them under warranty. Autopilot. On our Atlantic crossing we used our Raymarine autopilot continuously for 20 days. Our NAVMAN wind instrument was connected via NMEA to the autopilot and we used the electronic windvane for most of the downwind run. Of note; not having a mechanical wind vane and only a two person crew, we purchased a Simrad WP31 wheel pilot and installed it prior to crossing as a backup. We never needed the backup.
WH has steered over 30,000 miles 18 years in everthing up to a full storm with 30 ft seas and storm sail only. The best thing I have ever bought for my boat. It makes the rest of them look like toys.
Raymarine/Autohelm speed, depth, wind, radar, autopilot. All are integrated on the Seatalk network. Also have Smart Controller remote control. System is connected via NMEA to Standard Horizon CPV 350 chartplotter and Dell laptop via a Raymarine seatalk/PC/NMEA interface box. All seatalk data is repeated on the chartplotter, PC, and remote. Works very well and have had no problems.
All of the electronics were replaced in 2004 then again 2007 after partial submergeance (failed strainer). Everything that is installed has wored great in shore and offshore. Power hungry, yeah well, but not too bad.... I woill probably go w/ Foruno radar next, Raymarine stuff (instruments, autopilot) have worked great... Might also add windvane for the long hauls
Unable to say NONE for speed/wind and the previous instrument. I checked other and poor. I also have a Flemming WIndvane, but have little experience with it.
I'm very pleased with the Raymarine electronics on board...they work great!!! But, it's been my experience the flexibility and reliability of them are very influenced by the installation..... Do it right, and you'll be VERY happy.....do it wrong (or hire the wrong guy to install your electronics) and you'll be cursing them for ever!!!!
no wind instuments. speed/knotlog hasn't worked for years - use gps
Alpha Marine is pathetic for service and provides no back-up schematics for local repair. Pilot is great, but expect problems if you get into a repair situation. Also have Autohelm fixed depth finder....very good. Interphase forward looking (Probe) is good for locating things when you are moving slow as in coming into an anchorage.....don't know if I would count on picking things up and avoiding them at cruising speed Radar is a Furuno 16 mile radar. Good for weather avoidance, good at night for entering at short ranges (4 mile range or less). Good for range finding. Poor for looking for things at long range (normally can pick them up by eye if visibility allows)
Datamarine system is old ( 18) but continues to do well and parts are available on ebay. Wheel autopilot from Raymarine is marginal and poor at low wind speeds. If consistently druising offshore would replace with below deck. Garmin products have worked fine and I would continue with them.
My Raymarine electronics have performed very well for me. The AP failure may have been caused by poor SSB installation which brought the radio output cables very close to the AP controler and power cables.
Autopilot only works in calm conditions, under motor, or when the boat is on the wind, when she practically steers herself anyway. Have a monitor wind vane which is wonderful
AUTOPILOT: Raymarine (Autohelm) ST7000 Control Head; S150 Course Computer; Linear drive: System exhibited frequent failures where the system alarmed, all control head features froze and rudder was locked in the position it was when the alarm occurred. Raymarine techs were friendly but incompetent. Raymarine techs diagnosed a defective control head and then a defective course computer. Neither was defective. Crew eventually found defective Seatalk wiring and connections as the source of the malfunction. Bottom line - the components work okay. The installation (history unknown) was defective. The Raymarine Seatalk plastic disconnects failed to hold good contact. Round disconnects have been replaced with a rectangular version. One can pay $35 for a conversion plug. PS crew hard wired control head Seatalk wires. Total costs to the crew to determine nothing was wrong with the major components - $300. Future plan is to replace with a non-Raymarine system.
Autopilot is not very good downwind - it wanders. It is complex to tune and does not adapt well to changing conditions (as a catamarn our speeds vary from 4 knots in light air, flat seas, to 12-14 knots in heavy air larger seas).
Old Datemarine depth andspeed inst are still working after 27 yrs and see no need to replace.Radar is low end jrc and is ok.Aries vane is used for sailing and wheel pilot used for powering.May hook up small tiller pilot to vane for lite wind sailind conditions.
We've owned the boat a year. The Furuno 1824c radar/chartplotter/sounder works great and was easy to install. The B&G Hydra computer was existing and is excellent. The B&G Hydra autopilot has never worked well and seems to be very finicky. We have an error 103 that the previous owner couldn't fix and we haven't yet solved. I can't find someone at B&G/Navico/Simrad who has a clue - it's very frustrating but I suppose not unusual.
I have a Monitor windvane and Raymarine Autohelm 3000 wheel autopilot - a great combination. Simplicity itself. Use the Monitor when possible - it's quieter.
Have a Monitor wind vane which is great. Hooked up the tillerpilot to the windvane for light air conditions and have used it for many hours. Our first Navico tillerpilot quit after 4 years. It too was hooked to the Monitor. We tried it on the tiller but just did not have the power to drive the boat even though Mystique was within the weight range for the particular unit.
Raymarine ST7001 does a "crazy ivan" now and then.... will just let go and the boat does a 360 to starboard. Raymarine radar sensitive to voltage drops. Will turn off if it gets much below 12 volts
Autopilot tiller type 4000 has been great in every respect except that it is underpowered for our boat. Will install below-decks hydraulic ap during current refit.
Raymarine 8000 autopilit works very well with only about 2 amps current draw (our 47 footer is easy to steer) BUT breakdowns are frequent, and hard to deal with. Our installaton is excellent, with everything nice and dry, with good wiring, but still failures in control head (several), main motor control. Many users report frerquent breakdowns after a couple of years use.
Several items of Raymarine equipment were replaced under warranty
Very satisfied with all the electronics on the boat. The Simrad autopilot is excellent.
The B&G instruments are disappointing. The sonic speed and depth sounder interfere with one another. The system loses calibration from time to time. We're generally disappointed - we would not buy again. We have both an Alpha 3000 and a Monitor Windvane. We use the Alpha while motoring and the Monitor on long sailing passages. Both work very well, we would buy both again.
We have a Raymarine 6002 Autopilot and an Aires Windvane. We use the windvane whenever possible as it doesn't require power. Autopilot for use when motoring or in light winds. Still perfecting the use of the Aires but it's reputation means that in heavy weather it will be the preferred option.
AIS (brand?)is excellent with Nav. Software from Nobeltec. B&G Autopilot is excellent and reliable; only failure due to grounding.
TackTick: Seems to often lose the bottom. I had to buy a different sending unit to shoot thru the hull. The sending unit is able to handle 600 watts of power but Tacktick only sends 100 watts. TackTick does not allow for any user settings of the unit in terms of power. Seems ashame to waste all that available quality of the signal.
I don't have a wind speed meter but was forced to comment on one.
Raymarine Depth Sounder - upgraded to removable transducer, may save haul out if problem.
Standard Horizon speed/knot log went belly up during first month of use. Standard Horizon depth sounder went belly up after six years. Customer support recalcitrant to nonexistent for both. Problem seems to be with the single-unit "triducer." We finally replaced triducer based on our own dignosis and at our own cost one year ago and so far, so good. We're very happy with our Furuno 1623, bought in 2006. It's a simple, standalone unit with a black/white readout that suits our needs perfectly. Display is compact and easy to read. Has a 16-mile range and we find that to be plenty. The antenna is compact. It's a great solution for those who don't want to go with a huge navigation "system," but would like radar. Our Simrad TP10 tiller pilot is way undermatched to our heavy boat (12 tons displacement), yet has performed extremely well for more than five years. It takes quite a beating and is occasionally overwhelmed in rough conditions and is beginning to make disquieting noises, but remarkably, still functions. Overall, a remarkably tough and simple unit.
Wheel clutch disengages on auto pilot. Fix is a shock cord.
Navik wind vane is used mostly under sail. Wheel Pilot is used mostly when motoring.
THE AUTO PILOT IS A SIMRAD ROBERTSON AP20 HOOKED UP TO A DUO DRIVE ELECTRIC MOTOR AND EPICYCLIC GEARBOX - SUPPOSEDLY BULLETPROOF - WILL KNOW BETTER AFTER MARCH 2009 WHEN OUT NYC TO MELB AUSTRALIA TRIP IS COMPLETED. tHE WIND, LOG, DEPTH FINDERS ARE USEFUL BUT NOT NECESSARY
I'm ashamed to say that I'm dependent on my GPS. I haven't learned to use the sextant properly.
Raymarine Radar RL70 is hard to see in the daylight and has to much light at night time.. Good thing they don't make them anymore.. My 1998 Autohelm Depth meter only reads right if I am above 10' and below 75'.. so I installed an $80 Hummingbird that is glued to the inside of the hull and works great..
Radar is an old 40 mile unit. works great but eats power.I am not an electronics sailor and the basics do for me.
Datamarine instruments (windspeed/direction, knot/speed log) are deteriorating due to age. Mobri radar reflector failed structurally (pre-mature). Aries Windvane - excellent and dependable.
Raymarine 2001: We have had problems with our autopilot. However, the problem is with the fluxgate compass, we think, and could be related to its installation. When the autopilot is working, we love it, but it's a real pain when it doesn't work.
Both Navman & Tacktick wind instruments although installed professionally, have been extremely unreliable & service nonexistant. My Furuno equipment - Fishfinder FMV601, 36 mile Radar FR803D, FAP55 Autopilot, F500 Mk11 GPS & FS1500 HF radio were all professionally installed about eighteen years ago & still work perfectly. The screen on the GPS is failing - difficult to read. The longeivity & reliability of the Furuno equipment I put down to the fact that it is/was designed for commercial applications & not recreational use coupled with competant installation..
Hard to evaluate these because I've only used these brands and have no comparison. Who knows if their radar reflector is working well??? We have everything networked with SeaTalk and NMEA.
Brooks and Gatehouse Helmstar 740 used in rough conditions when motoring. Good performance but due to it's age beginning to suffer pump problems. Autohelm 4000 used as wheel pilot in easy conditions due to it's limited torque. Monitor windvane used when sailing under nearly all conditions.
We have an Alpha 2000 autopilot which is 30 years old and never fails. It is bulletproof. We are going to get a windvane.
Monitor Vane We use the Monitor Vane off shore; it does not work well around land where you have shifty winds. In steady wind conditions it works wonderfullly.
The old Datamarine Corinthian units are rudimentary but good enough for now. We don't use the knotmeter or the log, since the impeller fouls so quickly; we use the GPS. The masthead unit of the anemometer died (bad bearings) and is off to be rebuilt. The relative wind direction's slow to react at bests.
Depthfinder is a Morrow S-60
Raymarine electronics seems generally high quality, and integrates well. User interface on wind, speed, depth instruments is not intuitive, but learnable. Autopilot ST 7000 is capable for this boat, responds well to both magnetic and wind input.
Wish that I had installed underdecks unit rather than the windvane. Many trials and tribulations trying to set it especially when gusty, needs 2 reefs to cooperate. ST4000+ autohelm good until about 25 knots. Radar is old and will replace with a Furuno. Use a Simrad tiller pilot on wind vane but still setting it up
Bought my second set of raymarine because of satisfaction w/ the first
No wind instruments -- what good are they when you're out there? Used to have IMI Combi. They were entertaining, but when they broke, we didn't replace them. Depth sounder is the cheapest ($100) available. It's adequate. Our 50 year old leadline still works, although we have replaced the original operator. We don't use the autopilot, even on two week passages, because we like to keep the sails balanced, and when we do, our full keel boat doesn't require much steering.
I use the Raymarine ST60+ instrument package and have been pleased. I rely on GPS handhelds for absolute SOG, COG, CMG. Handheld Kestrel 4000 & 4500s backup local Wx readings, and a Celestaire handheld depthfinder backsup soundings. I had a Mobri radar reflector which I paid a lot of money for, but after all the tech reviews I went back to my old Davis foldup, corner reflector. Since I have switched to a Raymarine ST 7002 Control Head, S3G Smartpilot Corepack, and S2 linear drive autopilot system, I have had no problems.
Our Datamarine Depth and Speed / Distance finally failed after about 25 years of faithful service. We are replacing them with Navman instruments - we have the transducers in and will be hooking up the display next month when it arrives. We wanted to stay simple with instruments. When our depth sounder failed, we got a used Humminbird fishfinder, put it on an old boat hook, and lashed it to our Monitor wind vane. That has worked so well from Luperon, DR all the way to St. Martin, we know we have a reliable backup for our depth. We wish we could find backup spares for our Autohelm tiller pilot, it is absolutely wonderful, but we rely on it so much we are afraid it will fail some day.
Raymarine E-80, S60 Wind, S2G and ST 7001 autopilot. Since steering is hydraulic, autopilot is also hydraulic.
Furuno radar required replacement of defective radome motor within 8 hours of use.
Furuno NAVTEX - a very useful and relatively inexpensive tool for coastal (offshore) cruising. Very useful Wx and navigation messages. The unit has performed without fault since I installed it in 2003
Furuno nav suite, all talks on Nema 0183, regardless of age. Tied in French CV3F anemometer, displays on sounder screen. Seacas AIS receiver plays with chartplotter/radar repeater. New Tri-lens reflector, still trying ranges. Furuno LS 6100 depth sounder is important nav data & wind display. Furuno support fantastic. Excellent phone techs, set up duplicate of my well-mixed system on bench to talk me through setup questions. Older Furuno 1831 radar talks to new chartplotter.
Datamarine Knot-Log speed and distance still work but the water temperature quit long ago. I think the company is out of business. Raymarine radar keeps working although we don't use it all that much. Everyone says that we should use it more and I think they are right. We have a aluminum radar reflector of the type that has been around forever. We ask ships, when we talk to them, if they see us on their radar and get a yes about 50% of the time. Our boat has an aft hung rudder that is tiller steered and so we use a Raymarine tiller pilot ST4000+ when motoring and sometimes sailing when the wind is very light. The drive unit has been in for repair twice in 8 years. The unit is not rated for our boat. We get by with it as we never put a strain on it. We can't seem to find an attractive practical way to incorporate a more robust big boat system. We have a S&R Instruments apparent wind & wind speed that keeps working as long as we lube the rotter of the wind speed sender every year. If you don't it makes a whining sound that is magnified by the mast which will make you crazy when trying to sleep. We think we will soon replace it for one that will send NEMA wind info to the autopilot so we can steer the aries wind vane using the tiller pilot guided by wind imput from the masthead apparent wind instrument. We have an Aires wind vane which was on the boat when we bought it, in fact it was installed by the builder when the boat was built. Comments on the wind vane: Wear is always a problem with tiller lines. Putting lots of grease on the lines in the areas of sheeves will increase their life by 2 or 3 times. Another problem is play between the vane and the servo- pendulem. Worn bushings, backlash in the gears and especially, on some models, the servo hinge, that causes most problems. Also slack in the tiller lines must be kept at a minimum. Any of the above will cause the boat over steer and wander all over the place.
Navman. I changed all the instruments and the autopilot drive for Navman. Worst kit I have ever bought. Depth gauge read half double depth until changed out, all displays changed after six months and now after 3 years all displays have missing digits. Autopilot is fine if there is no sea running. The auto-sea-state just doesn't work and if there is a roll then the pilot steers to make it worse. The kit is just dreadful.
Radar: Raymarine RS 80 CRT radar, 7 yrs. old, display in pilothouse, scanner on mast above first spreaders. Raymarine SL LCD radar,8 yrs. old, scanner on stern pole, display in cockpit. Both are excellent and have been used in a wide variety of conditions. Self-installed, stand alone units (not linked). The LCD radar display is quite visible in sunlight, and the CRT unit is very well-planned. It is interfaced with GPS output. Datamarine combined wind-log-depth instrument (18 years old), no longer available. Wind unit (anemometer part) has been replaced or repaired three times in 18 years, otherwise the displays (one at helm and one at nav station) have been trouble- free. Second, independent depth sounder is Datamarine 1000 ft. in pilothouse. Excellent results. Furuno NX-300 NAVTEX (single-channel, non-printing) is excellent: reliable, trouble-free, very easy to use and big display screen. NAVTEX is interfaced with GPS for automatic station selection but I usually do manual station selection. Two Leica fixed-mount GPS: a MX 412B and an older MX 100. They have performed perfectly for 7 and 18 years respectively and are very easy to use. The 3 GPS units (two fixed, one portable Garmin 75 in fixed mount)are connected directly to a single dedicated 120A marine deep cycle battery, via fused power cables, rather than through the 12V distribution panel. This prevents the voltage-lowering effect of any heavy-drain equipment coming on. Autohelm autopilot is hydraulic because my steering is hydraulic - very trouble-free and powerful, with pump in the hydraulic system. 18 years old, no problems. Control unit is simple - no compass. Wind vane used for offshore passages only because of dinghy on stern davits for coastwise.
Raymarine is my overall equipment and generally v. happy with it. The log fouls, but don't they all. The wind indicator has given trouble but again I think this is common across all systems. Generally like the design and user interface of Raymarine.
We use our tillerpilot (Raymarine 4000) attached to our windvane (Cap Horn)when there is no wind. Our boat is heavy to steer properly with the tillerpilot on the tiller, but works well on the windvane. We had a small Simrad but on its second outing it stripped some plastic doo-dahs in its workings - fixed under warranty although about 5 years old (not used untill this time)
Raymarine support is bad. After waiting for a long hold on a sat phone, they treat you like a child. Each new iteration of Raymarine instruments has less features. My Nav Data had current set and drift, lat and lon, and the repeater had true wind. Their displays seem to last about 3 years in the Caribbean sun. I will buy Furuno in the future. They still care about owners with boats that cost less then 2 million dollars. Furuno support is great. My radar has a back light problem which they will fix if I can ever get it back to them.
Comm Nav Knotmeter -- have never successfully calibrated it, but may be a flow phenomenon issue with placement in hull Furuno Radar -- ability to see rain squalls and birds flying over schools of fish (current eddies) are very useful Tri-Lens Reflector, we are told we have a return comparable to a small tugboat
Electronics and nav gear. We have a Raymarine system that works well. One big benefit of this system is that parts appear to be available everywhere since it is so ubiquitous.
Raymarine: All NEMA networked through the C-80, no complaints sytem works great. 2 KW radar is sufficient for cruising.
I find charts, compass,ASTRA 111 B sextant, and stars make you more aware of your position and circumstances. Reading the telltales on your sails. Electronics are a fine AID.
Autopilot. We have a B&G autopilot controller and a Raymarine linear drive unit. It works well in spite of the different vendors. Our only breakdown is that the motor in the drive unit needed to be rebuilt after 10,000 NM because the brushes were leaving lots of carbon inside the motor case. It has worked well since the rebuild. The only part of the rebuild that I couldn't perform myself was the DC motor that drives everything.
Location of the compass is key. However, if you forget the exact direction and just confirm with other sources, forget about autopilot "accuracy," as not important.
most knotmeters become unusable after being in the water over several months because of sea life buildup on the paddles, in the future I would forego knotmeter and use my GPS for SOG
Autopilots - we had 2. The Benmar Hydraulic was excellent, although 24 years old. The TMQ, bought in Australia, was just OK. There are better choices. B&G units, including the GPS, worked well for our entire 14 year cruise
The stock equipment from Catalina has worked to my expectations. As a rookie, most of the time I'm very impressed.
Raymarine depth instrument: Provides basic depth and alarms, but much overpriced, compared with capabilities of fishfinders. Wind instruments are WAY overpriced, given advanced sensors that can provide weather info. When it comes time to replace these instruments, I will choose something else. Knotmeter provides basic speed thru water. Raymarine 2kw radar is quite good, with sophisticated MARPA capabilities, which have been useful. I would like to see better documentation to explain some of the gain settings. Don't wee any need for higher power, but larger scanner for better target resolution might be nice, if I could figure out where to mount it. Raymarine autopilot is necessity on board. Components are reliable, and easy to replace, if necessary. Good interface with GPS/chartplotter. Finally, it would be nice to see all of this info down below on a PC, without having to use proprietary Raymarine software, and have PC talk back to electronics.
our auto nav wind,depth, speed have all failed in less than 4 years. The company has poor customer support.
Raymarine equipment- E120 chartplotter failed in less than a year, shipped to Raymarine & fixed, depth sounder failed twice during first year, fixed under warrantee, Radar failed in less than a year, Raymarine said to ship the whole unit (4 KW. open array) back to them for repair- impractal at the time, still not fixed. Raymarine repair centers have told me they don't like to take on the warrantee work from Raymarine because they have trouble getting paid. Would NEVER buy Raymarine equipment again.
