Raymarine LightHouse R17 part 2: hands-on Navionics Dock-to-dock, SonarChart Live & more

13 Responses

  1. I have never seen my Garmin autoroute me through a dock.
    It won’t even go through danger zones like the magnetic anomaly of of Small Point Maine. This will be interesting to compare the two systems.

  2. ValkyrieYachts says:

    Ben,
    I was able to test out the dock to dock with navionics while in the British Virgin Islands. It performed really well!
    At first, it told me that I was not supposed to be in the area of the harbor where I was starting. Then I found a setting to adjust the water depth to what was actually around me and bam, worked like a charm. I was aboard a shuttle boat traveling between two islands and with little exception, the route created, was virtually on par with the route the shuttle took!
    Now I believe here is the reality, would you use Route to Route in your regular cruising areas? Probably not, or at least not often. However, if I am new to an area or a new boater, the route to route is a great tool. However, like any tool, it is to support your navigation, not BE your navigation.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Allan, but I’ve seen Garmin autorouting do some odd things once in a while. The latest was nearly funny. In early April during the Garmin demos in Miami, I took this screenshot of Auto Guidance 3 in action:
    https://staging.panbo.com/assets_c/2016/04/Garmin_2016_auto_routing3_cPanbo-13264.html
    Notice at the bottom of screen how the autoroute goes inside a Green Beacon marking the dredged channel. That’s not uncommon in most autorouting; so far only Dock-to-dock actually honors nav aids, and it messes up too, as Adam illustrated.
    What was odd was that we tried multiple times to modify the Garmin autoroute, but every time it recalculated the route snapped back to that 6 foot spot just starboard of our boat when I captured the screen. The algorithms were absolutely insistent that the boat had to go over that area.
    I believe that the Garmin folks saw it happen again on another demo cruise and reported it back to the cartography dept, and I didn’t mention it in that entry because I think such anomalies are quite rare.
    I do know one in Maine, though. Try Garmin Auto Guidance from the WoodenBoat School anchorage to Center Harbor. It may be fixed by now, but instead of guiding you through the gut just north of the Torey Islands, though plenty deep, it insisted on going right over the ledge extending west of the Toreys and then around to the south.
    I still used handy Garmin Auto Guidance a lot, just carefully 😉

  4. I really love the frequency of updates and features that Raymarine is coming out with.
    I had been using the autorouting feature on my eS78 for a while, and didn’t like the way it routed inside buoys and other nit picks (see https://www.sailbits.com/blog/2016/05/port-orchard-weekend/) so I’m glad to see they’ve spent some time on improving it. Will give it a try here in a few days.
    I have a Fusion radio and am thrilled to see that Raymarine has updated their support for NMEA 2000 compliant radios. I can now see song details, change settings, and do everything else that I was able to do with my B&G and Garmin when they were connected to the Fusion / NMEA 2000 network.
    Hopefully the Rockford Fosgate partnership doesn’t mean they will let this stagnate, although it’s pretty decent as it is.

  5. Larry Brandt says:

    I recently completed my marriage of a new Raymarine c125 to some older generation electronics and have yet to fully appreciate all the capability that I have. I did print off ‘selected’ chapters of the manual and in that process killed off a few trees, so someday while at anchor I’ll get a chance to read all the details. I like my new display and offer the following observations…
    1. I am a believer in manually-adjusted radar Gain. In fact, I am convinced that Range and Gain are the two most used controls on the radar. The problem is that my new c125 display requires a button push + several twists + another button push to get to the Gain control. The important Gain control should never be more than one button push from the normal radar screen.
    2. I was upset that Raymarine announced the Quantum solid state radar shortly after I was committed to the digital RD418 that the upgrade mandated I buy. Because of my past experience with solid state digital radar in aviation I am a believer in the technology, and I suspect that there are user benefits still to come that have barely been imagined by the engineers.
    3. The brochure said it was supposed to be a 48 mile radar. I’ve been out of my slip only once since completing the install, but I was truly impressed when I saw the 11,249 ft peak of Mt Hood at a range of 41 nmi. My past experience with aviation radar convinced me that radar range was NOT so much about transmitter output power, so I’d make a guess that my old Raymarine analog 2kw radar would get very near that if only a digital interface were available for it. Nevertheless I’m waiting for someone to tell me what possible navigation benefit a 48 mile radar offers, given that the diameter of our planet is only 8,000 miles and not likely to change in the near future.

  6. Robert Torson says:

    I can remember transiting the rather featureless (from a distance) Oregon coast and using the peaks of the Coast Range for fixing my position. I needed the 48 mi range then (well before GPS).

