Author Topic: Garmin now the new Microsoft of Marine products!  (Read 95 times)

Last Resort

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Garmin now the new Microsoft of Marine products!
« on: March 07, 2019, 04:23:21 PM »
I know this isn't specific to Pearson, but thought I'd pass it one for those looking to upgrade equipment.

Garmin is now the NEW Microsoft of Marine products….keep continuously keep changing the software and hardware to make their previously purchased products obsolete within only a couple of years.  They put out products that are not tested properly, then when they discover they made a mistake, they change the product and name, and hopefully get it right the second, or third time….specifically their Reactor Autopilots that came out not so long ago. They though putting in an aviation based compass would be a GREAT idea for a Marine autopilot, and it took me 3 years to get it as right as I could. THEN they discontinue the original Reactor series and rename it Reactor 40, NOW WITH a Marine based compass. If this was a car, there would be a recall, and they should’ve replaced everyone of these DANGEROUS aviation based compass devices for free!!!!
 
I upgraded my LakeVu Ultra chart to the new g3 Navionics based tech, and after hours on the phone with Garmin, I was told my new 2 year old unit is already obsolete and that the new g3 tech will not work with it and that I should buy a newer updated version chartplotter…which I DID 2 years ago to replace ANOTHER device that had been ONLY 2 years old then because it had become obsolete and couldn’t use the NEW HD Vision chart VUS042R that I’d paid $400 for, which BTW was released with major issues, then it was discontinued after the purchase of Navionics. Too bad too, as it  was and still in the best Vision chart ever made for the Great Lakes till they screwed that up too. The new LakeVu series doesn’t even support the big lakes with all the features that the inland lakes have, such as dynamic leveling for depths.  LakeVu charts are useless for Coastal waters, which the Great Lakes basically are as well.
 
So since Garmin produces the charts and the devices to use them, they have their own monopoly here, again, just like Microsoft. Raymarine and others depend on C-map for the most part, and you see upgrades, but not ones that make the chartplotters obsolete! And their autopilots have been around as is for the most part for years and still not obsolete. And when Garmin decides your device is discontinued and obsolete, they don’t even support it any longer with updates, as they told me directly with my first chartplotter.
 
I also purchased a Garmin Dash Cam 35 for xmas, and after only a week, it broke. I called in, and they told me they didn’t even know how I could’ve bought  that series as it had been discontinued years ago. That said, they did take good care of me and I ended up with a DC 45. After 10 days, an update was applied and this one developed a fault, for which they did ANOTHER RMA. I tried to tell them it was the update, but?????  Well I got the replacement, tried it out and ALL was good, but as soon as I applied the update, same issue. They wanted to RMA the device again but I said no, and after some trial and error, I discovered the issue with the update and proceeded to inform them directly. That was well over 3 weeks ago, and still no new update to correct the problem.
 
Well you may ask, they did I and my close boating friends continue to buy Garmin??????   After you buy their chartplotter, then a wind device that connects to it, and then spend $4000 on their new Autopilot innovation, you’re sort of stuck with Garmin aren’t you. Between my $8-10,000 I’ve spent, and another $4000 my friends spent, based on my recommendations at the time, what real choice do we have but to continue using obsolete units and living with their now inferior products?
 
So if you haven’t committed to purchasing Garmin products yet, STAY AWAY!!!  Go with C-map and any device of your choosing that works with them!!!  They’re now the BEST charts available with Navionics gone (and Garmin has REALLY screwed that and Active Captain up too!!!).  And don’t get me started with Garmin Express!!  If you’re not a computer pro, this system is very difficult to manage most times for the average customer, especially if you try and go by the “wrong” directions it gives.
 
And needless to say, when I do get a new boat, there won’t be ANY Garmin devices on board this time!!!!  I’ll spend my thousands with someone who cares about their customers and their wallets!!!
 
 
 

MangoCats

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Re: Garmin now the new Microsoft of Marine products!
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2019, 01:38:44 PM »
If you want to start over... my 303 came with a Lowrance chartplotter / sonar (which, by the way, has terrible reviews on Amazon...)  So far, it has been very serviceable, for my needs.  And, I think it's much less expensive than the Garmin equivalents, like: less than $500 for the color plotter and transducers, if I read correctly.

So far, with about 40 hours of use, it has unexpectedly shut down 3 times - not sure if that's something in the plotter, or the 35 year old power system feeding it - when I restart it it's fine, so I can't really say whether this is a Lowrance issue or a boat power issue.  Otherwise, it is a very nice depth finder, decent chart plotter (I only have the base maps), and promises all sorts of optional features like sonar mapping, etc. that I really don't need and haven't taken the time to mess with.

I don't know how well it would grow into an autopilot system.  I'm thinking that some day (after I get the rainwater leaks through the deck fully controlled) I might add AIS and/or one of the VHF location reporting systems - and rather than try to integrate that into the chartplotter, the idea of an independent/redundant GPS system has a lot of attractions...

Last Resort

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Re: Garmin now the new Microsoft of Marine products!
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2019, 12:04:31 AM »
your shutdown issue could be due to low voltage. I know my Garmin system doesn't work very well if I'm sailing and the power at the unit gets below 12.3V.  Yours may have a similar issue at low voltage and shutting itself down...and then of course like you said, it could be the 35 year old system taking a break once in awhile :)