Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Original instruments
Bill, Thanks for taking the time to respond. Would you know if B&G today is of the same quality that they have been in the past? Would you have any reservations about going totally B&G ?
From: Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]
Sent: Wed, Jul 20, 2016 7:36 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Original instruments
Yes, B&G isn’t an independent operation any more. They made great products, and had a great reputation, but were not big enough to keep up with the speed of changes in the field. Navico today uses the B&G brand to position their products into the sailboat market—especially the racers. That said, I have been happy with the Navico products, and with their customer support on the only time I needed to use it.
I have used B&G autopilots and radar. Actually, the radar I used was a Simrad, but the only difference is the decal on the outside. I really liked the 3G radar. It was absolutely amazing on very close range, picking my way into a crowded anchorage on a moonless night wasn’t at all a problem. It was very good at distance targets. Not the best as a weather radar, but did well enough as a squall detector for us in the Pacific.
I had no issue with the B&G autopilot computer after about 10,000 active sea miles. I very much liked the options for VMG optimization and the ability to steer to either true or apparent wind. Also, you can use it as in a “power steering mode” bypassing the cables if something should go wrong with your manual steering system. Way easier than an emergency tiller!
All modern autopilots that I know of use the same control system to the drive train. A “clutch” relay to activate the drive, and then reversing voltage to drive the motor or pump and position the rudder. You can match the B&G computer to any manufacturer’s drive that you like. On my old boat I used a hydraulic unit made by Octopus. Worked well, but the pump was a bit noisy.
As far as I know, Navico makes their own wind instruments, but all the speed and depth transducers come from Airmar, who also supplies Furuno, Garmin, and Raymarine with the exact same units, just with different connectors. Navico also outsources their autopilot drive units.
I think your installer is giving you a story about Furuno being harder to install. With NMEA2000 networking everybody is pretty much interconnected the same way. If the Furuno system he’s talking about does NOT use NMEA2000, I wouldn’t have it. Too proprietary.
SM #160, Harmonie
“Ships and men rot in port."