Originally Posted by Aaronjr
Do think it would be better to move to the e series? I am sure that would require wiring and separate transducer right?
I can tell you what made me choose the C-series wide over the E-series and maybe that will help you with your decision.
First of all, like most other people, when i've got a passage
planned in unfamiliar waters for the following day i'll have a glance at paper-charts and do a bit other planning with dividers etc. That'll lead to some port/anchorage decisions while be confirmed by flipping through a pilot guide. I'll then look at putting the route
into the chartplotter
so that I don't have to worry about it the next day. Nothing out of the ordinary here!
After some very cold nights shivering in front of the chartplotter
zooming, panning and dropping waypoints I realized that this step would be much better done down below.
The C-series (wide) plotters have a SeatalkHS connection. As I mentioned before, it's really just Cat5e with funky plugs to make it more difficult to use standard cabling rather than RM's own. It meant I could run a cable down to the nav-station from the chartplotter and plug my laptop
straight into that.. using RM's RNS software
I could pull up a 'soft' copy of the chartplotter remotely, even to point of being able to use the charts
on the Navionics
Platinum+ CF card which is located in the plotter. This way I could sit comfortably downstairs and do everything I would normally do, preparation wise, at the helm
This networking capability also permits you to connect multiple MFDs together, so you could have a mini-plotter at the helm
, and a bigger one downstairs or any other combination as long as each carries the SeatalkHS port - their only needs to be one 'master' on the network carrying the charts
on a card, and all of the other plotters/laptops will use that one chart down the network - so money
is saved here.
The C-series wide can also use a wide variety of charts, 3D charts and overlays. The SeatalkHS also is the default way of connecting to the new RM HD radar
systems. There's an option to connect a video feed in too, if required. You can overlap radar
on charts etc.
The C-series also has a built in 12-station GPS
, it connects to your autopilot
either through SeatalkNG (basically NMEA2k with funky plugs again and wiring conventions) and/or to your instruments using NMEA0183 or SeatalkNG or both. It also acts as a comms hub master, so will combine all of the different datasets and re-output them onto NMEA0183 if required (with the exception of the SeatalkHS data).
When I looked at all of the above and then compared with the E-series, i realised that there wasn't a great deal of difference except for the price and the fact that the E-series can also run from a large computerized master box. The impression I got was that the E-series was intended more for the super-yacht or large cruiser market, where major systems integration over many stations is more the vogue. However, for most people with a sail stretched above their heads the C-series would not only be more than adequate, but also offer some leeway when it comes to future-expansion of the systems.
When I went to buy the C120W, it was in the months just after the stock market crash and there were a lot of 'boat show specials' taking place even at websites not associated with any boat shows! I therefore bought a C140W which was the same price as the C120W for some reason or other.
I also bought a Digital Yacht iAIS system which plugs onto one end of the NMEA0183 system and has a higher speed output (AIS data) which runs back to the chartplotter to provide AIS
data. The system is mounted inside the binnacle to save wiring and has a WLAN antenna
. Basically, you connect to this with your iPad
, iPod etc. and you can have a near copy of your plotter on your remote device with all of the boat's NMEA
data there too (using iNAVx
or Digital Yacht's free app) in addition to AIS
The new C- and E series plotters have WIFI
built in, and RM offers a free app which can connect to these plotters and do a similar thing, but without the AIS data being there. It's quite handy when you're in the forward v-berth and you want to see what's going on - also means you can attend to false anchor-drag alarms without having to get out of bed!
Hope the above ramble helps your decision.