My windvane is simple and very reliable except in light air where it requires occasional monitoring. Navigational electronics are fine, useful and fairly reliable. Basic navigational skills/techniques i.e. making landfall with good visibility, actually using celestial nav, etc. is what I rely on.
Autohelm ST-7000. It seems that it worked perfect only under power. If used while sailing, the batteries needed to be topped up fully otherwise it (maybe flux-gate compass or some other component) caused the system to get off track like a drunken sailor. I need to investigate it better in order to comment on it fully.
Love my Foruno radar, but wish I could have a cockpit screen. B and G makes good gear, but the wind and speed log stick at times.
The Tacktick depth and knot log are great with the proviso that the depth transducer is pretty wimpy and reliabe to 100'. We also have a Garmin fishfinder that is reliable to 400' which can be a handy position cross reference. The WH autopilot has been wonderful in all conditions, and service is the best. The B&G hornet wind machine has died again, RIP. I have a Furuno 1620 Radar. I was able to buy a couple of displays cheaply which allowed me to put one display in the cockpit and a second one below at the inside steering station. Only one can be connected at a time, but that is easy to do. When the back lighting on one of my original units failed, I just swapped it out. Furuno wanted $400 plus shipping to repair back light. I will upgrade to a 4kw Radar when I can find a good deal. I would like to have better range and definition, particularly at night.
Replaced old Autohelm electronics with Tacktick last year. It was great to get rid of the wire running through the boat. The Tacktick gear has been good and easy to use; I would like to see a better wind display though. I installed it myself, in one lazy afternoon. THe Raymarine ST4000 tillerpilot is actually connected to an arm on the rudder, so it out of the weather in the lazarette. Only drawback is that I must phyically connect/disconnect it. I have not bothered to connect it to the plotter.
Monitor wind vane does most of steering flawlessly at sea. Alpha autopilot used occasionally, mostly under power. Also have Interphase forward sonar that is very useful around coral and to check depths around anchorages.
B&G depth sounder, knots log and wind speed are 22 years old but work fine. I rated them poor since they do not calculate true wind speed and direction
KVH fathometer, knot meter. No wind electronic instruments. Have both an Alpha autopilot and a Monitor windvane - each is used according to conditions.
Wheel pilot uses lots less power and does well to windward. Belowdeck autopilot is great for down wind steering. Gps - don't leave home without 2! Radar takes some time to learn how to utilize it. Depth is very usefull in navigation when other things don't work.
Raymarine ST60 Wind Some intermittent readings of true wind speed. Difficult to calibrate.
KVH fluxgate - too much variation. Hummingbird fishfinder more accuate and informative than "sailboat" depthfinder
Raymarine ST 60 Tri-Data.....No matter how often the transducer is cleaned, the sea temperature ALWAYS reads 105+ degrees. The Cable on the ST60 Wind Speed/Direction indicator failed and had to be replaced.
Rachel J. Slocum carries an Aires wind vane, and Raymarine tiller auto pilot for motoring or VERY light wind conditions. The Aires gives me no problems, even in light down-wind conditions (the secret is to keep the steering lines short, and use the minimum number, and highest-quality, blocks). Once you have used forward-seeking sonar you can NEVER go back!!! There is no subsitute for forward-seeking sonar for safety and piece-of-mind, especially in areas with reefs in cloudy water (Patagonia, Fiji, etc.), and at night in ANY conditions.
Now that Furuno has Wind Log Depth instruments (separate) I would look and compare them with B&G.
All Signet equipment works well now (when we bought the boat none of it worked). We are unsure of the age but it's certainly not new or state of the art. The only problem we have is the small paddle wheel for the knotmeter becomes clogged with barnacles, crabs, and the like regularly. It is handy to see speed through the water versus speed over ground (current, etc.).
Wind Depth Instruments - Standard Horizon WS 150 and Multi with a repeater. this includes a depth sounder. Datamarine Offshore 3000 Depthsounder. Furuno fishfinder. Furuno 1831 radar. The display is begining to malfunction. I am trying to purchase another on ebay and send it in to be refurbished, then change it out with my present one and refurbish it. Furuno service is good and the radar does a good job. I use a Davis reflector. i have not asked other boats how well they detect me. WH Autopilot PC 3 I have a WH Autopilot and it is great. I purchased a new electronics package and kept the old on installed as a back up. I may buy a spare pump and motor. I don't have the autopilot hooked up to my computer.
We have all Raymarine electronics. The software for the autopilot is poor. When on the track feature if the unit looses the waypoint, which has happened more than once, the unit simply goes off auto. In my opinion this is dangerous, if you are below and the unit goes off you have to rush back up and hopefully get there before you do an accidental gibe. The unit should switch to Auto and sound a loud alarm that it is no longer tracking.
Wind speed/direction indicator needs replace. Benmar autopilot is very old, still functional, but needs replaced.
Our previously owned Islander Freeport 41 came equipped with a Raymarine Autohelm 6000 autopilot, an older JRC Radar unit, a (removed) chartplotter system and no wind instruments. The Autohelm 6000 w/linear drive still works as does the JRC radar. We had to go on line to Ebay to back up the parts for cruising...and have since dropped the JRC radar. We have now added a new chartplotter system w/a Lowrance radar unit, and new classic (and stylish) wind instruments from Chesire England.
Raymarine wheel pilot performed flawlessly out of the box. It's amazing how well it tracked. I had it integrated with my Garmin GPS. Good factory support on all my Raymarine ST-60's.
We went with all Ratheon gear when the boat was built as they were the only people in Australia who would integrate everything for us and guarantee the result. The GPS is expensive and only so-so in reliablitiy. It has had to be replaced once. Its cable is prone to picking up and giving out electronic inerference, especially with the VHF radio. The autopilot linear drives are very good but the head failed once with a blow out diode. Raymarine told us we had to buy a new unit but a marine electronics dealer we ran across knew of the problem and could fix it for us. Once a year or so the autopilot loses its brains and tries to make us do a doughnut. we watch it like a hawk in heavy weather. The radar antenna failed after four years. The drain in the housing plugged and condensation eventually filled up the dome and the electronics boiled themselves to death. A replacement antenna was available instantly from New Zealand (we were in Fiji at the time) and a young lady who had been a radar specialist in the RNZ navy came down the dock to look at out boat and immediatley offered to install the new unit and check it out for us. We lost our masthead instruments in Queensland in 2005 when a lighting strike narrowly missed us. it fried all the potentiometers at the masthead. All in all, Raymarine's strong point is total systems integration but I don't think much of their reliablity. If you can manage the integration issues I would suggest you buy more reliable gear.
Datamarine instruments are 26 years old and just now starting to fail. Furuno Radar has worked very well Alpha Autopilot has worked very well after initial bugs worked out. Factory support not the greatest. Low power consumtion. Monitor wind vane used as back up.
The Raytheon linear drive autopilot works well when motoring or motorsailing. We have a Monitor windvane for sailing. It should be noted that the transducers for the wind/depth/speed instruments have been the least reliable components. Raymarine will tell you that the life expectancy for these is only five or six years. So it is best to pay a bit more for the retractable depth transducer so you dont' have to haul to replace it. The wind transducer is very fragile - birds using it as a perch can easily break (got around this problem by fabricating a SS perch above the wind transducer).
The autopilot is undersized for the boat and is old technology. I rated it poor becuse of numerous electronic failures not related to the sizing or design. Simrad belt driven wheel pilot
Up till now I have beed using a Garmin hand held for navigation, however I do intend to buy a chartplotter shortly
Datamarine parts - slow to ship replacement caps but the datamarine instruments we've never had a problem with.
KVH Data-Scope...Excellent concept, terrible execution/policies. The warranty is for one year and the device is NOT repairable. It is now useless as there is no gimbal stabilization...the bearing changes with any tilt. Do NOT buy this overpriced, under-designed, toy. WH Autopilot: After my Alpha controller failed, and given the well-known lack of customer service/high repair costs, I replaced the electronics with a WH. The company customized the unit to work with the Alpha electro-mechanical linear drive and the combination is superb...low power, quiet.
Not impressed with Raymarine. Doesn't integrate easily with other electronics and service is poor.
Except for our Garmin Chartplotter all of our electronics are Raymarine. The Garmin is excellant. The Raymarine stuff is very good but the ST-6000 autopilot tends to 'wander' a lot.... especially in a following sea. I noticed that the autopilot seems to get weird when we're near a military facility i.e. Aberdeen Proving Ground, Patuxant River, Norfolk, Kings Bay etc. Maybe it senses a 'disturbance in the force'?
All are Raymarine and all are daisey chained together. when one screws up they are screw up. Bad brand, bad company and bad customer service.
Updated to Raymarine "E" series this winter and will test it out in the spring. Also have the Sirius weather system, so it should be an interesting "test" this summer. Also went to the 4 kw radar from the Raymarine 2 kw. Will add that to the test list
We have a mix of older generation technology (e.g. Datamarine Link 5000 wind/speed/depth, Raytheon R20 Radar, Autohelm 6000 autopilot) with new Raymarine Chartplotters, Fugawi PC navigation, AIS, etc. As such, our instruments are not "integrated", but quite frankly we don't see that as an issue and are not prepared to upgrade from systems that work well just to have newer systems and a level of integration that we're not that interested in using.
Raymarine Autohelm 100 failed after 7 years and could not be repaired. Replaced it with a sg3.
We converted our old AutoHelm 2000 to run the trim tab for our self steering. Thus, it uses very little power and does not work hard. It is simple, and effective. I wish that I could couple it to the electronic charts. Perhaps some day I will pay for that, but this works and is paid for. We always have two identical laptops for reliability + if a computer is sick, you must have another to figure out how to fix the 1st one. We use them a LOT, but you MUST know how to do it the old way. Things die at the worst possible time and you donít want to be one of them.
Love our Simrad tiller pilot
the autohelm ST 6002 is good when it is working, and Raymarine has stood behind the product. But the controller has stopped working three times
Combi depth and speed unit is getting too old. Probably original equipment, 29 years old. Will supplement with a fishfinder when I find one that won't autoset the range at the minimum due to hull reflections in thru-the-hull shooting in the very thick CSY hull.
Electronics/Nav gear - I have old B&G instruments which stopped working just after the seatrials 10 years ago. I tried to fix them to no avail and parts aren't available. I would never buy B&G. I did buy a small Davis inhull depthsounder which works fine. I had an old Cetrek hydraulic autopilot which developed problems and can't be fixed since parts aren't available anymore. I would look at a Raymarine belowdeck pilot now since I bought a Raymarine wheelpilot for when there is a light or no breeze. My older (16 years) Furuno radar developed a magnetron problem and it wasn't worth fixing. I will replace it with either Furuno or Raymarine.
We love our Robertson autopilot, which is very reliable and does a great job of steering the boat in difficult conditions. We have a steel boat, so no radar reflector needed. All the com gear is ICOM and all the nav gear is Furuno. All the units are stand alone units that we interfaced, no multiple instruments or proprietary nets. The Furuno CRT radar and GPS have been flawless. We have an aging Standard Horizon wind=speed=depth set and it is starting to fail, and it never really liked being interfaced to the other gear very much. The repeater has gone dead, the wind instrument is unreliable and the temp sensor is dead. It still gives good speed and depth info.
PC linked to ICOM M-802 HF SSB offers e-mail and wx grib file download. Major source of communication while at sea. Tacktick solar powered instruments are state of the art but reliability and warrantee may be an issue. Most units are expensive and unrepairable.Simrad hydraulic autopilot reliable and service available worldwide.Foruno 1622 radar excellent cruising addition.
Autopilot: We have a NEK hydaulic autopilot with gyro interfaced with the sailing instuments and the navigation software. Superb unit, drives the boat to true wind direction, or compass course. Using True wind direction is great as it keeps the boat from yawing due to velocity induced aparent wind angle changes. Monitor Wind Vane: this is our favorite piece of equipement on board. Drives the boat most of the time and does a fantastic job as long as the boat is balanced. Had a number af break downs, but Monitor has addressed the issues in later models. We use NKE sailing instruments, they are very good, but the manuals are poor. We like that heach display can show all information available on to the system. Aslo I like that there is no central 'black' box.
Hercules pilot with gyro compass is awesome. Third crew member in very strong way.
Have windvane (Monitor)selfsteering that is very good. It steers for us most of the time without using any electrical power. The Raymarine unit picks up the slack - light winds, under diesel power. The pilot networked with the chartplotter is a very useful to us (shorthanded) with it's automatic corrections for currents and other capabilities.
Have tried numerous times by both e-mail and phone to contact Simrad regarding malfuntioning control head. Have never gotten a response. Will replace unit with any brand except Simrad.
Simrad autopilot hydraulic drive unit has required rebuilding 3 times in 10 years. Cannot recommend. Electronics and control system are first rate.
Alpha Spectra autopilot an electric linear ballscrew ram design, it is exceedingly quiet drive when running (puts B&G hydraulic and Autohelm linear ballscrews to shame). Extremely fast hardover to hardover response rate (5 seconds currently). This has been the bombproof primary pilot for the boat on multiple ocean crossings over 14 years. ComNav 1500 pilot This is the backup below decks electric-hydraulic ram pilot. It is noisy as all get-out, and I don't particularly like it at all. However, it will drive the boat in a straight line should anything go wrong with the Alpha. I've experimented with the ComNav on numerous races and it does work, it's just kind of dumb. Monitor Windvane Don't leave home without a windvane. Wind vanes work better than electric pilot upwind as they are: silent, consume no electrical power, and will keep the sails in trim as it tracks oscillating wind shifts. I have the monitor vane and it is a brilliant piece of kit. Not so good when surfing downwind under spinnaker, this is the one condition in which the electric pilot performs better. Sailing Instruments I'm currently using B&G Network (no longer manufactured), and they have worked satisfactorally for 14 years. I will replace with NKE when the B&G dies (or in 3 years, whichever comes first). Instruments should be mounted forward of the cockpit where everyone in the cockpit can see them. Basic information on deck at all times: depth, GPS range/bearing to target, boat speed, apparent/true wind angle (true upwind, apparent downwind), apparent/true wind speed (true upwind, apparent downwind). I also have a radar display/controller mounted at the helm for close scrutiny and control when steering in fog. I have sailed on many boats with failed Raymarine and Autohelm instruments, pilots, etc. - and will not purchase equipment from these manufacturers. I also have had bad experiences with Garmin, so prefer to not use them. I particularly like Furuno, NKE, B&G.
Since we are on a powerboat are needs are a little different. We've kept our electronics fairly simply and they all work flawlessly (even though they are approaching middle-age).
Navico Instruments and Furuno Radar. I understand Navico is no longer - good thing too. I have tried their instruments on my pedestal for 15 years, and they never lasted more than a few years if beyond a few month. They convinst me of buying their new improved Chorus instruments, but it was the same garbage. Except for the wind indicator, it lasted nearly 5 years. The Depthsounder gave in after 18 month and the Speed log was unreadable after only 2 years (and nearly always under cover). We have a very old color sonar (Seaport), that I bought in Canada in 1987. It has NEVER failed and is used all the time, since I can see the colorful 5" screen (cathode type) from behind the outside wheel. Why can't they make them like that anymore? Furuno LCD Radar - well they are cheap and you get what you pay for. Of course, if we didn't have a real radar (professional JRC at 5 kw), we would never know the difference. The Furuno is rated the same as the JRC at 24 miles, but with much less punch (1.5 kw). It shows! It can't really pick up any land or anything beyond 12 miles (not even large islands), sometimes we've been passed by motoboats of 40-50 feet and the radar didn't even notice. It is good enough to pick up freighters and large landmasses and to navigate near land, but to really on as an anti-collition warning - forget it. We have had small fishing boats all around us and the little LCD Furuno didn't see them at all, but the big radar picked up every thing including some of the net markers - clear and crisp without a lot of false garbage. Having said all this, I like to point out that this only applies to Furunos' small LCD radars, they however manufacture some real good pro stuff as well, but you have to pay some real money for that too. It is in my opinion always better to have some kind of radar at least, but to know it's limitations.
Since our boat is only 23', we have limited space, and electrical capacity, so our navigation gear consists of a couple of handheld mapping GPS units, which do what we need. We have only a fixed Raymarine depthfinder, which works fine. Actually, I like the simplicity. We don't have to worry about cabling, software incompatibilities, or other networking issues, not to mention expense, and we seem to get where we want to be anyway.
Nexus and Raymarine equipment (radar, E120, GPS) difficult to network. Nexus system very good, especially the wind indicator (once you get used to the different display). We use a Hydrovane wind vane which is rigged to be steered by the Tiller Pilot - no expensive, complicated belowdeck autopilot is needed.
I had my windspeed/direction transducer repaired by Datamarine with excellent results. Instruments are probably 20 years old and still function very well. The old Navico wheel-pilot has never functioned very well. This unit is scheduled for replacement. The combined Raymarine chartplotter/radar u nit works very well and I am happy I invested in it. The only mistake was ordering the smaller display unit. Bigger is better in this case.
Having a steel boat, we found a rate electronic compass is essential. Anything else (fluxgate) is not accurate enough causing too much wear and tear on the electro-hydraulic system.
Raymarine integrated system with a C series chartplotter on deck and a RL 530 below. I am quite amazed at how well the autopilot works in relatively heavy seas. Also does not seem to use much power. It never broke lock during a run into the wind of a strong gale for over 16 hours.
We used a AutoHelm 3000 wheel model for 8 years and only had 2 mechanical failures. We carried 100% spares, so the longest we were out of action was 15-minutes. Steered the boat in 55-kt gales or 1-kt zephyers. Currently looking at Raymarine wheel unit to replace Autohelm. Radar was very handy for nightime squall avoidance. Have gotten rid of knotmeter and use GPS (non-chart plotter) for boat speed. Have a couple of software programs in a laptop for figuring out daily runs, rum line or great circle routes, etc. Also have charts of the world on CD discs ($8 a disc on E-Bay) for the laptop. Good back up to paper.
I am basically happy with the Raymarine ST 50 instruments. They had decent customer service for a failed LCD display, although it would be hard to send one back for repairs from the middle of the Pacific.
The Navman instrument package was extremely disappointing. This was the ine addition we made to the boat that did not work out. The displays constantly went bad and had to be sent back tho the manufacturer multiple times. The anemometer always gave noticeable low reading while under way - though was reasonable accurate while at anchor. This may have had something to do with not dealing well with the heeling of the boat. Raymarine radar/chartplotter performed very well. We never had an issue with it.
My wind/speed/depth equipment are all 25 years old (Datamarine) but still work, so I have not replaced them. Same with my Cetrek autopilot. They are not as flexible as current designs, but still function well and reliably.
Just refit. Still studying
I use the autopilot regularly, and intend on installing an additional (redundant/backup) system, as I consider this device one of the key mechanisms for sailing safely, as it affords the crew an opportunity to rest and relax while still making headway.
I use a tiller autopilot that controls the vane on my Monitor self steering unit. It works great and the load on the autopilot is minimal. I generally use the wind vane but if motoring I'm forced to go with the combination. The monitor has never been a problem and steers my Tayana 42 with no problems.
We like the Seatalk system with Raymarine, where all the electronics (wind, speed, depth, radar and autopilot) are tied together. Our autopilot, the ST5000 does not do well downwind, but I don't know that any of them do. Our remote has gone out twice in 5 years.
Standard Horizon depth and knotmeter: hard to calibrate. Depth won't fix on specific depth in shallow water, which is when one needs it. Wiring may be poor on both, resulting in intermittent lack of accuracy (0.0 readings on knotmeter and wildly divergent readings on depthsounder in shallow water). Raymarine wind instrument has worked well. The masthead unit blew off in Hurricane Charley and had a pin break off and another pin bend. Several electronics techs told us it couldn't be repaired, but we tried anyway. Soldered a new pin on and straightened the bent pin. It now works like a champ, even in very high winds. Autohelm (now Raymarine) autopilot 6000ST+ needs to be recalibrated about once a year. Does not control boat well in following sea.
Our ComNav Commander autopilot has served well, however, further development and adaptation to NMEA 2000 has been extremely quiet at ComNav. The autopilot display does not have a protective cover and therefore it is out in the weather resulting in early failure of the control head. ComNav refuses to manufacturer a cover. This autopilot does not have a true handheld remote only a hard wired, very large device. The menu for configurations is way too complex and unusable while underway. Now that we have a robust, oversized hydraulic linear drive we are free to pick any autopilot electronics package. We would not buy the ComNav product again.
B & G Network autopilot & full instruments very expensive, fails often, no skilled service available in Caribbean. Would never purchase again.
