Nautor Swan 51: B&G Upgrade

June 07, 2017

Nautor Swan 51: B&G Upgrade

        We recently received a call from a gentleman at Port Annapolis located in a transient slip on his way up north inquiring about upgrading both his helm and nav stations with new B&G systems. With modern boat electronics providing a significant benefit to sailors when it comes to navigation, weather, and collision avoidance its important to have this information readily accessible and easy to understand.

   Work to be completed:

  • Replace old and outdated displays an helm and nav station
  • Install two new B&G Zeus 3 9"(Helm) / 7" (Nav station)
  • Install new B&G NAC-3 autopilot, while retaining old raymarine autopilot as well for added system redundancy 

     The vessel itself, a 1984 51' Nautor Swan. A cherished rare centerboard version. Hull #33 out of #36 of the Swan 51's built, which was immaculately maintained for the last thirty three years.

1984 Swan 51

1984 Swan 51

 Lets first look at the old helm set up on the boat. A single B&G Hercules 690 displaying speed,depth and wind which gets the job done, but compared to the capabilities of the newly released Zeus 3 it was time for an update.

    After cutting in the Zeus 3 into a new scan strut pod we mounted the pod onto the stainless steel helm bracket. Lets look at a few pictures of the install before we look at the newest features of the Zeus 3.

    All Buttoned up Zeus 3

    Scanstrut Pod

    New Simrad AP44 Autopilot Control Head

    Zeus 3 9" MFD

          The Zeus 3 is the newest generation of B&G MFD's. All the new Navico MFDs include WiFi and have sonar built into the unit. B&G continues to improve on the User Interface (UI) of their displays from past models. Besides seven buttons and a rotary dial there is now a separate cursor pad as well. Having more controls means it is now possible to control the user interface without needing the touchscreen at all. If you're in rough seas or extreme conditions you can disable the touch controls, preventing accidental touches from unintentionally messing with your display. The LCD screens have been improved, with higher resolution, better sunlight visibility, improved off-angle color reproduction and better responsiveness in wet conditions whether its rain or spray.

       The new introduction of PredictWind integration in Navico Operating System is also very helpful. It grants users of the PredictWind Weather Service to download weather data onto their chart plotter and view GRIB files and forecasts right over the chart window. Navico is also making it possible to download updates for the MFD itself directly from the device via WIFI.

    Old Raymarine Display

     New 12" Zeus 3 at Nav station

    Zeus 3 12" MFD