Raymarine or B&G?

Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
I will be shopping for new instruments soon. I was looking at the Raymarine tri-data system. (wind, speed, depth) Eventually I will be adding a belowdecks auto-pilot and want the instruments to come from the same manufacturer so they don't have problems "talking" to each other.

So if you were starting from scratch, which would you buy and why?

If I went with Raymarine, would you get the S1 or S2 corepacks for the auto-pilot?

I may never get a chartplotter or radar (sorry DT), so that's not really an issue.

Any advice or comments are appreciated.

Thanks!

 

Innocent Bystander

Super Anarchist
11,749
757
Lower Southern MD
I assume it's for yout 9.2? Intended use? Budget vs performance expectations? How does the boat handle following seas?

B&G has a better rep for reliability, but that might be because it's preferred by more performance minded racers and installation is more often done by pros rather than average owners.

Tons of Raymarine gear in use and lots of happy customers. I've had good luck with their service and the only failures I've experienced were due to a lightening strike.

If you're going offshore, buy an autopilot ram at least 1 size up from the displacement you expect to actually voyage at (not "design displacement"). I'm a big believer in the control packs with rate gyros (Raymarine "G" series for example).

IB

 

Greever

Super Anarchist
4,091
106
Rockford, MI
Yes they would be for SevenSundays.

I am a big fan of quality and don't mind paying more if it's worth it.

Boats listed at 9,800lbs displacement. (Not likely)

I'd figure 13,000lbs max.

Following seas? What are those? I learned how to sail in San Diego!

Her mission will be coastal cruising, and maybe a milk run someday?

With those parameters what B&G system would you buy? (specificaly what size ram would you get for the auto-pilot?)

 

QMN

Anarchist
952
0
Yes they would be for SevenSundays.
I am a big fan of quality and don't mind paying more if it's worth it.

Boats listed at 9,800lbs displacement. (Not likely)

I'd figure 13,000lbs max.

Following seas? What are those? I learned how to sail in San Diego!

Her mission will be coastal cruising, and maybe a milk run someday?

With those parameters what B&G system would you buy? (specificaly what size ram would you get for the auto-pilot?)
You are half way there with the AP if you are able to separated AP drive unit from the logic unit. The ram / drive unit is independent of the rest of the AP. Size the drive unit to your boat ( helm loads, no negotiation here ) Get the best logic unit that your budget will allow ( this is the brains of any system. a dumbed down unit may hold a heading under power and flat sea, the smarter logic units do more.... they are able to determine how much input and when etc .... which goes to less power consumption and better control )

 

estarzinger

Super Anarchist
7,630
1,018
On AP drive size - you want to shoot for a Hard-over to Hard-over time of less than 10secs under max expected rudder load. That will allow the AP to steer down big waves effectively. Many of the drives only produce 15 or 20 seconds with the mfg's recommended sizing and they are too slow for serious offshore work.

Regarding brands - I would look seriously at Furuno. They have good gear with a commercial quality mindset. Both B&G and Raymarine have a consumer quality mindset (read designed for sitting in a marina a lot of the time). We have B&G on board Hawk and have not been very impressed with the reliability. I have spend about $1000 every year fixing/replacing pieces of the system.

 
On AP drive size - you want to shoot for a Hard-over to Hard-over time of less than 10secs under max expected rudder load. That will allow the AP to steer down big waves effectively. Many of the drives only produce 15 or 20 seconds with the mfg's recommended sizing and they are too slow for serious offshore work.
Regarding brands - I would look seriously at Furuno. They have good gear with a commercial quality mindset. Both B&G and Raymarine have a consumer quality mindset (read designed for sitting in a marina a lot of the time). We have B&G on board Hawk and have not been very impressed with the reliability. I have spend about $1000 every year fixing/replacing pieces of the system.
For an autopilot, I'd add Simrad to that list. Their Robertson autopilots are very good.

Regarding integration: it's not so bad provided you don't introduce AIS into the mix. Its requirement for 38,400 baud NMEA will touch everything in your system. Even if you stay all Raymarine, it will still be a problem.

