Raymarine A50 with "Rest of World" Charts

Our very old Raytheon Raynav 300 GPS is dying and we are trying to decide what route to go in replacing that functionality (main GPS, plus course-over-ground in cockpit on autopilot control head). Our autopilot is a Raymarine Smartpilot and it's nice to have the two talking to each other.

As far as I can tell we can't just buy a GPS anymore, we have to buy a chartplotter. The simplest by Raymarine is the A50. For not terribly more than the base model you can get one loaded with Navionics charts for the "Rest of the World" (interesting name for everywhere except the US, Canada and Europe, isn't it?).

However, although the regions are listed, neither Raymarine or Navionics appears interested in telling me what detail the coverage is. They won't give me a chart list, just a map with regions circled and they won't tell me the level of detail/zoom.

The only thing Raymarine would say is "Depth contours would be available out to 5m." If I'm understanding that correctly, you would have a chart with a "deep area" and then a line at the 16 foot level with depths under 16 feet listed.

For the money we are may try to interface our PC system (we have a PC with a DC-DC regulator and a USB GPS puck) to the autopilot instead but I'm posting in case anyone has more information or experience with that plotter-package? I've tried searching unsuccessfully online.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm sure everyone will have an opinion on this one. I'm facing a similar sit. Old but good Autohelm AP (I think was bought by Raymarine and is basis for their AP's) and wanting to add a plotter. If you just want a simple GPS get a Garmini 76cs, or eqvlant. I'm not too impressed with Raymarine plotters. If your AP has NMEA-183 interface that could really open up a lot of possibilities. If it is SeaTalk there is reported to be some compatability with NMEA-2000.
    I'm really liking the Garmin 740 series. Easy to use, Touch screen, very fast redraw (faster than their big units), and small enough to fit between the helm grabbar uprights. You can get it with 18" radar for about $2500US. For an expensive purchase like that suggest you go to Vancouver (2/9-13) or Seattle boat show where you can try them out and talk directly to mfg reps. Tell 'em your situation. Wish I could be more specific. You're a bit ahead of me.

    -Mic
    s/v Sea Bear, Seattle

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  2. Another thing to consider is cost of e-charts. Garmin, like most companies will want more $$ for the detailed charts + 3D. Garmin calls their's Bluechart G2 and are $100-150 ea.

    -Mic

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  3. Thanks Mic - interesting to hear someone going through the same logic train. We are also really leaning toward a handheld rather than a plotter (we use a PC for charts so a plotter would be more than we needed) and are looking into whether it would interface with our autopilot.

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  4. I also have a Raymarine 300 GPS/Plotter that went on the blink.
    The problem was actually in the
    sensor, not the unit, which is
    mounted at the nav station. It was
    Solved by r installing a Raystar 125
    GPS sensor and changing the input at the unit. It's our back up for another GPS unit. Best of luck.

    ps. the wauquiez rondesvous is
    June 3,4,5, 2011
    cheers, Jim Knutson

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