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post #11 of 25 Old 05-20-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

I had our Raymarine wheel auto pilot go bad. I sent it by overnight courier on a Tuesday afternoon to to the service depot in Halifax (we live in New Brunswick - the next province over). I called them Wednesday to confirm they had it. They called me Thursday to say it was ready. My friend was driving the five hours back from a visit to Halifax that day and he picked it up for me. I had it in my hands that Thursday evening. Less than 48 hours after I shipped it out.

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post #12 of 25 Old 05-20-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

I have used my st 1000 for two seasons and it never made it thru a full season. When I got it back the first time it didn't work correctly. It would hold a heading but that was it the built in compass was not adjustable. I haven't used it yet this year so not sure if it works right or not. Turn around was about 60 days. $250 each time to fix it plus shipping. It will not be sent to them a third time. Will be purchasing a Simard.
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post #13 of 25 Old 07-01-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

I am having serious problems with Raymarine's service as well. I've had major problems with my Raymarine installation since I got it, and I've been unable to make contact with their support at all.

Backstory: I stay extremely busy with my job and other obligations, which means most of my time for messing with the boat is at odd hours and an irregular schedule; I frequently have to put boat projects on a haitus for a while. As far as I know, my Raymarine system is configured in the preferred way, in a normal setup, with no legacy baggage or compatibility with third-party hardware; everything should just work.

1) I sent a support ticket to Raymarine late last year: Problems Installing SP X-5 Tiller and p70r[Incident: 2EFFF9D5CACC]. I've never heard back. I checked the web interface for ticket status, and looks like the contents of the ticket have been 'wiped.'
2) Last week, I sent a forum post to their forums with essentially the same information. This afternoon, I observe that the forum post appears to have been deleted. There is no response that I can discern.
3) I attempted to call them, but I stayed on hold for about half an hour, and the automated voice said that if it's longer than 20 minutes, I should just leave a message. I didn't, because my schedule is really full right now, and I don't have the option of having a potentially long personal phone call come it at some random time.

Prior to attempting to contact Raymarine, I'd spoke with the local Raymarine dealer a few times on the phone; I wasn't really getting what I needed from them. I think they don't normally do stuff for sailboats or something, despite claiming to be a large dealer. They had only a vague idea of what the deal with my problem was, and suggested that maybe I should apply updates--which is not readily possible for me, because Raymarine doesn't seem to make updates that are compatible with the latest series of its MFDs. (?!?!?) They also seemed to think that at least one of my problems we the way it's supposed to be (broken). The entire experience made me feel like they weren't really the right people for me, and that I was better off talking to Raymarine directly.

Maybe the fail here is that I tried to contact them by some method other than phone, and that I wasn't willing to wait for hours on hold during the workday. (No evening or telephone support is available.)

I'm starting tofeel like the only way Raymarine's service could get worse is if they actively started coming to my boat and sabotaging my equipment while I was sleeping.

I don't really know what's going on here though. I've tried to do everything the right way; I understand how some people with serious sketchy configurations aren't always going to get a good support experience, like people who have bought some crappy off-brand thing and are trying to link it up. But I paid top dollar, and tried to get everything working right, and things are failing, due to no fault of my own (that can discern).

In case it's useful to someone, I have a SPX-5 tiller pilot, p70 control head, e97 MFD with depth sounder, iTC-5 wind tranducer, and i70 display, all running on Seatalkng, all installed to Raymarine recommended specs. The basic problem is the autopilot can't get wind data, and the autopilot has weird problems when starting up and shutting down. I also can't get it to 'jog' which is a serious problem with a tiller pilot; the manual isn't completely clear on whether this should be supported or not, but if it isn't, I can't figure out how to safely turn the pilot on.
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post #14 of 25 Old 07-02-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

It seems folks have mixed experience with Raymarine products. I've talked to people that had tiller pilots from them that weathered many years and storms, but others that barely survived one rainstorm before going haywire.

