Raymarine AIS500

Navionics Boating App Updated With U.S. Govt. Charts, New Features

Navionics Boating App Updated With U.S. Govt. Charts, New Features

The "About" screen of Navionics newly released Navionics Boating app, showing version 7.0.

The “About” screen of Navionics newly released Navionics Boating app, showing version 7.0.

Do you have an iPad (with GPS) or iPhone on the boat with you?  Okay, then, no excuses:  Download the latest Navionics Boating app update from the App Store, now standard with access to the free U.S. electronic navigation charts (ENC) from NOAA.  There.  You’re not lost anymore.  You’re welcome (from Navionics, anyway).

Now, a little more objectively. . .Navionics today released the latest version (7.0) of its free app, Navionics Boating, which now includes integration with free U.S. government-produced charts for U.S. coastal and navigable waterways, plus additional shorelines of major lakes and rivers from other public sources.

NOAA ENC Charts Included

This means that the Navionics Boating app is immediately suitable for direct navigation in these waters.  NOAA ENCs are vector charts, which means they scale up and down in a completely readable way, and they conform to the International Hydrographic Office (IHO) S-57 standard for electronic charts.

Navionics Boating app showing a NOAA ENC chart for Long Island Sound.

Navionics Boating app showing a NOAA ENC chart for Long Island Sound.

They include all the primary navigation data you need — depths, buoys, beacons, harzards, channel markers and more.  Of course, you can also purchase full-featured Navionics charts with enhanced detail and features such as newly improved dynamic tide and current information and displays.  The chart on the right here of the north shore of Long Island is a NOAA ENC.

You can see the little blue circle at the lower left labeled “GOVT” which means I’m using a NOAA chart.  If you click on that you can opt for a Navionics chart instead, or load one of the cool, crowd-sourced SonarCharts.  Also visible in that screen capture is the classic “navigate” button at lowest left, camera and search buttons to upper left, zoom buttons at upper right and a distance measuring tool at bottom right.

Enhanced Features

The updated app includes several enhanced features:

  • Tracking — The Navionics Boating app uses GPS to measure and record performance data.  Speed, Trip Time, Course Over Ground, Distance and more are all displayed in a new Tracking Console.  Boaters can pause, playback and review a track, and share details with others.
  • Expanded Routing — Planning and route creation are also free with the Navionics Boating app.  Boaters can measure distances, mark waypoints, create simple routes and save data across mobile devices.  The company says wind forecasts include 3-day projections, as well.  The app includes a free trial version of a Nav Module ($4.99) that includes Estimated Time of Arrival, Distance to Arrival and more.
  • Sharing — App users can share memories of their trips with family and friends via Facebook, Twitter and email.  Using a camera function within the app, photos and videos are automatically geo-tagged while recording a trip.  Other images, such as tracking screens and stats can be shared, too.
The Navionics Boating app showing one of the menu options with the various in-app purchases available.

The Navionics Boating app showing one of the menu options with the various in-app purchases available.

Integration with On-board Electronics

As of the most previous update, v6.0, early this year, Navionics Boating includes Plotter Sync, a new feature that allows on-board electronics to connect to Navionics servers on the Internet for uploading data and downloading new charts or updates.

The company says owners of Raymarine Wi-Fi-enabled plotters — just the first of Navionics’ manufacturer partners compatible with this technology — can now use Navionics Boating as a bridge for this connection, eliminating the need to remove a memory card from the plotter to update it.  The App will sync with the chartplotter and provide the update directly.

This is especially cool when users upload and share with Navionics their fishfinder’s recorded sonar tracks, allowing the company to verify and integrate the information in to SonarCharts™ — a new high-definition bathymetry maps that reflects the ever-changing conditions boaters experience in the real world.

Updating Advice

I checked out the new version on my iPad and it’s a big change.  The inclusion of NOAA ENCs makes a HUGE difference in out-of-the-box usability.  If you’re in need of the more detailed and feature-laden Navionics charts, by all means buy them.  They’re not that expensive for most areas (at least compared to what we used to spend for charts and updates) and you won’t regret the purchase.  But for starters, the NOAA ENCs will get you going and keep you safe.  When I fired up my iPad, it didn’t offer me the app update when I went to the App Store, so I deleted the version I had (6.0.3 – the April update) and then downloaded the app again and it was the 7.0 version.  I imagine the updating will be automatic and more smooth over the next couple of days (it could also conceivably have been my own iPad’s sometimes flaky relationship with my router).  If your older version doesn’t seem to be updating, just delete it and download it anew from the App Store (assuming you don’t have any data saved that you need).