  7. Chris Cunningham says:

    Is it possible to transfer newly generated Sonar charts made in the dingy on my iPad to my motherships Simrad NSS7 or NSS12? I plan on being in the Bahamas in a year and would like to have a system to do this that does not rely on the internet (wifi would be fine). Can I do this through the Simrad Gofree wifi?

  8. Richard Gard says:

    i just performed the Lighthouse II update. seemed to work perfectly. but now my 2 year old e7 display is very slow to render charts, whether i am trying to move the cursor or change the zoom. impossibly slow.
    so I did a full reset; then turned off the new Live Sonar (I have a navionics platinum+ subscription), turned down all the high-res features… still slow.
    my system has worked superbly and I had the most recent update installed with excellent performance. all my i70s and my p70, STC, etc everything updated nicely but now I have a crippled chart system.
    searching ray marine forums…

  9. Richard Gard says:

    hard reboot again. works much better.
    then selectively try reducing amount of data/detail/density charts and sonar package. with an hour of trial and error I found a combination that gives me fast rendering refresh of the chart.
    I tested a Dock to Dock route building going to Mattituck inlet pond. anyone who has been there knows the torturous number of turns and shoal waters on the way to that beautiful pond. my e7 build the route in under 5 minutes, with 47 waypoints to cross the Long Island Sound and head up creek. there are 28 waypoints just to get through the Mattituck Creek. wow.
    still haven’t gotten the Wifi to work, but the lay lines and race timers look beautiful as do the bottom contours.

  10. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Good to hear that R17 is working better for you now, Richard, and here’s hoping that other boaters don’t suffer from the update.
    Incidentally, I’m not familiar with Mattituck Inlet but I found two searchable online chart sources I can link fellow readers to:
    https://webapp.navionics.com/#search@15&key=%7BehyF%7CqxyL
    https://activecaptain.com/X.php?lat=40.994735&lon=-72.539377&t=n&z=15
    That is a skinny inlet, and if the SonarCharts shown on the Navionics site are correct, there seem to be some shallow spots…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Richard,
    I have had some problems even on my fairly new (in the last year) eS78 with R16 and R17. In particular, because I have so many AIS targets, things get super slow at times. If I use Vector Charts (Lighthouse) with all detail, AIS targets, etc. I can actually cause the system to become completely unresponsive.
    I have not yet documented it and opened an item with Raymarine. Sounds like there might be some optimization left to do on their end!

  12. Richard Gard says:

    Ben, there are plenty of shallow spots on the inlet! I’ve gone through on half tide rising with my 5.3′ draft and never touched bottom. I was really impressed to see the Dock-to-Dock route through there. I used it Saturday to go from Milford to Black Rock Cove and it was great, right up to the point where a Bridgeport Police boat was blocking the way into Captains’ Cove for a kid race.
    Anonymous
    Can you limit the number of AIS targets by changing your Collision Avoidance parameters? I have a lot of boats around me at times, so I pull my warning zone in close. I also went through the settings and defaults, and found that High Detail was slowing me down (I have Navionics Platinum+), I also cut the amount of bottom contour way down. I am not using the system to fish so the least detailed bathyscape is still more than I had before. I found that Sonar Chart LIVE setting made no difference to my screen rendering so I left it on for now, but had so many other things to play with that I didn’t get it.
    I had zero trouble with R16 update on my e7. if you had trouble starting with that update you might do a hard reset. the Update Instructions say it isn’t required unless you have run out of things to do to solve any problem. It helped a lot for me but took two times and waiting a bit for it to help me. I am guessing the first hard reboot did not propagate through my network, so it took two tries to reach all the devices and reset flags or ports. but I am just guessing

  13. Richard Gard says:

    adding to this thread regarding new features on the LighthouseUpdate.
    I used my system extensively during the past month, following routes under power, sailing to wind vane, checking tides and currents, logging depths and uploading/downloading via my Platinum+ Freshest Data account, AIS calls, DSC calls, even the automated foghorn got a work out.
    my e7 works quite well and operates the Autopilot well. it still has the intermittent glitch of “loading up the processor” where suddenly the e7 takes 15-45 seconds to respond to a command (eg. change chart scale, set GoTo, check waypoint). the only fix for it is to power down and up — really inconvenient at times!
    I loaded my boat’s Polar data but the e7 does not routinely show me the lay lines generated. the lay lines mostly appear when i am motoring to a waypoint (?!) but rarely when sailing.
    VHF and AIS are still flukey — suspect the funky splitter which is part of the troublesome AIS250.
    As usual the tech support from Raymarine is on par with the performance of their hardware.
    More and more I wish I had replaced the system with Garmin or — anything other than Raymarine.

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