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We're purchasing a used boat and are trying to wrap our brain around what we will need to replace. It was built in 2008 andI has all the original equipment. Dual Raymarine E120 MFD's with Raymaine autopilot, radar and Raymarine smart controller. We want AIS capabillty but want to end up with a system that all works together. I really don't want to drop $20k on a whole new system, but willing to do what we need to. Any advise would be great
Please send me your $18k and you can keep the remaining to purchase the most expensive VHF radio with AIS transceiver: Vesper! https://www2.vespermarine.com/cortex/vhf this should more than refresh your helm with some fancy new gear.
Actually you can add AIS to your current setup with just about any option from any brand you want in 2008 both NMEA2000 and 0183 are prevalent and AIS is one of the more disparately shared resources out there. or just stick with Raymarine
Hi Mark, I'm in a similar situation. Our 2006 Mainship has dual Raymarine E120 MFDs. Those units are very slow, very little detail, and are really only useful for radar. We navigate by iPad.
I've been looking at the new Raymarine Axiom Plus and the Garmin GPSMap 8600 - and would very much like to hear from others.
Also I just registered today, this is my first post, I'm still exploring the site - so I apologize if this area has been covered else where.
I'll be watching to see the advice.
Hi Don We have Garmin on our current boat and it works well. It is a touch display only. Would like to try out the hybrid model. We also use the Navx on our ipad for planning and a backup. Hopefully we'll get some good advice. 😀
I don't think you'd have to spend $20k to get an update to what you have. But, if you have Garmin touch, which implies more recent hardware, I think you're going to find the E120s a little outdated. Those are older units and the technology has come a long way since then. The big question is going to be the radar unit on the boat, can you find the specific part number of the radar array or dome? If the radar unit on the boat is a digital unit you will likely be able to use that radar with new Axiom displays. If not, you're going to need to replace those as well and that will drive the cost up.
Let me know what's on the boat now and perhaps we can come up with a plan of action.
@oneeyedjackass, I think the better comparison in Garmin's product line would be the GPSMap x43 series (743, 943, and 1243). Those are more similar to the Axiom+ in specs. They have the same screen resolutions and the pricing will be more similar. The same considerations that I mentioned for Mark will be true for you. If you have a Raymarine digital radar unit that will make an update with Raymarine electronics much more cost effective.
Hi Ben The radar is "RD424 4kW 24'' If I could use with a new system that would be great. If so, could I use Raymarine radar with new Garmin MFD. Thanks!
Hi Mark, can you confirm it's a RD424 not an RD424D? If it's not a 'D' model it's not digital and hence won't work with newer MFDs. The digital scanners will say "Digital" on the dome itself.
Here's a link to Raymarine's article about what radar units work with Axiom: https://forum.raymarine.com/showthread.php?tid=10612.
In answer to your last question, you won't ever find radar units that work between manufacturers. Garmin MFDs only work with Garmin radar, Simrad MFDs only work with Simrad radar, etc.
Autopilots frequently benefit from keeping it all in the same brand but it's definitely not a requirement the way it is with radar. Non-brand-matching autopilot usually means that you have limited or no ability to send waypoints and routes from the MFD to the autopilot. But, heading hold will still work fine and frequently you can work out sending a waypoint which will give you the ability to track to the waypoint.
Here's a quick rundown of the other components and the need for matching brands:
- Fishfinders / Sonar - anything beyond a depth finder typically requires brand matching. The sounder modules, if they're not built into the MFD, must match the MFD brand. Transducers, though frequently electronically the same, have proprietary connectors on them that mean you can't switch brands.
- AIS - There's almost no benefit from matching AIS brands and I think you can usually find better value and features from specialty AIS manufacturers like Vesper, SRT, AIS, etc.
- VHF - Same story as AIS. MFD manufacturers mostly sell AIS and VHF to be able to offer complete electronics packages. I've been a little more impressed with some of the recent high-end radios and black box setups from Simrad / B&G and Raymarine but overall I think you'll find better value from VHF specialists like Icom and Standard Horizon.
- Gauges, etc - Most components that connect via NMEA 2000 will work well between brands. This includes things like the 4" color gauge displays most manufacturers offer, but also sensors that connect to the NMEA 2000 network, WiFi gateways, etc.
Hope this helps
Thanks for the info. That helps me understand what I can and can't do. I guess our course of action will be decided by the radar. I'll post up what we decide. thank you for making it a bit easier to understand
After spending a couple of weeks cruising about the e120’s seem to be working ok and the radar works ok. I think we can hold off for a bit on new MFD/Radar. Auto pilot works great so that’s good. Would be nice to add another st6001 display to flybridge. They are fairly inexpensive on eBay. I think that would be an easy addition. Also want to get an AIS that will work with existing e120, navionic’s app on iPad and new MFD when we decide to upgrade. Search continues. Thx,mark
- Does anyone know if the Simrad AP20 Autopilot is compatible with the Garmin 8600 MFD?
- If it is compatible, are there limitations such as executing waypoints?
While I plan or converting systems to NMEA 2000, I would like to do it in stages and start by changing to the Garmin 8600 first and see what systems onboard are already compatible.
@gramkow Generally speaking, autopilot integration over NMEA 2000 is minimal across brands, which is pretty understandable given that the AP is steering the boat. You should get whatever was possible over NMEA 0183, like Garmin wind data or a go-to waypoint getting to the AP20. And many boaters are content with that.
But a Simrad MFD can serve as a complete control head for an AP20, arguably even better because there's so much screen room for stuff like AP configuration detail. Also the AP can steer a route on the MFD with nice intuitive touches like asking before making a big turn. And I think a Garmin 8600 can do a whole more with a Garmin AP than one by a different brand. Just the way it is, and probably not going to change.
@ben-ellison Ben, thank you for your response. I read your post several times and interpret it as meaning that the AP20 will respond to the Garmin 8600. Which is what I was hoping for to start. Eventually I plan to replace it with a Garmin AP.