Raymarine A60, a Garmin blocker?


It seems a bit unusual that the folks at Raymarine just announced a new A60 plotter/fishfinder that they didn’t mention at the Miami Boat Show, but I imagine they’re hustling to meet the Garmin juggernaut. After checking out the A60’s specs, and manuals (where I snipped the diagram below), I’d say it’s a worthy competitor to, say, the Garmin 545s. You get a slightly bigger display, 5.7” over 5”, a killer digital fishfinder, and Ray’s C/E-series soft key interface made even simpler as it’s stripped of radar, AIS, wind, and other elements the hardware doesn’t support. The A60 comes with a Navionics Silver card covering all U.S. waters in almost complete detail, plus you can use Gold or HotMaps fresh water cards. The Garmin, of course, has BlueCharts built in, plus you can get g2 Vision cards with hi res photos and 3D, even add XM weather, but is a 5” screen big enough for that sort of use? (Though note that the 545 sports high pixel density, 480 x 640 versus the A60’s 320 x 240.) At any rate, there’s already a discussion going at The Hull Truth comparing the Garmin with Raymarine’s A65, the similar 6.5” model that preceded this new one (at a significantly higher price). But, watch out, I think FlipFlop425’s post is wrong about the 545s having a digital fishfinder. (And, by the way, are any of the new Garmins shipping yet?)

PS 4/18: Yipe, I made mistakes above! It turns out that the internal fishfinder in the Garmin 545s does use digital signal processing, plus you can use its CANet port to connect to an up-to-2kW GSD 22 module. Also, it and the other smaller new Garmins are now shipping (with the 4000 and 5000 series soon to follow). Apologies to FlipFlop425 and also to Garmin’s media guy (whose Blackberry jukeboxed when it started working again early this morning!).

Raymarine_A60_sys diagram

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

8 Responses

  1. Bob Mueller says:

    Do you have an opinion about the new Garmin units like the 545? I was using a 440 display model set up at a Boat US Store, and I was not very impressed. It felt like the interface was designed for a touch screen, and was very clumsy to use with the arrow keys. I have a 3005, and it seems like I can do far more with much less button presses. I will say, that the 440 was VERY easy to use in terms of, I didn’t need the manual to operate it at all. But I found myself making ALOT of button presses with the arrow keys to move the cursor around the screen. With my 3005C, I only have to push the “Page” button once to move from plotter to sounder screen. With the 440, I had to navigate to a menu, then navigate the menu. It was obvious how to do it without looking at the manual, but I would hate to do all those button presses in a rolling sea. I guess that is the price we pay for ease of use, less features, and a more clumsy interface?

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Bob, It sounds like you’ve had more hands-on time than I have. Garmin hasn’t released any review units, or at least not in my direction. I do understand that the interface emphasis is on simplicity, as apparently you saw, but hope that doesn’t also mean cumbersome.


    i am looking at a Raymarine combo A60, garmin 440s and a lowrance 527C DF. they are all about the same price. what would you recommend?

  4. Norton Rider says:

    Everything else the same, I would choose the Raymarine unit due to the soft keys. I do not like electonic gear that has important functions buried in menus and sub-menus. The lack of soft keys becomes quite frustrating in rough seas, when it is hard to make multiple keystrokes to get to a simple function.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    That’s my preference too, Raul, but no one should buy the A60 without a good look at the low res screen, which I wrote more about here:
    The A65 may be worth the extra money.

  6. aoudi moez says:

    hello i bougth a 60 and ap 24 simrad i have a problem for connection betwin them ( data transmitiom
    thanks for help me

  7. Henrik says:

    I bought an A60 and have had problems to get it working properly with my Navman autopilot. After looking at the NMEA messages provided bu A60 (very nice NMEA monitor built in into the A60) I found out that the A60 has an incomlete APB message that is leaving out the bearing information leaving the autopilot to steer based on xte offset. The bearing is available in other messages but it seems my autopilot do not listen to them in combination with APB. APA has been omitted from the A60 apparently as it is no longer recommended by NMEA but with APA my autopilot would have listened to also other messages as was the case with my previous GPS. This fault was not in the Raymarine manual, nor did the sales person tell about it. I wonder if also other Raymarine plotters have the same fault?

  8. jack says:

    If stept on, one of the 5 buttons under the screen of the A60, break of very easy. One is broken already. I called Raymarine several times, and get no answer about spare parts.
    Can anybody help me?

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