Should I Refit a Furuno or choose a B&G plotter?


Joan Blaas
 

Dear fellow Amel owners,

The original Furuno Navnet plotter & radar on my Amel 55 needs to be replaced. I also have a b&g H3000 Hydra system as wel as two Furuno Fab 7002 autopilots. The Hydra works fine the autopilots have a bit a mind of their own...

I now only want to replace the plotter & radar and later on this year/next year replace the whole system. We are planning a Atlantic circumnavigation in 2023/2024. 

I need some advice / opinion what I should do? Should I stick to the Amel tradition with a Furuno plotter/radar (and complexity of a multi brand system) or gradually move to an B&G only system? 

And what model should I choose?

Your experience and advise.is highly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Joan
SV Caconano
Amel55 #05



Bruno COTTE
 

On my A 55#63 I am very happy with the Furuno TZ2 plotter . What problems have you ?

Envoyé de mon iPhone

Le 9 janv. 2022 à 20:12, Joan Blaas <joan.blaas@...> a écrit :

Dear fellow Amel owners,

The original Furuno Navnet plotter & radar on my Amel 55 needs to be replaced. I also have a b&g H3000 Hydra system as wel as two Furuno Fab 7002 autopilots. The Hydra works fine the autopilots have a bit a mind of their own...

I now only want to replace the plotter & radar and later on this year/next year replace the whole system. We are planning a Atlantic circumnavigation in 2023/2024. 

I need some advice / opinion what I should do? Should I stick to the Amel tradition with a Furuno plotter/radar (and complexity of a multi brand system) or gradually move to an B&G only system? 

And what model should I choose?

Your experience and advise.is highly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Joan
SV Caconano
Amel55 #05



Joan Blaas
 

Hi Bruno,

I have an older model the FURUNO Radar Chartplotter NavNet Vx2 RDP149. Unfortunately the screen has become unreadable due to UV damage. My helmstation isn't very fancy yet. (See photo).

Do you have the Furuno TZ2 12 inch or 16 inch? And  B&G H3000 or H5000?

Kind regards,

Joan


Bruno COTTE
 

I have a TZ2 16 inches plus a 9 inches Zeus 3S ( Zeus with Navionics or front looking BG sonar ) and TZ2 with C map . 
At the table chart I have a 16inched Zeus 3S BG and a Furuno 9inches … it is a little bit luxury and you ca ´ use an iPad with navionics or c map but both maps are complementary due to my previous experience sailing around the world . 
The Furuno chart plotter is excellent and very fluid . 


Envoyé de mon iPhone

Le 9 janv. 2022 à 21:28, Joan Blaas <joan.blaas@...> a écrit :

Hi Bruno,

I have an older model the FURUNO Radar Chartplotter NavNet Vx2 RDP149. Unfortunately the screen has become unreadable due to UV damage. My helmstation isn't very fancy yet. (See photo).

Do you have the Furuno TZ2 12 inch or 16 inch? And  B&G H3000 or H5000?

Kind regards,

Joan


Joan Blaas
 

Bruno,

That is indeed very luxurious!

And I guess you have some b&g displays at the helm? Or do you use the the Zeus with sailsteer? What about your autopilot?

Sorry for all the questions.

Kind regards,

Joan


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Joan,

I can tell you what I have done on our 54.
Originally our boat came with the Navnet3D system, two 502 Autopilots and the B&G H3000 set.

Although the Navnet 3D is not a bad system the power consumption is very high. Having tough about the situation for some time I decided to go for Furuno for most stuff as that was the most cost effective.
I replaced the course computers and control boxes with the new 702 generation. They work excellent. You may need to update the software on the computers if you have problems.

The NavNet 3D has been replaced with the Navnet TZ2 blackbox. This box can drive two displays independently so it now drives the inside screen and a new outside screen that replaced the 12" Navnet plotter that was there. I kept the radar, AIS and weatherfax as all work together with the new TZ2 blackbox. The instruments are replaced with Furuno's FI70. I bought a NMEA183 multiplexer and NMEA2000 bridge (Shipmodul Miniplex) to get data to and from the H3000 CPU and the NMEA2000 backbone. A TCP/IP bridge puts all navdata on the local WiFi network.
The system works very good and kept the costs acceptable. It takes about 25% of the power of the original system. But it was a lot of work installing it all. If you want I can send you the schematic diagram of the system.

