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Complete race boat instrument system


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We run a complete B&G H5000 system.

I am seeking alternatives to the system with pretty basic criteria.

  • Accurate wind information, speed, AWA, TWA, wind direction.
  • Boat speed through the water and GPS speed.
  • Current.
  • Clear displays.
  • Autopilot that can steer an accurate course and can also steer well to TWA/AWA.

If I could find a reliable simple alternative I would sell the B&G system 

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First, stick index finger in mouth.....   raise in the air.    Well I don't have any wind instruments but I have been around a few that have been professionally calibrated.   So many variables that are effected by angle to the wind, etc....  updraft, downdraft, etc.    I wish I had a good referral.  

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  • 3 months later...

well after a winter campaign I bit the bullet and sold the whole B&G H5000 system and installed a raymarine system.

Much less expensive, easy to install except for the stupid idea of different cables and surprise surprise it works perfectly after about 10 minutes of calibration.

We are using Axiom 7 as the displays, again easy to use and fully programmable.

Wind data appears stable and accurate, plenty good enough to steer to at night.

This is just a heads up to others that may have been suffering from the same problems as us. (Half these forums are about how to fix B&G this and that.....)

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I too am thinking of shit canning the H5000 stuff on Misty and all the others stuff that comes with it for a Raymarine setup.  
 

On our J35, I am running the wireless masthead unit, the Airmar Tri-Ducer and Fluxgate Compass on the wireless Hull Transmitter, which is picked up by the MicroTalk.  The MicroTalk is wired into the Axiom 9 which feeds info in both direction. And then the MicroTalk feeds the racy looking Wireless Readouts on the mast.  
 

and I get all the same info the H5000 gives me.  It is easy to install. I can ping start lines. There are performance comparisons to other boats that are similar if not, your boat like let’s say a J109. I actually use the J109 as my performance comparison and if I hit 90% or better, I know I am doing something right. 
 

it is a shame that Raymarine is known as a fishing company when their sailing side is really good for the price you pay.  If I remember, there is a large Mills designed Cruiser/Racer that runs Raymarine with three Axioms on the mast.  So yes, Raymarine is more than capable of doing good sailing setups. 

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Haven't seen a Raymarine system that gives useful data at all points of sail, heel, and so on. As far as I know the RM system(s) are limited in calibrations, damping, processing power, you name it. (I'm pretty sure there is a reason no ambitious teams use RM)

I think the OP's problem is/was the lack of effort needed for proper calibration. And of course the systems needs to be installed and set up correctly.

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2 hours ago, Itsabimmerthing said:

Haven't seen a Raymarine system that gives useful data at all points of sail, heel, and so on. As far as I know the RM system(s) are limited in calibrations, damping, processing power, you name it. (I'm pretty sure there is a reason no ambitious teams use RM)

I think the OP's problem is/was the lack of effort needed for proper calibration. And of course the systems needs to be installed and set up correctly.

Raymarine, never that I know of, claimed to be an America’ Cup level product. But it is a dam good product just like the rest of them including B&G’s club level packag. So if you are looking for a good quality club level products that you can take to an occasional international regatta?  Raymarine can, and has done it. 

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I’m in the process of buying a “gasp” powerboat! It has a Raymarine multifunction chart plotter.  I will definitely be buying a wind sensor package for it.  Should work a beaut in that app.  Later on I will be buying a smallish boat for short handed racing.  It will not be fitted with any type of Raymarine wind or boat speed package.  Their systems are great for cruising sailing and power boating.  But if you want true hi res sailing data, IMHO the only systems in the game are from B&G, NKE and A+T.  Then Sailmon and Garmin.  For sure, the high end systems require care and feeding, that initially seems intimidating, but once the routine is established the pay off is huge.

As @Itsabimmerthing noted above.  There is a reason the top teams aren’t using Raymarine packages

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On 11/24/2021 at 2:33 AM, Itsabimmerthing said:

As far as I know the RM system(s) are limited in calibrations, damping,

On my RM system (most components are 7 years old and predate Axiom) has multipoint calibration curves for speed through water (but single point for wind) and dampening settings for everything.  It’s possible to make it more accurate than I’ve ever invested the time in. 

It can also show current (someone asked that). 

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I agree that one of our main complaints with the B&G was the constant calibrations that were required.

I want to turn up to the boat turn everything on and expect it to work.

Having said that we have had top level sailors on the boat for campaigns(world champions/Americas cup) and they were just as frustrated as I was.

