Selecting electronics and nav systems, Furuno

I was like a kid in a candy shop when I first sat down with Martek, the KK suggested electronics supplier. I had spent a day at a boat show recently and was overwhelmed by the capabilities of the latest systems. But this is from a guy who spent three years cruising Maine on my sailboat with just a hand held GPS, so i was easily impressed.
These guys a partial to Furuno and my experience with Furuno was pretty good. Maybe not the most intuitive interface, but bulletproof was my sense. My last boat was decently equipped but a mix of whatever fit at the chart table and would plug in without too much trouble to my dedicated black box pc. I used to think a federated system of mostly stand alone gear, wired up as needed to a pc was they way to go. Had heard too many stories about a single fault bringing down the entire nav system so wanted the ability to run most everything by itself if required. But I spent way too much time dealing with pc and Microsoft issues; COM ports being stolen, cursors running wild, blue screens of death and so on. So for this boat, my first new boat by a long shot, I am going integrated. And that pretty much says Furuno, Raymarine, Garmin or maybe, but not quite yet, Simrad. I dropped Raymarine for no better reason than they used to have a bad reputation for reliability. Likely because they pretty much were at the forefront of integrated nav systems and paved the way for the rest. But old memories die hard, especially with old sailors. I could have gone with ether Garmin or Furuno, but Martek liked Furuno, and as I said before, what do I know?
So the heart of my pilot house nav system will be dual NavNet TZTouch2 black boxes driving side by side Green Marine touch screens, one 19″ and one 24″ with a third TV screen for the cameras. Furuno 60mi radar, Furuno autopilot, GPS, fish finder, AIS transceiver, weather station, ICOM VHF etc. Software is Nobletec Trident.
After running an equivalent Garmin system on a friend’s boat, I did notice the graphics were a little slow to redraw, which is not the case with the Trident time zero (at least in the demo) so that will be impressive. Other than that, and Furuno’s somewhat more straightforward approach to buying charts, not sure there is much difference between the systems. But at this point I am sure it will be a “love the one you are with” sort of relationship once I get used to the interface.
I did pass on the SSB this time. Partly because we wont be spending so much time offshore on this boat, partly because of the cost and partly because I was tired of all the time spent trying to tune in a station and then wait for a Pactor handshake, just to download at 300 bps. All to save the $.30 it would have cost to download the same GRIB file on the Iridium Go sitting next to me. I figure I can download one heck of a lot of GRIB files for the cost of one SSB. I will miss the chat networks however.
Still months away from my first sight of her, so will keep you posted.

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