Autopilot is Raymarine Linear Type 2L. It has reliably and accurately steered our 32000 lb boat through even the most severe offshore conditions. Raymarine wind instrument masthead unit has failed 4 times in 6 years, and due to upgrades in the replacment unit, we were required to replace the entire instrument after the last failure. Although most of Raymarine's instruments are good quality, the ST60 Analog wind instrument has unacceptable reliability and should be avoided.
Raymarine wind instument has broken down 3 times in 11 years. Raymarine service was very good.
windvane: Aries, use most of the time. tiller pilot: Autohelm 1000, use it only in very light conditions when windvane won't steer. wind instruments: Can't keep them working-gave up trying.
Old navigation equipemnt from Stowe and radar waypoint system from Shipmate Robinson was all installed via a central unit and as some of the equipment had failed we have started to replace with all new components. New equipment will be: Raymarine ST60+ for wind, speed and depth due to intuitive use and easy instrument reading. The depth transduces remains the one from Stowe and thankfully works as we can't take the boat out at this time. WH autopilote as recommended from the forum and I want a strong and reliable unit as we will not fit a windvane. Anritsu Radar is in good shape and will remain until it fails.
We have a Cape Horn windvane, and no autpilot. The vane works great after leading the lines clearly and getting the sail plan balanced. For navigation we use paper charts, hand held GPS, dividers, and parellel rules. Great simple, accurate, and inexpensive system.
The Standard Horizon was sold with a lifetime warranty. When mine failed in 18 months, I called for a replacement. They said the lifetime was the unit not me. Since the unit died, the warranty expired!!!! Would NEVER buy this brand again.
If I have wind I use my Monitor vane
The WH autopilot is outstanding. The combination of Furuno Radar/Chartplotter with C-map and MaxSea has worked without a problem over 11,000 miles, from USA to Australia.
I have a full Raymarine instrument system. It has all been totally reliable for 3 years of ocean sailing. The ST8001 Smartpilot is fantastic, and the ST4000 wheel pilot backup adequate.
My second GPS, Garmin 48 (which has an external antenna) is connected to my PC, my ICOM 402 VHF radio, my Raymarine 16 mile radar and my ACR RapidFix EPIRB. This works very well for navigation, safety and display of GPS data on the radar screen. The latter can be swung out on an arm so that it is visible from the steering station. The Magellan GPS is solely for backup, but is used all the time under way.
We use the B&G H1000 instrument system and auto pilot. Very good quality for much cheaper than Hydra. Way better than the Raymarine we have seen.
Very disappointed with Tacktick instruments. The forst problem was installation documentation that was very lacking. Then technical support to fill in for the poor manuals often took a week or more to get any answer, usually the wrong one. The wind transducer has been unreliably and it took 3 months to get a warranty replacement. That works, but not well. Conclusion--suffer with wires!!
We have had problems with all our Raymarine equipment. All were fixed by Raymarine and now seem to be working well.
Auto Helm/Raymarine AP had brain chip die. replace in Marin, Martinique. Added education for Captain at no additional cost. Chain and motor are Auto Helm (taken over by Raymarine) and is much older. I need to replace chain
We have three depth sounders and speed instruments - one Raymarine fishfinder plus speed, one raymarine speed and one datamarine speed, plus two signet depth sounders. The Raymarine units are tied into a system which integrates all the instruments and shows on the radar/chartplotter and fishfinder displays. We also have a Datamarine wind instrument with a repeater at the nav station. Our radar reflector(s) are two mobri tubes on the shrouds over the spreaders. They seem to return well, as we show up as three tightly bunched impressions to ship radar. We also have a collapsible Davis raincatcher reflector which we have never used, in reserve.
Autohelm Autopilot -- Breakdown was wiring short in remote unit. Remote backlight has also failed.
Wind, depth, etc instruments are by SP Mariner, the Nav- 5A system. Radar is a Furuno 841, old but reliable. Autopilot is Alpha Spectra and it is excellent and very reliable, one of the better ones out there from all I have seen.
Autopilot does not stay on course in any condition other than glassy. Repaired twice in 2 years.
We use the tillerpilot on our Monitor windvane when under power. Monitor alone under sail. We love it! In defense of our B&G instruments, they were very good when new but after 14 years they are almost non-functional. Will replace with simple windex and depth finder only.
Have RayMarine 2kw radar: not nearly powerful enough. Good only for tracking wx or very short range.
I have an Aires wind vane, modified with a monitor style kick up rudder. It has a custom latch and all three functions operate remotely at the stern rail (raise- lower-unlatch)it works OK for a windvane, but I usually use the Robertson autopilot. I have a wheel, but the autopilot acts on a short emergency rudder. It works well except that I have to go to the stern to deploy it. I will be updating navigation gear for the next cruise. I will probably always carry a couple of plastic sextants, but the ols brass one was sold 10 years ago.
Raytheon 6000. Had problem with rudder angle sensor. Replaced that & worked fine but now is broken & problem unresolved
Do have 2 permanent mount Raymarine 300 GPS units. Rate very good. 4 yrs. old, no breakdowns
Auto Helm autopilot has been great steering a variety of sailboats. I have used it on up to a 54 Hylas delivery from Ft.Laud to St. Thomas USVI. I used it on a 5 year circumnavigation of the Caribbean basin on my boat and it steered great. The best part is the belt which slips whenever things overwhelm it. This saves the electric motor from burning itself up. I have replaced the brushes in the electric motor once. It is a shame that parts are no longer available. Discontinued model Real rough weather causes it to slip and we have to hand steer. Proper trim makes it handle anything. I have a 37' Irwin and it has steered up the East coast and down island around the entire Caribbean. 15 years and going strong. I do worry that it is past due to fail.
We use an ARIES WINDVANE for 60-80% of time depending on conditions. Autohelm 3000 is too weak and unreliable except for flat water conditions usually, and up wind we use the ARIES. Our Combi knotmeter doesn't work, but the GPS is better for this anyway. We have a back up Walker Excelsior taffrail log for passages, but not used now, with GPS. We have NO Winddirection/speed devices, but couldn't cancel "other" from this survey!
Raymarine ST60 - Pretty good stuff, only problem during lightening strike Raymarine ST6000 - Autopilot. Great during motoring and winds less than 20 knots.
b&g electronics -- these are more expensive, but the pilot is excellent and the "steer to wind" capability is the best available.
The B&G "blue ram" motor wore out so I replaced the ram with all new, separate hydraulic componets supplied by Will Ham (Seattle)that are driven by the B&G electronics. This has been a very reliable system for the 5 years in the Pacific. The only failure was caused by saltwater on the hydraulic rod that got in the seal and corroded the rod while the boat was stored in Tahiti. Will Ham replace the hydraulic ram at no charge and the system has been fine since -- and I have avoided spraying saltwater on it.
My wind / depth / speed instruments are B&G Network instruments. They have performed well, with the exception of the software locking up from time to time and needing to be re-booted. The anemometer also broke down after about 7 years and needed to be replaced (very expensive replacement), as did my Windex wind indicator (very low grade aluminum had degraded to nothing after 7 years) I use my mast steps a radar reflectors. They work well. I would buy the B&G instruments again, but I think I'd opt for a speed indicator that does not use the paddlewheel. . . the moving part in this instrument can be too easily broken or can get clogged up with sea growth too easily.
Raymarine c80 is easy to use as well as the wheel pilot for inland use
Radar enhancer/reflector---- hard to rate since we are grp construction and carbon rig I would have to say the see-me and Plastimo rig reflector are marginal at best. Trying to get a better fix. Will refit in NZ with whatever will be state-of art in 2009 Raymarine systam has been great with only one ST290 failure. Use our Raymarine auto with a Mamba Drive extensively and have only great experience.
Our Tacktic wind instrument frequently fails to connect from sensor to display. We have been told that this "may" be a known problem, and would be covered under warrantee. We will ship the units back to the distributor the next time we are in the States. We use a Simrad TP-10 tillerpilot for steering our 42' sailboat when powering in calms. On the face of it, grossly undersized, but it has worked fine for 8 years. Cheap enough to carry a spare. See http://www.sv-moira.com/projects.html
Raymarine ST6000 - Great system. Only problems I have had is the speed wheel gets clogged with seaweed all the time.
Looking to add an on deck chart plotter. Will not integrated it to the autopilot.
The Raymarine Integrated system of electronics has proved extremely reliable and fuctional. The system includes wind,close hauled wind,speed,depth and graphic displays in the Cockpit, at the pedestal and at the nav station, combined with a 12" display at the nav station and a 10" at the pedestal, with (2) 125 WAAS GPS Units, 48m Radar and 400G AutoPilot with Type 3 Hydraulic Ram. In addition AIS (receive only) is ported into the system and available at both displays. The integrated systems allows all crew members with view of all systems for safety and overall effeciency. It shold be noted that the receive only AIS will be upgraded to send and receive capability as it has been deemed by the crew to be one of the most important safety systems available to the marine industry for offshore and coastal sailing.
I also have an Autohelm Autopilot that can attachto my Monitor Wind Vane system. This is my backup.
Given the no. of miles traveled, our B&G Network instrumentation worked extreamly well. The integrated belowdeck B&G autopilot, despite its breakdowns, compared favorably to the experience I observed others having over the years. I would buy B&G equipment again.
SIMRAD Robertson AP20 autopilot is a great piece of gear, especially with the WHITLOCK electric drive option. This drive is more energy efficient than hydraulic drives, and we have enough rudder force available to steer our 16 ton full keel boat at 13 knots, ensuring that the autopilot will be able to help us in storm conditions, when we are most likely to need it.
We love our MacEnc chartplotter and AIS that runs for low $'s on our MAC computer. IT is worth buying a MAC to have. I used to sell E80 and E120 Chartplotters (and bought it and full Navionics Platinum Software myself) but think the MACENC (view at www.macenc.com) is better. But we always keep the Raymarine stuff on and compare, but have never found it equal.
Navman depth mounted inside; shoots thru hull via mineral oil
Depthsounders, we use two, a fixed digital and a inexpensive fishfinder with the transducer glued to the inside of the hull. The fishfinder outperforms the expensive digital, lets you see through the thermoclines and is a good backup. We use the monitor windvane both in the wind offshore and hooked up to a tiller pilot when motoring offshore where out wheel pilot does not do a good job.
we use a Monitor windvane with an Autohelm 1000 pilot attached for low wind conditions.
B&G
No wind vane. Mamba (Lewmar?) autopilot. Reportedly few failures, but limits options if fails. Not based on wire controls. Tri-lens purchased from West Marine, reportedly used by US Marine Corp and more effective than most, I hope.
Simrad-Robertson below-deck autopilot, as distinct from the Simrad brand wheel pilot, has been very good. Although conventional wisdom says that you need 7-power binoculars for stability, we prefer the 10-power waterproof Nikon for power and light-gathering.
Raymarine E120 system including AIS and MOB - so far all ecellant
Datamarine data link 5000 - getting pretty creaky, wind unreliable, depth good, speed has usual paddlewheel fouling problems. Radar actually Raytheon, considering its age, it works extremely well, and is more than adequate for most situations. Power draw a shortcoming, though. Inexpensive Davis Echomaster as good as any passive, and others similarly equipped show up well on MY radar.
To integrate Raymarine with other brands I had to buy a Seatalk NMEA converter. My Simrad hydraulic autopilot was undersized for my 50 foot boat from the start and cuts out in heavy seas. I have to upgrade to the 40 amp version and bigger hydraulic pump.
B&G systems, except for the auto pilot are not dependable--numerous break downs, false readings etc. Raymarine is not much better
Raymarine ST 7001 Smart Pilot. After a couple of course computer failures I installed a later model series 3 with the internal gyro. Much better.
Raymarine ST60 wind, ST40 knot and depth. Knot meter seems hard to calibrate. Boat already had some Raymarine, otherwise I might have gone with NMEA based system rather than proprietary SeaTalk. Alpha 4404 autopilot works well steering to compass, but a little tricky to set and not easy to make minor course adjustments. Would like to try to interface with Raymarine ST60 to steer to wind, but this is low priority. We are mounting an Aries windvane.
I use a furuno color video sounder, and interphase color forward looking and and old digital unit. We do a lot of exploring and really use the data from all. Forward looking requires tuning like a radar and is only useful at slow speeds in Gulf Coast conditions, shallow muddy water. Still very helpful finding the old bayou where the marsh is all gone, really can slowly putt putt along and follow the deep water, great in South Louisiana.
Raymarine below deck auto pilot. I have been very happy with the unit even though it tends to use a fair amount of power when the going gets rough. However, it is very powerful and can handle the boat in most conditions.
Trawler has redondit systems for Navigation, Depth,speed.
All the Raymarine stuff came with the boat - seems to be working pretty well. The Autopilot 4000 steers (wavers) plus or minus 3 degrees from the set course - okay in an open area, irritating if a smaller channel. We have a wind vane but haven't used it yet... Radar reflector as recommended by Practical Sailor. Have a hand held depth instrument - good with the dinghy. Have two Garmin Chartplotters - got them for $300 each at West Marine when we were just looking for a new GPS. Glad to have them now - Tide tables/charts, services available - nice features.
Autopilot Raymarine 6001+: Very good and made better with "Gyro" upgrade. Good service from Raymarine for software upgrade of Chart RC530 to operate with Gyro. Fwd Looking Sonar-Echopilot Bronze FLS: Very useful for checking the depths and obstacles when entering unknown bays and ports.
Furuno Radar/Chartplotter with 10" screen. I use the radar in poor visiblity, but find using the split screen provided too small of a screen. I therefore use my computer software with the AIS interface below deck to help navigate. I also find that the computer software is very helpful for voyage planning.
Raymarine system: the chartplotter, radar, gps, depth sounder, wind indicator, fluxgate compass, boat water speed indicator, and autopilot are all part of an integrated system. This has worked very well for us. Our autopilot failed and was replaced for the standard cost of $600 (seems a bit pricey), however, raymarine sent us a spare rudder position indicator as part of this repair. We also have the Cap'N navigation software installed on a pc, which we have broadband service for. This allows for updating charts, getting LNM's, weather, etc, as long as we're in US waters.
Simrad and Raymarine autopilots: Our boat came equipped with Vetus hydraulic steering and a Simrad Robertson autopilot, both of which have perforned beautifully. We decided to back this up with a Raymarine electro-mechanical system for redundancy to both the autopilot and steering systems. This is still a good idea in theory, but despite having great success on our previous boat with a pair of Raymarine pilots, this one has been a disaster. We're on our fourth linear drive, our third control head, and the course computer has quit once. The unit doesn't hold it's basic settings reliably.
The biggest thing missing in this survey is AIS. Highly recommend!! VERY important safety device and a life saver on overnight passages We also have a Hydro Vane Steering Device. In addition to it's availability as a backup and, or substitute for power hungry auto pilot, it's an emergency rudder.
I installed Silva Nexus (old-style Nexus) instruments in 2001 new with the boat. For 7 years of hard racing and cruising they've been absolutely flawless. The displays are all still good, the system is accurate, and nothing has failed. I can't say enough good things about this system. It needs calibration about every 2 years for racing, but for cruising I don't know that you'd need to do it more often than maybe every 5 years. Most 40.7's have Raymarine instruments and have all had many problems. A few boats went with B&G, which are certainly more accurate, but have also been less reliable. In installed a Nexus autopilot about 5 years ago and it's been as excellent as the rest of the nexus system. It's a below-deck hydraulic unit (actually, the same unit B&G uses) and so far is not leaking. Drives great to compass, wind, and GPS (yes, I hooked it to the GPS, but only use that for motor deliveries). Great for single handing since it will auto-tack and auto-gybe for you. For a boat this size, you can do Nexus more cheaply than Raymarine for instruments and autopilot, and have a system that appears to perform significantly better and is vastly more reliable (from my observation anyway).
We have a Northstar 5800 Charplotter for the last 5 years. It is truly excellent. We have also just installed the Raymarine E120 system, with sirius weather, man overboard bracelets, and integration of other electronics along with the ST70 gauges. The system is excellent. We use a ComNav autopilot with 2 hydralic pumps; a large one continuous run, and a smaller one as a back up. Again excellent. The radar detectors are firdell blipper and have been able to be easily seen. The most recent piece of electronics is an ACR AIS which is a wonderful item, that really does the job. We have 2 Raymarine Radars, both 48 mile, and they are both excellent
Raymarine radar was more user friendly but they no longer make a radar-only unit. Raymarine radar did have some breakdowns.
Main GPS is a Furuno Mk 32. I've had this unit in 3 boats and it is a reliable, no frills unit I recommend. I inherited the Cetek autopilot, and it has never worked; total dinosaur, no meaningful support.
Simrad Wheel Pilot 32. Good unit, but had to be repaired once. Very good brain, holds course much better than the old CPT. WP-32 out of production, would have bought another for spare.
Raymarine ST7000 has been very reliable although I tend not to use it to much under sail due to the power draw. The Garmin 82 chart ploter is wonderful. I use the built in, lit compass on the West Marine Fiji model binoculars quite often and was surprised how useful decent binoculars with built in compass is.
I have had trouble with ST60 autohelm/raymarine autopilot in the past on another boat. On this boat is has been just fine. I have had trouble with the st60 wind instrument on other boats. On this one it has been perfect. So..... there you go.
Raymarine integrated system installed 2008 which includes 2 E80 MFDs, Wheelpilot with Fast Heading Sensor and ST6002 repeater control head, ST60+ wind, depth and speed, AIS, Sirius Weather, and Pathfinder Radar. A very fine system that required great effort to get it working right. If you're in the Penobscot Bay area, Kim Baker at Windsor Consulting in Thomaston ME does spectacular work on these complex systems. The manuals leave a great deal to be desired, and often give contradictory information. The master E80 and autopilot control head are attached to a steering pedestal guard in the cockpit; repeaters are located in the nav station. As a result, I spend alot more time sailing and less time down below. SEA-ME radar target enhancer: If you're sailing solo or short-handed this is a must-have. Made in the UK, it enhances your vessel's radar return so that you will be more "visible" to others. Current drain is minimal compared to having your radar in active scanning mode. Control box is wired to permit use of Radio Shack "buzzer," so you get visual and aural confirmation of radar-transmitting vessels. Raymarine ST-6002 Wheelpilot. If you also purchase the fast heading sensor, order only the computer; in other words, don't buy the computer and the fluxgate compass together. You don't need a second fluxgate compass to supplement the one that comes with the Wheelpilot. It's unecessary and will confuse the wheelpilot computer.
Swofer comercial still running and in good shape, will update newerlater. Will be buying newer Tiller auto pilot.
Beware Raymarine wheel autopilot. The course computer must be sent to factory and modified in order to steer a compass course via fluxgate compass only. This was not the case for prior models, Raymarine does not warn you about the change, it is a pain to have to do it, and it adds expense to an otherwise good system. Shame on Raymarine.
Raymarine Autopilot - We updated our existing Raymarine autopolot with a new Raymarine system. We have had problems but each problem was caused by some installation error.
Wind & Depth: I've had to figure out how to wire them so I can turn on one instrument at a time but still recieve data. Raymarine not very helpful. Radar: Had plug vibrate loose and cause problems but beyond that worked flawless. Autopilot: has always worked flawless added 3g and it measures wave conditions and makes adjustments works great! love it!
Raymarine C120 chartplotter/radar display with SmartRadio SR-161 AIS receiver, 4kW radar scanner, and Raymarine Raystar 125 GPS. Interphase Probe forward looking sonar. Raymarine ST-60 wind instrument. Speed and log is by GPS. Raymarine S3G autopilot and 25 year old electrical autopilot drive unit. Hydrovane wind vane works well, but not used much in coastal sailing. I powered the electronics from a battery that is relay-isolated when the anchor windlass breaker is closed, thus isolating the electronics from voltage dips and surges created by the anchor windlass. This cured serious problems with radar/chartplotter and wind instrument losing calibration and user settings.
We sail and motor using the autopilot extensively. In our 3 years on her we've never sailed in rough enough conditions to test it thoroughly. On two occasions we've had failures of either the compass or computer that have caused nasty course changes. Power cycling corrected the problem. We hope this problem has been fixed by some of the electrical improvements we've made.
RAYMARINE ST60 Wind/Depth/Autopilot/Log. Raymarine 48mile radar. Raymarine E80 Chartplotters. All work together as they should using the seatalk network. Integration is the way to go.
