Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
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Re: Garmin Echomap Plus series chartplotter & sailing
The Garmin Touchscreen devices are hybrid interface - meaning they have touchscreen AND real buttons.
Every marine touchscreen that I have used (from Garmin, Raymarine, B&G) does work when wet. The marine touchscreens are not the same as smart phones. Either way, the hybrid interface is the best because you can use the touchscreen or you can use buttons - whichever you prefer. The larger Garmin units have the hybrid interface. You stated you wanted a bigger screen to make it easier to see - sounds like a 7" screen would be better than a 6"
I have connected non-garmin NMEA 2000 devices to my garmin plotter and it worked well and was easy to do. Same thing with my B&G plotter and non garmin instruments (Raymarine). The plotter will send information to a raymarine plotter. However, only a Raymarine plotter can CONTROL a Raymarine autopilot. By control I mean you can activate the autopilot to steer to a heading, steer to a wind angle (if you have wind information), steer to a waypoint, or navigate a route. The garmin plotter will not do that. Instead you can find a waypoint and navigate to it. To have the autopilot navigate to the waypoint will require you to activate that function on the raymarine autopilot control head. In reality this is NOT a big deal, but is something you should be aware of.
Another reason you may want the same chartplotter manufacturer as autopilot manufacturer is that if there is a software upgrade for the pilot the chartplotter can be used to download the new firmware to the pilot. Without the same make plotter you would need to send the AP control unit back to a service center.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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