Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Original instruments

James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>

Patrick, I replaced my 4 analog B&G gauges with the new Tritons. They are fantastic. I also replaced the H2000 with the new H5000. My local electrical expert I work with loves B&G products, and I think that is why Amel selected them. I know they are now the same as Simrad.
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044

On Thursday, July 21, 2016 7:26 AM, "Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:

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 ?

Pat SM#123

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]
To: 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.

Bill Kinney
SM #160, Harmonie
Highlands, NJ
“Ships and men rot in port."

On Jul 20, 2016, at 18:13, Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

Bill, I just exchanged emails with my mechanic and explained that I had reservations about B&G ,because they are not really B&G any longer. He told me no one is installing Furuno due to cost and complexity , and has a long list of customers with B&G installs. I have had good luck with Furuno and they have great tech support . Did you install B&G autopilot and radar as well ? Maybe theres not a dimes worth of difference between any of the manufacturers , but I don't know and have to decide by Monday who to go with, so appreciate your feedback.

Thanks much,
Pat SM#123

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Kinney greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Wed, Jul 20, 2016 5:25 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Original instruments


I am also upgrading the 20 year old instruments on my boat, and I chose to go with B&G instruments and displays mostly because I am familiar with the look and feel from previous boats.  Note that these days B&G, Simrad, and Lawrence are all the same manufacturer: Navico.

I maintained a fleet of boats with Raymarine equipment, and wasn’t always happy with many of their equipment.  To be fair, those boats were in charter service and weren’t always treated gently.

It is a VERY competitive business, and I very much doubt any of the mainstream manufacturers would disappoint you in terms of quality.  Look closely at the current feature set offered by each of the manufacturers and pick the one that you like the best. 

I think B&G tends to offer instruments with a feature set a bit more focused on the sailboat.

Technically speaking, in a modern NMEA2000 network, you should be able to mix and match instruments from different manufacturers.  Practically speaking it is a bit more complex than that.  Sometimes you can lose a bit of functionality doing mixing suppliers.  For example, a B&G display might not be able to access all of the calibration routines in a Furuno mast head wind instrument.

It can be a bit of a moving target because the different suppliers can be on different upgrade cycles.  Two years ago the Navico 4G radars I thought were marginally better than the other small boat units.  Raymarine and Garmin just came out with new units that are arguably nicer.  I am sure that will change again in a year or two.

Now that I have rambled a bit long… let me summarize by saying I think you’ll be really happy with the upgrade no matter which you select.  The feature set of any instruments available today are lightyears ahead of what was installed on SM’s 20 years ago.

I will be replacing all of my instruments. The mechanic doing the work ,Its a ton of moneysuggest I go with B&G as opposed to Furuno chartplotters and raymarine instruments that I have now. I know the Amels came with B&G instruments , but did they also come with B&G chartplotters and radar ? What autopilot ? I think B&G was sold , are they still a quality instrument ? Its a ton of money and I want to make the right choices. I guess it makes it easier to integrate if everything is one brand. Go all Furuno or all B&G , any thoughts .

SM Shenanigans # 123

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