If you own a boat, you know how important your electronics are. If you are looking at buying a boat, you would expect any brand to be reliable but not so fast!
On our sailing catamaran Seamlessly, we had fairly new Raymarine navigation electronics, and on our new trawler Patience, we have Garmin electronics. Unfortunately, both Raymarine and Garmin have not met our expectations, but thankfully we had TimeZero along the way, stepping in to save the day.
What is TimeZero? TimeZero is a PC software that you can install on any Microsoft Windows PC! We have TimeZero installed on a Lenovo laptop, connected to a DELL touch screen.
We quickly learned that we feel most comfortable with several layers of redundancy. If one system fails, there is another separate system that can take over. In our case, we are migrating to making TimeZero our primary navigation system and having Garmin as the secondary — And Garmin will likely be replaced with Furuno when the budget allows.
This is why TimeZero is better.
As relative newcomers to boating, we are overly cautious, and planning is critical to us. Without a well-planned route, we wouldn’t feel safe. Planning a route in TimeZero is easy and much quicker than on a traditional chart plotter. In the Bahamas, we usually start planning a route using the Explorer Charts (Raster), and then check the route against the Navionics Maps (Vector), and adjust the route to suit both maps.
Underway & At Anchor
At anchor, our focus on the anchor and how well it is holding. The redesigned anchor alarm feature in TimeZero V4 is amazing. It is easy to set, it is easy to move the center, and it’s easy to adjust. Enough said, another win for TimeZero.
We plan to only replace our autopilot for roughly $4,000, which TimeZero can connect to, instead of spending $20,000+ to replace our Garmin devices (for now).
Our TimeZero is connected to our boat’s network, and we use a $400 Dell touch screen connected to a laptop, which has not failed us yet.
When we upgraded our Raymarine chart plotters to Lighthouse 3, they became unreliable and kept crashing. We had to revert back to the old version. When we upgraded our Garmin chart plotters, Garmin Express, the required PC and Mac software from Garmin, kept on aborting our download attempts. A few days later, with a very unresponsive Garmin, we finally got the chart plotters upgraded — to the last software update, Garmin will ever publish for our chart plotters. So, going forward we there will be no more bug fixes, performance improvements, or new features for our Garmin chart plotters.
You can probably blame TimeZero for our frustration with Garmin and Raymarine, setting the bar really high. We have never had issues updates maps on TimeZero. We have never had issues updating TimeZero itself. TimeZero is very responsive to feature requests, and we always hear back from them when we send in a suggestion.
Once again, TimeZero has never let us down. All of our emails to the general support at TimeZero receive a quick and competent reply.
Great post. We will get TimeZero for sure. What Dell screen did you get? Is it touch screen? We are on the hard right now but should be in the water soon.
Hey Paul. The Dell screen that we’re using is a touch screen, and it’s a Dell P2418HT 23.8″ Touch Monitor. The only thing that’s annoying about this screen is that we can’t see it without taking off our sunglasses (which have polarized lenses).
I told my husband about you guys, and now he’s obsessed with going to the bahamas. We have a custom build trawler and are looking to replace the old electronics screens on the bridge. Now he is excited about timezero.
The Bahamas are quite amazing. So, we can’t blame your hubby… we get it. TimeZero is awesome. It really is. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Here or on Instagram.
Can you use time zero alone? I mean, without a fishfinder like Garmin or b&g? It looks really great, and route planning is a huge hassle for us.
Furuno actually makes a chart plotter that runs a version of TimeZero. It might be what we will replace our Garmin chart plotters with. But yes, we often exclusively use our TimeZero setup. Ideally, I’d love to get a DC-powered PC at some point so that even if the inverter were to fail, we’d still have the TimeZero PC.