Nav Instrument Integration

I’m building a 65′ Cruising Cat, and am at the beginning design stages with my designer. While he’s working on that, I’m doing the research for the nav functionality. I’m somewhat perplexed by the array of nav equipment available from the 6-10 major suppliers and how things will fit together along with the MaxSea software, so as to get maximum coverage AND integration. Should all the items come from a single source and, if so, which would you recommend in terms of reliability and repairablilty
considering the number of places one can find ones self while circumnavigating?

Hi Geoffrey: We’ll be going through the same conundrum on our own new boat. I am leery of putting all my navigation eggs in one basket. We’ll talk a lot more in a few months on our decision making process for this category of gear but right now here is the direction we are heading.

For autopilots we’ll use WH–still the most reliable from what we can see. Easy to tie to any standard GPS if we want to steer to a way point, or to drive from MaxSea.

We’ll have two GPS units installed. Only one will be tied to the other instruments. The second will remain on its own. However, the wiring will be done in such a way so that it is easy to switch the NEMA cables from one GPS to the other, should we want to change which one feeds the NEMA signal to the other gear.

On radar we only care about one feature–target definition in sea-clutter. Furuno has always had the edge here. But we will test both Furuno and Raytheon and maybe some others to see which we like the best.

As far as integrating everything into a single package, we have not formed a definitive idea on this yet. In the past we’ve stayed away from it. But we will revisit the technical issues and risks after the first of the year and make a decision then. Good luck–Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 2003)

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