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Old 19 April 2004, 13:37   #1
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Raymarine RC400 portable chartplotter

I currently have no electronics on my Searider and was set to buy a handheld gps such as the Garmin 72 to mount on the very limited space on my console when I caught sight of this funky little colour gps/chartplotter. It's a Raymarine RC400, launched at the London boat show and goes on sale this month.

Before parting with my 450, however, I'd like to elicit people's opinions regarding the RC400's suitability for my RIB. Apart from the fact that it looks dead cute, I am attracted by its portability and compatibility with Navionics Gold charts, as well as IPX7 waterproof rating. It's also about 200 cheaper than most 5" screen conventional sized colour chartplotters, although some may consider its compact size and 3.5" screen a disadvantage.

My thinking is further influenced by the fact that if I eventually upgrade to a larger RIB the portable Raymarine plotter could then double up as a back-up unit. Your thoughts would be most welcome.
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Old 20 April 2004, 04:21   #2
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Phil,

I like Raymarine Kit so in principle it looks like a good thing. However I would caution you with two things. Firstly 3.5" screen is going to be impossible to read whilst crashity banging along in your searider. Not unless you are particularly eagle eyed of course! This would be a problem for any small chartplotter so aint neccessarily a reason not to go for the Raymarine. You can always stop to work out where you are !

Secondly check that the colour screen is viewable in bright sunlight. Screen tech has come on in leaps and bounds in recent times but some are still very difficult to read on the occasional bright and sunny day!

I would recommend more careful use of nav equipment for one Essex Ribsta who despite his multiple electronic trickery got a little confused as to whether he was in Heybridge Basin or Maldon on Saturday............

Alan
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Old 20 April 2004, 06:25   #3
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Thanks Alan - some useful points there. Checked up on the screen and it's the latest TFT type with which there is apparently no problem in sunny conditions. I did wonder about the screen size though and yes, given a 4m Searider's propensity to bounce around in a chop, this could well be an issue

ps. I note you've been upgraded from an unknown quantity to someone who appears to talk sense - not before time I might add
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Old 20 April 2004, 06:35   #4
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Hi Phil

The screen size is the big issue here.
I have a Garmin 176C, this unit is also portable, but it's not easy to read the screen in bright daylight, then you will need to have the backlight running all the time, for this reason, you will need to be able to supply the unit with power from your boat. Otherwise you will run out of battery very fast.

The Garmin screen is not very easy to read, while going at 35 knots, but it can be done, just be carefull about the size.

It's like with boat's "bigger is better"

Regards
Rene
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Old 20 April 2004, 06:55   #5
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Bigger is better for sure. Phil you really do have to sort out the towcar vs RIB size mismatch!!
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Old 20 April 2004, 14:58   #6
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I'm also thinking about getting this unit. It looked great in the bright sun at the boat show, but then again I wasn't bouncing around either.
I'm trying to find a unit that will work in combination with a NavMan fuel flow meter. Any suggestions?
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Old 30 October 2005, 11:59   #7
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Raymarine RC400 portable chartplotter

This unit has a good write up in Motor Boat & Yachting and now a more reasonable price (290 lowest so far). Does anybody have any ACTUAL experience of using one on a small RIB?

Thanks

Andy
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