3D & G, wowsuh!


So much to gush about, so little time to gush. Yesterday I got on the water with a full-on Raymarine G-Series system—seen above, 4 monitors fed by 3 processors—and it truly is E-Series on steroids. The interface is E familiar yet nicely improved in some areas…and wicked fast. Plus we got to see Ray’s new high def radar, which was stunning. Then I attended the world premier of Furuno NavNet 3D, which is freaking amazing. It’s not NavNet of old, it’s not MaxSea; it’s something entirely new. The poor photo below was snapped as the Furuno guys replayed a trip recorded in the Cape Cod Canal, high def radar overlaid over an ENC vector that’s mixed with a high def photo map in a good way you’ve never seen before. The tabs at right are a smart new form of soft key driven by a “Rotokey”. I thought the interface, often demo’d live from a 3D black box unit, was incredibly sexy and ran charts faster and smoother than I’ve ever seen before, on any platform. Today much new dope is supposed to appear at both NavNet.com and Raymarine, which is good, because I gotta go.

NavNet3D intro cPanbo

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

11 Responses

  1. DefJef says:

    Very impressive and probably very expensive and suited to big yachts.
    I suppose there is a market for these high end marvels. This is all looking like art imitating life imitating art.
    I don’t do vid games or simulators, but I still can sail with real air and wet water.

  2. Cameron says:

    If you have a moment to ask, how will Furuno address markets outside the US? I’m in Ontario Canada and want to buy a couple of the 12″ units for my boat but don’t know if I’ll have charts for it.
    As to the other comment, price on the 3D is pretty reasonable, the 12″ is cheaper than a Raymarine E120. I’ve seen it as low as $3200 (Just the display).

  3. DefJef says:

    Price is relative.
    $3200 for a “display” doesn’t compare to say a top of the line 40 LCD digital, hi def TV.
    Yea I know different size markets… but it’s hard to reconcile the value, features. cost etc. Look at what a decent Apple costs and what it can do!
    These nav networks are hard to justify for the small boat sailor. Aren’t they?

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Cameron, Furuno will be offering Navionics Gold+ vectors and Mapmedia rasters for NavNet 3D use outside the U.S. Both have to be converted to 3D’s super fast format first. They do not have a data deal with C-Map but “the door is not closed”.

  5. Preston Calvert says:

    With respect, DefJef, this is a marine electronics blog. That is what is discussed here. Where did you think you were? I can sail, too, but I’m outfitting a new 45′ sportfisherman, and will use the entire Raymarine G-series suite, which I also just inspected at the Ft. Lauderdale show. My new boat is not cheap, but it is not a megayacht either. It will be used primarily for family cruising on the Eastern seaboard and Bahamas, and I’m interested in having the best navigational aids that are available to protect my family. Please take the luddite approach elsewhere.

  6. Chris Ellingsen says:

    Unfortunately, according to the documentation on the Raymarine site, the G series processor for North America does not include any charts for the rest of the world. The Europe and Aus/Nz versions include Gold cartography for the rest of the world.
    What can be their reasoning for this? Do they honestly believe that North American users never leave North America?

  7. Kees says:

    @DefJef: I think Cameron means $3200 (USD) for the plotter, not just the display that attaches to a Black Box computer.
    Given the speed at which these things update, and their power usage (44W) it looks as if these things have a very serious processor inside. I remember seeing a NavNet 2 display that I restarted (power off/power on) and that showed it was running Microsoft Windows XP Embedded.
    So, for $3200 (MSRP $4500) you get a:
    – reflective 12″ TFT
    – computer
    – charts
    – software
    Seen this way, it’s expensive but not excessively so. It does seem better value if these prices are right than most older and less capable plotters, and the Raymarine offerings of late.
    Now the BB at $7200 / $10000 MSRP — THOSE are expensive!
    BTW, I found these prices on: http://www.thehulltruth.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=175286&posts=2
    and the MSRP on Furuno’s site at:

  8. Paul says:

    So why is the Black Box processor (no display) $9,995 and the 8.4″ display/plotter $3195 (these are MSRP)? I thought the Black Box was essentially the chartplotter minus a display.
    Obviously I’m missing something here.

  9. Russ says:

    I spent much of the last two days at the Furuno booth at FLIBS.
    The prices on The Hull Truth look pretty agressive which is probably why they expire on Monday. MSRP’s were distributed by Furuno, but I was told dealers wouldn’t be accepting orders for awhile. I hope the prices on The Hull Truth reflect the prices we’ll see.
    I was also told that shipment is “Q1″ and many companies consider that to be a euphemism for March 30. Everyone in the Furuno booth was fuzzy on a lot of the product details. However they did say that the associated announcement of MaxSea would be at the Miami boat show.
    The 3D BB is much more than the plotter without a monitor, it’s got more memory, processor speed, inputs / outputs, etc. and seems designed for the glass bridge of a large power yacht. For smaller boats the 8.4″ and 12” plotters are much more effective.
    I also think the pricing is intended to create some spread between NavNet 2 and NavNet 3D as they intend to continue to sell NN2 for the forseeable future.
    The 3D stuff is very impressive both in functionality and user interface. It fully embraces N2K while also supporting 183. However, system has very lofty goals and I would not be surprised to see it take another year to be fully realized.

  10. Cameron says:

    The price I mentioned ($3200) is for the 12″ version.
    The BB unit is more than just a display unit without the display. It’s capable of running 2 independent monitors, and at a much higher resolution, so presumably it has a faster processor.
    I’d like the BB version and 2 15″ monitors, but the cost difference between that and 2 12″ units is just too much for me to justify (especially after I just bought a new center console RIB with a 90hp motor).
    Ben, thanks for answering that question about the charts outside the US. I appreciate it greatly.

  11. Terry says:

    I’ve had some hands on time with the G-Series and they are pretty nice, a step up performance wise from the old M1500 and a step down price wise, also a larger selection of display sizes.
    First hand account from the show on the very boat pictured above regarding the HD radar – extremely impressed is what I’ve heard coming back. The lack of compatibility with anything beyond E-Series will hinder the adoption rate, limiting this to G and E-Series owners until a sucessor to the C is announced…..don’t hold your breath. (for a couple years anyway)
    Even for the smaller craft this is an option I see consumers going for, now that smaller displays are available (12″), and it’s not like none of us saw black box systems coming……years ago.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *