There are plenty of folks on this forum with more experience than me, and I'm sure they can provide their experiences over a number of years with various platforms. So my comments come from general experience on the water in power and sail, and a healthy respect for wanting to avoid things not working at critical times.
The standard package being delivered by Amel in recent years is Furuno chart plotter, autopilot and radar, coupled with B&G wind instruments. I have a Furuno NavNet TZ Touch 2 plotter, Furuno NavPilot 711C autopilot, Furuno DRS4D radar, and B&G Hydra 5000 wind instrumentation. I have been very happy with the system and other than a few initial operator errors, have found it to work consistently and flawlessly.
I have the Furuno AIS blackbox system integrated into the NavNet, and am firmly in the camp that a reliable AIS system is the best value safety system that any boat can have.
In previous boats, I have specified Furuno gear and would have upgraded to them had Amel not already had them as standard. The reasons I chose them reflects my own approach to risk management, and will certainly not be everyone's choice.
1. Aside from Furuno and Garmin, I believe that every other brand has been through a corporate spin-off, restructuring, or consolidation, which always leaves me wondering about product support after such a change. I also worry about change in manufacturing processes with one of these events.
2. Furuno is widely used by commercial vessels of all sizes, and (to my knowledge) they only serve the maritime market.
3. Their service network is well developed, and can typically be found anywhere there is a commercial port.
4. My experience is that they are robust and designed beyond what a fair-weather day-sailor would need.
They are clearly not the choice for the budget minded sailor, but I place a value on my peace of mind and my passengers that more than compensates for their higher price.
For what it's worth.
John W. Clanton
Amel 55, no. 65