 

Not My Real Name

Not Actually Me
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2,824
I had B&G's on my 40.7, I loved them. But I raced the boat fairly competitively and they cost me probably twice what the straight replacement with Raymarines would have. At the time I was going for maximum precision and accuracy which the B&G's excel at. I did go with the higher end Hydra system for racers though, not any of their cruising oriented products.

I'm redoing my electronics soon (currently have obsolete ST-80 W/D/Sp, with an ancient Anritsu-Simrad radard, a Raymarine chartplotter that appears not to read C-MAP/NT cards anymore, and two seperate Raymarine autopilots.), however my focus is now different. Now I am looking for reliability, availability of parts & service in remote locations, and bang for the buck. 1/10 of a knot of boat speed is not as important...being able to afford a spare transducer to keep under the floorboards is.

Certainly I will give BobC a ring before I make a final call to see what B&G has for the more budget minded cruiser, but based on what I saw last time out they still seem like over kill for the money and my requirements. But I could be wrong, and BobC might want to come here and straighten my perceptions out.

I've also got issues with the autopilot - I've got two perfectly serviceable drive units that are installed, and when I replace the rest of the instruments I'd love to not replace them - so who knows if they are compatible with either new Raymarine control systems or other brands (not likely!). But this is a year+ down the road.

I've heard good things about the Garmin Radar & GPS setups - significantly less cost than Raymarine, equal or better quality. But they do not appear to cover the autopilot or Wind/Depth/Speed area.

 

us7070

Super Anarchist
10,229
243
I've heard good things about the Garmin Radar & GPS setups - significantly less cost than Raymarine, equal or better quality. But they do not appear to cover the autopilot or Wind/Depth/Speed area.

Garmin has acquired a manufacturer of autopilots, and is intending to market them under the Garmin brand. However, the firm they acquired only makes powerboat autopilots, and no body that I spoke with knew if they were planning to start producing them. I hope they do.

They do currently offer depth and speed, but nothing for wind.

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
231
Greever,

Couple of points to keep in mind-

Mixing and matching components is not nearly the mess it was 5 years back. In the end, you'll have to be an expert in your electronics package. The thing you need to come to grips with is ... will you be an expert before or after you install it. If you choose to take the time to understand how it will work before you buy, you can likely lower your price point and come away with a nice system. If you choose to wait until after you install, you'll still likely have a nice system but you'll likely have buyer's remorse from the bruises you receive in trying to get it all to work smoothly.

Here's the approach I'd suggest:

Buying wind-speed-depth from one source is a no brainer. There are several suppliers, do some research and make a list of what you like and why.

Things get tricky if you want true wind-speed/wind-direction data because that will require that your wind-speed-depth system have a heading sensor. Your autopilot also needs a heading sensor so you might wind up with two if you can't share that sensor between them. And the problem with sharing data is that the NMEA network on which you share that data is so slow that it's nearly worthless for heading data which is required in near-real-time in order to be meaningful. Finally, the heading data you want for your autopilot should be rate-of-turn oriented (this means Gyro) if you want good autopilot response whereas the heading data you want for true-wind data doesn't need rate info.

The next thing that will help you with all this mess is understanding if you want your autopilot to drive from apparent wind or only heading. If you only want heading, then the only inputs your pilot needs is GPS cross track error and heading. That's easy. If you want to drive from apparent wind, then you need to get high-quality wind data into your autopilot and that's hard.

Moving on, don't confuse quality of instrument with quality of data. The Raymarine instruments are very high quality consumer-oriented devices. Unfortunately, the quality of data is fairly low and, apparently, they are nearly impossible to calibrate. The B&G network system has the similar quality of instrument, but much higher quality of data. The B&G Hydra system, by contrast, is far more complex to install but has much, much better quality of data.

For a cruising boat, I'd start with the autopilot selection. As others have said, hard-over time is key to happy sailing in big following seas and is really the right way to size the drive. Decide if you want to drive by wind or only heading and that will help you select a manufacturer. Lots of pilots (Comnav, robertson, B&G, Raymarine, etc) have really good total solutions. I'd make a list of as many as you can and eliminate from that list until you have a pile of options.

On wind-speed-depth, really know if you need quality of data. If so, your choices are much reduced. Consider cost of sensors as you might want to carry spares if you go cruising. Also think about the number of holes you'll need in your hull, less is more. If you can get integrated speed, depth, temp in one hole, that's worth some peace of mind.

Then figure out which speed-depth-wind solution goes with which autopilot you selected and iterate on that combination based on price and the fact that a single manufacturer is slightly better than two or three. Then dig around for data on whether those instruments are workable together - contact the manufactuers reps and post here, too. Take all the feedback with a grain of salt.

Easy, huh?

Good luck!

 

estarzinger

Super Anarchist
7,630
1,018
"The B&G Hydra system, by contrast, is far more complex to install but has much, much better quality of data."

I would say that's not really true with a paddlewheel spedo - ours at least is quite non-linear, and changes calibration very easily with even the slightest fouling. The untrasonic spedo might be better - I have not tried it because of the extra complexity.

 

doublereef

Member
346
0
may I ask how you make the assessment that something is of 'consumer' quality? do you throw a dart? take a wild guess? this is laughable. may I take a bet that you have no metrics as to what consumer versus professional quality might be. otherwise, you are just posting to a forum, nonsense at best. at least qualify it with something substantial. just what is it that a 'pro' system would include as to justify it's cost and guarantee a performance increase? cost? a 'turbo/pro' label?

daniel taylor

much better quality of data?

what is this? and by what metrics?

dt

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
231
Estar,

I've had no trouble with my paddlewheel speedo fouling and have had pretty good (but not exact) calibration results over time on the measured mile on the Oakland Estuary. Truth be told, I don't really rely that much on the knotmeter as the be-all and end-all of speed. I use it for trends, and the B&G system is really quite good at showing that, and also for detecting current vs. my GPS SOG. I haven't used the log features in a long, long time.

That said, I do pull the speedo out when the boat is in the slip, storing the boat with the plug rather than the impeller might be the big difference in our experiences. I have no anit-fouling paint on the part of the sensor that comes out of the boat.

Regardless, I wouldn't call a fouled sensor the instrument's fault. I don't think Raymarine, Comnav or any other paddlewheel sensor is more or less prone to fouling. And at least you can calibrate the B&G system, and the Hydra (don't know about Network) has multi-pass, current compensating calibration capabilities.

 
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doublereef

Member
346
0
Sorry danny boy ... I don't respond to trolls like you
oh my ... my feelings are hurt Moonduster. for the original poster, my Raymarine system allows for non-linearities across a user-defined segmentation across the speed range. the paddle-wheels are indeed, non-linear and need to have a curve-fit to their response. my system affords me the segmentation of the speed-range and a correction-coefficient for each segment. perfect. exactly what is needed, though this is not as critical a parameter as touted here. most autopilot systems do leverage against this value, so correlation with SOG is important if you want to optimize the system dynamics.

daniel taylor

 

Not My Real Name

Not Actually Me
43,046
2,824
oh my ... my feelings are hurt Moonduster. for the original poster, my Raymarine system allows for non-linearities across a user-defined segmentation across the speed range. the paddle-wheels are indeed, non-linear and need to have a curve-fit to their response. my system affords me the segmentation of the speed-range and a correction-coefficient for each segment. perfect. exactly what is needed, though this is not as critical a parameter as touted here. most autopilot systems do leverage against this value, so correlation with SOG is important if you want to optimize the system dynamics.
daniel taylor
What Raymarine system do you have that allows such advanced functions that require such big words, oh mighty Oz?

 

Moonduster

Super Anarchist
4,823
231
Danny-boy,

With respect to your feelings, you're confusing me for someone who cares.

BJ,

Do you have to bait him and egg him on, so? Is yet another thread about to be lost to multi-personality, psycho-drama, attention-whoring poster child of the year?

 

Not My Real Name

Not Actually Me
43,046
2,824
Danny-boy,
With respect to your feelings, you're confusing me for someone who cares.

BJ,

Do you have to bait him and egg him on, so? Is yet another thread about to be lost to multi-personality, psycho-drama, attention-whoring poster child of the year?
OK, maybe I could have asked nicer. I've had Raymarine ST-60 & ST-80's on various boats and I've never needed such big words to operate them...I was curious if he had a different model.

