Got to Gear Up - What's the best source these days?

Viexile

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I had a GREAT MFD on the big boat 10 years ago and I can't remember what it was (I swear we could spot halibut in 400' of water under the right conditions, and the Kings when they were running 300' deep). Depth, fish (dual beam) good to VERY deep, radar, chart, etc. A nice alarm when those container ships would come around 25 miles out.

I've got 10+ year old Raytheon on the sailboat, but I haven't had a chance to fire that up yet, either.

Hmmm. Autopilot. Old Raymarine gear on the sailboat. No idea if it works . . . Might even think about it for the Downeast.

Radar on the Downeast? Well, where it will be fishing it would be used mostly for finding birds. I have a 24" Raytheon dome I can't use on the sailboat. Whoever originally mounted it on the backstay - I don't know what they were shooting for - but it's way too heavy.

I grew up on Penobscot Bay without radar. We survived. One or two times clanging that bell like a madman. Used the bag of potatoes method of navigation. But sure glad I had radar on the Pacific coming in - at night, in the rain, through the jaws at Humboldt Bay. If I hadn't had it, we'd have gone to sea until daylight.

So what companies are good these days and where is the best place to buy? GPS, MFD, Radios, fishfinder, transducers, AIS, etc. I use Defender for a lot of stuff, Hamilton Marine (I get a great discount from Wayne - always have), Hodges Marine. I just like to know if something screws up I can deal with the Vendor to an extent. I just haven't dealt with it in almost 10 years.
 

Viexile

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OK, but not clear on how one works with them. No catalogue? And what does "Please note, all engine, electrical parts and electronics sales are considered to be final" mean?

I'm curious what gear people are most satisfied with these days, Furuno, Garmin, etc. I started out with a handheld Magellan GPS way back (after Loran C and AM radio) which, at the time, was light years ahead of Garmin. Then they fell by the wayside.
 

Wharf Rat

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Hey Vi Exile, we don't take returns on any electronics or electrical parts for engines, which is pretty standard although there are some exceptions from bigger companies like Defender and Hamilton. Most electrical parts and electronics aren't returnable to the factory. That doesn't mean if there's a problem with the unit that we won't take care of it, that's a different story. If we supply a magnetron or modulator board for someone troubleshooting their radar and it doesn't solve the problem, we'd be stuck with it. We put that disclaimer you mentioned to make sure it was no surprise out there and it's also on all our invoices. I'm happy to say in almost 15 years of doing this, I may have had two or three people ever ask to return an item and those were extenuating circumstances. Of course, if we make a mistake, that's totally a different story.

Currently I'm on vacation so I won't be able to talk about options right now, but when it comes to an MFD package, nobody makes a BAD system; they're all easy to operate and some just have better features like their fishfinder or radar options. To help narrow it down, consider what your priorities are, performance wise. Fishfinder, Radar, Chartplotter? Of the many functions of a 'Multi-Function' display, what are the most important for what you're looking to do. There isn't a one size fits all answer, everyone uses their gear differently.
As far as support after the sale, Furuno is still number one as they only company to really support their machines well past their discontinuation. The other companies will offer a discount on a new system if something is no longer 'in service.' However, all of the main 4 (Raymarine/Furuno/Simrad/Garmin) all are easy to contact for tech support, although I always recommend to people to call early in the AM, Tuesday thru Thursday, if possible, to avoid longer hold times.


And what does "Please note, all engine, electrical parts and electronics sales are considered to be final" mean?
 
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Big Joe

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I have purchased electronics from Chris aka Warf Rat, for a couple of boats. I highly recommend him. His knowledge is second to none. He will take the time with you, to make sure you have the right setup for your boat.
 

Corazon

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Bpd92

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