Reliability B&G vs NKE


Kingston, WA

My wife and I also do a lot of offshore sailing. We spend a lot of time in Alaska. We're starting to do a bit of racing including offshore.

A long while back I dumped the old ST60 stuff on my boat due to failing displays, etc.. I did a lot of research on B&G vs NKE. I might have gone NKE, but the importer wasn't very good at communicating with me. I ended up buying a complete H5000/Zeus3/AP from Chicago Marine Electronics. The system has been quite reliable except for having to replace the pcb in the 213MHU under warranty. Support has been excellent. Performance of the system has been excellent.

I downloaded the N2K design program from Maretron. It turned out to be easy to design a network for my catamaran. It will do a check to ensure you have all the correct male and female ends configured and that the power supply is balanced to both ends of the network. I've worked with some NMEA 0183 stuff in the past (autopilot, gps compass, multiplexer). N2K is much easier.

I'm not a marine electrician or engineer. I'm a retired fisherman with a diy inclination. You can do this.


I am very happy with my B&G H5000, Zues3 displays, motion sensor, wired wind sensor. It works well with other components like my signet centerline STW, and a superb compass I have borrowed, a Furuno SCX-20, as well as the B&G Precision 9. Every year I write a couple of articles on marine electronics for practical sailor, including the Furuno SCX-20, and have to say everything I have interfaced to my B&G boat works well.

My evaluation of B&G as a replacement for OCKAM is here:

The only thing non-B&G I would recommend over a B&G product, is the Furuno SCX-20 satellite compass over the Precision 9, and only for people who will take the time to calibrate their wind instrument.


Overlord of Anarchy
San Diego
Any comments on the factory programs between the two companies? The big French boats used to be almost all NKE, now almost all B&G. But they run custom auto programs. I'm wondering how the factory programs stack up against each other?


Super Anarchist
I know next to nil about how NKE sets up their networks, but compared to the old Autohelm ST50 stuff my boat came with, the newer NMEA 2000 stuff has been very easy to install and troubleshoot. The system can detect and "see" anything on the network, so if it doesn't "see" something, then it's an issue with the device, or a connection to the device. (Although, sometimes its a checkbox hidden in some sub menu). Plus since any display on the network can show data from any of the transducers, there is some built in redundancy if have multiple displays and you loose one.