Raymarine Plotter Upgrade | Sailing Blog - Technical Hints and Tips - Sailing Television

Raymarine Plotter Upgrade

Is it time to upgrade your plotter? Sounds too expensive?

How about doing an upgrade that is absolutely free and just takes a few minute? Many of the new Multifunction displays (MFDs) allow you to upgrade them with new versions and new functionality as it becomes available. Our Raymarine MFDs e95 + e125 9 and 12 inch units respectively have just had an upgrade and I am very impressed. There is a big jump in functionality, especially if you sail in US waters and we are heading there in the next few weeks. Apparently the NOAA charts are now available to run on the plotters, and even better they are free - both as raster and vector versions.

The process is quite simple these days. No visiting a dealer, rewiring, or anything. You just need a reasonable internet connection as you will be downloading the files. In this case the main file is 700MB or so. However I also will want to download the new charts for the US waters. These are also free but are larger at 2GB for the whole shebang! So far I have just done the software upgrade - not the charts. Perhaps I’ll try it out at dinner tonight at Saba Rock :-) with their excellent free wifi?

Raymarine Lighthouse upgrade

Once downloaded, you can follow along with a simple procedure (here) . Basically put the files on a blank microSD chip, backup your user data from the MFD, and then boot with the microSD in the slot. The boot / upgrade process went quickly and had no hiccups. Clear the cache, then reinstall my user data (waypoints and tracks) and "Bob's your uncle" the new "Lighthouse" software is up and running. Repeat for additional plotters.

I'll be testing the new software the next few days before we head off on our passage to the Bahamas in the next couple of days.

And as soon as I get a decent internet connection I will download all those free US charts that now work on my Ray MFDs. Cool!

Whichever system you use, it might be worth checking if there is an upgrade available. The modern systems offer these upgrades but if you don't check you might be missing out on a sweet deal!

Have you updated your plotter software recently?
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