Here I am at the Miami
Show, looking around a room filled with bells, whistles and dollar signs. I came with the intent to get rid of some of my dollars in exchange for some of those bells & whistles, but have become really confused. So, dear sailing friends, help me out some, if you would.
instruments (tridata, ST60's), Raymarine autopilot
(a 6001+), an RC530+ plotter (uses C-Map
NT+ chips) and a Raymarine RL70C+ radar
. We have a couple of problems with the plotter and radar
, but the major one is that with our over 50 eyes, we simply can't see them very well! Also, in the intervening years there has been considerable progress both in hardware
, so we're looking at making some upgrades.
So, I'm seeking your advice and wisdom about the current
systems available and what you like and don't like about them.
Our intent: We would like a dedicated chartplotter
for the helm
station. The use for this would primarily be for the day to day sailing
functions. Particularly position and marker data for leaving/entering harbors, etc. We also want to use a PC nav system, primarily for planning, but also as inside-the-cabin nav station and for redundancy. It would be very nice if the two could communicate with each other without having to do a dance of burning and trading chips back and forth. It would also be nice to get radar overlay and weather
(a la XM or Sirius as long as we're in the footprint).
So far, I've been most attracted to the C-Map
Max cartography, both for the "look and feel" and that it seems to be a pretty economical system. Also, using Navsim's SailCruiser PC software
, one could use the same cartography at the PC.
However, many of the other systems certainly also seem attractive. Raymarine (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) would be easier to integrate with my current instruments and autopilot
, though I am leary of the stories I hear about their reliability
. Personally, I also find their software to be rather clunky and inelegant.
is offering a pretty good deal right now on their VX2 system, but the Navnet
3D looks way slick! However, I'm always suspicious of version 1 of anything, plus it simply isn't out yet and the prices of the 3D are pretty high. The VX2, though, has a lot of functionality, the prices are OK, but the largest screen
for the C-Map system is 10". That is on the less attractive side of things.
Northstar and SI-TEX seem nice. They have quite clear, large screens and the prices are decent. However, they were unsure about whether the Raymarine ST60 instruments would play nicely with them.
So, what advice, feedback and guidance can you offer? What experience have you had with the systems -- integration difficulties, software wierdnesses, etc.