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In transition from old to new electronics
Just bought new-to-me boat with Garmin electronics at the helm...installed 2011. The open array radar is not functioning and not repairable. According to Garmin, they do not have a replacement open array compatible with the 7215 multi-function display. It does have a HD dome unit that does work which hooked up to a smaller 5208 unit. I'm looking at having to replace the main display as well as the open array. More than I was hoping to do so early in the game. Good idea in the long run, given all the new features of the latest 8600 series displays ($$$) or should I opt for a ironclad stand-alone unit like the Furuno 1945?
What kind, size, and model of boat? Where and how do you use your boat?
Nordhavn 50. Will be running off shore for the better part of our trip with a couple of overnighters from FL to Portsmouth, NH in mid April. As I mentioned in my initial question/statement, it does have a functioning Garmin HD dome unit that is displayed on a smaller 5208 unit. Since the boat is new to me, it has been suggested by others that I use it as is to develop a feel for her before I make any changes. I was simply concerned, from a safety point-of-view, that an open array would be the way to go with the overnighters on the agenda.
Would like your opinion on those concerns, but also on a replacement. I'm not married to Garmin as the system is now coming up on 10 yrs old.
I don't think I can help with this question. That additional background should get you a great answer here.
I would expect a closed dome to be more reliable than open array. Everything is well protected from corrosion and less wear and tear from a lighter spinning antenna that does not need to be weather proof. Furuno 1835 might be a good standalone. Nxt doppler 2' dome if you want something to go with a furuno mfd or timezero pc.
A couple of thoughts for you though I should caution that while I'm very familiar with the electronics side of this equation you're quite possibly planning cruising beyond my own experience.
From a safety perspective I wouldn't be too worried about a properly functioning 10 year old enclosed dome being able to provide adequate information to ensure the safety of the vessel on an overnight package. However, I personally would want to augment that data with an AIS transceiver. The good news is that whatever transceiver you choose won't wed you to a particular system as there's no advantage to matching the brand of your AIS transceiver and the rest of your electronics.
I do think the advice that you got to wait and see how you use the boat and what changes you'd like to make is very good advice.
I believe the 8600 series of MFDs is a very good piece of hardware and is likely to have a long life. That said, Garmin introduced the first 8600 in February of 2016 so it's been around for a while. But, we're definitely seeing a trend where manufacturers are running their MFD models a good bit longer. I think this is indicative of the fact the hardware has reached a performance point where upgrading for more power is rarely required.
Personally, for primary radar on a boat with a sizable pilothouse and console, like you have, I would want my primary radar to be networked and displayable in multiple ways on multiple displays, but I do also think a tried-and-true standalone secondary radar can be a great option.
The last thing I'd layer in is if you're looking at a more significant refit of your electronics is to take a look at What Furuno has just announced with their new TZT3 MFDs. Especially for a long range cruising boat like yours the combination of Time Zero on a PC, TZ iBoat on an iPad and TZT2 or TZT3 on your MFDs gives you an impressive array of options and tools.
Good luck and enjoy the new boat!