We knew it was finally time to replace our Raymarine equipment when the LCD multifunction panels went black – we couldn’t read them anymore. Our two C90 plotters often failed to communicate with each other throwing up beeps and constant re-boots. The button on our autopilot often failed to work leading to hand steering and our AIS would sometimes send out data but we couldn’t receive boat positions anymore. It was time for a Raymarine Axiom installation.
Heck – the system didn’t owe us any money. We got it to last for 18 years!
Watch the video and then read below to get more information about our installation choices and process.
Raymarine Axiom Installation Video
When it came to deciding on how, when and what to upgrade we initially started getting quotes in Grenada. Due to Covid and a change of plans we ended up in St Martin and it was certainly a blessing in disguise in regards to our Raymarine equipment.
In Grenada, the three quotes that we received didn’t have the correct equipment listed and the quote was thousands more than what we paid in St Martin. Fortunate for us, we came across Atlantis Marine services. The owner Gui has a very long reputation for providing an excellent service and I must say he, and his employee’s, didn’t disappoint.
The list of equipment and lines was long but the core modules that we replaced for our Raymarine Axiom installation are as follows:
- C90/W Plotter to Axiom Pro 9 Multifunction Display (One plotter we left with the hopes of upgrading once we make more money).
- Five ST60 and one Maxview Multifunction to the new i70’s
- Autopilot ST600` to EV-400
- ST6001 Control Head to P70s Control Head
- AIS Pro to Raymarine AIS700 Class B
We also kept our Radar as is. So once we make some money we’ll upgrade the final plotter and Radar and all will be done.
When setting off to do the Raymarine Axiom installation we had two three worries:
- Will the system work with some of our old analogue equipment considering that it’s now all digital? And can we run some old stuff that still works with the new stuff?
- Will we have issues finding the wires and/or feeding new wires throughout the boat?
- Will there be any nasty surprises or time delays that increase the quotation? This is my worry with EVERY job we get done on our boat.
As you’ll see in the video, the integration of analogue to digital worked perfectly.
Using the ITC5 Raymarine system we’re able to get readings from analogue devices in a digital format. It’s really cool. So our wind, depth and speed are translated into digital format. Furthermore, our Radar has integrated perfectly onto the new Axiom Pro 9 multifunction.
Our old plotter that we kept in our Navigation Station works great too. It’s independent of the system but is a great backup. Using its own GPS it displays our location just as it always has. And now that it’s the only plotter on it’s own system it can’t fight with any other plotter!
You might be wondering why we chose the Axiom Pro 9?
Interestingly, I didn’t know the answer to this until last week. We moved from Marigot Bay to Grand Case in St Martin and while viewing the Axiom Pro 9 I tried to expand or contract the screen with my fingers. Nothing happened.
Simon then told me to use the wheel and the buttons on the side. I was able to get what I wanted using the old fashion way (before touch screen). Overall the touch screen seems to work most of the time but every once in a while it doesn’t…and that’s the difference between the pro and non-pro. The non-pro is just a touchscreen.
So the analogue to digital set-up worked brilliantly. What about running the wires?
Well…we expected it to be a bit difficult and it was. The older the boat the more wires that have been run and left blocking the space. In a perfect situation it would have been great to pull every wire out, get rid of what’s not needed and replace only with the new but doing so is just not practical.
The one tip I offer about running the wires is to make sure you have someone to help you. This is not a one-person job! And you’ll surely need one of those snake things (as show in the video).
And what about the time it took and any time delays?
In total, the installation took one full day and a couple half days. I feel as if we did run over a bit but the quotation didn’t change. We managed to save labor costs too due to Simon working full time with Star, the lovely guy that did the installation.
All in all we spent $10,000 USD (it was $11k but we sold some of our working stuff for $1k) and that included everything – all the wires, equipment, labor, new display plates for the dashboard and plotter.
At first we were going to try and do the job ourselves but we’re so pleased that we went to Gui at Atlantic Marine – Gui and Star were fantastic to work with and they ultimately saved us a lot of time and stress. It’s not too often I can write a raving review about a marine service company but this one I can.
So…going forward. We’ve been able to do a few Britican Experiences, our 7 – 12 day sailing lifestyle charter offering so we’ve made a bit of income. We’re hoping that we can continue to do our charters and gain enough money so that we can finish the job before hurricane season and our return to Grenada. As far as our next projects go…we’re looking at getting a new Generator as our old one might not last a Pacific crossing. That’s another $10,000! Yep – B.O.A.T – Break Out Another Thousand (or 10 Thousand!).
Questions or Comments on our Raymarine Axiom installation?
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
Would you like to check out our Raymarine installation in better detail?
Come join us on Britican for a 7 to 12 day sailing lifestyle experience. See what it’s like to be a liveaboard cruising sailor with me, Simon and Sienna. We’ll teach you about sailing, how to maintain a Bluewater boat and we’ll even let you play with our new Axiom Pro 9 equipment 🙂
More details here: The Britican Experience
|THE BRITICAN EXPERIENCE - A LIFE CHANGING WEEK-LONG LIVEABOARD EXPERIENCE|
|Try-before-you-buy the liveaboard lifestyle. Spend one week with us to give the life a test drive. Learn about sailing, anchoring, maneuvering in marina's, docking, provisioning, cooking, maintaining, troubleshooting AND checking out all the white sandy beaches, snorkeling over the fish-filled reef and testing out exotic tropical drinks. You create the itinerary - if you want to try sailing at night, we'll sail at night. If you want to gain confidence on passage planning, we'll plan passages. Click here for more information.|