Raymarine news: Axiom Plus, new Lighthouse charts, and more
Raymarine had a busy Monday announcing new and updated hardware, software, and cartography. They unveiled an update to their Axiom MFD called the Axiom+, all new LightHouse charts, LightHouse Premium subscription plan, and a new companion app called RayConnect. Raymarine recently presented the new functionality to members of the media (and I asked a lot of questions) allowing me to share some more details about all this news.
The Axiom+ offers more memory, higher resolution, and brighter screens than the comparable Axiom models while maintaining the same price points. The new displays also feature HydroTough, an impact-resistant glass that repels water, oil, and smudges, and the built-in, 10 hertz GPS sensor has been improved, making it four times more sensitive. Built-in memory has been increased from 8gb to 16gb leaving more room for apps and allowing cartography to be stored on the MFD in addition to on a MicroSD card inserted into the card reader. Axiom+ is fully compatible with all MFDs in the Axiom line, though they all need to be running the same software version.
Raymarine’s LightHouse (LH) 3.12 software release — named Dartmouth — adds new apps, an audio control sidebar, new rulers for measuring distance, significantly updated gauges, and a new chart rendering engine to support the new LightHouse charts. Previously I’ve noticed frustrating inconsistency in what data is available where in LH 3 which I’m hoping will be improved with this release.
New LightHouse charts
The new LightHouse Charts are a complete overhaul of Raymarine’s in-house cartography option. The charts are still based on official government hydrographic office data but the level of customization they’ve applied, plus the additional data that can now be overlayed, are a significant step forward. The charts allow day, dusk, night, and bright sun color palettes with granular control over how the data is displayed.
Raymarine offers two chart presentations: what they call a “Leisure” (recreational) visual look or a more official S52-like “Government” style. The S52 option utilizes smaller icons for aids to navigation (ATONs) and points of interest (POIs) while the leisure presentation offers more prominent icons with user-controlled detail on the charts. Plus, all LightHouse charts have fishing intelligence from Raymarine’s Fishing Hotspots. Auto-routing with LH charts won’t be available initially, but it’s being worked on and planned for a future release.
LightHouse premium and RayConnect
Along with the new charts, Raymarine introduced LightHouse Premium, a subscription based service that offers additional POI data, satellite imagery and frequent updates to the charts. Marina, fuel, service, and more POI data comes from Marinas.com and Reeds Almanac and Marina. Satellite imagery can be overlayed on land or land and water and is provided by MapBox. LH Premium will be bundled with all new chart purchases for one year and then cost $49 per year.
RayConnect is a brand new companion app for the entire Axiom MFD line. It allows purchasing and updating LH charts directly from the app plus you can add or remove coverage areas as needed. Currently RayConnect manages the chart purchase, download and update process but doesn’t offer route planning or MFD companion functions. RayRemote and RayControl will continue to work with all Axioms to give you remote display and control capabilities. I’ve confirmed RayConnect updates LightHouse charts while the Navionics app continues to update Navionics charts within the MFD. There’s currently not an app-based option for updating C-Map charts.
Axiom+ MFDs will begin shipping today, LightHouse 3.12 Dartmouth will be available later this week, and RayConnect and LightHouse charts covering France, Canada, Italy, US, and UK are expected to be available in July. Pricing for Axiom+ is the same as the Axiom models being replaced but with nicely upgraded hardware. LightHouse Charts will range from a $49 add-on when bundled with a new MFD to $149 for a retail packaged chart.
will raymarine be discontinuing it’s compatibility with c-map.
I don’t think Raymarine is planning on dropping C-Map support. I asked them a question about updating C-Map and they answered that and didn’t say anything about sun-setting support.
once its available “later in week”.. will be interesting to update and try it out.
the trend however continues .. with a heavy emphasis on new functionality oriented to “new hardware”. … probably a “paid for development” by the respective “new hardware” vendors to get Raymarine to include it into LH releases.
.. good to see “some”… non HW new functionality. (eg “new fonts” New guages”)
.. but gee… if only raymarine could work on better supporting PGNs … which still lack some “basic” things like “extended environment” (additional temperatures, ) & also engine exhaust temperature … kinda basic!!
.. we can but continue to make a noise and hope they are listening to the early supporters of axiom/LH3 … and remedy some of these “oversights” ..
I don’t share your skepticism about Raymarine’s purpose in releasing new software, apps and hardware. Though there are several new apps in the catalog to support additional hardware the vast majority of the news is about new features to the core hardware and software. There’s a lot of new stuff for existing Axiom owners in addition to the new hardware.
I do hope that additional data support will be added and that some of the existing data will be made available consistently throughout the system. I do find the uneven data support frustrating but also realize I’m likely in a very small minority of their users by using these features.
Sounds to me they do not trust Navionics anymore because it is owned by Garmin now. So they push their own charts.
