Join Date: Nov 2002
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I installed the Raymarine SL72RC+ radar chartplotter this spring and am reasonably pleased. This was a new model without HSB and monochrome. They''ve since introduced some other new models. HSB and color were a lot more when I bought my unit. The color units that I''ve seen are indeed awesome, but not worth the price difference to me. I''m not sure the 10" unit has any more pixels, I wouldn''t waste money on that over the smaller color unit unless your eyesight is poor. Color buys most of the improvement in legibility -- much brighter and many more pixels than the monochrome.
The backlighting is adjustable with my unit, I found the display easier to read after dark and entered waypoints then.
I used my unit on a 2 1/2 week cruise in Maine -- first trip up there and I didn''t want to hit any of the many ledges or rocks. Each night I''d take about an hour to plan the next day''s trip and input all of the waypoints. It was very time consuming, paricularly as it''s difficult to enter waypoint names with the trackpad. One must select each letter in sequence (a problem even with the color units). Verifying that the route did not cross any shallow spots was a little difficult too, one had to constantly move the cursor and zoom in and out. On a later trip I used my home laptop with Maptech charts and their included chart reader software below for route planning. Much easier using the mouse, keyboard and color. Although Maptech claims you can''t do it, I did figure out a way to upload the waypoints over the NMEA interface.
P.S. Didn''t run aground once, and got into some very tight unmarked spots that I never would have tried without the chartplotter. One tends to look at the chartplotter rather than the depth sounder to see how deep it is, the chartplotter/GPS is that accurate with the Raymarine WAAS GPS unit.