Then, when you start it up, after you acknowledge the EULA and settle on a chart area, you can download the NOAA ENC for that area for free.  I downloaded the chart for New England and it was about 68 MB, which downloaded over my Wi-Fi in about 1 minute.  Beautiful and ready to navigate.  You can see “me” in the screen capture up above, standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking Long Island Sound.  I will actually need to board the boat to navigate from here, but the readers come first!

Android Version Coming Soon

Navionics says an Android version of the updated app will be out soon, with features similar to those in the iOS version rolling out throughout the year.  You will find that version in the Google Play store; we’ll advise when it’s released.

Copyright © 2014 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.


Posted by Tom in Electronics, GPS, Marine Electronics, Navigation, seamanship, Sonar, Technology

Raymarine Continues to Roll Out New Products with New Capabilities

Miami Beach — Among the first of what will be a small tsunami of new products announced here at the Miami International Boat Show are four new product lines from Raymarine.  OceanLines readers were among the first to hear about some of them in Raymarine’s proposed helm outfitting for the new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition.  You can read about that series HERE.  And here’s a quick rundown of the new Raymarine products:

New Raymarine C Series Widescreen Group Shot

New Raymarine C Series Widescreen Group Shot

Taking advantage of the new manufacturing emphasis on widescreen LCD technology, Raymarine announced a new Widescreen C-Series multifunction displays (MFDs).  Obviously, the new widescreens offer more viewing area and give the helmsman more flexibility in splitting screens or expanding scales.  Dave Bimschleger, president of Raymarine Inc., said, “Raymarine C-Series Widescreen owners will be able to navigate smarter by viewing more chart, radar and fishfinder data simultaneously.”

The C-Series Widescreen line is available in three sizes of sulight-viewable color displays — the 9-inch C90W, the 12-inch C120W and the 14-inch C140W.

One of the products Raymarine included in its proposed helm for the Krogen 55′ Expedition was the new AIS500 Class B Automatic Identification System (AIS) Receiver.  Recreational boaters (at least those in boats smaller than 65′) have a choice of using a “listen-only” AIS receiver, but Raymarine, along with many marine safety experts believes the use of a full Class B transceiver, which not only tracks other AIS-equipped vessels, but transmits the boater’s own information, is the safest route to take.

The AIS500 comes with a 16-channel dedicated GPS with external antenna and is easily networked, either over Raymarine’s SeaTalkng or a standard NMEA 0183 network.  The new Raymarine unit also features “Buddy Tracking” which allows you to program the unit with the MMSI numbers of friends and fellow cruisers so you can follow their boats more easily.

New Raymarine ST70 Plus Color Instrument Display

New Raymarine ST70 Plus Color Instrument Display

The third product line is the all-new ST70 Plus series of high-performance instruments and autopilot displays.  These were also part of the recommended system for the Krogen 55′ Expedition because of their new, larger size and more flexible customization.  These are the ideal solution for displaying navigation, wind, depth, speed, engine, generator and environmental information.  The units plug into both the Sea Talkng or NMEA 2000 data streams.

New Raymarine 4kW Digital Radome

New Raymarine 4kW Digital Radome

Raymarine also rolled out its first digital radomes, the RD418D and RD424D, both of which feature a 4 kW transmitter with both digital and analog signal processing, low-noise receiver, auto gain control technology, and a maximum range of 48 NM.

