MIBS 2023 – Raymarine Axiom Pro 2, Axiom XL 2, and more

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of Panbo.com, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

3 Responses

  1. Hank says:

    Exactly what are your reservations about the utility of forward looking sonar? I really want to hear this, as it seems to be a common thread among a lot of people that are not anchoring and exploring islands that are not charted well. Please do tell.

  2. Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

    My reservations are simple. The shallower the water, the less range forward looking sonar can achieve. The forward looking range of sonar is usually quoted as a multiple of depth at 8-10 times depth. That means, in 8 feet of water, your best range is 80 feet and it could easily be as little as 64 feet. So, if you’re picking your way through an anchorage at 0.5 kts, you can probably put the information from FLS to good use and avoid an obstruction. But, if you’re moving even at a 2 kts, it’s going to be difficult to impossible to get the boat stopped in that kind of range.

    In essence, when you need it most, it offers the shortest range. I’ve talked to too many people who believe FLS is going to be a cruising safety tool to keep them out of trouble. I believe the reality is, it will only help you if you already know you may be in trouble.

    -Ben S.

  3. An observation – one of the details of the Axiom 2 Pro is that RayMarine has dropped NMEA0183 support in their chartplotter. I was doing some noodling about NMEA 2000 last night and I found a comment in a Panbo thread in 2007 worrying about manufacturers dropping 0183 support in favor of N2K – well, they finally did – 16 years later! Ben Ellison assured that commenter that manufacturers wouldn’t be dropping 0183 support anytime soon – looks like he got that right.
    Now Ray has a workaround if you still need 0183 – they even have the required Actisense converter in their accessories list – but it doesn’t come native anymore.
    We are seriously looking at the Axiom 2 Pro because it will fit in our Helm Pod to replace the e95 we have now – and our e95 a) leaks in the rain and goes coo-coo if it gets wet with saltwater and b) is no longer supported 🙁

    S/V Atsa

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