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Picking an MFD & Radar

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I would like to replace the chartplotter and radar on the 1997 Sabre 362 sloop that I have owned for one year. I sail Maine & Nova Scotia from Mt Desert Is.

I am thinking in terms of the Raymarine eS Series 9" with their new Quantum radar, in part because of generally positive reviews here on Panbo and also because of the other Raymarine electronics onboard; SPX 10 SmartPilot with a linear drive & ST60+ Wind, Depth, Speed thru water, and Graphic Display.

I have been interested in solid state radar since Simrad came out with it, for its low power draw and the better close target resolution which, for fog along the Maine coast, is much more useful than seeing something 20 miles away. I like Raymarine's power conserving options on the MFD also.

The present radome location, which I would keep, is on a pole at the stern. Even so close, I would be inclined to pony up for the cable. Belt & suspenders.

I have previously had a small Garmin for 10 years on my previous boat, then a small Lowrance w/Navionics. This boat came with a Garmin 3010C. I am used to Garmin's very intuitive interface and am concerned about Raymarine's lesser reputation in that regard. There is also a comment somewhere here about slow loading menus.

Are there other options/brands I should consider? Interfacing with the autopilot is a must. My previous Wheel Pilot tracked just fine with the Garmin GPSMap 172C. The Lowrance Elite 5m track feature did not work. With the exception of some touch screen only units, the pricing seems generally competitive.

I am not one to fiddle with the electronics a lot, I concentrate on the sailing. I realize I will be jumping up to a system with staggering capabilities compared to the small units of my previous boat, with which I was pretty happy.

Thanks, your input is appreciated

2 Replies

  • Ben could answer the integration question.

    I love my Raymarine gear, hybrid user interface, lighthouse user interface and all except for AP integration. I would steer you to check out B&G for their better sailing specific features before making a final choice, I suspect you would still choose Ray unless you race your boat and have extra cash. (If you didn't need Radar, the low end BG is really sweet for its sailing features at $800). Be sure to plan to buy cartography, difficult purchasing decision, take note of the options to get tide and current predictions which are done differently by each vendor.

    Why do you value AP integration? I think it's an annoyance when navigating by incently prompting user for ap decisions (an extra step to say no all the time). The extra step and the way it words the question confuses guest helmspeople. I am thinking of disabling integration entirely as the track feature I do like isn't used by me often.

  • Sailing Maine, and especially Nova Scotia, you want radar. They call the fog Nova Scotia Air Conditioning.
    AP integration: on an overnight return across the Gulf of Maine in 2009, the tracking function was wonderful keeping us on target in Fundy's tides. We wove an S curve track across the Gulf, motoring on a flat calm night.
    There is no way to only enable the track function when you want it?
    Thanks for the reply