Raymarine autopilot. Course computer died twice, very costly replacement. Would not buy again
I have a Cape Horn wind vane self steering system which also uses a Simrad auto pilot (Tiller) below decks. It is a simple robust systemn and works great. 6 years old 4000 miles without a hitch. I have all Horizon Depth, Speed, and Wind instruments which I installed and they work without a hitch as well.
Raymarine wind, speed, depth are poor reliability. New smartpilot autopilot seems to keep down energy consumption and smartcontroller remote control is useful for additional readout and remote use.
Integrated Raymarine suite of slightly older generation. All plays well with each other, I just wish there were firmware upgrades to add modern features like AIS overlays. Autopilot is a Raymarind ST1000 used to control the wind sensor on a Cape Horn Windvane. This works out badly for the most part since the autopilot is not protected from reaching its travel stop and can grind itself up in short order when it does; really dumb design.
Autopilot draws a lot of current, so added a windvane, Windpilot from Germany. Windvane/rudder was broken and had to be reinforced with glassmatt and epoxy.
One of the autopilot break downs was caused by a near miss lightning strike which killed the eletronics. Although the unit was old, the Alpha Marine company still supported it and mailed me new parts to the Bahamas
Autopilot... one of the most important pieces of equipment on the boat. Do not cut corners when purchasing
W-H AP5 autopilot purchased but not installed yet. Airmar/Furuno weather station is terrific
Ctrek is a French made auto pilot it is no longer sold or supported in USA. I would not purchase another one.
Nav charts incomplete, missing info, off by distances, cannot be depended upon entirely. Charts must. Easy to be dependent and trust in system, take care. Chart plotter very poor, but does the job. Not a lot of bells and whistles. Sea Talk system good idea, some trouble with it at times. Ray's C-80 radar failed in the fog- it almost cost us our lives as a ship nearly ran us over. I re-configured the radar twice, then upgraded the firmware upon returning to the PNW. Since selling the boat, we're not sure if it's still active.
The Raymarine autopilot works well, but has its quirky moments. Apparently the flux gate compass is very sensitive to electromagnetic interference. When the bilge pump runs, it causes the autopilot to make a turn to port that can be very alarming. I have moved the flux gate compass two feet further from the bilge pump, but it still interferes. Aside from that, it has been entirely reliable.
I purchased a complete Raymarine e80 system with radar and wind speed depth instr. This was about 1 year ago and have had 3 E80 s fail or factory recal, 2 wind inst fail, 1 depth inst fail, 3 corurse computers for aupto pilot fail all within the 12 months. All were covered by factory warenty but spent considerable down time in places I would not care to do so again.
I have all Raymarine electonics on my boat. I am not very happy with the operation, reliability or service provided by Raymarine but don't have much to which to compare. My wind indicator was off by nearly a factor of two and the people that installed it could not get it right. I "calibrated" it against a hand held and got it closed to reality. The Auto pilot has failed completely 3 times requiring replacement of cards. Service is very poor in the San Francisco Bay area. I find the operation of the instuments not intuitive and many things nearly impossible to perform without written instructions (i.e. hold two buttons down for X seconds to get to next menu) (not always easy to do when underway single handed).
We use our Furuno Chart plotter/radar to find our way all over the world. We use the NASA AIS with it's own screen to see the position of ships at sea. This is a good system as it does not clutter the radar screen. In places that have heavy ship traffic it is a winner. We also use two auto pilots one behind the wheel and one the rudder post should we have a steering system failure we can use the rudder mount to get us home..
Calibration is a problem highlighted by the multiple systems we have. Two electronic compasses and a traditional binnacle-mounted compass, as well as my handheld and the one incorporated into my binocculars; a gps speed over ground reading and a knotmeter. With none of these agreeing with each other, I don't trust my wind gauge or barometer. I'm most comfortable navigating by simple visual observation.
We are transitioning away from Raymarine because they are interested in selling new products rather than supporting and improving their existing products. Our Raymarine radar, 7 years old, was repaired to the tune of $800 and died just past the repair warranty. Our next radar will not be Raymarine. We have a wheel mounted CPT autopilot (no longer available because Scanmar bought CPT out and then discontinued it) as a backup to our Autohelm/Raymarine.
Navman 3100 depth and speed indicators - appear to work well but suffered from some installation issues by previous owner. Navman wind 3150 also seems to work reasonably well but also suffered from installation iissues by previous owner. At some point in the future, I would like to replace them with Raymarine products
All instumentation is Standard Horizon and works well. I would rather have a wireless system to replace it since wiring is a nightmare.
We have a Raymarine 120 Nav System With 72 mi Radar Also a Furuno nav system with 36 mi back up Radar..
We have a 15 year old B&G Network system & have had one minor wiring deterioration problem in the autopilot control box that was easily fixed.
Autopilot is new, don't have experience jet. My depth sounder is mounted on the inside of the hull. The Standard works very well. My wind indicator is a mast mounted bird. I have no wind speed indicator. Will be purchasing a hand held next year. I plan to add a chartplotter next year. Will go cruising with minimal electronics and see how it goes.
Previous owner installed all Raymarine instruments: radar, C80 chartplotter, autopilot, wind, spead, depth, all interfaced with seatalk. Have not had problems due to equipment failure but did do some rewiring to improve installation.
We have a very basic and standard system. Raymarine, Wind, Depth, Speed, Pilot, & Radar. We use a Furuno GP 32 for the GPS and have 2 hand held back up's. Every thing is displayed on Nobeltec, except Radar. (need black box) Wind Speed Depth are normal. With regards to the Pilot, as we are 80,000lbs and Raymarine rate theirs up to 77000lbs I am very happy. However we did burn up the original Pilot after 3 days of heavy weather, but found that the pump was under sized. So far after upgrading the Course Computer and Pump we have been OK. Only other thing is the Compass. I have replaced mine and have also replaced 2 for customers in the last year. Raymarine have very good policys and have not had any trouble getting replacements.
Nav instruments fully integrated. Works excellent. Only problem is with a chart plotter integrated with everything else you can get into a rut of depending upon this info too much and loosing basic nav skells. Need to just turn it off now and then.
Our Datamarine electronics are somewhat out of date. The integrated wind-speed-depth-log is no longer manufactured, and parts are impossible to get. The radar is effective, but doesn't have the automatic plotting features available on the newer units. The autopilot is dead-serious reliable, but is analog and not adjustable by degrees -- we prefer reliable over everything else, but still. We have a Scanmar Monitor windvane, which is the best thing on the boat when we're offshore. We use it whenever we're under sail.
New Furuno Navnet 2 system.
We have a Garmin gps3210, gps 128 hand, a gmr40 radar unit, gsd 22 depth sounder networked together. We have a West Marine hand held and a Uniden UM625c VHF and a yes a DDS-99 Costal Navigator w/remote read out at least 25 years old.
*Raymarine 6000 with rate gyro below deck autopilot with hydrolic ram has performed flawlessly. Installed 16 months/4,000+ sea miles. *Navman GPilot Autopilot with rate gyro below deck autopilot with hydrolic ram was installed for one passage (NZ to Tonga) it was a total failure as the electronics were underengineered for the job to activate the hydrolic ram sold with the unit. We replaced it with the Ray Marine noted above, which has been perfect. *WH Autopilot - installed 5 years, one failure. We replaced it for newer technoloty that offered rate gyro and self learning/adaptation to sea state. A robust system, but slow to respond. Excellent factory support, mediocre documentation. Working rate gyro option was not available at the time we moved up in technolgy.
Raymarine "E" series, Networked depth, speed, Wind speed/pt, Radar, GPS, AIS, Chart plotter, and Auto pilot. System integrates all data and works well.
All is Raymarine: not really reliable -> 3 breakdowns in 2 years!
B&B wind instrument: one broke, dealer Jamestown Electronics not honor warranty. Bought second one and it failed. They cannot be repaired. Worst piece of equipment on this cruise. No back up. Cannot be opened. Cannot be fixed.
Auto Nav autopilot. I only rated it good because of Paul Wagners very bad attitude to customers. It is a very good usit. Too bad they are out of bussiness.
The Interphase fwd looking sonar is nice, but the learning curve is extensive. Purchased the keypad to use on the chartplotter screen belowdecks - big mistake. Should have purchased the Interphase display and mounted at the wheel, since it can also act as a dumb terminal for the chartplotter.
We use our windvane whenever the wind is over 10 knots and our tiller-pilot at other times. We do not use wind instruments and have not particularly missed them.
Raymarine ST4000+ and ST60, JRC Radar, Garmin GPSMAP76 all connected via multiplexer to PC navigation. Works well - I enjoy connecting equipment and getting it working.
We upgraded electronics to all Raymarine over the first two years we lived on the boat. This was one of the best decisions we made. We have had good service in multiple places and have always been able to communicate with the factory. The equipment is now old and a little more prone to failure. The autopilot ST6000 was installed on the boat in 1988 and has only failed once due to a loose connection. High praise for Raymarine.
Wind instruments are easy to read and operate. Had a problem with the screen on the control head for the autopilot. Apparently water got in unit and caused screen to partially malfunction. Unit was 3 years old and the bill was $300 ouch
My Raymarine wind speed and direction equipment is failing. It cannot be reliably alligned. Raymarine tells me that parts are no longer available. The only failing part is at the top of the mast --- I think. I will have to replace this at a considerable cost. This does not leave a good taste in my mouth.
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I paid extra in 03 for a complete Raymarine package. GPS failed 3 times, wind 2x autopilot 4 times radio 1.course computer 2x.Radar once. I have paid 2x the cost in repairs. Service sucks for the most part. About ready to go back to a hand held compass and a paper chart.
B&G h100 series. Only critizism is the lack of a decent depth alarm. Below-deck autopilot works very well, an surprised how accurate it is. Besides, I use a Hydrovane windvane when offshore. Must admit that it is used a lot less than on my previous boats, which did not have a below-deck autopilot. Still would not want to miss it.
Planing to upgrade my primary electronics to Maretron NMEA 2000
Instruments are Raymarine ST-50 and have been very reliable. Autopilot is Raymarine ST-6000 mechanical linear drive, also very reliable with only a defective fluxgate compass in well over 1000 hours of use. Furuno 1800 CRT radar is 19 years old and still performs well and is very sensitive. The tri-lens radar reflector returns a large target as reported by commercial ships. A Monitor windvane is used for offshore cruising, and the autopilot is used for coastal cruising and offshore racing.
radar raytheon r40 24 years old, begin have a low video level,will go into surgery shortly ,autopilot neco below deck 24 years old,still in working order but not connectable to the gps,spare of the raymarine st 8000 with hydraulic ram and gps connected, brooks gatehouse hornet 4, 24 years old still working,a change of the masthead board after lightning strike,parts still availables
I use Raymarine ST60 instruments, they work fine. My autopilot is a hybrid of the Raymarine control unit, and an Octopus Continuous Running Pumpset. It is not too energy hungry, and seems to steer well - except in the presence of magnetic anomolies.
All the electronics are old and are scheduled for replacement.
First, it would be helpful if the survey allowed notice of replaced items: I am now using my third Raymarine wheel pilot. It is a good piece of kit, when working, but it has had to be replaced more often than it should. My Voyager Windvane is elegant and gets almost constant use, when windspeed exceeds boat speed. Best gear on the boat. The Standard Horizon analogue anonometer, even after calibration, is far from accurate in measuring windspeed, and the wind direction needle sticks, either on the back plate or the front glass. The Echopilot (Bronze)Forward Looking Sonar has on occasion been very useful in passes, but the display is poor, needing frequent adjustment for light conditions. Also, the display, instead blinking, should indicate clearly when the unit is in water too deep to measure.
Raymarine: We have all Raymarine electronics and instruments on the boat (instruments, autopilot, VHF, radar, chartplotter). We find them to be excellent and very easy to use. I know others have complained about Raymarine from time to time, but we never have had a material problem with any of their products over the span of three boats now.
Raymarine wind instruments always have been problematic.
Simrad Autopilot---It works when it works. I have had the first one repaired twice and then replaced it. This lasted three years and then needed replacement. It runs rough. Makes a lot of grinding noise that is evidently normal. I dont like the way it steers. Only use it when there is NO WING under power. Under sail in any real sea and wind it is worthless. CARD--Works well enough but it's major failing is that it's success is 100% dependent on the other guy having his radar turned on which they seldom do. I see the ship I hear nothing from the CARD. When the ship gets close enough that i can see the name i call him--then he turns on his radar and the card tells me he is there. far too late. AIS is MUCH BETTER. The little black box interfaces with the GOS or Computer and I know everything in a flash. I bought the SI TEX Black Box. Works well enough but "if you want an install or instruction manual" you have to download it on line---they do not provide one in the box. That sort of tells you about their attitude toward tech support---cryptic one word e mail answers which raise more questions tan answers. I would recommend buying the Mill tech---better unit, better instructions and better support. Aries Wind Vane has been superb for 31 years. It always works and you can always do something to fix it out in the field. Use it whenever we have ANY wind. Electronic autopilot is only used under power or in very light following wind with spinnaker or drifter and NO SWELL. Garmin GPS 520/520S---A real HORROR. I could write a book on why I hate these units but their main failure is that it is VERY DIFFICULT to upload waypoints into them UNLESS you have Garmin's Proprietary Trip and waypoint manager---which they claim to be discontinued. They use a proprietary ADM format that is not compatible with anything else. You save you waypoints in your chart program as GPX files, upload them to Trip and waypoint and then immediately send them to an SD card and then insert that card into the unit and IF you did everything right you get your waypoints into the unit. far too cumbersome to be practical. If you have a mac you are SOL---as Trip and waypoint is not Mac Based. (See discussion on E charting). On the plus side--the garmin's g2 Charts on SD cards are STUNNING-----BUT they can only display in the unit on the small screen. Garmin will not allow you even to VIEW them on your computer, set your waypoints and tracks and then unplug the card and re-insert it into the GPS with all of the waypoints set. They fully expect that you will buy TWO separate sets of e charts from them. One for the GPS and a second set(different format) for the computer and THEN go through all the hoops to get the waypoints into the GPS. At 321.00 for each set I comouted that for our Pacific cruise it would cost close to 2500 dollars---1000 dollars JUST FOR WAYPOINTS---I think they are nuts. As soon as I get to New Zealand I plan to sell both of these un
Have B&G 1000 wind, depth, boat speed and programmable digital displays. It works well since you can configure each of the displays to show between one and four data points. I have two displays (plus analog wind direction) at the helm and one digital display at the nav station. At the helm, on the port display is; depth, boat speed, wind speed. One the starboard display, I have the gps feed (speed over ground, bearing to waypoint, distance to waypoint). In the nav station, I have the gps and next to it a digital display configured with depth, wind speed, wind direction. B&G instruments function well but I am disappointed with all the mergers B&G have done which have rendered the information on these units all but impossible to understand. They seem to now be part of the Simrad line, owned by B&G, but it's not at all clear how to add to the system. I will probably go with Raymarine or Furnuno for radar and chartplotter since they seem to have an easier to comprehend product development strategy.
We have a Jefa motor on the autopilot with a raymarine S2G course computer.
Wind - Raymarine ST60 - direction has to be recalibrated frequently - VHF interferes with it. Speed works ok as long as connections good. Speed - Raymarine ST60 - paddlewheel always gets fouled - thru hull with flapper valve great. Autopilot - Raymarine ST7001+ - Oversize for size of boat, but never gives up. Only problem turned out to be a lose wire.
Originally had Brooks and Gatehouse very good about 15 years ago changed all to Raymarine ST 60 and have kept these running by getting spares on EBay or sending to Raymarine for repairs. Always had Raymarine auto pilot and I upgraded to 7000 about 15 years now. No real problems after many years of cruising and in use constantly
Raymarine System: Have had excellent performance of all my Raymarine systems from the C120 chartplotter, depth sounder, fishfinder, radar, AIS (which is very useful off shore), etc. Will buy again.
Repeated problems with Simrad IS20 wind sensor. Very poor tech support.
WE HAVE NO ELECTRONIC WIND INSTURMENTS AS I THINK THAT STICKING YOUR HEAD OUT THE HATCH AND LOOKING AROUND IS MORE IMPORTANT, I HAVE BEEN AT SEA OVER 40 YEARS AND AND FEEL THAT KEEPING IT SIMPLE AND LOOKING AT THE SEA IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWING THE THE WIND IS BLOWING 13.5 KNTS AND COMING FROM 123;5 DEGREES RELATIVE.... I HAVE A FURUNO DEPTH SOUNDER AND LEAD LINE THEY WORK. WE HAVE A RADAR REFLECTOR. A SIMRAD HYDRAULIC AUTO PILOT THAT WORKS EXCELLENT.
WH autopilot has gone from Alaska to Turkey and back over 24 years with 1 breakdown. It is bullit proof.
Raymarine autopilot brain has had one unknown failure of the controller. Not repairable. Mechanical autopilot is a Hydrovane.
New Raymarine ST8002 AP had early display failure, but otherwise great-low pwr usage, good display, robust, etc. Mainly use for coastal cruising. Previous Alpha autopilot had worst customer service in the marine industry. Monitor windvane is outstanding! Used on many ocean passages on HC33 and Slocum 43, with no problems other than minor line chafe. New Furuno 4kw blackbox, color radar (w/19" Big Bay display) is great, but VGA resolution is marginal for built in chart plotter feature. Older Signet instruments have excellent multifunction displays (2 in cockpit, 1 @ Nav stn., 1 in sleeping cabin), strong depth sounder (to 500ft), very good analog and digital display, but dated technology. The Ray Marine autopilot, Garmin GPS, Furuno radar, Icom M802 radio/tuner, SCS Pactor modem, Milltech AIS, HP laptop, Rosepoint nav. software and Big Bay monitor are all integrated together, although a mix of mfgrs. I replaced old units one at a time, buying the best available (i.e. quality-price-feature). It was a challenge to integrate, but by not being tied to one processor unit keeps everything else running when one component goes down. All are less than 3 yrs old and most have failed once, usually in 1st year. Don't install right before you depart from the US!
Excellent integration of Raymarine components. Radar tends to be somewhat poor in heavy weather.
Simrad integrated system works OK, but as far as resistance to moisture and corrosion is concerned it can be assessed as poor. (As this goes for most brands)
Satified with my equipment
Complete Raymarine gauges...wind, depth. No complaints.
We have been very pleased with the Nexus instruments. The unit is older and its communication prtocol is an old style and may not be able to communicate with the new instruments in the future. We love the chart plotter but we are concerned that it may be a large power draw on the long passenges. The wind instrument is a propeller type like a prop plan and it gives an acurate reading even in slow wind speads. We purchased the Garmin chart plotter, gps and radar to replace a Furuno system. We were highly disappointed that the end of the cables were so large. We had to strap the wirees to the radar arch since they could not be routed through tubing for the arch and stern pulpit.
I had a Navico wheel pilot before I changed to the Comnav. The Navico would not steer in anything but calm seas. It kept throwing the belt.
Alpha autopilot is the best piece of equiptment on board. We Love it. 21 years 70,000 miles without a breakdown
Despite their advanced age, our original equiptment Standard depth, speed & log instruments are still functioning (poorly) after 35 years.
Our old Simrad auto pilot has worked great in all sea conditions. Note it is a below deck system with a separate rudder angle indicator which I believe helps it perform much better. It also has a flux gate compass which displays our magnetic course. It can also be used to display the rudder angle to help in docking.
Equipped with a secondary autopilot system consisting of an Autohelm ram connected to the wind vane rudder.
ComNav autopilot, Garmin GPS, JRC 1500 radar, Humminbird fishfinder, Icom IC-706 ham/SSB radio. The ComNav autopilot (simplest controller with no display) has been flawless, using an AutoNav hydraulic pump. We use the radar continuously at night, and it has been extremely useful. The IC-706 has done good service on ham and marine SSB bands, with lots of WinLink work. Electronics are _not_ integrated -- GPS doesn't drive autopilot, and doesn't interface to radar. I'm using paper charts from Land's End, and plotting positions hourly. Might get a chartplotter this year -- prices are way down.
My tiller pilot was originally a Navico unit which was purchased by Raymarine. I had one break down and they fixed it. No problems since then
Aries Wind Vane: We have an aries wind vane which has pulled us through storms an autopilot would have broken on and we could not properly steer. In light winds an autopilot is better.
It needs tuning. I'm at a learning curve. The radar needs major ajustment.
Robertson AP300 Auto Pilot(now owned by Simrad)with Hynautics ram has been a wonderful piece of equipment and has never failed to steer the boat, even in extreme conditions.
