I know there are a bunch of threads already on these items, but honestly, weeding through a lot of the technical issues can get overwhelming.
I'm looking for opinions, but please consider the following before scaring me to death with techo-babble:
1. I am really, really not smart when it comes to electronics
2. I like to actually steer my boat, and make my own decisions about course and track
3. my needs are simple when it comes to MFD features and uses
4. I sail on Lake Erie, and do not typically travel more than 45 miles at a time.
5. The gauges and thru-hulls on my C&C 35 Mk 1 are very old (analog)
With all of this in mind, here's my dilemma:
I want to install an MFD, and replace my instrumentation.
I have no need of duplicate info, other than speed (on the bulkhead for trim crew would be ideal) anywhere other than the helm.
I'm leaning towards a Garmin 720s to install this year, standalone, and then replace my current 3 thru-hulls (2 speed and 1 depth) with a single triducer, and replace the masthead anemomter next year.
I keep hearing that I should stay with Raymarine, but the price is about 30% higher, and I don't find the user interface/intuitiveness very good.
Any advice or comments?
Welcome to a fellow 35 C&C owner. We have an 83 C&C 35 MKIII k/c named Haleakula. We are home prted in the Chesapeake and cruise to New ngland and the LI Sound for 3 weeks every summer.
I think both units are good units and would meet your needs. We had a Raymarine C-80 and ST60 instuments, analog radar as well as the autopilot X-5 and were very happy with them. We were struck by lightning last summer and the insurance paid for us to replace it all so we looked at similar comparisons as you are now. I personally like having my depth seprate display in large numbers as it is the most important one, but thats a minor differece.
We decided to go with the Ramarine C95w as opposed to the E-7 series or the Garmin 720. The reason was that the screen was a little lot larger and with radar you could split screen easily or lay on top of the topgraphy. The E-7 is a nice uint also with a dual processor.
The advantages I felt were
That my other instruments were on the same network brand although I use NMEA ( universal) for my connections not seatalk which is Raymarine proprietary. The unit has both capabilities.
The Raymarine can be accesed with an IPAD or I phone and you can have a dual charplotter in real time below or in the cockpit. If you plan a course with waypoints on your I pad at home or below you can wirelessly download it on to the chartplotter. So with a tablet its like you get a seocnd chartplotter.
I prefer the looks of Navionics charts as opposed to the Garmin proprietary ones. The Navionics is also updatable through a computer while the Garmin is not.
Raymarine has wireless and bluetooh technology while Garmin does not.
The wind, autopilot, depth and speed can be displayed on both chartplotters.
I have not had, nor my wife trouble in figuring out the user friendliness of the Raymarine. It easy and if you can work a smart phone no sweat for either.
Some say Raymarine techbnical support can be suspect, but I have never had an issue with them and had my inquireies answer.
Like I said you cant go wrong with either and they are both good quality. There are good deal packages with didgital radar now, and I think the Raymarine is giving away a free tablet with theirs.
Feel free to PM me and join the C&C owners group if you havent already
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