I can't help but wonder if some of these issues are caused by improper installation or storage (not necessarily in the OPs case).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwindward View Post
In case it's useful to someone, I have a SPX-5 tiller pilot, p70 control head, e97 MFD with depth sounder, iTC-5 wind tranducer, and i70 display, all running on Seatalkng, all installed to Raymarine recommended specs. The basic problem is the autopilot can't get wind data, and the autopilot has weird problems when starting up and shutting down. I also can't get it to 'jog' which is a serious problem with a tiller pilot; the manual isn't completely clear on whether this should be supported or not, but if it isn't, I can't figure out how to safely turn the pilot on.
How far is the autopilot from the information/power sources and what gauge wire did you use between them?

What do you mean by 'jog'?
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post #15 of 25 Old 07-02-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

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2) Last week, I sent a forum post to their forums with essentially the same information. This afternoon, I observe that the forum post appears to have been deleted. There is no response that I can discern.
This is just what they do. If a forum post potentially makes them look bad they apparently just delete the posts. (I have written proof of this from Raymarine if anyone feels the need to question this statement.)

There was an issue with the conversion from the ST6000 head to the P70 head on the Wheel Pilots and they began shipping a 3' cable for use between the control head and course computer instead of the 10m cable they used to ship..

I spoke with my inside contacts about it at length and was assured this was a mistake and it would get fixed ASAP. They sent me an appropriate length cable at no charge. Three months later I install another one, a direct order, and the same issue. I emailed management and zero response, I emailed again and zero response. My contacts said they "ran it up the chain"...

I finally documented all of this, very politely, and posted it on the forum and it was deleted within 24 hours. It did elicit a response however and that response was basically "we don't care" about this issue.

I've still yet to find a single sailboat where a wheel pilot control head could be mounted 3' from the course computer but Raymarine could care less and apparently SQUASHES any real solid issues brought to light on their forum..

They had gotten pretty darn good at customer service but in the last year things seem to have changed.

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post #16 of 25 Old 07-02-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This is just what they do. If a forum post potentially makes them look bad they apparently just delete the posts. (I have written proof of this from Raymarine if anyone feels the need to question this statement.)

There was an issue with the conversion from the ST6000 head to the P70 head on the Wheel Pilots and they began shipping a 3' cable for use between the control head and course computer instead of the 10m cable they used to ship..

I spoke with my inside contacts about it at length and was assured this was a mistake and it would get fixed ASAP. They sent me an appropriate length cable at no charge. Three months later I install another one, a direct order, and the same issue. I emailed management and zero response, I emailed again and zero response. My contacts said they "ran it up the chain"...

I finally documented all of this, very politely, and posted it on the forum and it was deleted within 24 hours. It did elicit a response however and that response was basically "we don't care" about this issue.

I've still yet to find a single sailboat where a wheel pilot control head could be mounted 3' from the course computer but Raymarine could care less and apparently SQUASHES any real solid issues brought to light on their forum..

They had gotten pretty darn good at customer service but in the last year things seem to have changed.
Well the sad part is they are now really the only game in town if you want a wheel pilot with any kind of external control. The only other option is CPT and it is limited in features. Since Simrad dropped out of the wheel pilot business, though I have heard there share of complaints about them too. Perhaps Garmin should jump into the game. Lots of folks don't want to drop the coin for a below deck pilot.
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-02-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by miatapaul View Post
Well the sad part is they are now really the only game in town if you want a wheel pilot with any kind of external control. The only other option is CPT and it is limited in features. Since Simrad dropped out of the wheel pilot business, though I have heard there share of complaints about them too. Perhaps Garmin should jump into the game. Lots of folks don't want to drop the coin for a below deck pilot.
And the Ray WP's are pretty good units if properly installed and you trim your sails & balance the boat before loading them up.

Yes Ray is the only game in town on WP's but Garmin is now offering some very decent below deck stuff as well as Simrad. The CPT is rugged but really lacking in the integration department.

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post #18 of 25 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

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Originally Posted by Shinook View Post
How far is the autopilot from the information/power sources and what gauge wire did you use between them?
I'd have to check on the boat for the wire size; all wires are speced for less than 3% drop at the maximum circuit draw, probably 12-14 AWG in this case. Since this happens when the device is on standby, I tend to think that's not the issue. However, you're right that it might be very reasonable to double-check; I will do this the next time I'm at the boat.

