Our navigation system is centered around a Raymarine RL70CRC Chart plotter, which is an older, out-of-production system, but is still very reliable and easy to use. It uses C-Map NT+ vector charts and we have a huge collection of chips covering all of the Great Lakes, the Saint Laurence River, the coastal waters from Nova Scotia to the Bahamas, Cuba and the Caribbean. The chart plotter gets its GPS position information from a Raystar 125 mounted on the stern rail.
Our autopilot is a Raymarine ST6001, with the S1G core pack, Type 1 linear drive and a flux gate compass. We’ve had this system since 2003, and it has served us well.
Our sailing instruments consist of even more Raymarine products. There’s the ST60 wind and tri-data (depth, speed, log) and the ever-useful wireless autopilot controller. I use this piece of equipment at the bow as we slowly enter an anchorage looking for the proper depth to set the anchor in. The display repeats all information available on the SeaTalk network.
Our old Raymarine chartplotter does not support AIS, so we installed an iCom MXA-5000 AIS receiver which feeds its signals to a Garmin GPSMAP 526 chartplotter mounted at the nav station. This new system is a backup to our Raymarine system and provides the additional benefit of overlaid AIS and XM weather information.
We use the NMEA feed from the chart plotter to supply position information to our Standard Horizon VHF and our iCom M802 SSB. Both radios use the information to support the DSC function.
Here’s a schematic of our navigation and communication instrumentation.
What worked, and what will we replace?