Copyright ©2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Industry News, Technology

Raymarine Outfits the new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition Yacht

A Typical Raymarine G-Series Helm Installation   -- Image: Raymarine

A Typical Raymarine G-Series Helm Installation -- Image: Raymarine

In the third article of our series on outfitting the new Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition yacht with a complete marine electronics suite, we have today the recommendations from Raymarine.  Raymarine has responded to our fictional couple’s Request for Proposals with a recommended electronics suite that has at its core the cream of the Raymarine crop — the G-series High Performance Navigation System.  The Raymarine response (which you can read in full HERE) was tendered by Jim McGowan, Raymarine marketing manager.  Raymarine also provided a detailed bill of materials with suggested prices, which you can look at HERE.  McGowan notes that the Krogen 55′ Expedition

“is a true all-weather, all-water cruising boat with extended range capabilities.This boat has the capability to cruise anywhere the owner dreams to take it. Because of this, it   demands a navigation system that is technologically sophisticated, yet extremely rugged. Long ocean passages with less-than-comfortable weather conditions will be a reality for it.”

Raymarine was created in 2001 when company management bought the assets of the Raytheon Marine Division.  The technology and products from the former Raytheon division have a long a successful history in the marine field, including in the commercial arena.  The new company, Raymarine PLC, is headquartered in Portsmouth, in the United Kingdom, was listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: RAY) in 2004.  In the United States –Raymarine Inc., in Merrimack, New Hampshire is the principal manufacturing and management headquarters.


Raymarine believes its G-Series is the ideal electronics solution for the Krogen 55′ Expedition.  According to the company, “The modular G-Series system can be easily tailored to distribute essential navigation and monitoring information throughout the vessel.”  Since the G-Series comes with a worldwide chart database already installed, our fictional couple would have a head start on collecting the appropriate navigational materials for global cruising.

View of a Typical Raymarine G-Series Installation -- Image: Raymarine

View of a Typical Raymarine G-Series Installation -- Image: Raymarine

The flexibility of the G-Series is shown off in this proposal by the use of a pair of GPM400 processor modules, which will handle all the computational and information distribution duties, and drive two G190, 19-inch ultra-bright sunlight-viewable marine displays.  These processors are capable of monitoring and controlling an impressively extensive array of sensors and systems aboard the yacht.  Raymarine’s product line extends farther than many of the other companies to include products in the communications, entertainment and small-boat autopilot categories. McGowan expands on the company’s rationale for the G-Series:

On a boat of this size, the action is not always happening in the pilot house. That is why we have provided for distribution and monitoring of our navigation systems throughout the boat. Each of the GPM400 processor modules at the heart of the system features dual video outputs. One of each will go to its respective G190 monitor in the pilothouse. The secondary outputs will go to LCD or Plasma televisions mounted below in the main salon and owner’s stateroom.

Using a wireless G-Series Command Center Keyboard, we can offer the Captain and crew full control of the system from any of these locations. We will fit a wireless keyboard for the main salon area and another for the owner’s stateroom.

By simply toggling the video source on the television to the input from the bridge, we can now see and control the system. For example, one could have the radar and chartplotter visible in the main salon while they are at anchor and keep a watch on the surrounding traffic and the boat’s position in the anchorage. They could call up the video feed from any of the boat’s onboard CAM50 or CAM100 cameras to see what is happening elsewhere on board.


Getting into the guts of the Raymarine proposal, the system starts with the two GPM400 modules at the network heart.  Pre-loaded with Navionics Platinum cartography for North America and Europe, they also have Navionics Gold-level charts for the rest of the world.  The two 19-inch displays, centered on the helm, provide windows into and control of the rest of the system, using a G-Series Compact Keyboard in the pilothouse.  Raymarine proposes using two (or more) G-Series Wireless Command Center keyboards, which will work anywhere onboard.  Interestingly, the company offers a wireless upgrade kit that can add that capability to any G-Series Command Center keyboard, communicating with the G-Series system through a wireless SeaTalk base station.  SeaTalk is Raymarine’s proprietary networking protocol.  Proprietary protocols used to be a significant impediment to integrating outside products into the networks of the big marine electronics manufacturers.  But with the advent, and increasing adoption, of the NMEA 2000 networking protocol, adding devices of multiple manufacturers to one network is almost seamless.  The G-Series SeaTalkhs protocol interfaces with NMEA 2000 data so information from other companies’ sensors, including engine data, is simple.

