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Old 18-08-2007, 09:33   #1
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Raymarine E 120

Thinking about adding the Raymarine E120 chartplotter and Raystar GPS to the boat. I like the 12 inch screen and ability to add radar, sirius weather or something else later on, if needed. Looking at the prices on the internet, they range all over the board ( $ 2179-$3499). Has anyone installed this model, if so, can you tell me how much you had to spend for equipment and installation?

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Old 18-08-2007, 09:56   #2
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The low end of the prices range you quoted seems pretty low for an E120, make sure it's not a reconditioned unit with a shortened warranty. If you have no plans on adding a second display a C120 would work too and cost a little less (C120 is the same as the E120 but without multiple display capabilities). Also keep in mind that most manufacturers won't honor the warranty if the unit is purchased from online auction sites so be sure to check with the manufacturer before hand.

Don't forget to look at some of the other multifuntion displays including those from Garmin, Furuno and Northstar. We installed the Northstar M84 with 2kw dome, fishfinder transducer, and gps antenna. Excellent unit and very satisfied with our purchase. We like the C-Map Max charts used on the M84 as they have almost twice the coverage or more of Navionics and much greater coverage than Garmin's charts. If you plan to travel a lot or go cruising this could be important. Having installed and worked with Furuno's Navnet systems they too are pretty good, Garmin as well. Lots of options each with slightly different features.


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Old 18-08-2007, 10:02   #3
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As far as installation goes there are some variables that will affect the amount of labor hours required, such as if the display is to be flush mounted or mounted on it's bracket, accessability for running the wires, interfacing and so on. Be sure to get a written quote before installation. Ask the installers what is considered billed time, some installers will charge for trips to the store to get supplies, time to drive to your boat and other installers will charge only for time worked on your boat. If you're in a marina ask around and see who people recommend, a good proficient installer might be worth a few extra dollars. Damon s/v Bruadair The Adventures of s/v Bruadair
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Old 18-08-2007, 10:45   #4
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we are in the uk and have an e80 great bit of kit if you can put a tv and dvd together and get a picture on the screen then you can install an e120
if you want ais and the ability to conect a laptop etc then stay with the e120
a friend of mine bough a set on ebay and had problems
so reterned it to raymarine in the uk they fixed it under warranty they track all serial numbers so know when it was built and if its kosher they have a great service teem hear.
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Old 18-08-2007, 12:08   #5
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Inkwell, I would urge you to look at other units such as Garmin, Furuno, etc. before settling on Raymarine. They all have integrated systems.
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Old 18-08-2007, 13:08   #6
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Chuck,

While I agree with your comment about considering a unit other than Raymarine I'm wondering what your reason is. As a retired (or semi-retired) marine electronics tech that has been cruising the Western Caribbean for the past three years I get asked to look at a lot of systems. In the past year all but one autopilot I was asked to repair was Raymarine, all but two radar/chartplotters were Raymarine. While Raymarine has a great marketing program I'm not personally sold on their equipment. For use on the occasional outing they're probably pretty good. For frequent use such as cruising I would consider a different unit. Most time the units I'm asked to look at are just past three years old. It's a very rare occasion that I'm asked to check out a Furuno, Simrad, Northstar or Garmin unit. I chose the new Northstar M84 for my boat due to my experience with Northstar's customer service and tech support. If I was uneasy with going with a new system on the market I would have gone Furuno.

There are a lot of choices on the market each with different features that another may or may not have. To some people after sales support isn't important but to others it is so that should also be something to consider. If you can find a place that has a couple different units on display to actually put your hands on and use you might fine one unit more user friendly than another. Check out the other message boards too and see what people like or dislike. Lots of good resources out there.

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Old 18-08-2007, 16:37   #7
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Hey Damon from Chuck and Susan on Sea Trek. The reason for my comments is that I am a current Tech here in the US since our return from the Western Caribbean. I install Raymarine equipment on a weekly basis. My unscientific observations are that about 40% of the equipment I install does not work out of the box. Another 10 to 15% fail within a couple of months and an additional 5% or so fail at some point within the first year. Dealing with Raymarine techs on the phone is pretty frustrating. If the problem is not on their FAQ screen they pull up when you call they don't offer much help. Yes they are good about repairs and returning repaired merchandise. But whenever I ask how a boater likes a particular product and they tell me it is because their service department is great I usually run, not walk away. If that is the first thing out of a customers mouth instead of how great the product works then something is wrong. Raymarine, in my opinion has done a wonderful marketing job but their quality control leaves a lot to be desired. And yes it is probably fine for the weekend warriors because the unit is not really put to the test and "when" it breaks you pack it up and send it back and wait for the return. You know from your cruising experience that being outside the US this can be a major problem. And someone like you is not always available to make repairs in most cruising ports. The older units do perform better than what they are turning out today. We receive many shipments with standard items needed for the install not even in the box. Too many failures and too many repairs equal a hard look at alternatives in my opinion. Hope this finds you and David well and all of your friends in Clear Lake say hey.
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Old 19-08-2007, 20:37   #8
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Chuck,