 
I've had no trouble with my paddlewheel speedo fouling and have had pretty good (but not exact) calibration results over time on the measured mile on the Oakland Estuary. Truth be told, I don't really rely that much on the knotmeter as the be-all and end-all of speed. I use it for trends, and the B&G system is really quite good at showing that, and also for detecting current vs. my GPS SOG. I haven't used the log features in a long, long time.
That said, I do pull the speedo out when the boat is in the slip, storing the boat with the plug rather than the impeller might be the big difference in our experiences. I have no anit-fouling paint on the part of the sensor that comes out of the boat.

Regardless, I wouldn't call a fouled sensor the instrument's fault. I don't think Raymarine, Comnav or any other paddlewheel sensor is more or less prone to fouling. And at least you can calibrate the B&G system, and the Hydra (don't know about Network) has multi-pass, current compensating calibration capabilities.
How can your instruments calculate current set/drift if SOW is not accurate, or as you say "the be-all and end-all of speed"?

Pulling the paddlewheel out is certainly a good solution, if not convenient, to the fouling problem. But on a long passage, that doesn't quite work. I did read a post about a guy who sprayed MacLube on his paddlewheel and slowed up the growth quite a bit, but I haven't tried it yet.

I've had a Raymarine pilot for the last seven years, and the "G" pilot computer for about four. The pilot steers very well to a heading, and pretty poorly to wind angle. By adjusting the the response rate I can make it steer very accurately in following seas, or dial it down and conserve power when the rapid response is not needed. I use it about 80% of the time and it has been totally reliable. I have never touched the ram/pump in seven years, not even added a drop of hydraulic fluid. It's done over 12,000 miles without a hitch.

The instruments however have been very poor and the service / support also poor except when I've successfully escalated an issue. Earlier this year I went through normal channels and got one answer to a service problem (not the answer I wanted), I then went to an alternative source within the company and got a very thorough and helpful answer (fortunately the answer I wanted). So there are people in the company who know what's going on, but you may or may not reach them when you go through their normal channels.

I'm fairly certain that all the depth/temp/speed transducers come from Airmar so I don't think it matters who's system you buy, you'll have an Airmar transducer. Also, somebody mentioned carrying spare transducers, B&G's price on the regular (not ultrasonic) transducers is very reasonable.

What is B&G "multi-pass current compensating calibration"? How does that work?

ESTAR: Since you have the B&G pilot, how much time do you spend steering to a heading vs to the wind? I understand that the Vendee boat's routinely steer to TWA, but they accelerate a lot faster than most of us!

Anybody using a new B&G H3000 system?

 

doublereef

Member
346
0
Moonduster,

I am still in shock by your lack of acknowledgment. it will take a while, and maybe another shot or two of Jose Quervo. my feelings are severely hurt. now. B.J. Porter, engineer-wannabee, I have installed the Raymarine ST-290 networked/NMEA 2000 system. may I, actually answer the original posters questions? sir, please consider the recently released ST-70 system. using a colour display and new, higher-speed SeaTalk NG data bus, you will be able to interface to any autopilot of your choosing. may I suggest, that you select the largest ... yes, the largest autopilot that fits within the requirements of your sailboat. you didn't mention the displacement of your boat, however, the greatest failures occur from under-sized components related to the forces on your boat. a few hundred dollars, spent on below-deck autopilot components will serve you well and may be the best investment you can make. consider the S3G autopilot, though the S3 with the stout linear-drive should be sufficient. I find a great benefit afforded by the yaw-axis controller, the S3G, and its precise control over a diverse range of sea-conditions. assess your displacement, rudder-effectiveness, and rudder-servo speeds. to best determine the optimized system for your boat. the other systems are viable, though the state of the industry is such that it is in transition, a state of flux, and I believe that Raymarine, with its huge influx of investment, is the most secure for the long-term partnership. once you have found a reliable distributor to work through, I believe that Raymarine rises to the surface, with a good product and support. do your homework ... everyones needs are different.

daniel taylor

ps: B.J. Porter, the ST-290 is rather expensive, and admittedly, a slight overkill for the average sailboat. however, I had networking, NMEA 2000, graphical, and performance requirements. I am quite pleased, and have hopefully contributed towards making it better.

 

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