The only problem I've had with the boat is the Raymarine 7000 Autopilot and I believe it's because the installation was not done correctly. Where the AP hydraulic arm connects to the Edson arm (which mounts to the rudder shaft above the quadrant)the connecting pin would break. A new Edson arm with a s/s sleaved pin hole should take care of the problem and make the Autopilot bullet proof. I think the helmsman also set the AP 'gain' too high, creating excessive torque on the connecting pin, exacerbating the breakage (3X).
We installed a Raymarine Sea Talk system and it worked fine for a while. However when a single component is not working the entire system shuts down. Right now the system is down and I have had two electrcians look at it and they claim to be able to repair it, but they don't have an idea of what is not working and what it would cost to repair it. I would never instll a system like this again. I would like to have each function separate from the others. ie the wind speed, direction, depth finder, boat speed, etc each with its own system.
Raymarine with Lewmar Mamba Drive. Mamba Drive is excellent.
Sextant
Had B&G hydraulic ram network autopilot. Original and spare. Both failed for total of three times. Very difficult to get repaired - poor support from B&G. Would not recommend. Replaced Lewmar electric and have had no problems sailing is similar conditions
B&G Hecta instruments are old but have been reliable except for the masthead unit. It needed replacing & cost $1,000 for a new one! Otherwise system, though old, is still performing fine. Furuno radar has been great. It's an old model (model 1731) with green CRT sceen. It works fine and can be tuned to the conditions well. It's mounted on the mast w/ a gimbal which does seem to help. We have a Blipper reflector and are told by other boaters they see us on radar just fine. What we don't know is if it's due to the Blipper or if we woud be seen anyhow. Autopilot is an Autohelm 6000 with linear drive attached directly to the quadrant. It has been reliable so far. Based on engine hours and our personal use (we are not the first owners) it appears to have had no break downs in the last 200 to 300 hours of use. Our rudder is skeg hung and a bit heavy to steer but the Autohelm 6000 seems to handle it fine. Boat is a Hans Christian 41T. We also use a Celestair Astra IIIB sextant to keep the skill set up.
Navman instruments displays take on moisture from a vent hole in the back of the display! The first year I was able to keep them partially useable by leaving them on 24/7. At this point I am looking for a complete replacement. Avoid these.
Autopilot: This old unit was in the boat when we bought her. It is not networked but extremely powerfull, works perfectly in all but the worst conditions, uses quite a bit of Amp-hrs, but we only use it on short legs or when motoring. It did put up during a storm with sustained winds of 9-10 bft in dead downwind conditions but most likely any unit would have. On long passages under sail we use the windvane which means no electricity and silent steering. The Rasmus active radar reflector/radar detector worked fine for about three years then degraded and now does not work at all anymore. Company is bankrupt, no service available. Have an Echomax passive reflector as well and apparently make a good Radar Echo. Will replace the Rasmus with a Sea-me or equivalent.
Autopilot has been almost bulletproof (but have only had boat 1 season. I did hear some bearing noise in conditions with high steering loads, but had steered for a while & it was gone when we went back to auto. Smart Pilot with gyro sensor does pretty good job even in quartering seas Wind instruments have been ongoing problem. Velocity wasn't calibrated - I'm gradually honing in on it just looking at conditions and what it's telling me, then changing calibration gradually. Have not had good calm conditions to use boat speed to calibrate relative wind speed. Wind angle has also been constant problem. Indicated angle (arrow on display) is always 30 degrees off angle reported via SeaTalk (can be displayed on the autopilot). Raymarine does not have a good troubleshooting guide. I called & they had me check voltages, but no real good guide on what to do next. I'm thinking I have high resistance at the masthead connector, but there ought to be a way to confirm this. That said, it may be the case that it's the worst in the world except for all the others - this is my only experience.
Raymarine well auto pilot good,probably not powerfull enough,belt shoul be changed regularly
We use the Aries wind vane for everything except light wind and motoring. If the Aries could anticipate wind gusts and compensate for big waves it would be perfect. One of the biggest complaints out here is autopilots. No one has trouble with their wind vane. Don't leave home without one! We added a Hummingbird fishfinde because our Raymarine depth sounde sometimes can't find the bottom. Wind instruments are quasi-useless except to share data with the log. Knowing how hard it's blowing won't make it quit. Everyone's reads differently anyway.
My basic nav instruments are the ST50 Raymarine series. The only problem is that with age, the digital displays are no longer readable at night, except from some impossible angle! There apparently is no fix for this. The Wind Instrument is ananlog/digital, and works fine, with no breakdowns in 10 years. My Furuno Radar 1721 is very basic and used for collision avoidance. The AIS (http://www.milltechmarine.com/products.htm) is possibly more useful when at sea, but they do complement each other. Of course, approaching land at night, the radar is very useful, but we try and avoid this situation. The Robertson (now Simrad) autopilot is more useful than the Hydrovane, as it steers more accurately. It is powerful, but with the boat rig balanced, the power consumption is usually low, and in the trades, even at night, the wind genny alone can run the autopilot, fridge, nav lights and instruments. The closer the boat is pointing to the wind, the better the Hydrovane does. Anything broader than a beam reach, and it starts to have significant difficulty. Dead downwind, the Hydrovane allows the boat to vary 30 degrees either side of the rhum line. Accidental jibes are almost a certainty, and we try to sail at 30 degrees off dead downwind, even with the electric autopilot, unless we are goind wing and wind, in which case 20 degrees off, is ok. The Hydrovane may be our main steering device in the Pacific, where the wind genny will likely not provide any power. We will see how it does there. So far, I am not impressed, as it completely obviates the use of my Davits. The manufacturer claims that balancing your boat is the key to successful use of the Hydrovane, but the balance of most boats is continually changing with oscillations in wind speed and direction, and changing wave patterns. Other than being hard on the wind, where the boat essentially steers itself, I have yet to be really happy with the way the Hydrovane steers the boat. We did have one good 100 mile downwind passage in 25 knot trade winds, with the boat, wing and wing. I like the idea of a back up rudder in case of a failure of the primary rudder. I have a small Simrad tiller pilot to rig to the Hydrovane, in the event of a main autopilot failure, but I have yet to rig that, so cannot report on it's utility. If anyone has done this, I would like any information that they can share. As mentioned above, in 2009 the AIS proved to be very useful. I will now buy an AIS transponder from Milltech, and would recommend that every yachtsman consider this.
LaFitte 44 - our wind/depth/speed system is at least 17 years old and continues to work fine. Radar reflectors - we put two of the large units on the shrouds above the upper spreaders and are told by ships they can see us for considerable distance. Two because of redundancy. Nice to have them high and out of the way. Alpha autopilot - much to like about this simple and generally well designed unit but its quirkiness - and the manufacturer's terrible central service dept - will drive you crazy. Contrary to the manufacturer's claim there are no local dealers, except perhaps one group in Florida, so local servicing is out of the question. But then we hear poor reports on other autopilot manufacturers. Monitor self steering - pretty good on certain points of the wind but on our boat we have to keep a close eye on it. Our 20-year old unit probably would benefit from an overhaul.
B&G h1000 wind speed, angle, boat speed, depth, compass, autopilot, NMEA interface. Pushbutton failures on 2 displays. Two module failures probably due to lightning. Autopilot ram is electrohydraulic. Inserts lots of friction in the steering when hand steering. B&G h1000 now obsolete. I have $9,000 + $2,000 installation invested!
The raymarine instruments are barely adequate. The Wheel Pilot is undersized for the boat and the control head had to be replaced because of water instrusion. I also think the fluxgate placement impacts performance. Would like to upgrade to an underdeck unit if budget allows, also placement of the drive unit is/will be difficult. The Raymarine wind instrument is touch and go it will function properly 75% of time and then stop working for an hour or two at a time, needs replacement. The Raymarine GPS is flaky will lose its fix and or not be able to get a fix randomly also needs replacement
Radar raymarine: The main electronic board failed, replacement cost 50% of total radar cost. Looks like mafia business. Online web support inexistant and useless. Never got e sensitive answer. Won't buy it for replacement and will go for Furuno. All fishing boas have got furuno. Never trust your local dealer for electronics, they will just sell you, what give them the higher profit. Full stop. Wind instrument raymarine ST60: Failed twice in harbor in winds 50knt +: the little spinner blown away. Replace with CF3 ultrasonic system which has no moving part. No experience yet. Autopilot Raymarine 6000+ for hydraulic system. A total disaster. Couldnt find any competent service man, they all are just good at connecting the blue with the blue and the red with the red wire.. the compass system is overbalance and teh pilot triggers out anytime there s a sudden healing of teh boat. A Gyro system would rather work better, but it is outrageous expansive although Raymarine is suggesting strongly now to use it. Forget Raymarine pilot. The wiring to provide power between controller unit and display is much too weak, using te provided length of cables, you got 1,5volts of voltage drop and teh ssytem stop working thinking your battery is too weak . I had to rewire teh power and then it started working again (except for the above point) Very high power consumption: over 90Ah/day at minimum setting Windvane Pacific Plus II : The perfect gear at last. No electronic, very sensitive : can sail with apparent wind of 5 knts ( below we motorsail) up to 45 knt and probably above, we didn't sail with higher winds yet. The stronger the wind the stronger the powere. No electric power required. Next buy : when Raymarine will fail: A small autopilot to connect to the windvane. Only one drawback: 80kg but German stuff. Every notch and bit is highly designed.
We put massive number of hours on our autopilot. The Whitlock electric drive has been excellent. A/P failures have been from a rudder angle sensor, a compass, and once from the electronics unit. A particular annoyance with the ComNav autopilot is, over time, it develops a bias toward turning in one direction much more easily than the other. It would be nice to have a means of resetting this bias. We prefer electric to wind autopilots because we SCUBA dive a lot with easy entry and exit from our stern. A windvane would mess this up. Electric autopilots do use lots of power though!
Most instruments are integrated using NMEA 183 and multiplexors. The Raymarine graphics instrument seemed like too much money (for PO :-) but i wouldn't do without one now. Very usefull.
We installed the Autohelm ST-50 series instruments. They have proven reliable but parts are non existent. We have dual hydralic linear autopilots. With only a crew of two we do not want to be hand steering for long periods. We have had to switch to the backup twice , once on a seven day passage, the last tine on a 10 day passage
Garmin Color Chartploter is the greatest navigational aid that has been added to my boat. Having the ploter and radar during limited visibilty take away much of the anxiety when underway.
The ST60 instruments work well but are fairly new. We use both Davis and TriLens radar reflectors but don't put much faith in their ability to alert other vessels. We're strong believers in defensive piloting. We have a Monitor wind vane but use the Raymarine ST4000+ wheel pilot under power. The old Raymarine ST4000 was at least 10 years old and still working well when it was replaced.
B&G network instruments outdated,but work well and we lie the displays. B&G autopilot woree out after 25000 miles and was never that good. Simrad is great!
PCB and bearing in B and G masthead unit failed just after warranty ran out $600 in parts. Works well otherwise. Autopilot for me is also indespensible
The electric lemar drive motor has had to be replaced twice. This was because manufacturer installed electric motor directly under a small leak. Water dripped on motor and eventually shorted out both motors. Have now insalled a plastic shield over electric motor.
Additional we have a Foreward Looking Sonar (FLS) from Interphase. We use it while approaching unknown flat waters.
We have lots of comments here which we will add over time. We installed a TackTick system with anemometer & depth & knotmeter a couple of years ago as we did not have a spare wire going up the mast and our old B&G system had failed. We have since had to replace the unit four times. Each time the manufacturer's rep assured us the problems of distance (our mast is 68 feet up) had been corrected. We finally returned it to the manufacturer in the UK. They found that each time they had replaced the anemometer, the systems changes caused the base unit to be unable to read the information correctly from the masthead unit. They finally sent us an upgraded anemomenter with a new brain and it now works. But it took many trips up the mast and several installation attempts for the base unit before it all worked. A wired system would have been easier to install!!! We have a Monitor wind vane and for crossing the North Atlantic in the summer of '08 with multiple gales en route it was a gem. The guys at Monitor were fabulous to deal with. Ours is one of the larger vessels with this unit and it performed very well. Several bolts did come loose from the bottom bracket mid-Atlantic and a fix was accomplished from the aft deck. The Monitor was one of our most valued pieces of equipment during that crossing. Without it, we could not have hand steered through six gales. It held a steady course in everything but the most confused and massive seas. The ropes on deck were not too terribly disruptive as we were rarely behind the helm. Adjustments of the heading were at first a bit tricky but soon relatively easy. It is best to test the system and get used to it before heading out. We have an old WH autopilot which was a real workhorse in its day. It now needs replacing as it does not talk to any of the newer systems so we cannot network it with the chartplotter. It is also starting to malfunction. One thing that we missed was having a remote. We'll definitely look for a new autopilot with remote which makes it easy to adjust from the comfort and safety of protected places onboard. The autopilot works best in light air, changeable conditions, and while motoring while the wind vane works best in stronger and more consistent wind conditions. We wouldn't go anywhere offshore shorthanded without them both. Our radar reflector is a Firdell Blipper and we've been told that we appear on radar as big as a tanker. That makes us happy. We'll shortly be supplementing with AIS receiver/transponder to satisfy the new EU rules. Our radar is old and energy hungry so we will be replacing it with the new broadband radar and interfacing with our Northstar M121 unit which we love. It is installed in the bulkhead at the forward section of the cockpit. Normally, when crossing large bodies of water, we are not at the helm but rather under the dodger. So positioning it where it is most accessible from the main cockpit area was the right decision. We did note that the backlight fai
Raymairne ST80 intruments. Obsolete and end of life. Not terribly accurate, can't steer in a sraight line to well and the complete system fails intermittently. Radar is old with a CRT tube and an LCD repeater that does not work well.
old autopiolet 50 instruments were with the boat when we purchased it. They have not worked well but they are quite old. We have just replaced the depth and speed instruments
All electronic systems are Raymarine. The RADAR has been very disappointing. I bought the first unit with the boat and 2 years and 2 months after purchase, the tuner failed. I contacted Raymarine who told me to ship the scanner to them. Upon inspection, they told me that the repair cost would be $500. It has a 2 year warranty. The unit was operating less than admirably during that two year period, but the boat being new and all the new systems, I wrote it off to my inexperience. In the future, I will contact them with the least problem and have it fixed under warranty. I did not repair the unit. I opted for a newer digital scanner with a larger antenna. The new system ($400 more to replace than to repair) works admirably. It was only upon seeing the operation of the new scanner that I fully appreciated how poorly the old scanner was working.
the wheel pilot is OK for what it is. Am getting a real below decks one this winter.
Wind Instrument: Raymarine wind instrument has been fickle, and has failed often. Autopilot: Simrad autopilot was bullet-proof for 1.5 years, as advertised, then began to fail. Leaks of hydraulic fluid and motor wear. Navionics, which provides service for Simrad, is terrible. Needed to call representatives in FIVE different countries looking for a tech who understood the operation of the hydraulic linear drive. In the end, I was not permitted to speak with the tech, but only to send emails via a sales rep. Supposed "techs" in the U.S. could only refer to an online manual to try to answer questions, which was problematic both because the manual is deficient and because the tech didn't understand the manual.
raymarine: ok communication w/in network. not the best.. occasional glitch w/pilot
My boats displacement is really too much for a wheel pilot. We will be installin a below decks hydraulic linear in the near term.
We have one control unit, one display unit go bad. Then we op grated to a bigger control unit & a new display. They have now last 5 years with no problem.
Alpha Marine 3000 works well, but the drive unit is very vulnerable and breaks down if it gets a few drops of seawater. - Should be protected against any water!
had a problem with boats original wind instrument and nobody could figure out what was wrong replaced it with new raymarine original unit worked for 6 years. Had a hawk? handheld depth sounder never worked more than 2 months of very little use, west marine stood behind product exchanged it each time after 3rd unit failed got full refund.
The Raymarine equipment has all worked well but is showing its age. The autopilot is exceptional and keeps the boat dead on course. It is very nice having all of the systems integrated together at multiple helms. We also use the MARPA features of the radar often. It all works well.
We prefer the Monitor to the electronic autopilot, which is used in light winds or when motoring. AIS: Miltech Marine Vesper is an excellent piece of equipment - low power draw, picks up ships a dozen miles away in many cases, good alarm. One of the best electronic aids aboard.
Navigation We suppliment paper charts with electronics. We only have a wind vane (Monitor) and it works wonderfully, even motor-sailing.
We use only our Monitor wind vane for self steering. It genrally works very well but has some problems steering the boat between about 80 and 120 degrees apparent. We believe that this is typical of most/all windvanes and does not reflect a flaw in the Monitor.
B
Alpha 4404 autopilot handles the boat well. It's a little clunky to use, but once set it's good.
All my B&G instuments are failing after 15 years and the replacement parts are very expensive if you can find them. My B&G autopilot computer failed and could not be fixed or replaced. We had to install a Raymarine autopilot even though all the rest of the B&B components were okay. B&G has poor to no support.
I have really old B&G Hydra 330 Ultrasonic speed sensor, depth and wind. B&G Helmstar 740 autopilot. While the systems have been reliable for me, they show their age in ergonomics. It is a pain to change courses with the autopilot. The hydraulic linear actuator is ok, but you cannot get parts. The seals needed replacing and I to find some that were "close enough". Needless to say, when I get ready to expand my cruising area outside the US, will upgrade these instruments...more boat units!
we ahve 2 Furuno radars: 36 and 64 mi; Also the Furuno sonar depth sounder and a fixed depth unit. The wind speed and direction is a non rotating type by Airmar and probably not the best as it has querks but does give either true aor relative wind speed and a lot more like plots barometric pressure etc. The boat also gives STW and SOG.
Simrad autopilot performed very well during circumnavigation except for two problems: 1 - Autopilot occasionally overloads and trips in heavy following seas - problem believed to be due to inaccurate load calculations/unit selection by Simrad - solution MAY be to install higher capacity unit. 2 - Whitlock electric drive unit failed to de-clutch on command on one occasion
Have a Cap Horn pendelum wind vane device and an Australain built TMQ AP-50. The Wind Vane brought us across the Pacific but most wind vanes do not lock up a precise heading. This was fine until we started up the inside of the Australian Great Barrier reef. There we neeeded precise steering in SE winds up to 35 K. The wind vane could not handle the situation so on the advice of Aussie cruisers, we stopped in Cairnes and had the TMQ installed. It proved excellent and since then we have used the wind vane only rarely.
Have had it drop off line on several ocassions
We have Simrad equipment. The Simrad AP20 autopilot rocks. I am writing software to basically eliminate all my bulkhead mounted instruments. All devices should be wireless and even portable. For more info go to http://handhelm.com/. Thanks for looking!
The B & G instruments work well, but I have had to replace the masttop unit $700 and the analog indicator has now failed. The autopilot is great. The Raymarine chartplotter is ok, but the technical support is advanced plug and play.
Garmin GMR 24 HD Radar 4 KW is rigid mounted on a pole above cockpit. I am completely unimpressed with its performance. I can often see vessels that it can't. I suspect I need a gimbal mount. It does integrate seamlessly into the garmin chartploter. The raymarine autopilot drive unit (Type 2 long mechanical) failed due to motor failure (dirty brushes / lack of contact) and was replaced at 12 years.
E120 with navionics, Raymarine 6000 autopilot with hydraulic drive. ST60plus.We have a complement of Raymarine including autopilot, depth wind, speed etc. All work well but reprogramming is not intuitive. Must use manuals. Liked the mix of autopilot and Monitor on last boat and will probably add hydrovane.
RAYMARINE/MONITOR Auto pilot steers our Monitor - excellent system and very low power consumption.
I have a nexus NX2 system installed for wind, log, depth, compass and autopilot (Nexus-Comnav). System worked well, however, a new (less than 2 years) NX2 server broke recently, it costs more to repair it than to get a new one. Nexus (Sweeden) won't take it directly, needs to go trough a dealer. If I didn't have so much invested on the system would have gone to a different brand (furuno). Autopilot works fairly well, even when running.
Airmar wind speed and direction meter
I have 10 year old Autohelm (now Raymarine)equipment. Early, first year problems were covered under international warranty, but further issues were fought by US dealers. Once everything was proper, no problems occured and nothing will be replaced until then. My only problems have been US dealers and non-support of older equipment.
Selene 43 I use a Maretron NEMA 2000 system for a weather station and for monitoring a number of other functions. I really like it.
