been cruising outside the US for 10 years.
left with the most expensive set of Raymarine instruments money
they never all worked at once in 10 years.
i kept sending them back during hurricane
season from all manner of
and they would fix one and another would break (mostly software
Finally they told me the units were out of warranty and refused to look at them again without a large fee. They never did work till i used them for target practice. They worked fine at accepting lead.
I am an engineer
and carry a full test bench as well as hundreds of generic spare linear and digital parts
when i travel.
Off central america
(like 100 miles off) i came across a single
hander whose raymarine autopilot
was broken. I traced the problem to a power regulator
in the head
. The chip number was unreadable. I contacted raymarine by winlink email
and asked them for the chip number off the schematic so i could jury rig a repair to get this guy and his 50 footer home (a dangerous undertaking without an autopilot single
handed on that size boat).
They told me not only no, but hell no. Regardless that it was a matter of safety and i was willing to sign any non disclosures they demanded (just to get a standard commercial
part number, geeeezz).
when my own raymarine autopilot went south,
they refused to fix it (too old).
they also refused to send me the schematic so i could fix it if they wouldn't.
they then refused to send me the obsolete bus protocols
so i could jury rig it.
however they did offer to give me a paltry discount on a new $3000 setup.
(i ended up hacking the protocols myself to get it working)
I called garmin with a request for their bus protocols so i could interface some unique equipment
. They asked me to check their website in a week.
What I found was a complete and high quality design document with all details including descriptions of the proprietary ones which i didn't expect.
Raymarine makes a great marketing pitch
, but i find their service
and support to be sub par to say the least. They don't seem to realize that people actually install their equipment
on boats and that those boats move to places that are not 2 miles from a West Marine
Garmin has always been forthcoming when working on both my equipment and others.
I will always trade
that extra bell and whistle for something that actually works and that the manufacturer stands behind. Hopefully raymarine will improve but as a guy fixing this stuff at sea my money
is all in garmin and maretron (a truly impressive newcomer) now.