Originally Posted by Sandero
there will always be new stuff with more bells and whistles... clearly "better"!
Better at what? This ancient stuff was pretty damn good and if it works... probably plenty good.
The issue is how long will it perform?
Will there be support down the road?
If it can't be supported and it fails in the not too distant future.... it goes in Davy Jones locker and you are faced with buying
the latest and greatest and starting again...
There is some good advice here and in the other answers also. I sell this stuff, as well as Garmin
, B&G, Simrad
Let's start with support and there are two issues to consider. First, as has been pointed out this is "old" stuff. The dirty secret to this gear is that they make it for three to five years then stop. Another year or three later they stop supporting it and you are on your own. I have and I have customers who have gear that is ten or twenty years old and it works great. One big problem is that when one part goes bad you sometimes have to replace the whole kit and caboodle. Yes, NMEA 2000
and NNEA 0183 help a lot, but there are still things that just can't be had without fabrication.
Second, Raymarine is notoriously difficult to get a hold of. I have a special dealer line and I have a lot of trouble. (N.B. I am here in the U.S. so if you are in a different country, you may have better or even worse luck) It is so bad that I don't even try to call on Monday. I had a guy who purchased over $20K in electronics
and it was like pulling teeth to get a second level rep to call me back. I finally had to call our factory sales rep and go through him to get a supervisor to call. Even then it took over a week to get them together.
Another issue is that the menus of the older Raymarines are not terribly intuitive (The new ones are much better but still not great). I also find that their processors are slow when contrasted to B&G, Simrad
and especially Garmin
Having said this, what will a system do that individual components won't? This is not a straight forward question. If you want a CHIRP radar
to see crab pot buoys twenty feet away with a chart overlay, then you'll need something new. Most people however rarely use more than ten percent of what a new system can do. (e.g. Do you really need video?).
There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, especially with Raymarine, is that they can't figure out how to use the new features and can't find the menu for them. Even when they can, many of the new features are only occasionally used and when there is an opportunity to use some special feature, people forget that they have the ability to use it. Voltaire made popular an old Italian proverb and for most of us it holds true; perfect is the enemy of the good!
I will be happy to sell you the latest and greatest system. Come and visit me with $20K and I will give you a gee whiz system guaranteed to impress even the most old school
sailor. On the other hand, come and visit me with a modicum of pragmatism, and I'll get you set up for a tiny fraction of the cost; money
that can be put to much better use (you'll then impress the old school
sailor even more!)
Someone in one of the posts suggest offering a much smaller amount. I wholeheartedly agree. First ask yourself what do you really need? If you are just looking for a lat and long, a hand held or a Garmin 44DV will be more than adequate. Even if you want a chart plotter, a basic Garmin 44DV, 54DV, Simrad Go5, etc. will be quite sufficient for getting in and out of a strange harbour. Additionally, they have down view which will help you figure out where, and more importantly, where not to anchor
. If you want radar. you will be best off having it on a separate screen. Even if you want it as an all in one unit, Garmin sells the 741xs with radar for under 2K brand new.
Sorry for the rant but I hate to see people toss their money
away. This is a lot for a very old system and an old Raymarine system. Offer way less and use it until it stops working or get a new basic system and use it for years.
It is possible that an old system will work just fine, or it is possible that the individual components will do what you need, or you may need it to be integrated. Without knowing what your goals are, and how you are sailing (motoring?), I can't say if this is the system you need or even if it will help you.
Regardless of what course of action you choose, I wish you the best of luck and fair winds.