I'd also have to check the distance; the distance from the pilot to the instruments is probably about 10', mostly on a Seatalkng spur cable. My understanding from the manuals is that this is totally OK. Everything other than the pilot is all in the same compartment/bulkhead, very close. The only thing remotely weird about the setup is that I don't have a knotmeter attached to the network.

I've tried rearranging the Seatalkng data cables to see if this had some effect, and it didn't.

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What do you mean by 'jog'?
By jog, I mean manually extend or retract the tiller using the control head. The manual says not to force the ram in or out, and the dealer said that there is no clutch that can be disengaged in standby. That poses a problem when trying to engage the autopilot, since the length of the arm generally is not correct when I need to physically place it on the tiller pin. So what I have to do is steer way off course until the tiller is in the right place, then put the autopilot on, and then hit 'Auto' and hope the pilot corrects before I slam into the bulk freighter docked at the edge of the channel.

Is there something fundamental that I'm not understanding about how tiller pilots work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This is just what they do. If a forum post potentially makes them look bad they apparently just delete the posts. (I have written proof of this from Raymarine if anyone feels the need to
On at least this occasion, it appears to have been a mistake. I received back this comment from the moderator today, in response to a private message:

Quote:
I have looked into your account and don't see an inquiry in the system. We don't purge any inquiries in the system, unless they don't follow the forum rules or there is a duplicate created by the member by accident. Please re-submit your inquiry and we will make sure you are responded to. I apologize for the confusion.
Of course I am positive I originally posted it, as it is in Google's web cache, so who knows what this means.

In any case, I've reposted it: SPX-5 wind data on p70, and other autopilot issues - Raymarine Technical Forum

I also contacted Raymarine's Facebook page, not so much for tech support, since that doesn't seem like the right venue, but to let them know I was having serious problems with their service. I received the following response:

Quote:
Thanks for posting, and sorry to hear you are having trouble. I sent a copy of your message over to technical support. Someone will be in touch shortly.
I'm not holding my breath that this will be resolved by my overnight sailing trip this weekend, but I suppose we'll see. In part, I suspect that some component might just be defective, which would make me sad, since everything is new.
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post #19 of 25 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwindward View Post
I'd have to check on the boat for the wire size; all wires are speced for less than 3% drop at the maximum circuit draw, probably 12-14 AWG in this case. Since this happens when the device is on standby, I tend to think that's not the issue. However, you're right that it might be very reasonable to double-check; I will do this the next time I'm at the boat.
Some of your symptoms sounded like it may be due to a power issue, I could be wrong, of course, but that would be the first thing I'd check.

I'm not sure about your specific model, but I was mildly annoyed when I bought a larger gauge wire for mine (I had to run a pretty good distance), only to find the adapter wouldn't fit the larger wire.

Quote:
By jog, I mean manually extend or retract the tiller using the control head. The manual says not to force the ram in or out, and the dealer said that there is no clutch that can be disengaged in standby. That poses a problem when trying to engage the autopilot, since the length of the arm generally is not correct when I need to physically place it on the tiller pin. So what I have to do is steer way off course until the tiller is in the right place, then put the autopilot on, and then hit 'Auto' and hope the pilot corrects before I slam into the bulk freighter docked at the edge of the channel.
I am glad that I'm not the only one that hasn't figured this out yet. Granted, I haven't had an opportunity with enough space to really try and figure it out, but I'm gonna make a point of it next time we go out.

I've had mixed luck getting it on, about half the time it goes on and keeps the course just fine from the start, the other half I end up swerving everywhere until I get it setup. There has to be a better way...
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post #20 of 25 Old 07-03-2013
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Re: raymarine service sucks

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Originally Posted by aaronwindward View Post


I'm not holding my breath that this will be resolved by my overnight sailing trip this weekend, but I suppose we'll see. In part, I suspect that some component might just be defective, which would make me sad, since everything is new.

Some of the typical problems are often the easiest.

SeaTalkng terminators??? NO OPEN ENDS!

SeaTalkng powered??? Did you power the SeaTalkng bus???

Are you sure everything is physically connected to the right systems? Legacy SeaTalk, SeaTalkng etc. etc. etc...??

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-03-2013 at 08:08 AM.
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