Autopilots - I use the wheel pilot only for motoring or in very light air, off the wind. A Monitor windvane does an ecxellent job handling the course when sailing.
Raymarine ST60 instruments have been OK, but have had to replace failed depth sensor and knotlog sensor (temperature sensor failed). Autopilot is Raymarine 400G AST contoller with AT7001+ control head. The under deck full time running hydraulic drive is a Neco unit built in the UK. Now out of business, but a bulletproof unit that we will retain. RL80CRC 10" color chartplotters have worked well, but are too old to display AIS target, weather info or video. They will be replace with new E-series displays. The Interphase forward looking sonar is only marginally useful due to poor target resolution. Color display may be better, but I don't plan to upgrade.
We have a Raymarine autopilot with a Canadian Metal (Octopus pump) hydraulic drive. The drive is at least 20 years old. It failed this summer and we just sent it back to Canadian Metal and they were able to service it. The 20 year old unit will be reinstalled!
My main instruments are now 12 years old and the Wind indicator was wiped out in the hurricanes. As we refit the boat for more extended cruising, we have purchase new Raymarine ST-60 instruments with a Raymarine ST-70 repeater. The ST 6000 autopilot is satisfactory but could probably use the gyro sensor add on as it tends to wander a bit. The wired remote for the autopilot died last year but a local electronics shop was able to repair it for minimal cost (broken connection). The autopilot does sometimes get a mind of its own when passing under high tension wires or bridges so we never would consider interfacing it with the navigation software.
The Raymarine ST70+ series system seems to be well worth the investment
all electronics including AIS are integrated into Maxsea v12
WH autopilot was excellent until it blew a seal and leaked hydraulic fluid, WH stood behind their product. B & G instruments were on the boat when purchased. Had to replace wind masthead unit. Radar was original to boat and old. Took a long time to warm up and could not be overused but age was the main problem. Had an old chain driven autopilot that was backup with B & G drive that was dependable when used.
Radar/Plotter (raymarine): Can't buy a good radar that isn't a plotter combo, so got the full networked deal when my old radar dies. I have mixed feelings about all the eggs in that one basket. I kept my old Garmin mini-plotter for backup. Benmar Auto-pilot. Old as dirt, and zero bells and whistles, but the company is still there and makng new ones-and cheerfully (and cheaply) fixing 25 year old equipment. All it does is steer--my failure was a frozen bearing beacuse former owner didn't turn it on for over 5 years. I guess I wouldn't buy one, but don't throw one away.
All electronics Raymarine. The wind, depth, speed OK. autopilot temperamental, radar requires alot of tuning
In the process of replacing the Autohelm 3000. Leaning towards X-5.
We have no windvane. We use tiller pilots, which are always failing. We have done thousands of miles with the tiller lashed when the autopilots fail. It works, but not well. When the tiller pilots are working they steer the boat well, even surfing to 11 knots dead downwind.
wood freeman auto pilots are bullet proof
Here there's also a small Simrad tiller pilot, which has turned out to be internally flimsy. It came with the boat, used and old, and has never worked.
Depth sounder, I also have a hand held one Norcross for emergency
My wind instrument is new to me as my old Raymarine (2000 vintage) died and Raymarine sent me a new transducer in 2007. I have not been happy with it as it has gone out of calibration twice when tacking during a heavy blow. Once it is out of calibration the direction indicator is useless. Makes me realize, the next time I pull the mast I will install a Davis Windex. I have an undersized autohelm for ocean passages, but did that on purpose due to a desire for simplicity of installation, operation and repair as well as low power consumption. I have a Monitor windvane that I use for most sailing, even coastal. Anytime the wind is over 10 to 12 knots I employ the Monitor - unless I am dodging lobster pot buoys along the coast of Maine.
The Raymarine autopilot gears were wearing out, so I got a rebuild kit on line, as well as the instructions of how to do it.... Very happy with the internet :)
The Raymarine wind direction and speed unit is not working and we're going to have to get professional service since it's out of warranty.
Raymarine S3G autopilot is a power "hog" eats up battery banks, 30 amps intermitant. Have back up CPT belt driven autopilot
Interphase forward looking sonar. The performance of the "Probe" model is less than very poor. If boat is moving at less than 2 kts and in water deeper than 20 feet you might be able to see and avoid a sheer rock wall. Furuno Radar--the ARPA option, which tracks targets and computes closest time and distance of approach is well worth the extra cost.
The interphase forward looking sonar is useless. Our Mamba autopilot drive, now Lewmar has been reliable for thousands of miles. We have Whitlock rod steering which is smooth as silk. On the radar we find MARPA and radar overlay useful. Our Raymarine wind speed/direction mast head unit has been replaced three times and we carry spares. We feel that if protection is available all instruments should be mounted under the dodger including auto pilot controls. You don't really want to go down below to read instruments or back to the steering console in the weather.
ComNav 2001, commercial quality pilot have had one software upgrade about 5 years ago. Excellent product, Canadian manufacture very widely used by commercial fleets
Tack-tick just acquired-too soon to tell.
AutoNav (Nexus) auto pilot steers very accurately to heading, waypoint, or apparent wind. Integrates seamlessly with Raymarine chart plotter. Drives Octopus hydraulic ram. Very reliable in all conditions. Draws about 5-6 amps.
B&G Wind: mast head unit has failed twice in 6 years--replaced anemometer once and control panel once.
atoms wind vane---hard to get parts for, but excellent functioning. use more than electronic pilot.
Instruments are older Datamarine and nearing the end of their life cycle. Autohelm tiller pilot and Monitor Windvane installed. Prefer the Monitor windvane over the autohelm as it does not draw any electrical power and doesn't make noise. Monitor is a great product - highly recommended.
Horizon WS 45. This is the old style awi. It must be close to 20 years old. It was on the boat when I bought her. I have had a great experience with the Standard Horizon support. They rebuilt this for a flat fee of around $100. I also have the Horizon knotmeter and again support was great. Had to buy a new transducer. Unlike other companies, Standard Horizon supports these older products rather than forcing you to buy new ones. Raymarine S1G Autopilot. This is a great system. Accurate and reliable. Support is very good through Raymarine. I had a defective heading sensor on initial installation. Raymarine was very helpful in diagnosing the problem. They arranged for me to pick up a new one at the Annapolis boat show the next day. Great experience. Datamarine Depthsounder. This unit must be about 20 years old. It was on the boat when I bought her. Has worked flawlessly for the last 10 years. I have no plans to replace it until it stops working.
Garmin GMR 18 HD radar - seems real good after 3 years. Raymarine underdeck autopilot - very good, appreciate the handheld remote control - very handy to also provide boat info (depth, wind, etc)at any location onboard.
B&G Hecta depth, Hornet wind and boat speed. Replaced depth transducer once during our 5 year ownership. Depth stops working intermittently. Replaced electronic element in masthead wind instrument once during our 5 year ownership. Myles Electronics, Plantation, Florida is a great company for B&G Instrument service and repair. Hatley Electronics in Cocoa, FL, repaired Robertson Autopilot AP200 control and J101A box for a reasonable cost.
I also have a Hydravane wind vane steering gear, which also doubles as an emergency back up rudder in the event I should lose my rudder. While it works okey it is not as good as the autopilot simply because the autopilot is much quicker and easier to set. The autopilot maintains a more accurate course and it doesn't really use a lot of power. I only use the Hydravane when blue water sailing now as we also have davits fitted which prevents the Hydravane being used. For long passages the dinghy is stowed on the foredeck, davits rotated out of the way and the Hydravane can then be mounted again and used.
Nexus (NX2) wind, depth, speed, autopilot. When they work, they are great. When there is a problem, getting support from Nexus is a terribly painful process. Might buy again, but only if I bought TWO of everything. Garmin chartplotter and 4kw radar. Works well and integrates together. Yes, would buy again.
Our Furuno radar is old but entirely serviceable. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it gives us a good solid return at night or in poor visibility. Our coastal navigation is a combination of radar, paper charts, our super-reliable Garmin 170 GPS, and the Mark 1 Mod A Eyeball used for on-deck observations. Our Bushnell binoculars have an integral compass, making bearings relatively easy, and we know how to plot our position. It's a happy combination.
All Raymarine and all linked - works really well.
The Whale Autopilot has worked extremely well however the installation manual is not easy to follow.
System is designed with back-ups in mind. Tacktic provides wind, log and feeds info to the PC. GPS is sourced through a Foruno unit with a back up "cheapo" unit that connects to a port on the PC. Foruno Radar has it's own sonar if the Tactick fails or more detail is needed. Being battery powered, Tactick continues to work in the event of a 12v malfunction. PC is mounted to a docking station, with an identical PC always available to take over by simply clicking it on to the docking station. Both units 7 years old (Dell 8500) running XP and stripped of all other software, including anti-virus software as they are never connected to the internet. Fast and reliable (now!).
Autopilot: Sometimes hard to adjust, especially with following seas. I have 2 independent hydraulic autopilots, a main larger one and a spare smaller one.
Nav is IMI Combi wind/depth/speed/awi. Works great - I had to replace wind speed magnetic switch & awi potentiometer. Radar reflector is a big aluminum angled/cone unit mounted top of mizzan. Benmar autopiolet CS21R had drive unit fail about 15 years ago & repaired by Benmar. Also the intergrated circut "4016" chips fail in the course setter & all I do is pop out the old & plug in a new one (Radio Shack used to carry them). No soldering - just plug in. The compass unit has a slipring assy that gets dirty & I clean it every 3-4 years using TV tuner spray cleaner from radio shack in Trinidad & Venezuela.
The Fleming vane steers the boat whenever the apparent wind is above five knots. It's a great piece of gear, far better than the Aries that it replaced. The Simrad Tillerpilots have leaked and failed twice. I carry two, and always have both of them working before a passage, and often repair one at the end.
Furuno chartplotter, GPS, and radar are a little dated, but serve their purpose. Radar display in cockpit is very large and is in the way; looking for replacement. Autopilot often gets overpowered by heavy seas/winds or is confused by lack of wind. No repeaters with chartplotter or radar.
additional tiller pilot mounted below decks on Cape Horn wind vane
Autopilot : Not really fair to blame teh one breakdown on Raymarine, the problem was with the Lewmar supplied motor (clutch went) on the Lewmar mamba system
The Datamarine instrument heads have never failed in 25 years! I have had the masthead unit rebuilt 2 times. Just this year (2010) the depth sounder head occasilnaly goes into self test and lights all the segments. This ysally anly lasts for 5 seconds.
I plan to replace all Signet equipment as it is old and not available any more. Not sure what brand I will use in future but probably Raymaine
Raymarine/Autohelm ST60 sailing instruments are depth, log, wind speed/direction. Don't think much of the night lighting but otherwise they have done the job without problems. Previous ST 40 system was crap. Raymarine/Autohelm ST7000 with type 100 core pack and type 2 hydraulic pump. The unit has been reliable but it does not have a rate gyro and course keeping downwind or in any type of quartering sea sucks badly. It is mostly used under power only or sometimes at sea when the wind is very light (this was while I still had a Monitor windvane since installing a Cape Horn unit this is no longer a problem).
Systems have improved since we replaced instruments with Raymarine ST60 series. The wind sensor appears slow on he uptake. The wheel pilot doesn't play well with the Garmin chart-plotter and vice-versa. Other than that, everything works.
Autopilot, Wind, Depth and Speed instruments were purchased and owner installed 3 years ago and all are working well.
wind, depth and knotmeter were all NAVMAN brand and I would not buy it again. The wind anemometer has frozen at times and this happened withing the first year of use. The instruments for the depth, knot and wind speeds have all leaked moisture into the instrument electronics through the face seal of the instruments and this also happened within the first year sailing through a rain squall. I would not buy this brand again. I have heard that they went out of business.
Waterline Yacht 48': Navico-Corus instrument and autopilot system was way ahead of its time when installed in 1996. However, Navico was acquired by Simrad and the line discontinued. Only ebay parts are available. We have only had two failures (fluxgate after 14 years, and handheld controller after 13 years and it was dropped).
2002 vintage Raymarine chart plotter, auto pilot, radar and related instruments have operated fine, with the exception of the chart plotter screen fogging. Even though I remove it from the helm and store inside when not in use, it has been repaired several times, with no warranty. Raymarine remote control is awesome! All information (depth, wind, speed, etc.) appears on it's screen, with full remote control of the auto pilot.
no wind inst. old datamarine depth and speed still working. Cpt autopilot is about as good as a drunken crewmate. untenable inshore, gets us there offshore wanders and is not very powerful. Have used an alpha on another boat is it is great.
Vera May 1970 Hallberg-Rassy Mistral 33 I've gone with Garmin on almost all my elect nav gear. Having done all my own wiring, I like the user friendly NEMA2000 system. I also find the Garmin displays easy to read and control.
Raymarine ST60 Depth. This product is easy to read and works well. I have had to replace it when my dock neighbor was hit by lightning. Other than that, no problems. Standard Horizon Speed and Knot Log. This unit is the original that came with the boat in 1988. Still working but the range where it is giving accurate speed is very narrow (less than a 2 knot range).
Raymarine wind instrument needs frequent calibration when boat circles; radar is on articulating pole, but may have worked better higher up on mast.
We have been happy with raymaring products.They have guided us saftly up and down the west coast and are currently getting us to Mexico.
As it comes time to replace gear Iíve been migrating to Raymarine, not because theyíre the best, but because they make everything and it integrates pretty well. The tech support Iíve gotten from them has been good and because all the gear is theirs, they canít point a finger at someone elseís component as the problem when it all doesnít work together as advertised.
Radar is Raymarine R20XX - Older unit but works very well at filtering clutter, rain, and chop. Furuno Fax onboard and very useful for weather and Amateur Radio images. Raymarine 7000 autopilot works very well with very low maintenance. All Raymarine instruments connected via Seatalk bus. Also, phone, navigation, email services via Inmarsat Mini-M and AirMail on Icom 802. Astra III sextant and Site Redux Tables onboard and used.
Autopilot will sometimes just quit. Raymarine has been unable to find the issue
Simrad AP-26 with hydraulic drive and Maretron fiber gyro has worked well for me.
I use a Garmin GPS 72, and have a Magellan 5000D and 5000DLX as well as a Motorola Traxar to back up the Garmin. The only features I use on any of these is cross track error and position. I prefer to use paper charts.
My B&G network autopilot control head is currently not working and replacement parts are hard to find.
Bluewater's principal electronics are shown below. Not shown are transducers; antennas; auxiliary speakers; and other auxiliary equipment. Not shown below is the Furuno AIS transceiver we added in early 2007. After cruising nearly 10;000 miles with a receive-only AIS--which was terrific; by the way--we concluded that we wanted other ships to know who and where we are; especially important when crossing oceans. Now; with an Atlantic crossing behind us; we're very pleased with the two-way AIS. I personally believe that AIS is a vital piece of electronics for any offshore passagemaking yacht. VHF COMMUNICATIONS Standard Horizon QUEST+ DSC VHF Radio; Black (2) - wheel house CMP25 RAM+ Microphone; Black (2) - main saloon and owner's stateroom SSB / HF RADIO COMMUNICATIONS Icom IC-M802 RT SSB Radio - wheel house Remote 150 Watt Transmitter Icom AT-140 Antenna Tuner SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS - IRIDIUM Motorola 9500 Iridium Phone with backup phone and external antenna Motorola 9570 Base Station with data port YACHT WIRED LAN & WI-FI AMPLIFIER High-Gain Wireless Data Network (Amplified Yacht LAN): Base "Transmitter" for Yacht LAN and Marina "Hot-Zones" HAILER / INTERCOM Furuno LH-3000 Loudhailer / Intercom System - wheel house 30 Watt Hailer / Intercom Furuno Two-Way Intercom Station Speaker with Call Button Two external horns; four internal speakers for inter-com FURUNO NAV-NET RADAR / PLOTTER / SOUNDER Furuno 1933C/NT NavNet Color Radar / Plotter Combination - Wheel House - Main 10.4" Color LCD Waterproof Display; Sunlight Readable; (9.3"H x 14.2"W x 6"D) 4 kW Open-array Transmitter and Gear-Box ARP-11 Radar Target ARPA Board; 10 Target Tracking Aid BBWGPS Antenna; WAAS / GPS Position Data Feed Into Nav-Net System Nav-Net Hub Adaptor Cable; 6 Pin to RJ-45; 000-144-463 Nobeltec Active Heading Sensor (Radar ARPA; Cartography System; Etc.) Color Sounder Function 600W or 1KW 50/200 KHz Module - Backup 600 Watt 50/200 kHz Bronze Thru-Hull TRI-Ducer (525ST-MSD) Furuno 1823C/NT Color Radar / Plotter / Sounder Combination - Wheel House - Backup 24" Radome Antenna; 2.2 kW Transmitter 10.4" Color LCD Waterproof Display; Sunlight Readable Able to be networked with the flip of a switch - not normally networked Furuno GP-1700C/NT 7" Color NavNet Display Head - Owners Stateroom 7" COLOR LCD Waterproof Display; (8.4"H x 8.8"W x 4"D) Networked to main NavNet display - WEATHER FAX / NAV-TEX Furuno FAX-30 Black Box Weather-Fax & Nav-Tex Receiver - wheel house Networked to Main NavNet WAAS / GPS NAVIGATION Furuno GP-32 WAAS / GPS Receiver - Stand-alone; feeds navigation bus - wheel house LCD COMPUTER MONITORS 15" View-Sonic Color Computer LCD Monitor (2) - wheel house View-Sonic N6 TV Tuner and Video Input Box (2) - wheel house ELECTRONC CHARTING & AIS SYSTEM RECEIVER Nobeltec Admiral electronic charting software - wheel house Nobeltec AIS Information Receive-Only System Dell Inspir
The boat came equipped with Raymarine and we have added more raymarine equipment for compatibility reasons.
The Raymarine wheel auto-helm is old. It manages well for upwind sailing but can't turn the wheel fast enough for downwind sailing. It also is too slow when tacking.
cetrek 724 with octopus hydro ram good controls
Installing Garmin wind, speed,depth for spring 2011. Take delivery of a Monitor wind vane with tiller pilot in 2011. Also Standard Horizen 2000 VHF
Autopilot is robertson 2000. It is bullet proof.
Simrad autopilot is awesome. It has taken across oceans with hand steering only for our own amusement. Hooked to Whitlock electric motor into Edson pinion gear. It is quiet, under our bunk one hardly hears it. It just sips electric unless conditions are fairly rigorous. It never fails and is a 3rd person aboard. Using it in Wind mode is less than successful. Ill advised runing before the wind, quite an adventure wing on wind, a jibe is sure to happen. Great on beam reach, but why bother--just go with compass or gps nav. Can be nice when beating--I do that often, but somewhat slow to respond to wind changes and too many wind shift alarms--while valid, annoying. All the wind vane folks talk about autopilots being unreliable and power gluttons. Not our experience. I have spares that I got on EBay but never needed them. Keep them in case of lightning. Our lightning experiences have not been good.
Bad install on autopilot, LDU installed bent. Reinstalled. Good unit.
Navico wheel pilot. Gets poor rating because, in spite of being pronounced good by Simrad techs, will steer 180 degrees off course at random for no apparent reason.
We use the Raymarine ST2000+ tiller pilot. The first one had some internal screws work loose and frabished the wiring. Boy that changes your night when your'e offshore. Replaced it while the it was off for repairs, so now have two. Of course we've never had another problem.
18 year old Autohelm nav instruments: depth sounder finds thermocline and either gets stuck there or lost, knotmeter needs frequent calibration to be accurate, wind speed is a joke, you can watch the cups at the top of the mast stop and turn backwards in a heavy gale. The seatalk technology won't talk to anything else easily. Wood Freeman autopilot is an old workhorse that won't die, but is a horrible energy hog.
We tend to use our Fleming wind vane if we are sailing and the WH Autopilot when we motor. Both have been excellent shipmates
Raymarine ST 60 Series. Autopilot, Depth meter, Wind speed and direction, C120 Chartplotter, Standard Horizon Chartplotter, Magellan Pioneer, Sirus weather receiver. The RayMarine components were difficult to calibrate and the manuals are not very clear. Standard Horizon stopped supporting their 4 year old chartplotter and I decided not to buy any Standard Horizon equipment in the future. Raymarine's installation procedures were straight forward. Quality seems good. S1 Wheelpilot never worked successfully and is still out for warranty repair. We will see how Raymarine honors their repair.
