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Old 10 January 2003, 08:53   #1
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Colour or B/w Chartplotter

Clealry down to personal preference / budget but based on your experience which would you choose ?

A colour or a grey scale chartplotter.
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Old 10 January 2003, 09:21   #2
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Mmmmm, Martin - as many people as there are on this forum, I reckon that's how many opinions you will get. Its all down to budget - in my humble opinion Raymarine make the only TRUE colour sunlight viewable screens. So that narrows it down a bit. If I was on a budget I would go for the monochrome Garmin GPSMap232 - definitely. Large screen and very crisp and clear with a superb refresh rate.
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Old 10 January 2003, 10:21   #3
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It is entirely down to budget imho. Whatever you go for you want the biggest screen size and easiest readable text possible. As Charles says it must be daylight viewable (daylight could be bright sunshine, pouring rain, salt spray etc etc). Raymarine colour are excellent but pricey. I went for the Raymarine 425 Greyscale Navionics plotter which is an excellent bit of kit for the money. Garmin too have many fans here.

Alan
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Old 10 January 2003, 11:30   #4
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I would go right along with Charles here.
If you can afford it, go Raytheon. If you can't go b/w. No other colour plotter that I have ever seen compares, and most are useless in any sort of sunlight.
I have had 2 Garmin 235 with the sounder/split screen option and have been v. happy with both them and Garmins 1st class services levels.
Three point to watch:
-try and inset/surface mount the screen. If you bracket mount, the little mother moves around of it's own free will in a most annoying manner.
-don't expect the sounder/fishfinder to work at anything but a low or crawling speed. This is perfectly OK actually, as, if you are fishing/going into harbour/going up a river/in dangerous rocky or shoaling water, you had better be going at a crawling speed anyway, otherwise you are a pillock!
-checkout the extortionate price of your navigation chips first, for the unit you eventually select. Then work out the total cost involved for your cruising area, then lie down in a darkened room, then ring your Building Society and ask about a remortgage.
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Old 10 January 2003, 12:16   #5
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I also have gone for Raymarine.We have a 320 mono plotter as Back up able to take 2 x C Map and the main system is RL80crc colour/Radar plotter.

Its down to budget and I have to say it is bloody expensive,I looked at the Sl70crc in the hope it would do me, but the screen size is actually half of the 10.5 inch Rl80crc colour.

Raymarine is brill and the Mono quality is also good.The 425 Mono is regarded by most as good including the yaghting press.

If budget is important then I would definatley go Raymarine 425 running Navionics.

Or consider a Raymarine 320 running Cmap if you plan to go up in the future.

Good luck Crazyhorse
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Old 10 January 2003, 12:25   #6
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HI ya sorry for sounding repetative I've got the Raymarine 530c+ - OMWatts special
Just got to get a boat with a console now!
Jelly
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Old 10 January 2003, 12:40   #7
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Jelly another great set Raymarine 530 c it is also is regarded highly by the press.

Crazyhorse
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Old 11 January 2003, 06:25   #8
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Hi everyone.

This is one we went through recently.
With new RIB on order we decide to go to the Southampton boat show to get the "other bits" I had decided on Raymarine 7" mono units after many weeks looking throuh catalogs and on the phone. However as Denise (my wife) had the job of navigator I said have a look round and see what you like and find easy to use.

We spent many hours looking round the stands and in the end bought almost nothing I had set out to buy.
Be vary cauious buying without using. We thought the 7" raymarine radar cahrt plotter would be hard to use. In short try before you buy. Also there was hugh differences in speed of redraw etc, to the level that I think of one that if zoomed in close would not keep up with a powerboat/RIB running fast.

In the end we ended up with a Garmin 10" 2010 and twice the price but that was what Denise was happy with, and have held of on radar for the present.

It does come down to cost but even between mono and mono there was hugh differences between the clarity of different screens. The same was true of the colour screens and them daylight brightness is an issue. As far as Charles comment about Raymarine being the only daylight viewable ones. I disagree here the new Garmins are very good, never seen the two side by side but have never had a problem reading the screen even when very bright sunlight has been direct on the screen. But agree that this is onething to be careful about.
Also the menues of some was very long winded and hard to use.

I think boat shows are idea places to try and see things, some that looks the dogs "bits" is catalogs we was not impressed with at all.

Have a look and pick what suits you. I would now not consider a mono chart plotter after using a colour one, but ther are many that use mono ones with great effect.

But as a personal preference, colour chart plotter always, and as big as possible.

Colour radar but smaller screens are OK and the overlay feature and MARPA is good. However be careful to use the overlay feature on radar you need lits of extra bits at quite a higfh cost, if you dont what this feature go for mono radar.

Fishfinder would always go mono as we dont use it for fishing.

One other think to ask is warranty. We was told by some if you fitted the equipment yourself it must be inspected by one of their agents before they would honour the warranty, one one company quoted over 300 foir this

And on one last thing shop round we got our package for over 300 less than " and were not making anything at that price" quote after a bit of quote beating between shops

Hope this helps

Regards Gary
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Old 11 January 2003, 12:17   #9
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Good point Gary,We have gone down the raymarine route as all the other bits are raymarine, giro compass,depth speed,autohelm etc.The main reason was arpa and overlay on the chart plotter.

Another point to remember is if your buying a SL 70 make sure it HB stamped as they produced some that may be cheaper that are not H.B. which stands for High Brightness.The early ones were less bright for sunlight view.

The Garmin 2010 is a very good piece of kit but for us we needed Radar/arpa so it was cheaper to go for combined unit etc
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Old 12 January 2003, 04:56   #10
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Gentlemen,

Thank you for all the information provided and opinions expressed.
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