Raymarine E-Series Widescreen, mission accomplished!
Yes, you’ll be able to use the Navionics or C-Map format of your preference, or the one that offers the best data for the waters you’re boating. Moreover, E Wides will ship preloaded with extraordinarily wide built-in chart coverage, North American models including all of the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, and Central America. These ‘base’ charts will be from Jeppesen C-Maps, a reunion both companies seem excited about, and they’ll include a system for regular data updates. E-Series Widescreen will also be the first MFD to support an interesting new C-Map format called 4D which seems to include all the features of Navionics Platinum Plus (excepting perhaps TurboView, which E Wide will support), plus a paper-chart-like NOAA raster layer (U.S. only) and automated routing. Cool!
There’s more to the new E Wides than good interface and chart choices, particularly in regard to radar; you’ll find some hints at Ray’s new hybridtouch.com site, and I’ll have more coverage here soon. But I do think we’ve got the answer to the obvious question that came up when the C Wides were introduced last February. When the C-Series got features previously reserved for the now ‘Classic’ E-Series, like multi-station networking and dual radar support, you had to wonder how Ray could truly distinguish the coming E Wides. It looks to me like they thoroughly accomplished the mission. But of course now there’s a new queston: What happens with Raymarine E Wides and the Garmin 5000 series they obviously compete against if the two companies become one, a possible deal still simmering (I think)? I don’t have clue. You?