The Autohelm 4000 by Raymarine autopilot died after 13 years of use. We now have the replacement. The Tridata that includes depth and knot meter also had a water temp sensor that broke early on. The wind speed indicator nolonger gives proper direction - only speed. It's 13 years old and replacement parts are unavailable. This is a complaint to Raymarine. The speed still works fine.
autohelm - i do not like my autopilot, its an ancient pos. will be replacing it with a furuno soon
B&G Hercules with pilot; Furuno radar/ais/depth; Garmin chartplotter backup; Garmin has been trouble free for ten years and Blue Charts have been excellent but I wanted to upgrade to an integrated system and went with Furuno. Furuno is a power consumption hog because it's a hard drive based unit but quality is excellent and my solar panels cover the power consumption. Furuno has had four software upgrades since I bought my Navnet 3D System two years ago. I purchased the system online from Cactus Marine after they used it as a demonstrator at the Miami boat show...it was a significant saving and they have been a great company to work with.
Our boat had no electronics except an old "Morrow" depth sounder. I had a full array of Raymarine electronics installed. They all work great. Love the Autopilot. As previously mentioned, I think I want the radar to do more than the technology can or my adjusting needs to be better. I don't clearly see boats. I do see yellow blobs that reflect the radar. They all look the same. I can't see a difference between a dock and a boat. I remember seeing boats more clearly on older style radars.
Surprisingly, we have no reliability problems with any of our raymarine, garmin or other gear. Maybe that's because I spend a lot of time checking and re-wiring.
Raymarine - generally bulletproof. Garmin WAAS GPS - bulletproof; Magellan GPS - basic and reliable. Our tubular Mobri radar reflector was useless and I threw it away. The Davis Echomaster is good if up high enough, but it rattles. All the electronics were replaced after a lightning strike in 2008 except for the hand-held Magellan GPS The autopilot weeps oil just like the old one, but it has been reliable.
Monitor wind vane - has been absolutely essential for our cruising; once we got passed some initial problems with line chafe it has been a brilliant piece of gear
Only complaint is there isn't an on-off switch for each instrument; it's all or nothing.
We have a monitor windvane and an autohelm autopilot used mostly in windless conditions
Raymarine autopilot below deck as installed by Beneteau has a weak point in the hydraulic pump. Ours failed in the first week of use, replaced at no cost.
speed meter came with boat were broken. Depth meter original marginally working. Autohelm tiller autopilot steered through top of Aries windvane. Southern Cross 31 had very heavy tiller loads.
Killed two linear/mechanical autopilots (one per 600 mile passage). Upgraded to hydralic autopilot and it performs wonderfully with out any failure. All units were Raymarine. We use the autopilot alot, in all sorts of conditions.
All electronics, navigaton, autopilot, radar, etc are Raymarine. Generally the equipment works fine with no problems.
Tscktick solar annenometer is great. Prefer stand alone electronics in event there is a problem you wont loose all nav equiptment at once.
Beneteau 1150: Ockam extremely reliable, Added Sea-Me active radar reflector, Autopilot just upgraded control head to permit remote operation, basic unit remains the same very reliable. Chose smaller sized head AP26 to conserve space. Haven't had a chance to try the new performance package from US Sailing.
Monitor windvane is indepensible ...auto pilot for raising sails only AIS transponder makes all else extra.
Connections on the RAYMARINE ST60+ depth sounder and speed log have been a source of problems - and the depth sounder has not been reliable. The RAYMARINE 7000 autopilot has performed very well. We make passages under sail with wind vane self-steering gear, and the electric autopilot is used principally under power in calms. I chose the Plastimo tube-type radar reflectors so that they could be mounted on the cap-shrouds very close to the mast head. This keeps them out of trouble with the halyards.
Wind Instruments: I use a simple wind vane at the top of the mast. Never breaks down and is always accurate. As for wind wpeed, I know that if things start falling off the tables and water is nearing the side decks it is blowing very hard and it is time to put in a reef. This system is totally reliable, costs nothing and, when talking with other sailors, input can be adjusted to any level you choose! (I really don't care about wind speed in knots, useless info!!!) Speed indicator: Handheld GPS is very accurate, and it never gets fouled. Basic depth meter: Important! Mine is calibrated to show depth from bottom of keel. VERY useful when anchoring so you know minimal rode length for prevailing (and expected) conditions. Autopilot: I have a very heavy boat, and I sail in fairly heavy conditions. My W-H has been bulletproof. Great customer support, easy to use, very rfesponsive and strong. Zero problems overe 8 seasons. I figured that if they can make units for North Pacific fishig boats, making one to handle my sailboat would be easy. Excellent - one of the best pieces of equipment on the boat!
Depth finder is ancient Raymarine, growing streaks on screen. sometimes goes blank. Simrad WP30 shakes the entire pedestal, it grabs so tight and releases so suddenly
I am satisfied with all of this equipment. I am not a gadget-bug and use these for navigation and not for play. I mean, todays electronic equipment does more than needed, and I don't use this. Why do I need a GPS with "Route" options? Time is one commodity we have plenty of while sailing. There are too many Bells-and-Whistles aboard already.
Raymarine autopilot was upgraded to largest unit for the boat. Monitor windvane is installed, but haven't used it yet, so can't comment.
Robertson/Simrad Autopilot dual arm is excellent. It has handled heavy weight storms etc.
Fish finder tells the trend in bottom, and worked to lower depth than most sailboat depth finder. Autopilot never seemed to work quote like it should, but we had lots of weather helm. For autopilot, important to have a neutral helm.
The Simrad electronis have been good so far. The autopilot seems to be well suited to the boat.
I love the TackTic unit. I've never mounted the unit. I can walk to the bow knowing the depth while my wife is at the helm. I can see the depth from the cabin below. I have a Sailmat windvane. Love it. The best helmsman we have on board. Use the windvane 99% of the time. Only use the mechanical when there is no wind or when I've messed something up about the windvane.
Interphase Twinscope Forward Looking Sonar: USELESS, is only reliable when the boat is at anchor with no other electronics running. Can never see forward, often cannot see the bottom. At night the backlight is so bright it literally blinds the helmsman. Would love to get my money (~$2000.00) back on this turkey. Furuno Radar Model 1715 Monochrome LCD: Worked great for about 300 hours then the backlight went out. Could still use during the day. Cost to repair $400!! The backlight on my laptop has about 3,000 hours on it. Whats wrong with Furuno? Benmar Cetec Compucourse 2000 Autopilot: Has worked well for 20 years, but recently has developed an intermittent electronic problem, sometimes will not initialize.
Raymarine autopilot-we use it all the time. It works well
All of my electronic equipment needs to be updated.
Depth and speed is an Airmar combo unit. I'm happy with the performance but the set up doesn't play well with my Maretron display. The Simrad autopilot has been outstanding under power and sail, steering well in some heavy conditions. We have the Maretron ultrasonic wind unit and are very satisfied with the performance for wind, but the humidity function failed shortly after installation. Other Maretron units for compass and heading data have done well and are easily configured. We also have a Maretron 250 display unit at the nav station that is useful and easily customized.
Just installed a Cape Horn. Relatively inexpensive (arranged a group buy through owners association). One season and love it!
Finally got a Raymarine E120 and 4 KW radar, and an ACR class B AIS. Note: In thunderstorms, I put my GP 76 in my unplugged Microwave. It's a perfect Farraday Cage, and insures I can accurately navigate without resorting to Sextant and reduction tables, even if hit by lightning. My New Raymarine X30 autopilot connected to my E120 Chartplotter makes my old autohelm autopilot totally obsolete, and have sold it.
We will be installing Electronics tis next year.
Morgan OutIsland 41 with an Autohelm 3000WP. Lots of slippage on the belt means keeping a constant eye on it.
Raymarine Everything works well. The chartplotter is large enough to see any needed detail. The autopilot is heavy duty. Only issue we have had is the autopilot on wind mode. It isn't fast enough to keep up with wind shifts here on the Chesapeake, although there may be a variable we can change to improve performance.
Raymarine autopilot: The motherboard went bad on our course computer. An alternative self-steering device is, in our opinion, very necessary as it is very tiring to steer manually for days and nights on end. This is especially true when there are only two people on board or in following seas.
We have a Cape Horn servo-pendulum wind vane. The Cape Horn takes a bit of getting used to. It is very sensitive; make small corrections. When motoring, it is controlled by a Raymarine T1000+ tiller pilot. The remote control provides push-button steering. It has all the features of big autopilot for only half an amp.
Would prefer another "type" of auto pilot than a wheel pilot but our rigging won't allow it. If you can use a ram type device below, instead of a wheel device, do that. Much more reliable.
I purchased the Nexus depth sounder (and knotmeter and anenometer) in 2003. This is the model that predates the (more) current NX2. It has recently been giving erratic readings. ComNav tech support has been good with helping me try to troubleshoot but we/they cannot figure out what is wrong with the unit. Because ComNav changed the design and frequency of the transducer a few years ago, I cannot simply replace the transducer with a new one but must buy a new transducer and computer for ~$700 which I will have to do soon.
We use an Aires vane most of the time. I use a tiller pilot mounted to the Aires for light down wind work.
Speed (Datamarine paddle wheel) requires considerable maintenance. Raymarine ST60 Depth handles almost any sensor. (attached easily to Datamarine sensor)
our speed/depth instruments came with the boat and we'll use them as long as they last. I installed a Hummingbird fish finder at our last haulout but haven't used it much. The AIS is a great unit. I wouldn't sail without it by choice. the AIS addresses any concerns we might have regarding the energy consumption of radar and the dubious performance of radar reflector. We try not to use our electronics much as we don't have the generation capacity to do so.
Raymarine Seatalk. My system is old, but works very well for me. On a recent passage I had a GPS failure followed a couple of days later by a steering cable failure. A great learning experience! The autopilot and chart plotters worked well without a GPS fix. The handheld GPS was a disappointment when it became my primary nav source.
New boat has 2 Raymarine autopilots. Neither works. Old boat had comnav 1420 which was cheap but excellent
We Have Raymarine single point depth and Simrad sounder/scanner. Radar is Lowrance/Simrad broadband. We use in fog. Overlay on the chartplotter is great. Broadband sonar is mounted way forward and canted forward to see features as we motor into shallow anchorages. We bought Simrad NSE-8 so that our Simrad autopilot can be operated with new controls when the antique electronics fail.
Over the years I have largely rewired the boat; original wiring had become brittle and was spot corroded; new wiring was Anchor; all fittings were heat shrunk and have held up well; the wiring to the engine, starter, alternators and the batteries, and all interior and cockpit instruments has been replaced, and I believe has resulted in very good reliability of all units; Datamarine is out of business; but all units were replaced or rebuilt before they closed, so none are more than 12 years old; they work well; the Neco autopilot has some problems at due north but otherwise is just great; it is strong as an ox and has always run well in rough conditions; I put the Furuno Radar in 15 years ago; it is now old, but works like it did when new new; I rarely use it in the Chesapeake, but in Long Island Sound and in New England (especially Maine) in fog and at night it has been great to have; the Nobeltec software and the laptop have worked without problem or error, and have made navigation so much easier; I still use Eldridge, but it is really handy to hit a button and tell the current speed and direction; I bought a Toshiba laptop (nothing fancy) in 2002 wired it to the 12 volt, so much better than the first year when I had wired it an inverter; it has been wet with salt water a few times and I have dropped it on the deck probably a dozen times and it still works today; but is going to be replaced this year because it cannot handle the new software; (it has been an absolutely great piece of equipment); I hope the new Toshiba will do as well; I believe strongly in "if it ain't broke don't fix it" and try hard not to cut new holes in the cabin teak, since the new equipment rarely fits in the old hole.
I have two Garman GPS units that are coupled to Simrad auto pilot. There is a Garman unit at the navigation station below decks and at the help station. For night navigation I usually couple to the below deck unit and for day navigation I couple to the above deck unit. This allows keeping the charts below decks at night and inclement weather. The Raymarine wind instruments are coupled to the autopilot through a converter to allow the proprietary Raymarine network to couple to the NEMA interface on the Simrad autopilot. This allows using wind instruments with the autopilot to maintain sail set angles to the wind similar to a wind vane. Thus, I can set either a way point on the GPS when motoring or wind information when sailing.
Raymarine wheel pilot,not good enough,but not possible to instal below deck bcs of space issue.Older models worked better then the new ones with separate computer
NKE a/p has wireless remote that also operates as a man-overboard module when it's out of range of base unit (alarms, the 180degree turn). Had two false alarms (I was still in 50m range, but probably blocked signal being below deck - my boat is alu) in 7 years where I had to turn the a/p off to avoid it going back to "retrieve" me.
We are installing a tiller pilot this season. We use an Aries windvane, which has worked well. Are looking for an electric to handle light airs/motoring.
Dataline Speed and wind transducers break down a lot and are expensive to fix(repairs in UK only) Planning on replacing with Garmin. Garmin GMR18 HD radar works well. Overlays on chartplotter feature is nice.
Raymarine Electronics are throught my boat. The radar is great, the GPS had to be replaced once, the wind instrument has been replaced twice, the depth sounder has worked well as well as the chartplotter. My Raymarine auto-pilot burned out with in 20 hours of use and it's only used under engine power. My Hydrovane steering system has worked well also, it's used only under sail. Hydrovane has great customer support and are a pleasure to deal with. I can't say the same for Raymarine and would not recommend.
We have Raymarine 7000 as autopilot, works well but is noisy under deck. Hydrovane is out wind vane, works well as long as sails are well balanced.
B&G hydra 2000. 9 years old and mostly non functioning. Not economical to replace or repair. All will be changed to Raymarine. Here I believe the quality to be lower but it all interfaces well and more realistically priced.
There is never a time when all the raymarine works. I have had 2 other boats with the same problems.
Furuno depth sounder FCV-650 very good. Furuno Radar was 1st one w/ LCD screen. Low level of contrast, failed after 8 years, replaced. Furuno radar except for screen excellent. Furuno documentation not great, but gear reliable. Signet speed & wind instruments ancient (like us), but still work fine. Raymarine autopilot w/ mechanical lineardrive good and very reliable. Now have hydraulic linear drive, would be better. We do not use chart display units, use OpenCPN on PC. Prefer that.
WIND PILOT Pacific ll plus wind vane. excellent function easy to use and maintain. It has a separate rudder. I have a center cockpit with hydraulic steering which makes this a good choice. Great customer service from manufacturer. WH P3 autopilot very reliable. One breakdown after 30 years due to fuse failure. obviously the autopilot is used when motoring. In the Mediterranean I dismantled the wind vane for everyday cruising. Wind vane priceless on ocean voyages, using no power.
ALPHA AUTO PILOT WITH MECHANICAL RAM: Very powerful. Steers in any weather including storms. Excellent service. First breakdown was after 15 years of use and then very minor and repaired by Venezuelan tech.
Our Raymarine Depth and Knot gauges have worked very well for us. The wind instrument quit working more than a year ago, and repeated attempts to get it fixed have not been successful. Our Raymarine autopilot quit working on day 2 of an 8-day passage, which made the trip a lot less pleasant. When we got to shore, we found it was a manufacturing defect in the actuator. It was repaired with little difficulty, and has worked OK since. The electronic compass that the unit steers to is quite flaky, sometimes agreeing exactly with our main compass, sometimes off by 15 or even 20 degrees: with no change in heading, speed, or sails.
My second radar is a furuno. I rate this as excellent
I have had trouble with my furuno I am replacing it in Sept. with a more updated Raymarine touch screen with world maps & ais radio overlay . I will keep you informed on how the work !!!
Auto helm 6000 works well even in heavy weather if there is sail enough up for stability. Passing near a sunken vessel the pilot wanted to steer the boat off course and to the wreck. Noticed when dockside in Mystic shipyard, the collection of huge old iron anchors on shore caused the compass for the autopilot to become non functional.
Raytheon (Raymarine) ST3000 wheel pilot on its last leg and soon to be replaced. Garmin 740S/GM18 chartplotter/radar combo a great system at under $2500 and a breeze to self install.
I don't know the boat well enough to comment.
All the main instruments are B & G and 25 years old and still working with some continuing upgrades. I can replace an LCD screen for $150 instead of buy a whole new system. Over 10 years I have spent less then $1,000 keeping the equipment running which includes instruments at the Nav station and repeaters on the companionway. The 15 year old Robertson autopilot stopped working so I left the electric drive in place and added a Simrad electronics unit to drive it. Mid-Shore Electronics in Cambridge, Md. gave me great help line service getting the wiring hooked up and running.
Raymarine Autopilot worked very well crossing the Atlantic. I was expecting it to fail after prolonged use but it just kept working and working. Very impressed. We have a Hydrovane fitted but it was having trouble due to our Main being out of shape and the Hydrovane doesn't like rounding up situations. New main now so expecting this to improve. Radar reflector is a bit hopeless. We routinely interrogate passing commercial / passenger ships and most (4/5) haven't seen us!
The forward sonar is not all that useful, in areas of vertical coral etc. it is better. I have an integrated nobeltec sounder which is good. Nav, software is ok but costly when you consider upgrades and chart costs and upgrades. Mechanical/electrical auto pilot is good, I am about to instal supplementary hydraulic drive. Radar with chart overlay is excellent. AIS is excellent, transponder is better than receiver.
RADAR - Raymarine R40 - scheduled for upgrade
The old gear on my old boat does the job without any bells and whistles.
All our electronics came with the boat, some work, some don't -- most need replacing after 10-20 years of service. Using QD cleaner on contacts has helped revive some.
We have fully integrated Raymarine instruments with radar, AIS and Auto pilot. All works very well. Autopilot: cant fit wind steering to our open transom so carry complete spare Raymarine electric autopilot. Cockpit plotter is very helpful for two person crew especially when anchoring in the dark with one on the foredeck
Autopilot = It has lost it's way two times in one yr, but otherwise great. Just needs to be watched.
Electronics work although I don't use all the features. I continue to be a skeptic about read outs and cross check constantly esp in tight quarters or when visibility is down.
Raymarine ST 60 wind instrument is very unreliable. Have changes wind vane, Windex and sent instrument head to Raymarine for recalibrating...still does not work. Furuno autopilot works well, but had an epesode of uncommanded stearing. had dealer on boat for sea trial, found nothing wrong...statred working normally on its own.
Have two fishfinders a Humminbird good to 1000 ft and a Garmin good to 1500 ft. Would never go back to sailboat sonar. One can judge the type of bottom, be amused by seeing fish, tell water temp and they are cheap. Also have an INSPEED VORTEX ANEMOMETER. It is rugged and uses a bike digital speedometer displaying speeds from 3 mph to over 125 mph. The Inspeed is marketed to people into wind energy or weather but can't be beat for a sailor at 1/20th the cost of a sailboat anemometer. May get a second that hooks up to PC.
Wind and speed/log instruments are AIRMAR PB200 and CS4500 respectively. No moving parts. Autopilot drives non-Raymarine continuous hydraulic pump and non-Raymarine cylinders.
Garmin-very happy with the garmin depth and wind speed instruments, no problems with them every. The Raymarine auto pilot has worked great also, mostly use it for motoring in calm waters
Raymarine Wind, Depth, Speed, Autopilot (Elec.), Radar. All 15 years old 10,000 km on boat. Issues: Wind speed cups sticky at times. Speedo impeller clogs and sticks a lot. Autopilot motor lasted 15 years. Just replaced motor. Radar on 2nd scanner. Current scanner needed repairs. Overall, has worked well.
Purchased the chartplotter due to the new Simrad/Lowrance electronic radar. The radar has had electronic issues twice requiring it to be shipped back to the manufacturer twice from the Caribbean. Under their warranty they will only ship within the US and refuse to ship outside the US even if you offer to pay the shipping. Does not due much use when you are cruising. Support is lacking.
Very disappointed with Furuno Navnet3D MFD, but other equipment is fine. Really like the Airmar PB200 weather/gps instrument. Use Maretron DSM200 to display weather data plus lots more. Simrad autopilot is wonderful. Boat is 100% NMEA 2000 except for connection to VHF for DSC. People should not be afraid of N2K - it's not perfect, but hugely better than a rats nest of 0183 links.
The Datamarine stuff is out of date and needs to be replaced.
The knot meter fell apart the first time I touched it so that got plugged up.
Raymarine tridata depth, speed, trip log. Reliable, but plastic case failed twice-the plastic cracked with age and leaked. Depth sounder failed to function in shallow water (6-7 ft) with a soft mud bottom. Raymarine wind instrument-masthead unit failed electronically twice and plastic babe fell off once. Otherwise it worked well. Raymarine autopilot is a linear type 2L drive and has worked flawlessly in all kinds of weather. The Raymarine instruments all integrate well and although somewhat unreliable provide excellent functionality.
