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Old 22-07-2008, 07:12   #1
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Chartplotter & Radar - Garmin or Raymarine

I need advice as I must make a decision soon. I need to buy a chartplotter and a radar but still undecided between Garmin 4208 and radar and the Raymarine C80 and radar. Prices are fairly similar. I will also add a AIS (SR-161). I have a slight preference for Garmin, it is preloaded and easier to install I am told. I also have had good history with Garmin GPS. However, I have St-60 instruments (Seatalk) which could be interface with Raymarine. Or is it possible to convert Seatalk to NMEA format for the Garmin. Please feel free to offer any advice on these products and their installation.
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Old 22-07-2008, 08:02   #2
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The garmin can connect and read info from the Raymarine. I would go Garmin, especially if you are mainly cruising in the US and Bahamas.
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Old 22-07-2008, 08:09   #3
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Maduro,

Where are you intending to cruise? One factor is the quality of the electronic charts. If you intend to cruise the Bahamas I would definitely get the Garmin. Their chart chips of the Bahamas are much more accurate than the Navionics chips (Raymarine) which is full of geo-referencing errors. If I had it to do over I would definitely not get the Raymarine. Last year cruisers in the Bahamas sent Raymarine a petition concerning the lack of accuracy in the Navionics Bahamas charts. I don't think it will change Navionics' thinking as I pointed out quite a few specific errors to them four years ago and all they said was they had a new chip but would not answer my specific questions as to what had been changed. It turned out that the new chip was worse than my old one (I had a chance to compare it with mine as another cruiser had the "new" chip.) Apparently the "old" chip which I had contained bits of Explorer chart data which Navionics was not licensed to use and had to remove from the "new" chips. For some reason Navionics refuses to license Explorer charts whereas Garmin and C-Map do. As for the hardware I have heard nothing but good about the Garmin. The Raymarine works well too. If only good charts went with it. I have the C80 and 2kw radar. I think the ST 60's are NMEA compliant.
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Old 22-07-2008, 08:22   #4
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Maduro- besides the great info provided by Vasco, you might also want to consider all the interfaces that you may want to accomplish with your electronics. We have the Raymarine C-80, seatalk instruments, and the SR-161 AIS. All of this is also interfaced with our computer (as a back-up navigation program), SSB/Pactor modem, and gps data to our VHF and SSB. The raymarine output needs to be set on a high-speed baud rate for the AIS, which is incompatible with the gps and sea-talk data going to the computer and other instruments. As a result, we had to install a multi-plexer (no big deal, but another piece of equipment and expense). We know that the set-up with Raymarine will work... you might want to see if Garmin will support your overall needs. And the your cruising area might also be a factor in deciding what charts will work best for you. At the time of our purchase, navionics was better for the south Pacific. In Mexico, we find the electronic charts to be up to a couple of miles off. No big deal, in that we wouldn't want to rely on the accuracy of those charts in close quarters. In limited visiblity, radar is much better.

If I were to replace our system, I wouldn't totally rule out Raymarine, but I would sure look at Garmin and others.

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Old 22-07-2008, 11:21   #5
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Thanks jzk, Vasco and Sailabel,
You have been a great help. I am heading for the Bahamas in the fall. My equipment will be Garmin and the SR-l6l (with dedicated VHF ant.) will be installed on an new arch. I only have to determine which Seatalk/NMEA bridge is best for my application. Any suggestion?
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Old 22-07-2008, 13:04   #6
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Raymarine's own NMEA - SeaTalk - PC converter will do the job for $50 less than a multiplexor.
Garmin is the best choice; it has four seperate nmea ports that can be individually set to defferent speeds, which takes care of the AIS issue.
Please think about including XM weather on your shopping list so you can see thunderstorms coming a hundred miles away!
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Old 22-07-2008, 13:25   #7
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Raymarine maintenance is great

When we were out cruising, we had Raymarine instruments that were quite old. Several times I needed repairs in a short period of time and Raymarine was great. Overnighted parts to them, fixed the next day and overnighted back to me. Can't beat that service.

