Wild Oats, a carbon nav hodge podge
Here’s the nav station on Wild Oats, a brand new 30 meter maxi that just set a record for the Sydney-Hobart race. It’s obviously a carbon fiber construction, like most everything else on the boat. It’s interesting that as new and highly designed as this vessel is, the electronics are still a hodge podge of different brands with different looks. I spot B&G displays on the overhead (probably hooked into the new Wave Technology Processor), what’s probably a Raymarine E120 (radar and chart plotting?), and what look like Icom VHF and SSB radios. I’m not sure what the lower right display is (an MX Marine AIS?), and of course that’s a big PC monitor on center (Deckman and weather programs?). Operating that keyboard in the well must be awkward, but maybe it comes out? PS: There are more of these Andrea Francolini interior photos worth checking out at Scuttlebutt.
I would expect to continue to find helm and nav stations configured with electronics from several different manufacturers just as you see aboard Wild Oats. There are many manufacturers that produce wonderful systems, but there are none that can provide the best of the best across the board. For example, Raymarine E-Series displays are as slick a unit as you can find on the market, but Raymarine does not sell a VHF with a built in hailer function in anything except a “black box” format (Ray 240).
Furuno produces robust radar and chart plotters, but they do not offer a true instrument line. Simrad autopilots are nearly bullet-proof, but Simrad does not have a marine network system (such as Furuno NavNet or Raymarine Seatalk HS) in their line-up making it difficult to run multiple displays at multiple stations.
So, in each case you are forced to mix and match in order to meet specific needs or to provide all the functions that are desired.
Not to bang on Don, but Simrad does make a central network nav system – their current CX line can do radar, echo, charting, USCG differential (which Ray won’t do – only WAAS)and can run repeaters. It cannot do Mini AARPA though, a disgrace. They also now own B&G so expect to see parts of the H2000 gear meld into the main at Simrad and the IS12 and IS15 eveolve or go away.
But I agree with Don that there is no reason to make verything from one source as no one everything the best.
Sorry, Jonathan; Don has it right. The Simrad CX series is multifunction, and can repeat itself, but the units can not network like NavNet or SeaTalkHS, or for that matter, NorthStar N2 or Garmin MarineNet.
B&G and Ockam are the only two players in grand-prix sailing instruments these days. Once and a while you may see others, but these two rule the roost. Mostly because their products cater to the racing sailor’s need for precise timely data that the others can not provide.
The others have identified the other key point; This type of user needs function over form and has no room for excess weight or bulk.
Also, I suspect that the keyboard can be lifted for extended use or stowed so that the chart table can be used for reading charts!