I have B&G network system that is difficult to figure out connection wise. I have yet to get it completly opeational, but once 100% the capabilities are tremendous. Also, a 10 year old system is no longer supported. Also, when interfacing other systems one has to monitor the NEMA verzion (2000 vs 0183) and watch version control.
Old school Do not rely on instruments.
Paddle wheel in knot log fouls too often. Radar required repairs due to loose connections in unit.
Integrated Furuno systems - work well with no problems except electronics for autopilot required replacement. Have also had problems with the AIS system, now fixed.
Best radar reflector is -crumpled up aluminum foil in a 10lL water bottle.
New Simrad systems being installed as part of major refit. With exception of tiller pilot, all systems are new, but expectations are high. Tiller pilot came with vessel and has worked flawlessly - making single-handed sailing on the Chesapeake a lot of fun.
We cruised the Bahamas this year and had to hand steer about 90% of the time. We're going to replace our Simrad wheel pilot with a below deck hydraulic unit that is, hopefully, a bit 'smarter'.
Alpha 3000 autopilot has been really good except it can be difficult to deal with the company service reps. Otherwise it's been very dependable in all sea conditions. B&G instruments were not worth the extra money I paid for them, having broken down several times and very expensive to repair. The service reps were very difficult to deal with. I can get the same service or better out of less expensive brands. I now have Navman depth/wind/knotlog instruments, which are also not very reliable.
I have a tiller pilot that seldom get used and an ugly Monitor that's terrific ! The monitor steers the boat at least 95% of the time. It looks terrible but it works so well ! I wouldn't even consider going to sea without it.
Radar failed on first passage! Raymarine fixed under warranty, but 24 hours in heavy fog w/o radar was no fun. Autopilot failed the result of a bad installation by Catalina or their sub. Since wife and I make multiple- day passages, thinking about in buying a backup autopilot.
The only problem we've had is Furuno transducer for our plotter. Might even be a different company, but our depth sounder was our only failure and likely from a nearby lightening strike. Otherwise electronics have been perfect, all Furuno.
Simrad low power radar, chartplotter, depth, autopilot system works nicely and has been reliable.
Tacktick: Wind was OK for 2 years, then the masthead transmitter stopped working. Tacktick are replacing it, even though out of warranty. Tacktick depth retro allowed us to use 150kHz sounder, therefore not interfering with our Fwd Looking Sonar which uses 200kHz. Tacktick speed readings are not consistent, and there is only a simple linear adjustment available. Autopilot: We have a Raymarine S10 with Type 1 linear drive as our primary autopilot. The linear drive, of unknown age, failed on a downwind transatlantic. The replacement is now 2.5 years old and no problems so far. We also have an S5 unit with a wheelpilot, as a backup. This is a little undersized for the boat, but it works just fine so far.
Raymarine ST-40 wind: good for speed of wind, poor with direction (angle). EchoPilot Gold forward looking sonar. Doesn't see far enough ahead to be very useful. Flaky, may work or not when needed; added standard Raymarine sonar to supplement and that has been fine. Autopilot drives an OctopusMarine hydralic pump which is very reliable and does a fine job. Would choose this one again. Raymarine basic digital radar is superb and great value.
Depth sounder cannot read water depths greater than about 100 ft. Prefer Garmin to Raymarine. Wish I had all Garmin system. Garmin system and Raymarine systems don't communicate with each other without glitches.
Raymarine ST60 Wind Instrument has required 4 repairs in the last 9 years. Raymarine service representative didn't care. At last service it was returned with no reported problems found but it won't calibrate. JRC Radar was 1/3 less costly than a comparable Raymarine unit, very highly rated by Powerboat Reports and has functioned flawlessly for 11 years. Manual said not to mount display closer than 15" from a steering compass but testing revealed absolutely no effect on compass allowing mounting the display right at the helm making it far more useful. Excellent value!
Older Authohelm sailing insgtrumnent work well. Raymarine autopilot has has some problems diue to installation. AIS needs upgrading to current standards.
I have the basic Raymarine electronics package of autopilot, radar, speed log, depth finder, and wind instruments. The primary displays are in the cockpit and I have a multi display in the pilot house. All are on a sea talk buss and the nmea data from the GPS is fed into the autopilot and distributed on the sea talk buss. I also have the wireless remote option from Ray Marine. I dont remember the model but its the one that repeats all the data that are on the seatalk buss so I can see the wind speed and direction from my bunk when I remember to take the wireless unit with me. The wireless unit also controls the autopilot which can be hand in the pilot house as the primary control is in the cockpit. I have a cape horn wind vane and prefer using a wind vane if there is adequate wind. The autopilot is a power hog and noisy. We had a failure of the control head in the cockpit but otherwise the autopilot has served us well.
I also have a standby Alpha Marine Electric autopilot that I am going to replace with another Simrad unit identical to the one that is presently installed.
New owner - to early to comment...
We have a Digital Navigation AIS Class B, which we like very much. We have always had Furuno radar and never had a problem with it Same for Simrad autopilots
Two Raymarine ST7000+ autopilots....one chain drive to the rear of the wheel inside the boat, other ram directly on the rudder quadrant, both use the same motors. One of the ST7000 units periodically loses its calibration and is 180deg out...still works ok...juts in reciprocal courses !!
The Monitor Wind Vane is one of the most valuable and the most relieable piece of gear on our boat.
The Simrad was the WP 30, a model that even the company said was a big problem for them because of shredding belts that jammed. Other Simrads might be fine. I believe they were bought about by another company several years ago.
We use a Raymarine Autohelm 1000 to drive our windvane. It works great and uses very little power. I keep a second one for a spar because they are so inexpensive.
Speed meter: B&G with 2-sensors not working: instead to change sensor, we have connected the GPS Nmea output to a SOG1 box who should interpreter NMEA sentences and transmit speed to the instrument on deck: under evaluation and fixing, because working intermittently.
The below deck autopilot is a Jefa Direct Drive with Simrad controller. It was just installed this year.
We are satisfied with all of our navigational gear. All the individual units are independent of all the other systems and in Maine, in the fog, we use all of them to great satisfaction. I have never opted to integrate them on one screen. We are set up to see all screens from the steering station. We do not use our autopilot in heavy weather, but on long passages, in normal seas, it allows us relief from hand steering and prevents fatigue.
I have a monitor wind vane which is a fine tool. The electronic autopilot is the biggest help for a single handed sailor. Once underway on a passage the monitor is fine but messing around the coast the electronic is best. The Garmin autopilot needed much service and tweaking before it would work ok when new.
Raymarine depth and speed instrument is combined into one transducer. I do not like this because I can not take out paddle wheel to keep it from getting fouled.
autopilot tracks extremely well in most conditions. occasionally has difficulty acquiring course when first engaged
The Raymarine knotmeter paddle wheel design is extremely poor. Continually stopped by little marine growth and is usually not functioning. On my boat it is not convenient to pull every day to clean. Live in SW Florida and have a lot of growth inspite of anti-fowling paint. Had Data Marine until lightning strike and it was extremely reliable. Sorry they went out of business!
W-H autopilot is great. Will steer the vessel in all conditions to force 7. Furuno PB100 has problems with the senors for pressure and humidity. Failed at 24 months. Airmar repaired for $250.
I decided to replace my old cockpit belt driven autopilot due to its age and worn belt components, which are no longer available. I switched to a raymarine unit with below deck motor connected to my steering pendant. It is a good unit and easy to use but it uses a lot of power especially when using it without the engine on. As a result, my house bank batteries wear down quickly. I need to add additional battery capacity and generation in the near future.
Raymarine autopilot weak link is the central computer. The reversing hydraulic pumps also wear out after a few thousand miles.
raymarine 6000 series. works well. recent issue with the autopilot. seems to be the heading sensor
The initial set up seems clumsy, but the Raymarine autohelm works great- even if not calibrated it holds a good course.
Our autopilot computer X30 is new, but electric motor/hydraulics is original, refurbished. The new computer is excellent. Davis radar reflector is probably good but due to its shape and sharp edges it is hard to install it without risk of damaging something else. So we hardly use it.
SIMRAD AP70 autopilot with AC70 computer, all other electronics are Furuno
Raymarine keeps our full keel boat on course to at least 35 knots, 10 foot seas.
Tracking system on Raymarine auto pilot sometimes looses its marbles .\ If reset to auto, then its ok.
Simrad autopilot needed new brushes after 23000 NM and failed due to water intrusion in control head after 36000 NM. Replaced it with the updated simrad model - very satisfied. The unit handles the boat very well even in adverse storm conditions.
Airmar WS200-WX on masthead for wind, baro pressure, temp. Excellent. WH Pilot A/P has been good, but recent problem with always going to 180 degrees no matter course setittng is proving difficult to fix.
B&G stands for Broke N Gauges, backlight insufficient to see properly, H1000 instrument display missing horizontal lines, no backlight,
Simrad has bad customer service in europe. No body available to fix it all too busy. Unit is good, dealers are crooks in europe but great n the USA. I would hover buy anything else. Many many hours in use. Iíve owned two of them.
The Raymarine wheelpilot has always been a dissapointment. I use it only long enough to get a cup of coffee.
Garmin touch screens at helm, pilot house and nav station. B&G Hydra 2 system. Dual B &G h2000 autopilots with ACP 2 processors, Garmin AIS B transponder, Pains Wessex active radar transponder, backup Simrad GPS. Iridium Satphone and Ocens weathernet.
Our Standard GX2150 VHF (with AIS), Raymarine D/S/T instruments, Garmin GPS units have done all we expected and work well, no problems. The Navico tillerpilot has finally given up, we don't know how old it is. We also have a Norvane gear, great in steady winds. We are seen on radar with the reflectors. The Mobri is up all the time, the Davis is added (lower down) in reduced visibility to add cross section area. Our fixed and hand bearing compasses have worked well (we keep cell phones in the forward cabin) and are reliable. Remember that cell phones have magnets in them!
Raymarine is a good system. Replacing with B&G to obtain the 4G broadband radar. I have used the B&G/4G system and the 4G scanner is awesome. A must have for my trip to Nova Scotia and the fog.
using the autopilot only when motoring. Monitor wind vane when sailing. would not set sail without the wind vane.
Simrad AP16 autopilot has been very reliable and responsive; highly recommended
All performed well from Buzzards Bay to Norfolk, but it's all very new to me.
Ratheon autohelm autopilot has been very good with one breakdown for the control panel (company fixed or replaced - hard to know). Combined radar and chartplotter with one screen is a major problem when the display goes out. A second GPS is needed and ideally a second radar unit would not hurt either -- although not realistic on 37 foot cutter.
@ years ago installed a Simrad NSS12 chartplotter, linked to a Simrad Broadband radar and a Simrad Autopilot. It is a very clever system and has per4formed better than I could have dreamed.
I upgraded a couple of years ago to a simple but comprehensive system consisting of a Furuno NMEA 2000 system of combined depth,speed, temperature, a solid state wind,temp, attitude, gps etc.. (AIRMAR PB200) all connected to MaxSea Timezero via an Actisense NGT gateway. I have Furuno RD33 display units at the nav desk and in the cockpit. I have stand alone Furno monochrome fish finder for when I need to see the bottom and an 18" scanner furuno radar, again one of the budget monochrome one. Very happy with it all.
When we bought the boat, all of the electronics were out of date, and are now in somebody's recycle pile. The Autopilot and knot meter both don't work. So until we install new equipment, we are currently relying on our handheld GPS, our compass, and charts for navigation, and our hands and arms for the autopilot. Lake Superior is notorious for fog, especially in the fall, so radar would be awesome, but so far we've managed without it.
Very poor quality build on my raymarine gear. My old Garmin/furuno stuff is great
Furuno radar screen failed after 12 years and unable to repair due to age of the unit. Have been radar-less since then but use AIS for Gulf Stream crossings and find that an excellent tool. RayMarine Tri-Data - we are on our 4th unit and currently it doesn't work. Two years without speed and distance! They do not support their equipment unless you send to them for repair. Not convenient. Not sure what we will install this year but it won't be another Tri-Data.
Garmin package of 741 chartplotter and 18" High Definition Radar. Installed radome on mast just above first spreaders. Added a GPS antenna for the Chartplotter and communicates with VHF radio with AIS receiver. AIS targets, sonar, charts, waypoints, radar, GPS all show on chartplotter screen. VHS receives GPS from plotter and displays lat/long. All works well and displays clearly.
All my electronics are 1 year old Raymarine and they work great.
Boat came with Nobeltec digital radar but owner did not leave software so it is useless unless I upgrade to the lastest (TimeZero) for $700 so I am replacing the radar with Furuno NavNet 3D 4kW with 8" multifunction display. Would like to have a hydraulic underdeck A/P and keep the CPT as a backup. Note: the CPT company has excellent customer service. They rebuilt the unit I have for $400 so we can use it until we can afford hydraulic. Not sure how well it works yet. Plan to add a wind pilot which most likely will be a Hydrovane to accomodate the aft arch and davits.
Most is original Autohelm and Furuno equipment. All have held up well, and are overdue for upgrades. I have updated the radio to a Stand Horizon with AIS - which is very nice, and added a NMEA2000 bus so the raido and Garmin can share data.
Alpha autopilot is incredibly reliable and efficient. Have only upgraded with gyro in over 20 yrs of use. Very simple and fantastic product. Also, love my hi-def KVH tv and satellite radio. Raymarine cockpit instruments are also simple stalwarts.
Our Allied Seawind II has a Raymarine E7D chart plotter and radar which works really well now that they recalled and upgraded it. We also have a Raymarine wheel mounted autopilot that works well now but failed in the first year and Raymarine replaced it. Before anymore extended offshore trips we would like to install a Windvane autopilot, probably a Cape Horn.
My knot meter transducer is always getting clogged with something. Frustrating. My tiller pilot is good but only in fair weather. Have not had any feedback from other vessels as to the quality of my Echomax radar reflector. My Raymarine equipment is very user friendly and has been very reliable so far. No complaints. I upgraded to the Raymarine HD radar and it is excellent!
AutNav autopilot has been very good with the exception of the hydraulic pump motor that has cause a couple of problems over the years. We now have their latest 1.5 pump that has been rebuilt as a large unit and an Octapus 1.2 litre pump for a small pump that can be used to conserve power when the sailing and seas are not so rough. The control has been great with no problems. We can steer via wind, magnetic, waypoint and power steer with the unit and its remote control. Sailing instruments are also AutoNav although built by Silva Nexus. They work well with the autopilot. The Furuno 1720 radar has not been a great help for us and is now in need of repair. 2012 Update Nexus Sailing instruments - replaced twice with lightning proximity strike and over voltage(skipper fau pas) AutoNav - replaced AutoNav pump with second 2.0 litre Octopus pump and haven't looked at it since. A simple DPDT switch changes between the two at a simple flic. The autopilot withstood lightning strike problem once isolated from Nexus Server and over voltage problem by skipper. Purchased new Nexus 1600 AP but not as convenient as A1500 old unit. Putting old unit back in. Ray Marine C-80 Radar replaced Furuno and it is 100% better/newer and lets us know those clouds with rain in them. We like that.
Raymarine has a good system that links all the systems including an important repeater at the nav station. Simple to use. Autopilot less intuitive, and could work better.
Raymarine ST90- very happy with all our Raymarine instruments
B&G instruments are original, had to send depth back in at 18 years to replace screen. autopilot is 19 years old and only problem is with belts. Raymarine does not support, but you can still get parts. garmin gps is good, but would like color screen.
I run NMEA 183 throughout, with two ShipModul concentrator/repeaters bringing everything together for the computer and the Furuno NavNet MFDBB. As noted above, I have three monitors, one dedicated to the the Navnet, one to the computer, and one shared. I have written my own display software which can put up on the monitor anything that is on the 183 system. When docking this is a large rudder angle indicator and speed, but usually a combination of GPS and weather. I use Navtext for weather, which is unusual in the USA because weather information is free on the VHF and Web, but common in Europe, where it is not free. Navtex (Fintry's Navtext is a Furuno NX300, but there are also other good units) provides weather out to a nominal 200 miles, but in fact will get you across the Atlantic. It is entirely text, which can be read off the unit's screen, or downloaded to a PC. We have several control heads for the Simrad autopilot -- those of you with larger boats, do not be put off by the upper size limits on the AP electronics -- the Simrad AP16 does just fine with Fintry's 350,000 pound displacement.
Our West Marine Tri-Lens radar reflector gives us great coverage, as reported by other vessels.
AIS - would not go offshore at night without an AIS Transceiver.
We have a CPT Autopilot, which is a workhorse. We also have a Monitor windvane, which works well in 'at sea' conditions. We use the CPT more often because it is easier, and doesn't draw too much power.
B&G: 28 years old and going strong. Occasional repairs and reconditioned replacements keep this system alive. Reports on modern units (any brand) indicate this old system has fewer issues. WH Pilot: Still using original motors and controllers. Have replaced ram and added a digital controller.
Have older but refurbished Aries windvane that will be installed soon. Thinking seriously of combining that with a tillerpilot hybrid system for electronic autopilot.
Rangefinder - 450 yards Golf model. Use it regularly for anchoring, to measure distance to nearby boats, shore, rocks etc. Reduces marital stress! No arguments about "how far is?"
Love MARPA vs AIS much easier to read and use. Have below decks Simrad and Wind vane using AutoHelm and /or sail. AutoHelm under sail, below decks under power.
I use a handheld deptfinder from West Marine in the dinghy to check before anchoring in some areas. I am not totally happy with Raymarine speed and wind instruments, they are hard to calibrate and the wind data sent to chartplotter has never been correct. I installed an AIS transponder/receiver as soon as private watercraft were allowed and it is an excellent addition from Raymarine. I have a separate navigation program on a separate computer at the navigation desk that uses Fugwai, and the same CF map chips that Raymarine uses.
Happy with all. Only problem was installer of autopilot error led to problem in first few months. After corrected trouble free since. Wind angle steering feature is wonderful. Prefer windvane on real long passage but would never not have good autopilot as well.
Depth instrument is Raymarine brand. Temperature sensor is reading high even though it has been recalibrated. Display frequently flashes signifying unknown depth even in shallow waters of 50, 100ft.
Datamarine depthfinder is obsolete but adequate. Suffers from interference from Atomic-4 ignition noise. Needs ferrite filter installed. SR Mariner knotmeter is obsolete but adequate. Support non-existent. Raymarine ST2000 tiller pilot has been effective and invaluable. Durability is still being evaluated as the unit is less than one year old. Highly recommend following the tuning procedures so that the unit steers as well as possible.
Raymarine wheel pilot is marketed as sufficient for our 15000 pound boat. In practice - it is not. We blew the motor and then the belt. The main control unit also failed on use.
I buy used gear and the traditional brands like furuno ray marine have served me well.
Using Airmar transducers for depth and speed. Both excellent. Use a Maretron WSO100 wind sensor. Excellent performance. Cape Horn windvane installed. Excellent performance. Radar is 4G digital. Somewhat of a learning curve, but very good radar. B&G Triton displays are installed. Excellent!
Raymarine ST60 Most of our electronics is old Raymarine gear. Apart from a sticky wind speed transducer the only other failures have been due to water ingress to displays. Autohelm Type 1 linear drive. We recently suffered the common problem with the older linear drives of stripped drive gears. These were replaced with the more recent metal ones and all is now good, with the rest of the drive still in excellent working order. We have considered wind vane steering gear but cannot, at present, justify the cost and weight of our preference- the Hydrovane.
We went with Raymarine radar, sirus weather, autopilot. It took a while to get the defects fixed, but it works well now. integrated Simrad Radio AIS.
Garmin wind instrument is excellent except that the vane has fallen off twice. We were able to replace the first one under a West buyers plan. The second time, it fell to the deck and was put back on. Birds were probably the source of both mishaps.
We use the Sirad autopilot exclusively to steer with and find it excellent.
Garmin wind, seldom worked and had five direction vanes taken off by birds.
The Raymarine depth sounder (no thru hull) periodically hangs up and has to be switched off and back on. Thus I have an old backup DMI for anchoring! The Raymarine piston to quadrant autopilot internally rusted after 2 years and was eventually replaced by extended warranty after a great deal of arguing. It is again back at Raymarine and they say it is bent and cannot be fixed and they will only sell complete system (have no idea how it could have gotten bent).
Simrad autopilot with Raymarine long linear electric drive Type 2

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