Simrad gb40-helm-landscape view
In early February here on OceanLines, we debuted a new series called “Let’s Outfit the New Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition“” — a series which presented proposed marine electronics proposals from several of the major manufacturers in the business. In this latest article in the series, Simrad details how it would outfit the popular new trawler. The Simrad proposal takes advantage of some of the latest “glass bridge” technology, as well as the company’s new BR24 Broadband Radar, which we’ve written positively about here. The Simrad outfitting also takes advantage of some nifty networking with the Class B AIS unit and the VHF to capitalize on DSC calling. And one other feature, for me anyway, is a deal maker — these units are compatible with the Jeppesen C-Map MAX Pro cartography, which can be auto-updated as frequently as you like, which is a critical safety enhancement (See our earlier article on auto-updating here.)
Simrad’s proposal was provided by Paul Comyns, marketing director, B&G, Northstar and Simrad brands. Comyns thinks the Krogen 55′ Expedition is the perfect yacht for Simrad’s GB40 Glass Bridge Navigation system. You can see a company video on the GB40 here. Together with its big brother, the GB60, this system represents the state-of-the-art from Simrad for recreational boaters. It is a fully networked system based on black box components and fully compatible with the NMEA2000 network communications protocol, making expansion virtually limitless.
For our fictional couple’s Krogen 55′, Simrad suggests we use a single, large 19″ flat screen display in the wheelhouse. It’s large enough to make viewing even detailed chart, radar or AIS presentations easier. You can download the proposal and a spreadsheet with the component list. Here are the details:
“Main navigation screen placed centrally in the wheelhouse, configurable to display chart, radar, echosounder and engine data, along with video input from an Ethernet video camera connected to the GB40. An option is available to use a network video server allowing the connection of up to four video cameras monitoring the aft deck or engine room space.
Engine data can also be displayed on the GB40 direct from the engines using the NMEA2000 onboard network.
Using the Navico Weather module SIRIUS Weather Data can be overlaid onto the chart plotter display showing user selected real-time weather information.
The recommended radar antenna for this size of vessel would be a 6kW 4ft open array radar, with a maximum range of 64NM. This radar combined with the GB40 has a 10 target MARPA function and the requested Guard Zone capability. With other vessel information from the Class B AIS (Simrad AI50) displayed as overlaid targets on the chartplotter and radar.
The GB40 is controlled by a wired remote control that can be positioned close to the operator, it also has the ability to be controlled by the Simrad WR20 Wireless Remote, this allows for very flexible control of the GB40 navigation system by the operator, even from the wheelhouse sofa.
Simrad gb40-second-station installation on different boat
The GB40 provides for a second, networked display and control station, suitable for a flybridge, nav station aboard a sailboat, or perhaps in the office or master stateroom. Here’s how that could work:
“The GB40 has the expansion option to add a second display (10” or 15”), for use on a flybridge or at a second navigation station or in the master stateroom. This displays all the information that is on the main unit and can be operated by a local control panel, or if required it can be just a repeater with no local control. This option is often used for a saloon monitor for guests to monitor the progress of the voyage, but not change any settings.”
Simrad’s proposal notes the details of echosounder/fish finder installation and integration and puts special emphasis on the inclusion of AIS technology. Interestingly, Comyns says, “we recommend in this instance the Simrad AI50 rather than the black box NAIS300. The AI50 allows us to enable a feature called Buddy tracking, and this combined with a Simrad AI50 installed on the tender would allow for easy tracking of the tender and displaying the information on the chartplotter and radar. The Simrad AI50 is a Class B AIS and so is also transmitting your own ships data for any vessel to see.”
Comyns also clears up an issue of confusion for some boaters related to how Class B-equipped boats are seen by commercial vessels using Class A AIS systems.
A number of questions have been raised regarding the ability of Class A AIS units not being able to “See” Class B AIS units like the Simrad AI50 and the NAIS300 Blackbox transceivers.
This issue relates to ‘Message 24’ which was a new message introduced for Class B after many Class A devices had been manufactured and installed. Message 24 contains the ‘Static Data’ (vessel related info) including: vessel name, radio call sign, length, beam, type of vessel.
• Provided that the Class B has been installed correctly and is not faulty, it is highly likely that if a receiving device that does not ‘see’ all the Class B details is an older class A device (or cheaper receiver).
