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Old 07-07-2014, 20:16   #16
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

In the summer of 2010, I installed a complete Garmin electronics system with a 6208 chartplotter, radar, AIS, sonar and sailing instruments. Not only do my wife and I like the products very much but our sailing instruments are often the topic of conversation when other cruisers come on board. The displays are bright and easy-to-read even from the far end of the cockpit (our instruments are mounted above the companionway hatch). The chartplotter is easy to use and my wife, who tends to be technophobic, can perform any function without problem - building routes, recalling waypoints, tides at other locations, etc are all intuitive. Conversely, I spent a week on my brother's boat and even I struggled with his Raymarine system and I was in high tech for a living.

I did the installation myself and it was very straightforward. I love N2K! To interface our Garmin system to our Simrad autopilot took about two seconds and has been working flawlessly ever since.

We've cruised a little over 20,000 miles since we installed our Garmin package and we highly recommend it. One failure that we have had, though, is the wind sensor and we're going to replace that next week.

Fair winds and calm seas,
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Old 07-07-2014, 20:40   #17
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

This technology has come a long way in the last five years. The recent Garmin and Raymarine units are pretty fantastic.

But they both have more features than you'll ever use - and have developed a serious case of feature bloat. Who really needs a 3D display for basic navigation? All of this gee-whiz functionality comes at the cost of complexity.

I'll be the third person in this thread to give the nod to Garmin because both I and my wife find it easy to use. She uses the chartplotter more than I. This is a great convenience and safety factor.

So I would go down to the store with your wife and see which chartplotter is easier to use. If you need a manual - that's a bad sign. Just do basic things that you'll need to do all the time -- like setting a course and scrolling/zooming the chart. If, like me, you like to use "Course Up" rather than "North Up", be sure to check the legibility of the chart when North isn't up.
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Old 19-08-2014, 01:36   #18
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

I recently purchased a Raymarine e140w touchscreen and a 4kw HD radar. has anyone had experience with these units? I am hoping this system will be good for offshore and the south pacific
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Old 19-08-2014, 02:57   #19
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

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Originally Posted by leightonyachts View Post
I recently purchased a Raymarine e140w touchscreen and a 4kw HD radar. has anyone had experience with these units? I am hoping this system will be good for offshore and the south pacific

I've used e120w and that scanner. Good units. e series is a little long in the tooth and would prefer the " lighthouse " series software

Dave
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Old 19-08-2014, 04:50   #20
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

I just finished my first season with a new Garmin 740s chartplotter and I'm very happy.
I went with Garmin because it is N2k. The standard makes interconnections a breeze.
Other manufactures seem to use slight variations on N2k (at least as far as connectors)
which, for me, was almost worse than not being N2k.

I agree that the Garmin manual is weak. My only other beef is that when you
save data to a memory card to take home an play with, it is saved in some
proprietary format. That is very annoying.

I will likely go with more Garmin as I continue to upgrade my equipment.
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Old 19-08-2014, 05:44   #21
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

My wife and I really like the Garmin 5208 that we have. Very easy to use without a manual. Intuitive user interface that does everything we need it to do.
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Old 19-08-2014, 05:53   #22
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

Garmin has two strenths, easy to use, just simply intuitive, and outstanding customer service.
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Old 19-08-2014, 05:57   #23
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

We've had Garmin for 15+ years on our fishing boats, the new boat had Raymarine installed already- it quit working immediately so hubby decided he wanted plug and play and got the newest Raymarine that would plug right in so no fuss no muss. We hate it- don't know if it's becuase we were used to Garmin which as many have said, is very intuitive, but I won't even touch it and many times when we go where we know the water we don't even turn it on- it's a bit of a waste.
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Old 19-08-2014, 06:06   #24
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

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Originally Posted by MooGroc View Post
I went with Garmin because it is N2k. The standard makes interconnections a breeze.
Other manufactures seem to use slight variations on N2k (at least as far as connectors)
which, for me, was almost worse than not being N2k.
I don't know about Raymarine, but Navico (Simrad, B&G, Lowrance) and Furuno all use standard micro-c connections and standard communication PGN's. Probably most other manufacturers also.

These others provide more choices in charting formats than Garmin, if that is important.

Mark
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Old 19-08-2014, 06:17   #25
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

Garmin 5210 plotter, radar, VHF and AIS have mostly been good for me, problems with chartplotter were fixed with a no hassle warranty exchange.
Quite easy to get used to, but plotter generates a lot of heat.
Ray had hit a low point a few years ago, but acquisition by FLIR should have improved things greatly, and is already adding features.
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Old 25-08-2014, 11:29   #26
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

I had a 5 year old Garmin 4208 chart plotter that had been to the Caribbean and back for one winter plus 4-5 months of sailing during other years on my sailboat.

When I called about the paint that was lifting off on the body of the Unit above the screen so that I could repaint it properly, Garmin replaced the entire Unit at no charge. Outstanding service.
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Old 25-08-2014, 14:00   #27
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

I had a problem with my Garmin chartplotter not responding to touch. I called them and -with zero hassle - they were shipping out a new replacement the same day. The call took about 5 minutes.
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Old 28-08-2014, 01:42   #28
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

I have a Raymarine chartplotter that came with my boat about 5 years ago. I recently installed a new Garmin system as a back up and don't even turn on the Raymarine anymore....the Garmin is so much easier to use than the Raymarine .


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Old 29-08-2014, 12:28   #29
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

We had the E120w with wind instruments and pilot control on the previous boat. It was ok but, end of the time for them. A year later on a new boat we got the lighthouse series Raymarine e120 and the "i70-series" intruments and autopilot controls.

The new systems are much easier to use. The I70 instriuments very versatile with the many pages you can set up. For example I usualy use apparent wind wdile sailing, but true wind when docking in a marina or anchoring to judge the wind forces during tight turns better in advance.

3D - I never use it.

Raymarine has -finally- gone to a quick release schedule for the Lighthouse software. Every few months there are some great improvements. I find that quite important as the hardware does not become outdate so fast.

Navionics are probably the worst charts for the Bahamas - I lost a boat with them. I now run the Garmin charts cruising in the Bahamas on an iPad anytime we are close to land and have the paper Exxlorer chart right beside us as a back up.

Go to West Marine and play with the plotters - not only once. Download the manuals, read them and go again to West Marine and play with the models you consider.
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Old 24-09-2014, 14:48   #30
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Re: Garmin vs Raymarine

Garmin's HomePort PC software is now a free download from their website. If you upload your data from an SD card to the software you can then export it in .gpx standard format to use in other systems or simply edit in notepad. I find HomePort fairly simple for trip planning and route creation. The price also makes it an attractive option. You download your plotter maps to an SD card and HomePort will recognise the card and use the same map you see on the plotter for your planing. You must have the card in the SD card reader/slot on the computer to use the map. It does not download to the computer.

The Raymarine Lighthouse charts are just NOAA raster and vector charts that they have edited a lot of the text detail out of. Less than desirable, but better than a blocky base map.

The biggest difference I find in the Raymarine/Navionics charts and the Garmin is that the Garmin waypoints are labeled on the chart. There is no way to annotate a Raymarine/Navionics chart. Waypoints are just little symbols on the Ray/Navionics chart with no text description unless you press the waypoint and then pick description from a menu. Two steps to find out what it is. With Garmin the name is right on the chart for you to see with no interaction.
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