The new system is fairly accurate, the only thing it seems to do is overread wind speed when sailing fast downwind(it is a very fast boat). That can probably be calibrated out as well. (and no it is not updraft as it does it with fractional gear as well)

The last boat had a B&G H2000 system which was 12 yr old and it worked perfectly.

The display numbers are not as crisp as the B&G displays though.

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B&G works great if you know what you want from it. friend who does high level sailing runs h5000 systems with expedition and has added different polars for starting and racing etc. but they spend a day before a regatta on finetuning the numbers if they have new sails for the race. but again, that is high level sailing. for most people, an h5000 system like that is overkill. Also, if you have not calibrated your sensors or laser aligned your wind unit, measurements will be off. computing numbers with garbage, gives garbage output. 

most people can/should live happily with a Raymarine set or B&G triton set as they do not need (or want) the flexibility an H5000 brings to the table. 

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6 hours ago, bushsailor said:

The new system is fairly accurate, the only thing it seems to do is overread wind speed when sailing fast downwind(it is a very fast boat). That can probably be calibrated out as well. (and no it is not updraft as it does it with fractional gear as well)

 

Still an upwash issue and your might struggle to cal it out with Raymarine - hence one of the advantages of the H5000/processor type systems, if you put the effort into getting it right.

It would be interesting to see the stability of the your wind data with the Raymarine - what I found was rather disappointing.

I am going the other way right now after becoming frustrated with the lack of ability to calibrate the Raymarine gear on my boat and am now installing a full H5000 set-up.

I guess it is the difference between wanting to turn up and turn the gear on and go sailing and wanting to turn up, turn the gear on and wanting it to output the most correct answer it can rather than just "an" answer.

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After 20,000 miles I've been happy with my NKE system. Reliable. I've gotten decent results (AP especially) without spending much time on calibrations. A fairly basic setup will meet your needs.

On calibrating, there are so many issues but to name a few:

  • Runners rotate the rig
  • Mainsail pressure on spreaders rotate the rig
  • Wind shear 
  • Are you sure there's no current when calibrating?

Point being, I think you can spend many hours trying to get that last 5% that is time that could be better spent if you are not at a Grand Prix level.

That said, I haven't much experience with B&G so can't really compare to provide better insight. I can say that my old H2000 Hercules AP system was not up to the job. 

 

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3 hours ago, George Hackett said:

Yes. Just like B&G, you need wind, boat speed, compass, and gps inputs. 

how about trimming sensor input to calibrate them?
Older Raymarine plotters cant do current, had that conversation with Raymarine. They said we are keeping away from that and sensor ajustment so they dont get installed on race boats.

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9 hours ago, Sailabout said:

Older Raymarine plotters cant do current, had that conversation with Raymarine

I am pretty sure that my old C80 plotter, which I replaced a few years ago, showed a current vector. The data was pretty low quality though as you couldn't get a good leeway calibration in the BSP / HDG / COG complex.

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53 minutes ago, Snowden said:

I am pretty sure that my old C80 plotter, which I replaced a few years ago, showed a current vector. The data was pretty low quality though as you couldn't get a good leeway calibration in the BSP / HDG / COG complex.

Could well have but it came from the almanac for the charted area.
If there is no data like most of the pleasureboat areas of asia, you get nothing or useless data.
 

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4 minutes ago, Sailabout said:

Could well have but it came from the almanac for the charted area.
 

I doubt it, as it used to show tidal sets that are impossible in the Solent (ie due North/South in the W Solent), as well as changing substantially from tack to tack!

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2 minutes ago, Snowden said:

I doubt it, as it used to show tidal sets that are impossible in the Solent (ie due North/South in the W Solent), as well as changing substantially from tack to tack!

ok, maybe but that was how I got into the conversation with Raymarine they were adamant they dont do it about 7 years ago.

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1 hour ago, Snowden said:

I am pretty sure that my old C80 plotter, which I replaced a few years ago, showed a current vector.

I am pretty sure that the C series calculated "current" by comparing your heading with your gps direction and adding a vector arrow for the difference.

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44 minutes ago, ryley said:

I am pretty sure that the C series calculated "current" by comparing your heading with your gps direction and adding a vector arrow for the difference.

I would guess that it did the full trig calculation of BSP/HDG versus SOG/COG? The issue is that the accumulated calibration error of your system plus leeway is potentially of similar or greater magnitude than the tidal vector.

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7 minutes ago, Snowden said:

I would guess that it did the full trig calculation of BSP/HDG versus SOG/COG? The issue is that the accumulated calibration error of your system plus leeway is potentially of similar or greater magnitude than the tidal vector.

yes, and 100% agree. I never trusted the vector *except* as a general indicator of the trend, not as an absolute.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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