• It is also possible that if the receiving vessel has a good quality AIS receiver/ transponder that is known to process all AIS messages, the chart plotter may be older or has not been updated to display all AIS messages.
• All modern chartplotters have now been updated to display the class B details & most Class A manufacturers have now issued software updates to address this issue
The most important thing to get across here is that although the name and call sign may not be received, the Position, Course and Speed information of the Class B WILL BE RECEIVED by Class A devices. This is the navigationally significant information that will help you to avoid collisions!
Simrad NX45 Chartplotter
Simrad offers two options for redundancy aboard the Krogen 55′ Expedition. Our couple could choose to add a second GB40 system or go with a Simrad NX45 Navigation System. The NX45 is an integrated chartplotter unit but it fully networkable with the systems onboard. Either of these two options can be used with the company’s new BR24 Broadband radar, which, in this writer’s opinion, is a game-changing technology. OceanLines wrote extensively about this radar in an earlier article and we said then that it would make a perfect backup or dedicated short-range system for any passagemaker.
Instruments and Communications
Simrad notes that its SimNet network will allow the sharing of data throughout the network. For our application, the company suggests the addition of Simrad IS20 displays, capable of repeating any data at any location. The recommendation for the helm is for an analogue IS20 Rudder Angle Indicator, along with an IS20 Wind Indicator, giving both wind speed and direction.
Simrad IS20 Rudder Angle Display Instrument
Simrad IS20 Graphic Display Instrument
For depth info, the proposal is to use an IS20 Graphic display, which can also show any other network information in graphic form. Simrad notes that all the IS20 instruments can be placed in the main cabin and stateroom as well as the pilothouse. Alarms can be set on the IS20 displays for change in depth, for example, ideal when at anchor and as an early indicator of slippage. Another alarm might be set for increasing wind velocity.
Simrad gb40-bb-with-vhf-bb installations
Comyns notes in his proposal that Simrad’s flagship RS86/87 modular VHF system could serve as a complete-boat communications system, with loudhailers, intercom speakers and full second station options. This is a full Class D DAS VHR radio. Comyns notes:
“The RS86 fixed mount control unit with fist mike would be best suited at the main steering position and then the remote stations can use the RS87 full function handsets with a separate loudspeaker. Extra Intercom speakers can be used around the vessel and the loudhailer has a talk back function, ideal if some one is on the foredeck and wishes to call back into the wheelhouse, no more shouting or missed instructions.
DSC calling, this function now really is easy linked to the Simrad AI50 Class B AIS, just identify the ship on the AI50 screen with the cursor and select DSC Call, the VHF will then automatically initiate a call direct to the ship. Ideal for calling up commercial craft that may be crossing your intended route, no more unanswered VHF hails.”
Simrad says that, using a network video server, it “is possible to have up to four cameras connected into the GB40 Navygation system for engine room or aft deck monitoring.” The video is configurable onscreen — full-screen, for example, for docking maneuvers. Simrad says the system includes a DVD player and a music library jukebox for entertainment.
The Simrad proposal for outfitting the new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition includes some unique features, and with the GB40 you have the entry level to true glass-bridge capabilities. The next step up in the Simrad line, the GB60 might be considered overkill for the Krogen 55′, but does offer even more display and system control opportunities. It also allows for connection of stand-alone radars on larger yachts where type certification may require it.
A Full-Up Simrad GB40 Glass Bridge Navigation System Covers Many Bases
One of the highlights, so to speak, of the Simrad proposal is the display opportunities. The flat screens currently offered with the glass bridge systems are new designs that have smaller overall dimensions and brighter screens. So, for example, one of these new Simrad 19″ screens might fit where previously only a 16″ display from another maker might have worked.
The other distinguishing element of this proposal is the ability to take advantage of the new BR24 Broadband radar, which we think every boater should be considering, whether as a stand-alone unit on a smaller boat, or as a short-range workhorse and overall system backup for long range yachts. And with the ability to use the Jeppesen C-Map MAX Pro charts on these units (you really need to see the Broadband radar overlay on those charts), you have a major safety enhancement over any other cartography out there. The Simrad Glass Bridge Systems are clearly the way of the future and with the company’s emphasis on introducing the highest levels of technology, you really should be considering getting a headstart on the future of marine helms with this approach.
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