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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 03-09-2013
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MFD - Garmin 720 vs Raymarine E7

Folks;
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?
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Old 03-11-2013
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Re: MFD - Garmin 720 vs Raymarine E7

Quote:
Originally Posted by aelkin View Post
Folks;
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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Old 03-11-2013
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Re: MFD - Garmin 720 vs Raymarine E7

I have an E7 and a C&C 35 Mk III. The Garmin Ilooked at did nothave a mouse or cursor. To me that was a big difference. Its easier to control the mouse in a sea. Just one man's opinion.
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Old 03-12-2013
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Re: MFD - Garmin 720 vs Raymarine E7

jf and chef;

Thanks so much for your replies! Chef especially, this is precisely the kind of feedback I was looking for.
Much appreciated!

It's especially nice to hear from other C&C 35 owners!!

Cheers,
Andy
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Old 03-12-2013
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Re: MFD - Garmin 720 vs Raymarine E7

As it happens we just sat through a seminar last night at our club on this topic. The fellow giving the talk was quite knowledgeable, was an installer/service provider rather than a retailer so had some pretty unbiased, open comments on the various options out there today.

His overriding theme was that if you DON'T like/enjoy/get along with computers and complex user manuals & features then Garmin is the way to go. Good price point, adequate functionality, easy easy user interface and well backed up with good reliability stats.

Seems to address your situation.

btw.. apparently Garmin has created a charting app that is very inexpensive.. I'm off to check it out now, but you could supplement your Garmin unit with a iPad or whatever that way as a backup.
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Old 03-13-2013
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Re: MFD - Garmin 720 vs Raymarine E7

Faster;
That truly does address my situation - thanks so much for sharing that information. Really supports my gut feeling on the way I should go.

I suspect Raymarine's product is a good one, and truthfully, I found their instruction/installation instructions really simple in the past. I spent about an hour with each of the Garmin and Ray reps at the Toronto Boat show, and the Garmin guy was just so much more enjoyable, charismatic, and enthusiastic. The product also seemed to address most of my concerns.
I think my mind is made up!

Cheers, and thanks again!!


Andy
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