NN3D MFD8, on the water

NN3D_MFD8_BenE_cPanbo

A guy’s got to ham it up once in a while! But, truly, trying NavNet 3D on the water today had me grinning. I spent hours with that MFD8 because it and its MFD12 mate have become one of the mysteries of this system. Are they as sensationally fast and smooth as the big expensive Black Box version many have been blown away by at boat shows? I threw everything I could at it—UHD radar (very impressive) overlay, hi res photo overlay, dual radar ranges, Sirius weather overlay, ARPA and AIS targets, and mucho zooming, panning, and 2D/3D flipping—and we were often doing over 20 knots and sometimes going in circles. Verdict: no, it’s not as knock-your-socks-off fast as the BB, but it is quite fast, very powerful, and elegant to use. Furuno and MaxSea have created not just a remarkable navigation system, but one that scales easily from center console to megayacht. Sailboats too. More to come, of course.

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

10 Responses

  1. Cameron says:

    Thanks Ben! I tried my radar (6kw)today and it’s great. I’ve never seen anything like it.
    What did you find that slowed the MFD’s down?
    I’m simply a recreational boater, not a fisherman. I don’t really need bathy data, I think the photo overlay will be cool, but not really important if it causes my machine to slow down to much.
    I chose 2 MFD12’s instead of a BB and 2 12″ monitors partly because of cost and partly because this configuration doesn’t have a single point of failure (except the Ethernet hub, but I have a not POE hub spare).

  2. Tom Nakis says:

    Ben,
    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and you’ve never spoken that highly of any equipment.
    Did Furuno/Maxsea pay you or just drug you? Maybe free Pinot Noir for life???

  3. Rolf says:

    Let say I buy a MFD8 or MFD12 and install it at my inner steering position….
    Can I hook up my 15″ monitor in the cockpit via VGA, to show the same picture as on the MFD ?
    – What about the screen resolution ?

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Good news on that, Rolf; the MFDs have DVI video out and a USB port for keyboards, mice, etc. In fact, the special function keys on the unit are mapped to standard keyboard function keys. The interface is also designed that in many cases you can use a mouse or trackball instead of the function keys.
    Cameron, the MFD did not seem slow by any metric except the NN3D Black Box. Prediction: you will use 3D mode a lot once you get comfy with the system.
    Tom, I didn’t even get a t-shirt! But if you know where I can sign up for that wine-for-life thing, please let me know 😉 Seriously, though, there are NN3D chart issues that I’ll discuss next week.

  5. Wildfish says:

    Tom, seeing is believing and Navnet 3D is just that impressive by all standards. I was fortunate to not only see Navnet 3D at a boatshow in the UK but also the new MaxSea Timezero PC software which is VERY flash. The charts are a whole new product and I believe that Mapmedia the sister company of Maxsea has caught up with the Navionics and C-Map guys in a very short time and by all accounts they will quickly pass them. It will take a while to get the full chart features for every bay and beach on the globe and no doubt Mapmedia will concentrate their efforts on completing charts for the most popular areas first.
    Ben, for what it’s worth. I am a marine electronins engineer (geek as I love every second of my job) with 20 years experience and in my opinion you are the most thorough, fair and straight forward reviewer that I’ve come across.

  6. Dan (b393capt) says:

    I second that

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Wildfish. Headed your way is a lifetime supply of Uncle Ben’s Wild Maine Blueberry wine (it doesn’t take much) and a lifetime subscription to Panbo.com!

  8. Xavier says:

    Just a word of caution amid all this enthusiasms. I have received my copy of Maxsea Time Zero to put on my laptop. The current version does not support AIS, Weather, Logbook, or Routing. They are promising that these modules will come by Q4, but of course, by then the season will be over.
    Maxsea is a great product, but Time Zero on PC is not worth using yet.

  9. Mike says:

    Ben et al; I recently brought a 44′ sailboat, and am planning the boat toys – NN3D as a prime upgrade, Panbo has been great to fuel the dream! Question 2kW or 4kW radar? Do I need the extended range of the 4kW radar on a relatively ‘slow’ sailboat? And does the 4kW radar use twice the power of a 2kW? Comments / feedback appreciated. Mike

  10. Jean Surcouf says:

    Xavier,
    Thanks for the input, but I fail to see what this has to do with Ben’s post on NavNet 3D. I spoke with someone at Furuno and he informed me MaxSea Time Zero won’t be released in the U.S. until this fall, when all the modules you complain aren’t available now, are available.
    In the meantime, NavNet3D is very cool and I’m sure MaxSea Time Zero will be too.
    Surcouf

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