We’re stepping into a new era when it comes to digital charts with the mergers of Navionics/Garmin and C-Map/Navico. The Navionics/Garmin merger has worked out well for both sides in my humble opinion. Garmin is using Navionics data to update it’s charts and Garmin is sharing capabilities with Navionics ….. Relief Shading overlays are now available for upload into Navionics Platinum + Chart sets and the Navionics Boat App. Navico/C-Map are this way moving with Reveal Charts. So what this tells me is Garmin is adapting their chart architecture for use with Navionics Charts that can be used by other vendors.
I use both G3 Vision Garmin 7610xsv and Navionics Platinum + Raymarine Axiom. I posted in the Forum area in regards to this. Then you throw CMOR and Strikeline charts into the mix it and it really gets interesting .
Thanks, Tom! The screenshots you posted in the Forum are amazing:
Hi Ben, Glad to hear that RayMarine is answering your questions, because they’ve been ignoring me completely of late – I’m considering upgrading (updating?) my now-ancient e95 system which seems to have suffered a water-intrusion casualty coming North from FL this year, and I’ve posted several questions on the RayMarine Forum – which are being ignored completely, as are my emails to the forum sysops. Being tied into the Raymarine networking via SeatalkNG and RayNet cables, etc. is going to make changing brands highly annoying, but if they won’t answer basic questions anymore, we may have to.
In fairness to RayMarine, I discovered today via a new pop-up that Ray is abandoning their “User Forum” – supposedly on July 6th, but from the looks of the dates, they probably stopped servicing it a couple of weeks ago. I’ve posted my questions to their new “Technical Support” web page, so we’ll see what that brings.
I can’t say I’m ecstatic about Raymarine abandoning their User Forum in favor of yet another user-interactive facility. This is the THIRD time Ray has done this since I started using their gear. Every time, we lose the old content and start off “empty”.
In fairness, they do seem to be preserving the old forum, at least for now. I’ve gotten quite a bit of good info through the forum, though they did go through a patch where the sysops were rather cranky and obnoxious. After that episode, I found them quite responsive and respectful, which is why I was so disappointed to find myself being ignored recently.
After I made the first post above, I tried again to look at the forum, and a pop-up informed me that Ray was abandoning the forum in favor of a new service – so I inquired there. I got an immediate response, and the respondent also indicated that they had read my post on Panbo (Yay, PANBO!). But a followup query has gotten no attention, so who knows.
They have a “search our responses” feature, which invites you to search for answers, but it had very little in it when I looked.
The COVID workforce reductions and the shift away from the forum caused a big headache in the past few months. I would just call the 1-800-number. The customer help process will be much better when they go to a ticket/email system and avoid the long hold times.
Will Axion+ be available with larger than 12″ Axiom screens e.g. 16″?
Good Evening Ben,
Does the Axiom Plus line fit in below the XL line? If. Do you anticipate an Axiom XL Plus?
tue 2nd july … update still showing as “coming soon”.
Seems their “avail later in week” & “june update” … was a little over ambitious !!
once the Dartmouth was posted (on EU web site)
my MFDs couldnt find it using the normal “check online” method.
.. so i had to download it from EU raymarine web site onto a SDcard and install via this method.
im assuming my MFDs look to a different location for the online update .. and as yet it still can only find previous version.
I successfully downloaded Dartmouth 3.12 to a micro SD card and updated my units. Only obvious thing is I see the Day/Night lighting option…but it only changes my two Axioms and not the two P70s and i70 so not that useful to me – I’ll still use synced brightness. I have not found ANY new “gauges” yet, the page on Raymarine.com has been updated for 3.12 to show even LESS info, and I cannot find any detail anywhere on 3.12. One thing I DID find – and this was a big one for me – was that they added Route TTG and ETA to the Data Boxes. The #1 question everyone on the boat wants to know is “how long till we get there” and “what time will we get there” so this one was hugely important (to me). Unfortunately they don’t seem to have updated the i70 to add those options so maybe I’ll have to install ANOTHER Axiom so that the admiral and crew can see that information.
on the “are we there yet” … maybe for this alone this firmware is a winner 🙂
mine still updating
im interested in “new’ guages
.. concerning your comments about difficulty finding some of the new features..
and the chanages on the update page features … doesnt sound promising ..
Here’s the update information page posted from Raymarine
I loaded the update without issue and have had it on the water everything works as per the update page.
Note that 3.12 was available CLOSE to what they said (first week of July versus end of June), but the new charts “in July” have not yet shipped and it’s end of August.
Also they stealth updated the 3.12 download later in July to add support for Instruments.
Raymarine axiom pro will not work with Yamaha’s new helm master ex product line.
I will be buying a boat soon however i want to put the Axiom products in the boat. However I was hoping that someone may more information on this. Here is the situation. the boat is coming with 2x 300 yamaha engines with a joystick. Yamaha says that you have to purchase the yamaha package because they are no longer supporting the seastar products. Ok so the only way you can get a joystick with all the fishing and drift features to use Yamaha autopilot as well. Raymarine and yamaha have both stated that in order to use raymarine MFD’s you must use the the axiom xl products and the smallest size is a 16 monitor. Does anyone have any more news on this? there is a huge pricing & size difference between the 12 pro’s and the XL’s.