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Old 04 January 2022, 15:24   #1
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Country: UK - England
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Advice Needed :Plotter/Fishfinder/NMEA2000 engine info

Hi All,

Having now made some progress on my refurbishment on the 6.25, I have turned my focus to the console and electronics on the wet and miserable days.

I have a new double console from Ian at Ribs4u.co.uk, which I am very happy with. Both the product, and the help and advice he has given as well as the offer of help, measurements and advice as I move forward, I couldn't be happier at this stage.

Now to the quandary.

I have a 500hr Evinrude 150 Etec (G1) to go on the back.

The gauges I have are not in the best shape, as well as the consideration that at some point I will likely re-engine to a non Etec if I keep the boat for a longer period of time. With these two things to consider, I am looking to go down the NMEA2000 route, and use a digital display right from day 1, to avoid cutting many holes in a console which I will then likely need to repair/fill at some future point.

Long term, I like the set up approach that @RickW has on his boat. I will potentially start with a single 7" or 9" plotter to be on the water this year, then add a second plotter to the left at a later date.

In this way I create redundancy as well as future proofing for the engine data and displays.

Given the Lowrance/Evinrude history I am considering going down the Elite/HDS route, but I have seen a wide variance in opinion on the chart-plotters available. What I don't want to do is pay lots of money for something I will mainly use for engine management and backup for plotter/finder but also do not want to buy lower spec and then regret.

For people who have gone down the NMEA2k engine info route, what would your opinions be having lived with your solutions on the water?
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Old 05 January 2022, 06:14   #2
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Old 05 January 2022, 20:37   #3
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Originally Posted by Takson View Post
Hi All,



Having now made some progress on my refurbishment on the 6.25, I have turned my focus to the console and electronics on the wet and miserable days.



I have a new double console from Ian at Ribs4u.co.uk, which I am very happy with. Both the product, and the help and advice he has given as well as the offer of help, measurements and advice as I move forward, I couldn't be happier at this stage.



Now to the quandary.



I have a 500hr Evinrude 150 Etec (G1) to go on the back.



The gauges I have are not in the best shape, as well as the consideration that at some point I will likely re-engine to a non Etec if I keep the boat for a longer period of time. With these two things to consider, I am looking to go down the NMEA2000 route, and use a digital display right from day 1, to avoid cutting many holes in a console which I will then likely need to repair/fill at some future point.



Long term, I like the set up approach that @RickW has on his boat. I will potentially start with a single 7" or 9" plotter to be on the water this year, then add a second plotter to the left at a later date.



In this way I create redundancy as well as future proofing for the engine data and displays.



Given the Lowrance/Evinrude history I am considering going down the Elite/HDS route, but I have seen a wide variance in opinion on the chart-plotters available. What I don't want to do is pay lots of money for something I will mainly use for engine management and backup for plotter/finder but also do not want to buy lower spec and then regret.



For people who have gone down the NMEA2k engine info route, what would your opinions be having lived with your solutions on the water?


Lowrance (Navico) developed NMEA2k along with Evinrude. If you’re serious about N2K then Navico is the way to go, either in the guise of Lowrance, Simrad or B&G. My first & second RIBs had Lowrance kit. I “splashed out” on RIB 3 & spent a fortune on Raymarine kit, never again. NMEA implementation was a nightmare, for some reason Raymarine use their own proprietary flavours of NMEA 0183 & 2000 which involves expensive converters & adapters to get things talking to each other. On the other hand, an Etec will plug straight into a NMEA 2k network without any interface or adapter, unlike Suzuki/Honda/Mercury etc.
If you have additional N2K devices on your network, e.g. engine temp/water pressure sensors, Suzuki gauges/interface/tank level sensors to name a few, these can only be updated via a Navico head unit. I don’t know why, maybe there’s a patent issue.
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Old 05 January 2022, 21:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Lowrance (Navico) developed NMEA2k along with Evinrude. If you’re serious about N2K then Navico is the way to go, either in the guise of Lowrance, Simrad or B&G. My first & second RIBs had Lowrance kit. I “splashed out” on RIB 3 & spent a fortune on Raymarine kit, never again. NMEA implementation was a nightmare, for some reason Raymarine use their own proprietary flavours of NMEA 0183 & 2000 which involves expensive converters & adapters to get things talking to each other. On the other hand, an Etec will plug straight into a NMEA 2k network without any interface or adapter, unlike Suzuki/Honda/Mercury etc.
If you have additional N2K devices on your network, e.g. engine temp/water pressure sensors, Suzuki gauges/interface/tank level sensors to name a few, these can only be updated via a Navico head unit. I don’t know why, maybe there’s a patent issue.
Thank you.

