Welcome to Carver Yachts Owners Forum

We are a boating forum for owners of Carver Yachts to enthusiastically discuss all aspects of Carver Boat ownership. Whether you are looking for your first Carver or currently own one, you are sure to feel at home on CarverYachtOwners.com

You are currently viewing our board as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to searching the forum topics, post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

Best and easiest navigation electonics for dummies

Discussion of radars, GPS, autopilots, stereos and TV's. Also iPad and other mobile navigation devices.
User avatar

Topic author
glazingguru
Scurvy Dog
Scurvy Dog
Posts: 25
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Vessel Info: 1995 Carver 355 Aft Cabin
Been thanked: 1 time

Best and easiest navigation electonics for dummies

Postby glazingguru » August 13th, 2013, 11:01 am

Hi. I recently bought a 1995 355 Aft Cabin and love it. The only thing I don't like is the out dated electronics. Furuno GP-31 GPS Navigator (almost useless), Furuno LS-8000 Sounder (Almost useless) Raytheon RIOXX Raster Scan Radar (almost useless) and Standard Horizon CP180i GPS (works okay but not quite what I feel I need). Because I don't know much about it, I thought that just because the boat had the equipment I had it covered
I think I need to start over and I am a bit scared at the prospect and the cost to do it. I would like a large, easy top read display. I want GPS, Radar and Sonar, plus any other goodies I may need but don't know it. This is my first real ocean boat. My last boat was a 30 foot Chapparal and I installed a Raymarine A70d which worked pretty well, but I need a lot more on this boat. I am thinking of having a system installed. I get differing opinions from people who want to sell me something. I am really a novice with electronics so I need user friendly stuff. Any suggestions on what complete system to get and info about it would be appriciated. My boat is in Oxnard CA.
Thanks

User avatar

United States of America
waybomb
CYO Moderator
CYO Moderator
Posts: 1590
Joined: February 5th, 2013, 9:24 pm
Vessel Info: 1987 3697 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar 46 Kevlar Vee offshore
1969 15' Glaspar / 1969 Johnson Electrmatic 85
1964 Barron Flat bottom drag boat
A couple of dinghies
Location: Saint Joseph and Trenton, MI
Has thanked: 27 times
Been thanked: 190 times

Re: Best and easiest navigation electonics for dummies

Postby waybomb » August 13th, 2013, 1:49 pm

I wouldn't call all those electronics useless. They were good stuff when new.

Radar - how far do you need to see with it? With an aft cabin, you aren't looking for birds; fishing off the aft deck would be a sight to see. So, you are looking for weather and boats close by, and maybe land in the fog. A 10xx will pick that up, up to what, 24 miles? How much do you really need - maybe 2-3 miles. A more powerful radar will also have a less narrow beam, so real close boats will not be pinged. And most radar scanners are installed wrong and don't pick up anything close by anyway. Do you really need a $15,000 color radar? Ask yourself why? If you are one that needs the latest and greatest, that's a-ok. It's your money. If you really need good stuff, you will never go wrong with Furuno. You can go 96 miles on a 4 foot open scanner (that scanner alone is probably $7,000, not including the display equipment and cable). The top of your new radar scanner is probably about 18 feet off the water. So I'll ask again - how far do you think your radar needs to see at 18 feet off the water? Your antenna at 18 feet off will see something 24 miles away that is at least 40 feet off the water. If the object was 400 feet tall, you'd be 54 miles away to pick it up with a darn good radar. http://www.mar-it.de/Radar/Horcalc/horcalc.htm

I could see wanting a newer chart-plotter. A really really nice Furuno all-in-one chartplotter, gps, fishfinder new should cost about $3000. Or just a nice Furuno color all-in-one for about a grand.

When I was in Ventura from 95-98, all I had was a compass and a Echotec green-screen fishfinder/chartplotter. I wasn't planning on going to Hawaii, just up and down the coast. Get lost? Head east. The islands are not even 20 miles away; after that you aren't going any further west. Again, get lost, head east. Weather on the west coast is very predictable. And with a nice modern chartplotter and using the R10, you'll be fine.

But you can spend a good $25,000 for the very best Furuno integrated touch screens and equipment, and then pay to have it installed or do it yourself. Probably have to redo the fiberglass on the helm to make it all look professional. The boat is worth how much?

Spend a couple of grand on a Furuno color chartplotter/depth sounder, and buy the best ICOM or Standard VHF with DSC radio with the tallest antenna with the highest gain you can install. In fact, buy two radios and two antennas. Maybe even buy an SSB. Look beyond Shakespeare for antennas. Buy the largest caliber flare gun set they allow in California these days and plenty of cartridges. Buy the very best PFDs you can find.

Take the money left over and buy yourself a nice 5-7 year old Mercedes 500SL and enjoy the California weather when not boating.