Couldn't agree with you more, you said it perfectly. When I was working in the Clear Lake area I had many of the same experiences with regards to Raymarine. Out here cruising it can be frustrating to a cruiser to order replacement Raymarine parts, get them shipped to a foriegn country, only to have them deffective out of the box. Seen it more often than I should. But Raymarine does have an excellent marketing program and name recognition. They also have one of the best spiffs for sales people as well. I had a friend work at a well known nationwide marine store and always posted in the employee or back room was a notice about the monthly Raymarine spiffs, ie get $100 for each xx model you sell this month. If an employee was asked "what's the best xx unit you have?", what do you think they would say?

I never got into the business of selling electronics, too cut throat.

By the way, like your web site. We've checked it out many times over the past couple years.

Damon and David
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Old 19-08-2007, 23:10   #9
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I installed an E80 system myself. If you are planning to have a main and a remote screen, put the remote at the helm and the main at your nav station. Its just too hard to run all the cables for the main system through the pedestal guard
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Old 20-08-2007, 09:35   #10
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Practical Sailor just did a review of the weather services from Sirius and XM. The winner was teh XM Weather product - not compatible with the Raymarine stuff. At least not yet - but the XM / Sirius merger may still get approved and then who knows?

If the weather overlays are important to you then perhaps check out the Garmin 4000 / 5000 series all-in-one units.
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Old 20-08-2007, 10:14   #11
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If you already had some Raymarine equipment aboard (autopilot, wind speed, etc.), how many of the other manufacturers chartplotters could easily link to these units? I have multiplexed Raymarine <-> Garmin before but only to copy depth information over. I've not tried controlling autopilots yet.
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Old 20-08-2007, 10:14   #12
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If you already had some Raymarine equipment aboard (autopilot, wind speed, etc.), how many of the other manufacturers chartplotters could easily link to these units? I have multiplexed Raymarine <-> Garmin before but only to copy depth information over. I've not tried controlling autopilots yet.
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Old 20-08-2007, 11:08   #13
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I installed a C80 with a GPS antenna, 2KW radar and AIS. Seems to work fine. However, I think the unit is NOT user friendly. After 3 years I still forget how to drill down in their menus to find commands and they have this annoying feature fr centering the image on screen. It's one of their soft keys which says Ship or Cursor, but it does not give you the option to select either one. It seems to toggle back and forth so... if you move your cursor to location X on your chart... and then want to zoom center it... and you go for the soft key and the option available is SHIP the cursor AND the image centers on the ships position... then the soft key resents to Cursor and you can then move the cursor. If there's another way to do this I haven't figured it out. It just wastes time.

My little Garmin IQue3600 uses a stylus to draw the zoom window and that is much more intuitive and give you an infinite number of zoom "scales" as opposed to the fixed mount units which have X number of zoom levels.

The C80 has a clear screen, but marine gear is way over priced compared with consumer electronics.

The good thing is that they add firmware upgrades every now and then and that augments the features.

AIS is a OK feature but hardly a dependable collision avoidance feature. Standing watch is the best means to avoid problems.

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Old 20-08-2007, 14:17   #14
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Jef,

We also just added AIS to our system, a Northstar M84 radar/chartplotter. Unfortunately we haven't had a chance to test it yet as there are no commercial ships where we are in Panama, but that should change soon as we head for Colon at the entrance to the Panama Canal. Should be a great place to test it out. And I agree, it's not a replacement for eyes and keeping a watch.


ess105,
If the chartplotter has nmea out and the autopilot has nmea in (both the same either 0183 or 2000) interfacing shouldn't be a problem. Before our refit our JRC color radar/chartplotter interfaced very well with our Northstar autopilot. In past installations I've been able to get Garmin, Raymarine, Furuno, Simrad and other chartplotters to talk to a variety of autopilots and other equipment. Before buying it's best to check the specs in the owner's manuals for nmea versions and sentances to be sure of compatability.

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Old 20-08-2007, 14:24   #15
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Damon,

I must add that I have a very integrated multi generational navigation system. To accomplish this I needed a Brookhouse Multiplexer and a Raymaire Seatalk/NMEA interface box. But in the end I have my old B&G Hornet, Icom VHF, KVH sailcomp, RayMarine getting along just fine.

I might just add that my 22 year old B&G gear is still going strong... included the AWI which has been atop my mast year round offshore, through gales and hurricanes. I have only replaced one faulty LCD. Now that is value.

Raymarine live customer service are idiots in my experience.

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