I'm a big fan of B&G kit from a couple of sailboats I've raced on, preferring it over the Raymarine equivalents. The B&G autopilots take a bit of setting up and tuning, but work better in the long run (IMHO). When my numbers come up and I also have a yacht, I am looking forward to splashing out on a full suite of B&G equipment.

There goes the cost effective option now I know I can potentially use B&G kit.....

In all seriousness, I suspect I will head down the Lowrance option, thank you for the information.
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Old 05 January 2022, 22:34   #5
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Originally Posted by Takson View Post
Thank you.



I'm a big fan of B&G kit from a couple of sailboats I've raced on, preferring it over the Raymarine equivalents. The B&G autopilots take a bit of setting up and tuning, but work better in the long run (IMHO). When my numbers come up and I also have a yacht, I am looking forward to splashing out on a full suite of B&G equipment.



There goes the cost effective option now I know I can potentially use B&G kit.....



In all seriousness, I suspect I will head down the Lowrance option, thank you for the information.


In fairness B&G is aimed at the rag & string brigade. Lowrance is aimed at fishermen & divers, Simrad at power boats. It’s the way the menus are setup. After my foray into Raymarine, I went back to Lowrance.
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Old 05 January 2022, 23:54   #6
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I used Lowrance gear for over 20 years, upgrading every 2-3yr. Being brutally honest I had a fair amount of issues with their gear over the years but was normally looked after under the warranty and contacts I had within Navico (not anymore). I always had the higher end biggest screens available and becomes so used to networking and using the gear that I stayed with them simply for that reason until I got fed up of sending and waiting for repairs or replacements, to the point.

I currently run both Simrad and Garmin in my boat but will be getting rid of the simrad evo3 as its to unreliable, I don't even turn it on anymore. Like many boats I skipper owners are becoming fed up with Simrad constantly shutting down and having poor touch screen issues. Im not sure if its a safety feature but Ive been on three boats in the last couple of months that have 16ins simrads that shut down as soon as you start hitting heavy sea's. Something you don't want to be doing is trying to reboot systems while navigating big sea's.

I fish offshore well beyond the continental shelf and for that reason having a head unit that doesn't constantly give incorrect depth readings and shut down is pretty important while targeting game fish. Garmin excels and has become the most popular units in game charters and offshore trailer boats alike here in Oz.

Im a marine rescue volunteer and all our rescue vessels are fitted with Raymarine. We have had our share of issues with some of these which is mostly due to the less than intuitive menu's when different crew members struggle with. In saying that, on the rescue vessels we have only large screens that are only used for navigation to simplify things now.

While on the subject of navigation, the G3 vision charts on my Garmin are far superior to the reveal charts from simrad and lowrance. I find this weird as the seafloor mapping is sourced from the same place. I have both charts onboard my boat for side by side comparison.

These two units are on my 14ft centre console and I replace bot with a single 12ins Garmin as soon as tock arrives. On my daughters zodiac I fitted a 105 echo map ultra which has been fantastic so far, the smaller 9inch seems to be very good value over here in the Xmas related sales.

Apologies, the first image turned on its side while posting for some reason but none the less both charts are of the same location, simrad left and Garmin right. The depths will be in either fathoms or metres as much of my fishing is far offshore at depths from 1500m to 4000m.
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Old 06 January 2022, 23:33   #7
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Hello all

Seems I got mentioned in dispatches

Went the twin plotter route after following Pikey’s example and still very happy with my choice

Zero issues with the Lowrance units so far tend to mix and match between the touch screen and buttons and find it quite intuitive and really love the vessel view integration with Navico but of course a lot of plotters these days allow digital displays of engine data

Looked at Simrad decided to go Lowrance not much in it

Good luck with your speccing out the new fit out
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