Finally getting around to updating radar and chart plotter on 1995 31' Open. Went to boat show and noticed higher end boats are going to Garmin.
Preferences of the forum?
And, can anyone recommend an installer in the Seattle area?
Thank you all for any feedback!
I currently own a 2003 38 Open and previously owned a 1997 31 Open. Both boats had a Northstar Chart Plotter/GPS and a Furuno Chart plotter/GPS/Radar. Believe a lot is personal preference but the vast majority where we are have upgraded to Garmin. From our travels and what I've seen larger and commercial boats seem to prefer Garmin/Furuno as well. I updated my Northstar Chart Plotter/GPS on the 38 to a Garmin 7612 several years ago and find it excellent. Haven't upgraded the radar yet but will most likely choose between Furuno and Garmin.. Leaning toward Furuno ... Additionally, Garmin has superb support and continually updates its software. New functionality is always a part of the upgrade. Installation is easy as well. M2C
I upgraded all my electronics last year and went to Garmin. I had Garmin on my last few boats and really like how they work. Very intuitive and user friendly.
I know Garmin has good customer support. My radar unit only worked for one trip and when I called their support the sent a new unit to me immediately (before I even uninstalled the bad one). They took my credit card in case I didn't return the bad one but didn't charge it.
Chart Plotter - The blue charts are really good and not extremely expensive. I also see they are starting to update to the new high def charts. Refresh rate is fast and the chart boundaries are seamless. I have two 12" touch screens on my helm and they are like using a tablet. Very fluid and easy to use even in rough seas.
Radar - I had Furuno on one boat and I will say their radar is really good if you are using it to spot birds and don't want to overlay it on your chart plotter. However I wanted both so I went with the Garmin. If you are looking for a radar for navigation their newer digital Fathom units are great and have some amazing tracking features, but are actually lacking a bit with the smaller targets like birds. I went with the 24kw xHDS unit and can spot almost anything from way out. It uses more power than the digital stuff but I am not sticking my head into the path of the radar anyway.
I hooked my old Raymarine transducer into the network for depth. Garmin makes a splice box that allows you to cut the end of the cable off and use the transducer for the new system. Saved a bunch of money with that by not having to pull the boat out and put in a new transducer.
I also installed a Fusion stereo and Sirius satellite weather and radio. It overlays the stereo control is and weather onto the plotter. Everything works seamlessly.
I’d say Garmin. The operating system is iPad easy. I’d go with a 7612XSV. I’m always a fan of updating older Tiara boats to what Tiara is currently installing on new boats. The new boats come with Garmin.
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Thank you all for the helpful feedback. I value this forum and the great information other owners are willing to share.