Navigation upgrade

Since I am somewhat of a geek I am making a separate page for Navigation Equipment upgrade , and since this will probably a lenghty ‘trial and error’ process , hooking it all up together , I will document what I want to do (and have done) here . Again , no one is going to find this particularly interesting unless you have a similar setup and need to change . I am mostly documenting this for myself to keep track of what I have and what to do

As the main plotters on Blue Pearl (Raymarine RC70L) are defective I need to upgrade the current equipment and luckily I took some ‘old’ equipment from our previous boat so I have some extra. When I noticed that there used to be an extra plotter in the nav station , which I found defective under the nav station seat, It started me thinking

Currently there is a fairly old set of Raymarine equipment on board but it works great ! the well known ST60 , ST60+ and ST6001 are in good working order and the radar is supposedly working as well (couldnt check because the plotters are non functional !)

So assuming the radar is working I need a radar compatible plotter . after investigation the Raymarine E80 Classic should work with this radar , so I bought a used E80 mounted in a Navpod. Futhermore I still have a Raymarine E90w touchscreen plotter ‘left over’ from our previous boat and a ‘spare back up emergency’ C90w that I bought cheap

Well, that shows you . After finding out the E80/Navpod combination that I bought would not fit at the wheel (apparently the Navpod comes in 2 sizes to fit , and I got the incorrect size with the E80) and buying a new Navpod was expensive I started calculating again. a correct fitting Mavpod for the E80 was $500 . A new old stock Navpod I found on eBay was 80 euro , a refurbished E120w was 1000 euro.  so for the money I spent on an ‘old’ E80  w/ fitting Navpod I could just upgrade to a E120w 12″ touchscreen which I could network connect to my E90w that I already had. So that is what I did . If the current Radar turns out it works I can always sell that

So what I will do is the following

  1. remove the current RL70C and navpod , and replace by E80 Classic E120w with Navpod
  2. run a Seatalk new generation (STNG) backbone cable from the helm to nav station inside
  3. connect old Seatalk1 / NMEA 0183 equipment to STNG with RM converter kit E22158
  4. connect E80 Classic E120w to STNG backbone with special RM cable A06061
  5. connect radar to E80 Classic  Get a new Radar and connect to network / E120w / E90w
  6. mount E90w touchscreen inside at navstation
  7. connect E90w to STNG backbone

This should in theory provide me with working plotters at the helm and at the nav station , and both plotters should be able to see , receive and operate the old Seatalk 1 equipment (wind, tri, graphic and auto pilot) as that is all untouched and currently operable .

next planned installs / connections

  • AIS transponder (through NMEA 0183 ?) looking at a Vesper Marine 8000 or Em-trak B100
  • Navtex to plotters ?
  • Raymarine MOB lifetag system (probably hook it up to the STNG backbone with converter)
  • check to see if Simrad RS87 is connected to network for GPS data

Now I know that everyone says ‘electronics will break , so what are you going to do then ?’ and my standard reply is ‘I’ll get a spare one out of the box’ .. and their reply is ‘but what happens if that one breaks ?’ to which my reply is ‘I’ll get the 2nd spare out of the box’ .. etc etc etc (and trust me I can keep this up for a long time ! 🙂

So Spares:

  • 1x Raymarine 130 GPS (as repl. for 3 working GPS mushrooms on board
  • 1x Raymarine C90w plotter with worldwide maps and GPS built in  (sold)
  • 1x Raymarine auto pilot S1 computer
  • 3x plotters on board to act as AP control head (E120w, E90w, garmin)
  • 1x Raymarine graphic spare
  • 1x Raymarine tri-data spare
  • 2x Raymarine network switch (don’t even ask me why I have even 1 ! I have no idea)

if lightning strikes ? I’ll wrap aluminium foil around my hea… ermm.. I’ll wrap the C90w , with internal GPS and build in worldmap, in aluminium foil so I can hook it up and use it as a ‘stand alone bring us anywhere’ navigation device 🙂

========================== update =========================

Now that everything has been fitted this is what I ended up with , and it works great

  • Raymarine E120w in a Navpod at the helm
  • Raymarine E90w built in at the nav station
  • Vesper Marine XB-8000
  • Raymarine 418HD Radar
  • Raymarine 400G Auto pilot
  • Raymarine ST60 Wind
  • Raymarine ST60 Tridata
  • Raymarine ST60+ Graphic (in nav corner)
  • Simrad RS87 DSC VHF
  • Navtex ICS Nav6 Plus
  • Raymarine Raystar 120 SeaTalk GPS RS120 E32025

The E120w & E90w are both on the Seatalk ng backbone , with the Radar connected to the E90w (Master) through SThs cables . The ST60 instruments + Auto Pilot are connected to the Seatalk ng backbone using a RM converter kit E22158 , and the XB-8000 is connected to the STng backbone as well with a N2K -> STng cable.

The Simrad VHF is connected to the ST60 / NMEA0183 to get GPS data but sadly the VHF does not have a NMEA output so I cant get any DSC data on any of the instruments or plotters

Since the XB-8000 is connected to the N2K network I can use its GPS as the Master GPS

So far everything works flawless and I am very happy with how it turned out and I have not run into any difficulties