Instrumentation and Data Monitoring

Raymarine suggests taking advantage of the overhead flats above the helm in the Krogen 55′ Expedition for installation of a second tier of full-color instrumentation from the new ST70+ line.  In fact, the instruments are so new they’re not on the company’s website yet, but you can read a little more about them on Panbo.  They are controlled by a small, flush-mounted keypad on the console, “so there is no need to reach or stretch to make adjustments,” according to Raymarine.  They are high-resolution, 6.5-inch displays, fully sunlight viewable and also switchable to nigh-time viewing mode.  They can display water depth, wind speed and direction, engine data, navigation status and some other information.  Raymarine suggests supplementing them with some ST70+ analog repeaters for wind speed and direction as well as rudder angle; the traditional analog needle display perfect for at-a-glance viewing.

Another Raymarine G-Series Installation -- Image:  Raymarine

Another Raymarine G-Series Installation -- Image: Raymarine


Raymarine suggests the Krogen 55′ Expedition be fitted with a primary RA3072HD Super High Definition open-array scanner.  According to the proposal,

“This unit has a 72” open-array scanner with an ultra-narrow 1.1° horizontal beam width, 12 kW of power and a 72 nautical mile range. That, combined with Raymarine’s Super HD Digital Processing combines to present a super-detailed radar presentation with lifelike clarity.

The secondary radar will be Raymarine’s new RD424D Digital Radome scanner. With 4kW of transmit power and a 48 nautical mile range this radome is built to perform and is great solution for both close-in and long range monitoring.

The G-Series system includes a 25 target MARPA collision avoidance system standard.”


The Raymarine recommendation is for its DSM300 HD Digital Sounder unit and a B260 thru-hull transducer.  The company says this will give the best possible underwater and bottom imagery at all times without the need for any manual tuning or tweaking.  The DSM300 has 1000 watts of Transmitter power and uses both 50 and 200 kHz frequencies.


Like the other electronics manufacturers in our series, Raymarine believes strongly that AIS should be installed on our couple’s Krogen 55′ Expedition.  Raymarine recommends its AIS500 Class B AIS transponder.  The target data can be overlaid on both the radar and chartplotter displays.  Raymarine’s unit also has a feature called “Buddy Tracking,” in which the MMSI numbers of familiar vessels are programmed into the G-Series system.  When any of these vessels appear on AIS, they are called out on the chart and radar displays with a name that can be specified and with a unique AIS “buddy” symbol.  Raymarine says this makes it easy to identify friends’ boats or even keep track of a flotilla when traveling in a group.

Details of a Raymarine G-Series Installation -- Image:  Raymarine

Details of a Raymarine G-Series Installation -- Image: Raymarine

Raymarine also suggests our couple install an AIS500 transponder on the Krogen 55’s tender, along with a Raymarine A70D compact chartplotter/fishfinder unit and Ray 49 Class D VHF radio.  While these represent additional expenses, the security enhancement and peace of mind from being able to know where your tender is at all times when cruising in remote destinations is decidedly worth it.  It would probably be overkill for a local-only cruiser, but most Krogen 55′ Expedition owners will head to more remote waters with their new global-capable vessel.

Weather and Environmental Data

The proposal suggests our couple outfit the boat with an array of sensors, including an ST70 wind pod and masthead transducer for wind speed and direction, which will be repeated across the entire network.  An ST70 speed and temperature pod, along with a bronze thru-hull transducer will also be fitted, enabling the G-Series system to compute such things as real-time set and drift, true wind speed and direction and velocity made good.

Raymarine says the G-Series plotters can display all these vectors so the captain “can see at-a-glance how wind and currents are impacting the motion of the vessel.”  Raymarine also outfits the boat with their SR100 Sirius Marine Weather Receiver, which will stream live data to the G-Series system.  The Sirius system is GPS-aware, meaning it uses shipboard GPS location information to customize the weather information for your location.  It also enables alerts for breaking weather developments and storm warnings.

Safety and Surveillance

A unique element of Raymarine’s proposal for our Krogen 55′ Expedition is the recommendation for Raymarine’s LifeTag Wireless Man Overboard system.  Here’s how they describe it:

Using Zigbee secure wireless communications, each crewmember can be issued a small LifeTag pendant which is easily worn on the wrist or arm, clipped to their belt, or attached to a life vest or foul-weather garment. Up to 16 pendants can be monitored by the LifeTag base station at a time. If a user goes overboard, the base station will alert the Captain and crew to the emergency by sounding the included man-overboard alarm. Furthermore, LifeTag is integrated into the navigation network and will automatically trigger the man-overboard response mode on the G-Series Navigation System. This includes automated actions like marking the GPS position of the alarm, automatic reporting of bearing and range to the alarm position, calculation of elapsed time in the water, and other actions.

