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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > raymarine service sucks
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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-06-2013 10:03 AM
Shinook
Re: raymarine service sucks

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwindward View Post
The hopelessly vague written materials that come with Raymarine electronics these days are a pale shade in comparison.
I just installed a i50 depth display and the documentation was atrocious, I couldn't believe how bad it was. The installation instructions were barely acceptable.

OTOH, the manual for my ST2000+ is well written and detailed.
08-06-2013 09:56 AM
szigi
Re: raymarine service sucks

I've found the Raymarine Technical Forum useful and very responsive. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful, they sometimes even post service documentation and information.
From some of the topics it looks like people who tried in vain to get support over the phone get help here from RM people.
Of course a good on-line support is not an excuse to neglect other means of customer relations.
08-05-2013 02:50 PM
L124C
Re: raymarine service sucks

My depth instrument has developed an issue. I'm currently waiting for tech "support" in NH to answer my call (20 minutes so far). They are still playing a scratchy version of "Classical Gas" over and over while you are on hold. C'mon guys....wasn't that a tune from the 70's? Though, considering the value of the Raymarine advice I've received in the past, the title might be appropriate!

After 22 minutes on hold from CA to NH, a recording told me to ; "Leave your number before a brief message, and after the brief message. Do not forget to leave your number before the message".
UNBELIEVABLE! 22 minutes of Classical Gas for that?! UN f***ing believable!

Edit: Raymarine returned my call three hours later and got voicemail. The rep said "if you still need help call (same number I called before)".
Called the number this morning, was on hold for 22 minutes and went through the same drill above. So...they masochistically have the device set at 22 minutes of hold and Classical Gas, before it kicks you to voicemail. Why not 5, or better yet....instantly if that's where I will end up anyway? It's insane, and shows contempt for the customer! If the technical forum or facebook is the answer (as suggested here), why even offer the phone?
07-20-2013 08:18 AM
aaronwindward
Re: raymarine service sucks

Oh, and I forgot to follow up on the most topical part:

Raymarine's service does really suck, if you try anything other than telephone, apparently. By suck, I mean it's hit or miss; I suspect some people get good stuff right off the bat, and some don't.

However, with persistence, you'll get through. I think Raymarine is making a huge business mistake by leaving themselves open to a competitor who is able to run a basically-operational customer service department. The marine world has long viewed itself as an exception to the usual rules, but it's obvious to me that things are starting to change. Once companies who have their crap together start reaching the consumer, they'll drop the sketchy companies immediately.

Nowhere is this more obvious than the complete take-over of the chandlery market by West Marine. I was in a typical chandlery today, the kind that is well-stocked in some regards, and not very well stocked on other regards, and has at least half of the shelves devoted to strange items that obviously haven't sold in a decade and probably never will. I asked about a mast light they obviously didn't have; the guy was sort of hazy on whether it was likely the other guy had ordered more of them yet, and best case, it would be two weeks. Ultimately, he pulled out the West Marine catalog, and told me I should probably just order from it.

Raymarine has a great legacy coming from Raytheon, with a historical track record of solid products. My old 1970s Raytheon depth sounder came with a complete manual, including a technical theory of operation, detailed specifications, and a mostly-complete circuit diagram, enabling repair of the circuit board itself by any technician. The hopelessly vague written materials that come with Raymarine electronics these days are a pale shade in comparison.
07-20-2013 08:06 AM
aaronwindward
Re: raymarine service sucks

It's been busy, so I haven't been able to update, but stuff has happened.

First, my biggest issue was software updates. When I first installed everything, I updated to the latest of everything that I could get. (I have problems because most updates were not compatible with Raymarine's most recent chartplotter line; they are slowly fixing this, but they're not there yet.)

However, subsequently, in the past few months, they've released future major updates that made things make so much more sense. Most important, the p70 update fixed 'jog' so it actually works, which now makes mounting the pilot a sane operation. I have no idea how they missed this for the first year or two this thing was on sale. (Supposedly, the Raymarine engineering team is/was in major turmoil due to the financial problems and FLIR acquisition, that really messed everything up.)

I don't know how this happened, but the wind data message is basically bogus and misleading; the problem is that my p70 had some generic vessel type instead of 'sailboat,' and nothing made it clear that this is why the wind vane mode wasn't available. I had set this before, but somewhere in there, maybe an update, or a device reset, it got set back. (Why it's not available unconditionally I have no idea; surely a powerboat just as easily might want to send a wind-relative course.)

The startup issue turned out to be a bug fixed in a recent update; like above, I have no idea how their QA department didn't realize that the first release of their product couldn't be turned on without mashing random keys until an update nearly a year later.

The shutdown issue turns out to be a bug, which the support guy had never heard of, and made a report for. Like the above, I have no idea how they possibly did not notice that their latest chartplotter freaks out when turning off the system.

As someone who works in software, I tend to be pretty critical in general of other software when it's obvious that there have been basic design or methodology problems; but this is just bizarre. Maybe Raymarine had to lay the QA department off, and there was literally no one else available to test their software? This is just so weird.

By the way, before I learned the foregoing, I carefully checked the Seatalkng and wiring again. It turns out the main wire from the battery to the distribution panel is undersized, at least for my loads. Also, there's major problems on the previously-existing bus block. There's all of this crazy stuff tied in to it, most of it mysterious or unlabeled, and lots of corrosion and connector stacking. I don't think this was a major contributor to my problem, but it's definitely something that I need to remedy.

(I didn't notice it before because there was a beefy wire leading away from the battery that I thought was going to the distribution panel, but in fact, was a wire inexplicably leading nowhere.)
07-03-2013 09:04 AM
Maine Sail
Re: raymarine service sucks

Quote:
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...??
07-03-2013 08:11 AM
Shinook
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...
07-03-2013 03:17 AM
aaronwindward
Re: raymarine service sucks

Quote:
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinook View Post
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.
07-02-2013 04:45 PM
Maine Sail
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.
07-02-2013 04:25 PM
miatapaul
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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