The integrated Radar/Chartplotter works better on Raymarine and MARPA is better on Raymarine. Just my opinions.
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Old 22-07-2008, 18:02   #8
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While there might be more expensive sailing instruments, Raymarine hits the spot in terms of price and performance. but....

When it comes to electronic navigation, Opinions vary, Hans! (anybody who doesn't have one is probably just plain boring!) I am biased toward Garmin even though I have owned both brands for navigation.

As of five minutes ago, Boating & Fishing Forum - The Hull Truth has 1898941 posts in 183026 threads across 49 forums. There are 82164 registered users. It has 30,000 daily hits. The electronics forum has had several strings comparing the Radars and MARPA functions of Garmin and Raymarine chartplotters. The consensus is that Garmin is superior. It is also less expensive and simpler to install, and the user interface is much better. Similarly, Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog (which is far more technical) has questioned the accuracy or useability of Raymarine's MARPA function, but finds even Garmin's least expensive radar implements MARPA very well. Many of Panbo's contributors are professional mariners. Read to the end of the current discussion to get the final word.

This is not to say that Raymarine's MARPA is inferior; only that Garmin's is preferrable. After all, there aren't many people around who can compare the two on the same boat at the same time! [but they would be my kind of nut for sure!]
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Old 23-07-2008, 14:22   #9
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I have a 4208 with ST-60 instruments. The RM Autopilot will accept NEMA from the Garmin but will fall out of sync sometimes for waypiont tracking. I do not care if boat speed or depth is not displayed on the chartplotter. I abhore Raymarine map presentation and its menu system.
I will be getting the Garmin radar in the future.
I was getting a 1.8 voltage drop using the existing AWG 16 wire which includes the Tridata display. I ran a seperate 16 marine grade circuit but it is still not acceptable so I will doulbe up the 16 hot and ground.
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Old 23-07-2008, 14:43   #10
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Capbillh,
My ST-60+ autopilot is presently hook up to a Garmin 276c and has the same problems tracking as yours. I however does not understand which wires you are referring to, is it wires supplying 12v to the 4208 or wires that bridge the SeaTalk system to the 4208?
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Old 23-07-2008, 18:09   #11
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I am referring to the power circuit. The existing AWG 16 feeds the old chartplotter, Tridata and wind displays with the Autopilot display feeding from the S2 controller box. The yellow data wire and ground run between all 3 RM displays. Now the Garmin which draw 3.2 amps has it own Anchor boat cable of AWG 16 tinned stranded. I will parallel the 3rd wire in the sheath. Thwe voltage drop is still about 1 volt. The spec calls for AWG 14 for extended runs.
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Old 23-07-2008, 20:03   #12
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Thank you Capbillh for this valuable information. Because I am adding three additionnal receivers, I will bring another feed from the electrical panel and re-arrange power distribution to the console.
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Old 24-07-2008, 05:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capbillh View Post
... The voltage drop is still about 1 volt. The spec calls for AWG 14 for extended runs.
A 1 volt drop (@ 12.5 V nominal) is about 8%, considerably higher than the 3% maximum Vd (0.375 V) recommended for "essential equipment", but less than the 10% permitted for non-essential equipment (eg: lighting).
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Old 24-07-2008, 09:08   #14
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Damn. Back to the store. Lets see, thats 20' of 14ga, new connectors, bigger fuses, heat shrink tubing, liquid soap, more bandaids and antiseptic, another bottle of aspirin, what else?
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Old 25-07-2008, 02:52   #15
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Damn. Back to the store. Lets see, thats 20' of 14ga, new connectors, bigger fuses, heat shrink tubing, liquid soap, more bandaids and antiseptic, another bottle of aspirin, what else?
Only other obvious thing is a six pack

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