Kind regards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Peter Forbes
 

Arno,

Brilliant thank you - please send me the schematic circuit diagram and equipment list.

i think I will follow your example.

best wishes

Peter

Peter Forbes
The Old Rectory 
Farnham
Blandford
DT11 8 DE
07836 209730

On 10 Jan 2022, at 12:00, Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...> wrote:

Hi Joan,

I can tell you what I have done on our 54.
Originally our boat came with the Navnet3D system, two 502 Autopilots and the B&G H3000 set.

Although the Navnet 3D is not a bad system the power consumption is very high. Having tough about the situation for some time I decided to go for Furuno for most stuff as that was the most cost effective.
I replaced the course computers and control boxes with the new 702 generation. They work excellent. You may need to update the software on the computers if you have problems.

The NavNet 3D has been replaced with the Navnet TZ2 blackbox. This box can drive two displays independently so it now drives the inside screen and a new outside screen that replaced the 12" Navnet plotter that was there. I kept the radar, AIS and weatherfax as all work together with the new TZ2 blackbox. The instruments are replaced with Furuno's FI70. I bought a NMEA183 multiplexer and NMEA2000 bridge (Shipmodul Miniplex) to get data to and from the H3000 CPU and the NMEA2000 backbone. A TCP/IP bridge puts all navdata on the local WiFi network.
The system works very good and kept the costs acceptable. It takes about 25% of the power of the original system. But it was a lot of work installing it all. If you want I can send you the schematic diagram of the system.

Kind regards,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Joerg Esdorn
 

Joan, I have the Navnet TZ Touch 14 plotter on my boat (#53 from 2016) integrated with a laptop at the chart table running the Time Zero Professional software.  The laptop uses the same charts as the plotter - so you don't have to buy separate licenses.  The TZ Professional integrates very well with the  TZT so I do all my course work and navigation at the laptop with a mouse and send the courses to the plotter at the press of a button.  This is much easier than working on the plotter or a second plotter down below.  I have the B&G 5000 system for sailing instruments which are great.  I like the overall system very much but I don't like the Furuno autopilots - they are made for fishing and motorboats, not sailboats.  I find it impossible to adjust the sensitivity to my liking  and the "learning" function seems to have no brain for sailing at all.  for example, every time the wind speed changes by a few knots and the balance of the boat changes as a result, the pilot initially will keep the old rudder angle for a few minutes rather than keeping the course to the apparent wind constant.  Eventually, it "learns" but it takes way too long and meanwhile the sails are flogging or way overtrimmed.

Recently, I had occasion to install a complete B&G 5000 system including autopilot and Vulcan plotter on another boat and I now have the direct comparison.  The Vulcan plotter has a bunch of very good functions for sailing that the Furuno doesn't have - like laylines, etc - but many of these functions are mostly for racing.  I would find them useful on the Amel as well but that's personal preference.  The Vulcan also has very good software which brilliantly integrates with the H5000 system.  But I'm not aware of a navigation software package that integrates with the Vulcan and enables me to navigate on a laptop - maybe Deckman is that system but I've heard it's no longer being updated.  

Based upon my initial, limited experience, the H5000 autopilot is better at holding a course to the apparent/true wind than the Furuno which generally moves the rudder too much and always takes a long time to adjust to changes in conditions.  It has a bunch of other things, like gust response, which are very useful for a sailboat.  But, the Furuno autopilot integrates brilliantly with the plotter and I'd have to confirm how the H5000 autopilot works with the plotter.  

So, if I were to upgrade my system, I would likely:

*.  strongly consider a B&G plotter (probably Zeus rather than Vulcan) if I can find navigation software for a laptop that integrates with the plotter; failing that, I'd stay with the Furuno/TZ laptop combo
*  Keep the H5000
* get the H5000 autopilot as the main autopilot but if I stayed with the Furuno plotter, I'd have to get comfortable with the integration with the Furuno plotter.  I'd keep the second Furuno autopilot as a backup. 