For monitoring interior and exterior spaces, Raymarine proposes installing a series of CAM100 and CAM50 marine cameras, connected to up to two GVM400 Video Modules for distribution of the video streams.  The CAM100 is a heavy-duty, waterproof camera designed for outdoor installations and equipped with a zero-light capability using its own infrared illuminators for a total darkness range of up to 30 feet.  The CAM50 devices can monitor interior spaces.

Engine Data Monitoring

Raymarine says its G-Series and ST70+ systems can both monitor the data from NMEA 2000-compatible engines and generators.  Up to three main engines and four auxiliary generators can be monitored simultaneously.  The ST70+ instruments can also monitor fuel, fresh-, gray- and black-water tank levels.


In the pilothouse, Raymarine would install a Ray218 VHF radiotelephone.  This is a full Class D DSC radio that also features an external loudhailer and automatic fog signal generator.  The Ray218 can also be remote-controlled using a RayMic second station microphone.  Raymarine suggests mounting a RayMic down below in one of the common areas for convenient access when at anchor or in-port, or on one of the bridge wing-control stations.  The company says that a backup VHF is both a convenience and a necessity on a boat of the size of the Krogen 55′ Expedition.  “Near the chart table, we will install a Ray55 DSC VHF radio.  This radio offers nearly all of the same features as the Ray218, minus the loudhailer and foghorn.”  Raymarine suggests that a remote RayMic for this unit could be in a locker on the aft deck or in the owner’s stateroom or opposite wing-control station on the bridge.

Entertainment Options

Unlike the other companies, Raymarine also has its own satellite TV antenna, in this case the Raymarine 60STV-HD Satellite Television Antenna System.  Here’s how they describe this system in their proposal:

With multi-satellite support for DirecTV, Dish Network and Express Vu, the 60STV offers superior coverage anywhere in North America. Raymarine’s exclusive Wide Range Search algorithms and Dynamic Beam Tilting (DVB) technologies make satellite acquisition and tracking fast, steady and reliable in even the most extreme weather conditions.

Fully stabilized to counter the motion of the boat while underway, 60STV also features conical scanning for maintaining the strongest possible signal, and a unique rotating sub-reflector minimizes the need for constant dish movement resulting in much quieter operation than competitive units.

60STV’s standard dual LNBs offer support for multiple receivers (think TV in multiple staterooms) while its simplified cabling makes installation easy.


For our couple’s Krogen 55′, Raymarine recommends installing the new SmartPilot X-30 hydraulic system, with a combination of fixed and wireless controllers.  The core pack for this system includes an integrated rate-gyro sensor which enables the autopilot to detect the most subtle yawing motions of the vessel, enabling it to make smarter decisions about how to best hold the boat on course.  This means being able to minimize large-scale movements, which saves fuel.  The X-30 is naturally integrated with the rest of the navigation system and can take navigation guidance from the G-Series plotters.  And if our couple notices some tuna schools under the boat with the DSM Sounder, they can use one of the X-30’s pre-programmed fishing patterns to lure the pelagics to the dinner table.


Raymarine has proposed an extremely comprehensive electronics suite for the Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition.  It utilizes Raymarine’s top-end G-Series processors and displays and takes advantage of both the company’s high-speed SeaTalk network and NMEA 2000 protocols to deliver almost unlimited systems and information monitoring and control capabilities.  With major installations in the U.S., Europe and Asia, our couple won’t have any trouble getting support or replacement parts if trouble should arise while cruising.

If you would like to talk to Raymarine about their proposal for the Krogen 55′ Expedition or any of their other marine products, you can visit them at the Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail, at booths A95 and A100 at the Miami Beach Convention Center site.  If you’re going to the show, stop by and see the actual Kadey-Krogen 55′ Expedition at the Sea Isle Marina in  Miami at dock 808, slips a, b and c. 


Copyright © 2009 OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in Boats, Technology