Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Raymarine or B&G


Ron Hynes <riffhynes@...>
 

Last Summer I had trouble with my B&G Autopilot.  I called their service department in the UK but due to overflow I was told routed to Germany.  A very helpful tech ran me through a few tests and told me my Rudder Indicator had failed.  I obtained a new one for about 385 Euros.  Installed and no change in the operation.  Again, I called tech support in the UK.  This time I was asked for my "Installation Certificate Number".  I called the dealer where I bought the autopilot, radar, wind and speed, VHF, etc. (boat had been struck by lightning), but there was no answer.  I had remembered the previous year that the dealer shutdown for a 2-week vacation and although I didn't remmember the specific dates, thought this might be the reason.  I again called the UK to relay the fact that my dealer was not answering and that I had no idea what an ICN was.  They too called the dealer and confirmed he wasn't answering.

BUT all the information was in their computer.  They knew the serial number of my unit and when it had been purchased.

I learned that B&G markets their products at retail through normal marine supply houses but also has certified installers who have paid 2500 Euros to attend training.  The difference for the consumer is that in the event of a warranty issue, if you have a ICN, the service is done on your vessel at no charge.  For those that simply purchased the equipment from a retailer, you are on the hook for labor, travel, shipping, etc.

Since my problem was obviously the Autopilot computer (I could activate the mechanism, the rudder indicator was new and that's the entire system aside from the display and the keypad), I said why not take my credit card number and charge it for the computer and when I return the defective unit credit me back the charge.  Oh no, we can't do that.  We can only ship the replacement unit to a qualified dealer who will then make an appointment with you to install the computer.  I was to pay the dealer independently for his time.  I ended up paying just over 200 Euros and as it turns out was worth every penny as the tech from Dahlberg in Palma de Marjorca was excellent and adjusted the AP so that it worked better than it ever had before.

I'm a little miffed, however, over the entire episode.  How is a consumer supposed to know that there are retailers and there are certified installers?  Both display the same B&G banner in their stores.  The UK tech guy told me I should have gone to the B&G website and learned which are certified??  Interestingly, when I did go to the website and look, I learned that indeed they did have different symbols for certified installers but there was no legend to identify them.

On Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 8:17 PM, greatketch@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Paul


I stayed with B&G brand instruments.

I think it is important to remember that B&G is no longer the independent company doing it's own thing the way it used to be.  For some time now it has been just one more brand in the Navico stable of products.  It is the brand name used to sell to sailboat owners the same products that Lawrence sells to fisherman, and Simrad sells to powerboaters.

Why I stayed with B&G:  I was used to them.  I had them on my old boat, and back when I made that selection, a long time ago, I felt that the B&G line was better suited to a cruising sailboat.  

The original equipment installed on any of the Super Marmus is dated enough that you really will have very little benefit in connecting them to a current Raymarine as opposed to another brand.

In a modern network, pretty much everything talks on the same protocol, even if they use different plugs.  On our boat we have a Raymarine AIS that came with the boat that we connected into our NMEA2000 network with a simple adapter, and the B&G MFD understands it just fine.  With a little work, our original Autohelm works side by side with our new B&G AC42 autopilot, and they both share the use of either Raymarine drive.

There are some things that Navico clearly does better, and some things that Raymarine does better.  I am pretty sure either will work for anybody.

A very few times I have had to use the Navico/B&G tech service to sort out a problem. Invariably, the knowledge of the phone support staff was truly exceptional.  And that isn't something I say very often.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Annapolis, MD

---In amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com, wrote :

Hello!

We thinking of replace the old B&G system, the ultrasonic speed sensor got smashed when we grounded.

The B&G system is old and probably anyhow on the end of it's lifespan.

We have a Raymarine plotter just two years old (The old Garmin was more user friendly) , we are very pleases with our old Autohelm Autopilot, but need redundancy so we will planning to install the Raymarine EV 400, and keep the two original drive units, keep the old control head and computes as spare.

To us it make sense to use Raymarine i the rest of the instrumentation wind speed depth etc.

Hopefully we do not need to adress his issues any more during our ownership of Kerpa, so we like to do the right thing.

You who have this set up, which I guess there are a few, are you satisfied with the Raymarine equipment's?

You who choose to stay with B&G what was the main reason for that?


Paul on SY Kerpa SM#259 Mill Creek next stop St Michels







--
Regards,
Ron Hynes
954.319.0944

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