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Raymarine under FLIR ownership?

Old 07-29-2016, 09:14 AM
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Default Raymarine under FLIR ownership?

Raymarine seems to have a long history of problems, both hardware and what appears to be firmware released prematurely to the public, that they are slow to remedy, after first denying that there even is a problem for far too long. And it seems that when they address one glitch, they create several new ones in the process.

Since acquisition by FLIR (now 6 years ago), have Raymarine products significantly improved their quality, or is it still business as usual?

I still hear many complaints about RM problems, but it's often hard to tell if they are for units made before, or after, the FLIR acquisition.

Garmin was also a bidder for the the company assets (along with a huge amount of debt) that probably would have ended RM's compatibility with Navionics charting, since Garmin and Navionics have not exactly been on speaking terms, despite Garmin losing sales because of chart quality especially for certain areas that Navionics covers much better.

Opinions?
Old 07-29-2016, 09:26 AM
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For many years I used and liked Raytheon marine GPS and sounders when their products were manufactured by JRC. After they cut ties I didn't see much from them that impressed me. FLIR is a good company but I don't know if they have the stuff to turn them around.
Old 07-29-2016, 10:54 AM
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This is a long post, but very responsive to your question. Raymarine has really come a long way and stepped up its game since FLIR purchased the company.

About 5 years ago, I purchased a boat that had Raymarine electronics on it. The MFDs, radar and autopilot worked fine, but the sonar (DSM 300) drove me nuts. There were so many lost connection alarms that I wound up turning off my electronics for peace and quiet. I tried everything to fix it, but nothing worked and I was about to rip all the Raymarine equipment out of my boat and I vowed to never buy Raymarine electronics again.

I read numerous posts from other THT members complaining about the same issue. Many sent their DSM units in to Raymarine only to receive them back with a note indicating that nothing was wrong. It was clear that there was some sort of defect with the DSM units, but for years, Raymarine blamed the issue on low voltage or poor installation. I tried everything conceivable to fix the problem. I isolated my electronics on their own battery and did what I could to supply the system with pure, unfiltered power. However, this effort was to no avail. At my wits end, I posted on THT an open letter to Raymarine expressing my frustration and begging them to fix the system or refund my money. The post quickly went relatively viral. To my surprise, I was contacted by Raymarine in less than a day and they arranged to have the Global Head of Warranty and an engineer visit my boat in Key Largo the next week to evaluate my system. Shortly thereafter, a very senior officer at Raymarine posted on my thread publicly acknowledging the problem and offering to replace all defective DSM300 units. Quite impressive customer service!

It was determined that although I did have some installation issues, the true cause of my problem was that I had a defective unit manufactured in Mexico. Turns out that Raymarine had manufactured a bunch of these units in Mexico that were defective before moving to a new manufacturer in Europe and I happened to have one of the defective Mexican units. I was sort of shocked that Raymarine finally admitted there was a problem with this unit. What I did not know at the time I made my post, is that FLIR, recently purchased Raymarine and there was a noticeable change between the way the new owners acknowledged the problem and took responsibility and the way the old owners buried their head in the sand and blamed the problem on the owner's installation. