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Gene T 10-02-2012 09:14 PM

Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
I have all Raytheon stuff about 12 years old. The cockpit repeater unit quit working last trip. Worked fine one the day but will not power up now. RC530. Wiring checks out ok and I plugged in a spare B&W base unit and it powers up just fine. The base unit is a RL70RC and works fine. The Radar is connected to the base unit.

I don't know who repairs these or if it is cost effective. So, it gets me thinking about upgrading. I am guessing none of my equipment will interface with the new stuff.

I am not in crisis mode as I can use the B&W unit in the cockpit, still have the base unit below while I can try to find an inexpensive replacement RC530.

But what about modernizing. Or piecemeal modernizing. How about a modern stand alone chart plotter for the helm, use the old stuff when I need radar. I hate spending money on this old stuff when it could be applied to newer equipment.

BTW: This older Raytheon stuff is a PITA to use. Nothing intuitive about it.

Comments and opinions welcome, I need education on the new electronics and good models. Someone mentioned the Garmin 740s in a thread recently.

Thanks all


poopdeckpappy 10-02-2012 11:18 PM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
I say down with hi tech and up with old school, it's more fun and it never fails unless there's rum envolved.

chef2sail 10-02-2012 11:18 PM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
All sorts of options out there. Your radar will probably not work with any new Chartplotter besides its worth it to try and get a discount though a bundle. The upgraded digital radar is light years better.

I went recently from a Raymarine C80 to c90w. All my indtruments can stand alone, but are also integrated through the Seatalk system including the autilot.

The amount and instrumentation you need depends on the type sailingyou do. We always plot our course on real charts concurrent with using electronics, especially when offshore , but in one sense the redundancy as well as accuracy of new cart plotters can also increase te safety factor. When entering different harbors / anchorages the its nice to have the electronic assist.

I am sure others will recommend other brands, so I won't get into hat. Suffice it to say the new Rymarine is certainly user friendly nough my wife can operate it.


Gladrags1 10-03-2012 05:46 AM

Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
4 Attachment(s)
My Chartplotter also needs to be replaced this winter. I am leaning towards the Standard Horizon 390i which has a 7" color screen as the replacement but would like to see a working display first. Part of the difficulty of this on line world is finding stores that actually display a working unit so you can go in and push buttons and stuff. I looked at Garmin 541 series and rejected that because there is not enough depth detail when zooming out on the small screen. I haven't located a Garmin 7" screen plotter to play with yet. I am going to the boat show this weekend and hope there will be lots of models to check out. I liked the Raymarine e7 unit which seems very capable but again, no working models set up in local stores. As far as costs go, it seems that the Standard Horizon is most cost effective.

My biggest concern is ability to see enough depth data when zooming out. All show it when zooming in close but lose significant detail when zooming out. That is something I need to see for myself.

I do route planning at home on my computer and then transfer it to the plotter. I know that current models have SD card slots for charts. Do you use that to download routes from computer to plotter and visa versa? Currently I have to bring my plotter (Garmin 162) home to connect to the computer. It would be nice to speak with a clerk that knows the different units! Do you need to purchase a separate program for the computer to be able to do route planning etc to download to Chartplotter?

I hope I won't be disappointed at the show this weekend in Annapolis and that I will see a bunch of units up and running...


rbrake 10-03-2012 10:27 AM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
Some considerations: Much Raymarine stuff will require black boxes to keep differing generations talking to each other. Do you sail in waters where AIS is important and making sure all of the new stuff works with Raymarine's newest AIS.

chucklesR 10-03-2012 10:46 AM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
Raymarine e7d has my vote for chartplotter - hybrid touch screen, does everything from showing my AIS (from my SH 2150 vhf) to sonar/fishfinding and radar.

One simple connection and everything was up and running (used RM st60's for the wind etc..).
IN outfitting my new to me Irwin I'll be sticking to RM, the only change will be st70 displays because then I only need one.

chef2sail 10-03-2012 11:17 AM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
I like the Raymarine stuff too. The new AIS is great in the integration as well as with the new digital radar. My choice to go with the c90w was threefold. I already have st60 instruments and autopilot, and like chick said plug and played instantly.

1- The screens on these chartplotters get dirt/ salt mist on them so very easily because of the environment they are in. I have a C80 which I fastidiously kept clean with the proper wipes etc, but even so after 4 years the screen had scratches on it dulling the picture much the way a pair of older sunglasses has. This screen was not the principal way of finding data with a finger like the e series/ hybrids are. running you fingers on a screen with salt on it constantly ( gorilla glass or not) will eventually scratch it up
2-my wife will get us 5 menus ahead on a touch screen vrs buttons and dials
3- The screen on the c890w is larger/ the pixels on both were the same for clarity ( much better than my older c80), and I didnt need the wifi/ bluetooth

Both are good choices.

Gene T 10-03-2012 11:52 AM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
The C90w looks pretty good, but I notice it is already obsolete. Maybe get one while they last. Looking at them online I think the C90w might be a better unit than the newer C95. I could get a C90w now and replace the nav station unit with a newer panel mount with radar and AIS later. Newer models should be compatible with the C90w for several years I would hope.

I noticed the RC530's on ebay but $500+ w/o warranty or support is absurd, I would put that cash towards newer tech. History shows they sell for below $200, I can wait for more sensible sellers.

I need to get into a retail outlet and check out usability and charts. Ask questions about compatibility with my older ST60 instruments and the st7000+ autopilot.

I appreciate all your input.


chef2sail 10-05-2012 01:15 AM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
C90w and digital radar packages are very resona Bly priced right now. No matter what you buy it will ave an improved model in 6 months. Get one that lasts and meets your needs don't spend for features you won't ever use. All my ST69 instruments were constable with the C90w and are linked in.


Minnewaska 10-05-2012 06:25 AM

Re: Chartplotter died, time to upgrade?
If you can afford it, definitely upgrade. First, you will be grinning ear to ear for an entire season when you see the difference. Seriously. Second, it is one of the best ways to improve the value of your boat. However, not by the full investment. As a generality, your current stuff is literally worth zero. New models are worth about half what you pay for them, if you thought to sell or refinance your boat. If that sounds bad, consider that most anything else you spend on your boat is worth less in value, typically because you are just fixing stuff that isn't supposed to be broken or fully worn. Electronics are somewhat optional, however, on larger boats, modern electronics can be an expectation.

As a rule, I prefer to keep all systems from the same manufacturer: plotters, radar, autopilots, etc, etc. Whatever needs to talk to each other, that is. It keeps them from pointing figures at the other brand in the link, if and when you have an issue.

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