I hope this helps you in your decision.  Cheers Joerg

Joerg Esdorn
A55 #53 Kincsem
Currently in La Rochelle




Scott SV Tengah
 

Arno,

Just curious - how much did that entire system cost you?

Which radar do you have? We have the Navnet VX2 so perhaps our radar is older and won't work with the TZ2.

Ours works reasonably well aside from GPS rollover bugs (ha!) and I'm loathe to upgrade since you confirmed what I feared: "But it was a lot of work installing it all."

--
Scott 
2007 A54 #69
SV Tengah
http://www.svtengah.com


Arno Luijten
 

Joerg,

Did you update the Course computers to the latest firmware. They added a lot of sailboat-stuff in the more recent firmwares.

Regards,

Arno


Arno Luijten
 

Scott,

I paid about 10k $ for everything together. I did however manage to get some of the toys at good prices on eBay. That takes patience.

I'm working on the rollover bug (see other thread). There is 2.02 software available for the AIS that I just installed.

Cheers,

Arno


Arno Luijten
 

Peter,

This is the schematic diagram with all the parts. Be aware that I have two Furuno course computers and the diagram shows only one as there can only one be active at a given moment.

Cheers,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Arno Luijten
 

Peter,
Below is the spec-sheet of the secondary display I've used.

For the primary display I did some modifications as the LCD was very bad. I replaced the LCD and also replaced the glass panel in front of it by a touch-sensitive acrylic panel making it effectively a touchscreen monitor.

Cheers,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


David Vogel
 

Greetings,

 

Into the question is also that of the autopilot … more on this later.  But firstly, decision of brand for chartplotter.

 

For the chartplotter, we have Furuno TZT14 (version 1, touchscreen plus wheel, located at the nav station).  This is integrated Furuno with FAX50 (AIS) and DRS4 (digital radar).  We can also do weather download and display of weather data onto the TZT display, but rarely do so; but do regularly use the tidal and current information.  In any event, this stayed with the with the original AMEL Furuno fitout for the radar, but upgraded to digital sensors and N2K interoperability.  The system works extremely well.  HOWEVER, the original TZT14 has a design/manufacturing fault, in that the display, when in tropical conditions for extended periods of time, starts to degrade with ‘bubbles’ appearing at the corners and edge of the display.  This was, apparently, a known fault with the original displays.  When I first saw this problem (in Martinique), I couriered the TZT14 unit back to the US (at my own expense), the display was replaced (under ‘warrantee’, even though the unit was more than 3 years old at that time), and returned to me by courier at Furuno’s expense, to be back on board and installed within 7 business days after removal.  So, 11/10 to Furuno USA for after-market customer service.   But this does give me cause to wonder if I will soon see the same problem with the replacement display – which would be due to occur about now.  So, I am always interested to understand what might be my next step, if the need for a new chartplotter display should present itself.

 

One feature of Furuno is that the display of the TZT chartplotter can be mirrored in read-only or control mode to a tablet or phone, which is nice (we use iDevices on board); meaning that that the display itself can fail, but in a contingency situation you can still control the TZT as a ‘black box’.  In normal use, you can have a mirrored display at the helm using an iPad, avoiding the expense of a duplicated wired TZT unit.  And Furuno / TZT is expanding the functionality of the paired APPs (now known as “TZ iBoat”), which is even better!  HOWEVER, the data from the Furuno radar can only be used and seen on Furuno equipment, or via the paired APP.   SO, you need to rely on the chartplotter, or the paired phone/tablet.  In contrast, the data from some NAVICO radars (i.e. SimRad, or B&G) can be ‘ported’ directly to other chartplotter software, such as OpenCPN.  So, if you might ever wish to see the radar data directly in OpenCPN, for example, then you will likely never be able to do this with a FURUNO radar.