I guess I'm too practical.
Thanks
Fred
1964 Barron Flatbottom with BBC Chevy
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar Kevlar 46' with triple blown 572s
http://s4.beta.photobucket.com/user/waybomb/library/
Past - 1988 2807, 1989 4207 Aft
User avatar

Topic author
glazingguru
Scurvy Dog
Scurvy Dog
Posts: 25
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Vessel Info: 1995 Carver 355 Aft Cabin
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Best and easiest navigation electonics for dummies

Postby glazingguru » August 14th, 2013, 9:23 am

Thanks for your help. I appreciate your honesty and will use much of your advice. However, by "almost useless" I guess I meant "not working properly". The radar shows a few blips here and there if I fiddle with it, but they have no relation to objects around me. The sounder was adjusted to the brightest setting and is still very dull and dosent really show anything other than the depth. The navigator just seems like it dosent work. I am not real good with this kind of stuff anyway, possibly it's just me on some of the problem. I do have the original manuals so I guess I'll do some reading and try to understand better how things are supposed to work. As you probably know, the fog can set in pretty thick and fast sometimes and I would sure like a dependable radar that I know how to read and work. You are right, I am not going to Hawaii or anything but getting lost and just heading east brings back memories of a really bad experience (the worst ocean experience I have ever had).
User avatar

United States of America
waybomb
CYO Moderator
CYO Moderator
Posts: 1590
Joined: February 5th, 2013, 9:24 pm
Vessel Info: 1987 3697 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar 46 Kevlar Vee offshore
1969 15' Glaspar / 1969 Johnson Electrmatic 85
1964 Barron Flat bottom drag boat
A couple of dinghies
Location: Saint Joseph and Trenton, MI
Has thanked: 27 times
Been thanked: 190 times

Re: Best and easiest navigation electonics for dummies

Postby waybomb » August 14th, 2013, 10:31 am

I am glad you are open to my comments.

I'd say the very best money spent is on communication equipment and safety equipment. You simply cannot go cheap on com and safety.
ICOM and Standard are the best vhf radios. Get a brand new one, either one, with full dsc capability. A second older ICOM, such as M120 or an M127 had the best ever performance. Buy a very good very tall antenna, and mount it as high as possible with a second support.

Buy a very good GPS EPIRB. Get the biggest baddest visual signalling equipment you can get. Get the best handheld VHF as well. Always leave at least one battery off, so if something bad were to happen, you could switch to a fully charged battery and communicate your problem with USCG.

Now for radar and chart plotter - what is your budget? If you don't need to most advanced of either, I'd go for the newest color chartplotter / gps / depth finder you can afford, with the biggest screen you can afford. You'll need to buy new chart cards anyway, so get the nicest you can get. I don't think you are going fishing, so a 600 watt ducer is really all you need. You don't need forward scanning where you are, so a simple down-shooting ducer is all you really need.

And then what I would, in fact I just did, buy a used top of the line green screen from back in the day. You can buy a very nice low hour (important) 4kw, open array, 10" screen for around 500 to 1000 bucks. Make sure it comes with all the cables. If you can afford more, or feel green screen is no good, then go ahead and get something from Furuno, but I think you could use all that extra money for something else in the boat. Like fuel!

I'd also make another suggestion - a FloScan double fuel flow indicator, that is tied to your gps and tach. You would be surprised how much a slight trim or steering or rpm adjustment can make to fuel usage. If you use your boat alot, it will pay for itself in short order.

And one more suggestion - weather knowledge. Does a local community college offer a weather for dummies coarse. And then read everything you can about weather. Then start watching NOAA for your area every day and start getting familiar with weather forecasting - you can actually do it yourself if you absorb the info. No need getting caught in fog. You can predict it. And listen to your weather channel on the vhf well ahead of leaving and as you are leaving.
Thanks
Fred
1964 Barron Flatbottom with BBC Chevy
1969 Glaspar Avalon /1969 Johnson Electromatic 85
1987 Carver Mariner
1988 Cougar Kevlar 46' with triple blown 572s
http://s4.beta.photobucket.com/user/waybomb/library/
Past - 1988 2807, 1989 4207 Aft
User avatar

Topic author
glazingguru
Scurvy Dog
Scurvy Dog
Posts: 25
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Vessel Info: 1995 Carver 355 Aft Cabin
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Best and easiest navigation electonics for dummies

Postby glazingguru » August 16th, 2013, 5:27 pm

for kicks, I had a local Marine Electronics shop check it out. They went to the slip and looked at it and asked me several questions. They have suggested any one of three systems (all at about 7k installed, which is more than I want to spend)
Garmin 4210 w/ GMR24HD Radar
Lowrance HDS10 w/ 4G Radar
Sitex SVS750 w/ T941 Radar

What do you think?
User avatar

Topic author
glazingguru
Scurvy Dog
Scurvy Dog
Posts: 25
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Vessel Info: 1995 Carver 355 Aft Cabin
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Best and easiest navigation electonics for dummies

Postby glazingguru » August 30th, 2013, 9:50 am

if anyone has any experience with any of these listed systems, I would appreciate hearing about them.
Thanks

Return to “Electronics & Navigation”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests