RayTech 6.0, first impressions

RayTech6 routing © Panbo

Actually I’ve been watching RayTech 6.0 for quite a while, as I was kindly included in the Beta testing. I think Raymarine really got it right this time. Take a look at the full screen shot, and consider all the cartography it supports. On the left is Navionics Platinum being read off a CF card in a Navionics USB reader; RayTech seems to speedily support every Platinum feature—including blended photo maps (shown), panoramic photos, 3D, port info, tides & currents, etc. (by contrast Navionics own NavPlanner hardly supports any Platinum features, yet). On the right of course is a Maptech raster chart; other Maptech products supported are photo maps (with variable blending) and topos. Finally, you can also read NT+ charts using a C-Map reader.

And consider how many ways there are to use RayTech 6.0. You can download it for free (yes, available now), grab some free rasters, and you’re all set to plan routes that you can copy onto a CF card and take to your Raymarine C or E, or email to someone, or whatever (see below, bigger here). Or you can buy a Navionics or C-Map reader and use your plotter charts to plan on, or at least compare to the rasters, again taking the routes to the plotter via card. Or you can license your copy of 6.0, and then a single Ethernet cable feeds it everything that’s on an E Series network (Sirius weather, Navtex, and AIS excepted, for the time being). I’m trying both networked and stand alone versions, as well as the Sirius weather, am impressed by all, and will report further.

RayTech6 routing 2

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.

9 Responses

  1. Bill Kearney says:

    Where can one buy JUST the Navionics card reader, without their abominable software? The software is horrible and I have little desire to subsidize it’s existance by getting an overpriced (and proprietary) card reader. Just the reader alone, and cheap please.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Bill, My understanding is that Raymarine will be selling the plain reader for $75, but I notice that right now it’s listed as “out of stock” at Raymarine.com.

  3. David says:

    6.0 looks alot like 5.0… with all the bugs and UI problems. I guess it works with their E series and the new charts, some waypoint mgmt features but those are most of the changes.
    Has anyone been able to figure out how to get WpVelMadeGood or VMC to use SOG and not boat speed? Last I checked marks are fixed in the ground so these calculations should be done using the GPS.
    The UI for customizing the data boxes is as clunky as ever. Current data still comes up wrong (if the window/page was open from the last time RayTech was run). Fix is to show next day then show current day.
    There are a lot of things I like about RayTech but there’s also a long list of problems and 6.0 doesn’t address any of them.

  4. James says:

    I have the Navionics PC Plotter software (on trial – it will be going back – I agree with all the other commenst as to how dire it is).
    But that does mean I currently have a Navionics card reader – so bingo – I can view my charts in RayTech 6 – or so I thought.
    It seems that Raymarine use a different Navionics card reader (although the picture looks identical).
    I get a message “Cannot read chart from a non Raymarine CompactFlash Reader. Please make sure you are using teh Raymarine E86026 Navionics Multicard reader”
    It seems that Raymarine must have one with different firmare on it ?? How annoying is that .

  5. Bill Kearney says:

    Oh great, so now it’s not only a matter of getting screwed having to carry along a proprietary card reader, but you’re going to need TWO OF THEM? One for the horrible Navionics PC Planner and an entirely different one for Raymarine’s program? Could it be any clearer to these idiots that this is a surefire way to generate considerable more BAD PRESS among potential customers? I’d venture the potential lost revenue from customers steering clear of this whole fiasco is considerably larger than anything that might be ‘saved’ by implementing such draconian and unworkable copy protection schemes.
    But hey, you get to spend several hundred dollars on a chip and still, they treat you like a criminal.
    WAKE UP VENDORS, copy protection doesn’t work.
    Look at this way, the people that would steal from you wouldn’t ever convert to being customers anyway. So all you’re doing is putting willing customers through hassles. This does not encourage them to be repeat customers. Instead it just encourages them to warn others NOT TO BUY your products.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I don’t understand what happened to James, but I have two Navionics card readers, both of which came direct from Navionics, and they both work fine with either NavPlanner or RayTech 6.0.

  7. John says:

    I’m new to electronic charting and wondering why you need a Navionics proprietary card reader to read a Navionic Compact Flash memory card. It is a CF Card. Is there a reason that any USB CF reader, like the one I use for my digital camera won’t work? I’ve downloader the RNS 6.0 Plannner and would like to plug in the CF chart and see how it works.

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    It won’t work, John. Navionics had to lock the files so that they couldn’t be stolen. I tried to explain it here:

  9. Jan Vermeulen says:

    I’m using RNS 5 for two years now. Although RNS 6 is award winning software, the only difference I can find is that it can handle Navionics charts and records fish finder data.
    Still no AIS and no vector on MARPA targets in chart overlay.

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