 

Regarding the autopilot.  This is an integration issue.  I upgraded the autopilot, keeping to the original AMEL equipment fitout – so still Raymarine, but upgraded to EV400.  And we have been absolutely happy with that.  The Raymarine A/P can (like for the original) take the course (route) outputs from the TZT Chartplotter, and operate in “TRACK” mode.  This is very useful when motoring in nil-wind conditions, and when following a defined track across the island-atolls of French Polynesia, where we use tracks derived from satellite pictures in order to avoid isolated reefs and bommies.  We drive the autopilot, the autopilot drives the boat, and we can maintain better situational awareness and lookout.  Wind and current effects mean that using heading mode is not as reliable in such situations.  It is also good for following an earlier track, such as when one has to leave the anchorage in early morning, late afternoon, or at night, such as when weather conditions change unexpectedly and make the anchorage untenable.

 

We also have a B&G Vulcan 7” MFD at the Nav station.  This replaces the functionality of the B&G N2K Hydra2000 display (which is now retired, although still installed).  Expanded functionality of the V7 over the Hydra, because it is graphic (not text/based), also showing laylines, along with wind-, speed, and depth- plots, and as well as can provide basic chartplotter functionality should the Furuno TZT fail in service.   HOWEVER, the course outputs from the B&G Vulcan cannot be seen or understood by the Raymarine Autopilot.  So, we cannot use a route from the V7 as the basis for TRACK mode on the Raymarine autopilot.  I am not sure if this would the case with other B&G chart-plotters, but it is something to keep in mind when investigating the interoperability of various brands. 

 

If I were approaching the decision about an autopilot upgrade again, I think I would have changed over to B&G for the autopilot as well, which would mean that I could use the Vulcan MFD as an alternate A/P control head (Heading & Wind modes), situated downstairs at the nav station, whilst also enjoying the redundant functionality of routing from the V7 to the autopilot.  If I had done so, then if/when it comes time to replace/upgrade the Furuno TZT Chartplotter, the decision would almost certainly be to go all B&G.  (Some NAVICO radars can also be connected by WiFi, not cable. I am still unconvinced about this – but this is a separate discussion.)

 

As an aside, we also upgraded to three B&G Triton2 displays at the helm, and find these MFDs to be perfectly suited to the task, whether on-anchor, manoeuvring in-harbour, coastal, or offshore – we configure the displays for each different environment, or depending on what else is going on. 

 

Hope this helps,

 

David

SM#396, Perigee

New Zealand

 

 

From: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io> on behalf of Joan Blaas <joan.blaas@...>
Reply-To: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Date: Monday, 10 January 2022 at 8:12 am
To: <main@AmelYachtOwners.groups.io>
Subject: [AmelYachtOwners] Should I Refit a Furuno or choose a B&G plotter?

 

Dear fellow Amel owners,

The original Furuno Navnet plotter & radar on my Amel 55 needs to be replaced. I also have a b&g H3000 Hydra system as wel as two Furuno Fab 7002 autopilots. The Hydra works fine the autopilots have a bit a mind of their own...

I now only want to replace the plotter & radar and later on this year/next year replace the whole system. We are planning a Atlantic circumnavigation in 2023/2024. 

I need some advice / opinion what I should do? Should I stick to the Amel tradition with a Furuno plotter/radar (and complexity of a multi brand system) or gradually move to an B&G only system? 

And what model should I choose?

Your experience and advise.is highly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Joan

SV Caconano
Amel55 #05


Peter Forbes
 

Many thanks Arno - will study and discuss with my guru.

Peter

Peter Forbes
The Old Rectory 
Farnham
Blandford
DT11 8 DE
07836 209730

On 11 Jan 2022, at 00:11, Arno Luijten <arno.luijten@...> wrote:

Peter,
Below is the spec-sheet of the secondary display I've used.

For the primary display I did some modifications as the LCD was very bad. I replaced the LCD and also replaced the glass panel in front of it by a touch-sensitive acrylic panel making it effectively a touchscreen monitor.

Cheers,

Arno Luijten
SV Luna,
A54-121


Joerg Esdorn
 

Arno, thanks for the reminder to check on software updates.  I looked at the history and the update you must be referencing was in February 2015 so should have been done on my 2016 system.  But I’ll confirm when I get back to the boat!  Cheers Joerg 


Arno Luijten
 

Hi Joerg,

Here is the software update log for the autopilot

Cheers,

Arno


Joerg Esdorn
 

Right, Arno.  That’s what I was looking at.  Cheers Joerg