Maxi 1100 “Second Rebellion”
Navigation electronics, a cost effective option to having GPS plotters at both the navigation table and at the helm
The 2001 yacht was purchased in August 2008 and it came with a Raymarine RC530 colour plotter at the chart table, a Raytheon RL70 at the helm and a Seatalk interface which integrated the radar. Unfortunately the helm plotter was not readable in daylight, so something had to be done.
- As the yacht had the seatalk interface and all other instruments/radar were Raymarine, we only considered that manufacturer’s equipment.
- We established that the radar scanner would be compatible with the current Raymarine E80 range of plotters and we could also have AIS, however the E80 equipment would not interface with the RC530 existing plotter.
- The obvious but expensive option was to replace both plotters. However, Raymarine in common with other manufacturers, do not market a repeater for the plotter, you just buy 2 of them at around £2k each.
- However with the help of a friendly engineer in the local agent, it was revealed that you did not need a second plotter. An E80 (or E120) at the helm with a VGA cable to an inexpensive LCD computer screen (they are all 12volt), can be used to feed the screen at the chart table linked with a Raymarine keyboard, which they market for the huge screens on power boats. This option is actually better than 2 E80’s, as the PC screen can be larger and as in ours in “letter format”, which is ideal for split screen plotter/data/radar viewing. I believe that the latest “C” series plotters may also have the repeater facility.
- As it happened we had a spare PC screen so it cost us nothing, the screen swivel mount cost about £20 and the quite neat keyboard was £300 plus VAT, quite a saving on £2k and a better option all round.
- All E80 functions can be duplicated below using the keyboard and the PC screen can be swivelled to the saloon to entertain the grandchildren with DVD’s (from a player) with surround sound through the boat audio system.
- The only downside is that manipulating the data from the chart table, also changes the plotter screen at the helm.
- Both old plotters found a ready market on E-Bay, to help offset the cost of the new equipment.
The system has been extensively used for 3 seasons over 5knm without problems and a recent comment from the local agent for Raymarine was “I don’t know why more people don’t go this route”. I do…they just do not know the option is available.
Jim & Eric Sey
Nav. station, Mount, and Keyboard in use