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Old 27-09-2019, 15:32   #1
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Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

I'm planning on upgrading the MFD on my recently acquired Westsail 42. My current set up consists of a Raymarine RL 70C chart-plotter with radar. The instruments are ST60's for wind, depth, and speed. My autopilot is a Simrad AP22 head unit connected to an inboard Hynautics hydraulic piston. This is a standalone system not communicating to the chart-plotter. I'd probably keep the MFD a while longer but the chart function died on my passage back in July, and only the radar is currently working.

So a few questions. I'm probably going to have to replace the current Seatalk network with a NMEA 2000 backbone to support the new system so should I replace the 20 year old Raymarine ST60's or get a Seatalk - SeatalkNG converter to use them with the new system? Or replace them with the same brand of instruments as the MFD? Of course if I go with another Raymarine unit it might be easier to keep the ST60's? The standalone autopilot has worked well (so far), and I'm inclined to leave it alone and not bother replacing it or even having it connected to the new MFD. Is there a good reason to integrate it with the MFD?

I've just started looking but systems like the Raymarine Axiom Pro, or the B&G Zeus3 with both touch and button controls seem like a good idea to me.

I'd really like to hear from anyone who's purchase a new MFD in the last few years. What did you go with? What features do you like about it and what things don't you like about it? Would you do it again? TIA

-Jim
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Old 27-09-2019, 17:52   #2
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Re: Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

a couple of years ago i did an electronics refit.. from rl70c & st60's

you can keep your transducers and convert to seatalkng by using a raymarine itc-5 to terminate the transducers, and an I70 unit to calibrate... this also becomes a handy nav station cog/sog/gps/xte/wind whatever display.
in my case i went for the es97 displays and the digital radome (due to lower power consumption...

i DID however keep my set of st60 wind/st60 tridata and st60 multifunction displays at the helm as they are better at night.

also added the ais650..

for offshore passages, with careful attention to power routing (in my case three breakers for gps+instruments/chartplotter/radome.

with the gps being connected to the st60 instruments you can (for example) set a destination waypoint for the autopilot to track then turn off the chartplotters.. vessel and waypoint gps data is available on the st60 multifunction (or i70) as is xte.. using minimal power..

the difference in speed, use and most of all BRIGHTNESS of the new displays vs the rl70 is massive... not a cheap upgrade but worth every penny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimp1234 View Post
I'm planning on upgrading the MFD on my recently acquired Westsail 42. My current set up consists of a Raymarine RL 70C chart-plotter with radar. The instruments are ST60's for wind, depth, and speed. My autopilot is a Simrad AP22 head unit connected to an inboard Hynautics hydraulic piston. This is a standalone system not communicating to the chart-plotter. I'd probably keep the MFD a while longer but the chart function died on my passage back in July, and only the radar is currently working.

So a few questions. I'm probably going to have to replace the current Seatalk network with a NMEA 2000 backbone to support the new system so should I replace the 20 year old Raymarine ST60's or get a Seatalk - SeatalkNG converter to use them with the new system? Or replace them with the same brand of instruments as the MFD? Of course if I go with another Raymarine unit it might be easier to keep the ST60's? The standalone autopilot has worked well (so far), and I'm inclined to leave it alone and not bother replacing it or even having it connected to the new MFD. Is there a good reason to integrate it with the MFD?

I've just started looking but systems like the Raymarine Axiom Pro, or the B&G Zeus3 with both touch and button controls seem like a good idea to me.

I'd really like to hear from anyone who's purchase a new MFD in the last few years. What did you go with? What features do you like about it and what things don't you like about it? Would you do it again? TIA

-Jim
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Old 27-09-2019, 19:24   #3
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Re: Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

I have older ST60 instruments working with a modern MFD via the Raymarine Seatalk - SeatalkNG converter. It works well. You can always change the older ST60s out at later date.
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Old 28-09-2019, 07:41   #4
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Re: Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

I'm running both original SeaTalk and SeaTalk NG. SeaTalk for my ancient RL70C and the ST60s and SeaTalk NG with EV400 autopilot and I70s and NMEA 2000 feed for AIS. I'm not ready to replace my radar, so I'm keeping the RL70C (for now). My ST60s speed, depth and wind are fine.
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Old 28-09-2019, 10:13   #5
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Re: Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

Following with interest as I'm about to do something similar.
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Old 28-09-2019, 12:17   #6
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Re: Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

I am in the same case and read the comments with interest. One issue no one mentioned is the fact that you may have to renew completely your chart library when you upgrade your chartplotter. I have a rather large library of C-MAP NT+ that I use on my RL 70C plotter that are not compatible with the Raymarine es97 or newer AXIOM . It's not an insignificant cost.
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Old 28-09-2019, 13:04   #7
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Re: Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

My two headed 'everything sailing related' techs agree on one thing. Ray Marine is the brand to buy at this time. According to them, Ray entered a huge contract with the US Navy and is reaping the benefits of the R&D and cash that such a contract affords them. While the cash won't make it to our pockets, the benefits of the R&D are and will.
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Old 28-09-2019, 16:15   #8
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Re: Upgrading a Raymarine RL70C Chartplotter/MFD

I upgraded last year, replaced the RC70C with a E95 and the Quantum radar kept the st60 instruments. With the Seatalk and Ng converter. Amazing everything worked. Quantum radar uses one third the power. I have it hard wired but have always used the wifi connection. Radar is amazing for what it displays. The wind information on the data function displays more information than I knew was available. Having trouble getting AIS from my Standard Horizon Matrix GX 2200 VHF to display. I know it should work because a friend as it working. I thing Raymarine told me the wrong two wires to use. I have a wheel drive St 4000 hooked work fine but I am considering upgrading to the EV autopilot for better control. I use Ray Control on my IPad, it gives complete control of the MFD any where ob the boat.
Good luck I a very happy with the equipment.
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