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Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

Old 03-22-2007, 10:14 AM
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Default Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

I have narrowed it down and I am ready to purchase one of these two units for a 26' Triton. Any pro's/con's about either.
I would appreciate any input. I seen to be leaning to the Northstar unit, the boat has Mercury Verados and the unit integrates nicely with the motors.
Looking forward to hearing what you all think.
Lee
Old 03-22-2007, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

I was looking at the C80 and decided to go with the Northstar M121 (same as M84, but 12 inch screen). Price was lower than C80 and bigger screen to boot. The sounder is built into the Northstar, so you don't have to pay $500 - $600 extra for the Raymarine DSM300 sounder module. The Northstar comes with the GPS sensor, so just add a transducer and you are ready to go. You can also add radar. I have Yamaha, so I can't use the engine integration - can't comment on that.

Overall the M121 is a very nice unit. Simple menus and easy to understand. Construction seems solid. I didn't even read the book and had it up and running with no problems. I had it installed, so can't speak to the ease of installation. Your only choice for charts is C-Map, so that may be a bigger consideration. I have the NT MAX C-Map card and it's fantastic. I would say very similar to the Navionics Platinum that the Raymarine uses. I use the chartplotter more than fishfinder and have been pleased with accuracy and detail. Fishfinder looks good, but I haven't had a chance to use it heavy.

Screen quality/viewability is great, but I would rate it slightly less than the Raymarine. Raymarine is very, very bright but the Northstar is no slouch. I'm using it on a 25 Wellcraft CC with a T-Top and no problems with viewing in direct sunlight. I have it hooked up to an ICOM M504 and it transfers lat/lon/time with no issues. The Raymarine has a slight edge in usability with the rotary knob on the front, but I didn't like the Raymarine menus compared to the Northstar.

Overall, I'd say the Northstar is a high quality unit and I'd recommend. I paid about $1800 for the M121 (comes with sounder and GPS sensor) and about $120 for a transom mount transducer. It's a bargain compared to the Raymarine. You'd be looking at $2500 easy for the Raymarine when you add up all the pieces "ala carte". I liked saving $500+ and getting the 12 inch screen on the M121.
Old 03-22-2007, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

Thanks for the info, I am also looking at the 6000I,
the one thing I have noticed on the M84/M121 is that it does not specify waterproof like other units do. I have not actually had my hands on one yet but how is it's waterproof ability in your opiniom.
Thanks again,
Lee
Old 03-22-2007, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

The M84 and M121 both have IPx6 / IPx7 waterproof ratings. That's comparable to other similar equipment.
Old 03-22-2007, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

Thanks, I saw that but wanted to be sure. Any thoughts on the 6000 series?
Old 03-22-2007, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

They are IPx6 / IPx7 rated. No water problems with my Northstar M121. I've taken spray, been in rain and I shoot it with the hose (mist) and no issues. I've only had it for a short while, so time will tell.

Didn't compare to the 6000i series as the price put them out of my league. I was looking for best bang for the buck and largest screen I could fit on my console. I've heard good things about Navman and the M121 is the same as the Navman 8120. I know folks with the 8120 and they love 'em.
Old 03-22-2007, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

The major difference in functionality between the units is the 6000i can display the Sirius Weather data whereas the M series cannot.
Old 03-22-2007, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

If my 240 LTS w/V275didn't have the plotter already I would have thought about the Northstar real hard. It's nice to see a unit that can display the engine info.

Old 03-22-2007, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

You will have to add a smartcraft gateway to intergrate to the verado's.
Old 03-22-2007, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

$179 it's all plug and use. Very easy to install .... I've installed a number of units.
Old 03-23-2007, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

I am getting the 240 LTS with the Suzuki 300 hp. I have left the electronics for last but must deal with this now. I'm concerned with the water integrity as my boat is totally exposed and we fish in bad weather up north. I'm considering Raymarine for that consideration and that you can see it in bright sunlight as I have no protection from the sun.

Any suggestions or considerations?
Old 03-25-2007, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Northstar M84 vs. Raymarine C80

The m84 and m121 are submersible for 30 minutes at 1 metre so you should be ok there. The screens are bright too. A Raymarine E series is brighter but you pay in money and size. Not sure about the C series. The LCDs on m84/121 are bonded to the glass so you will never get fogging.

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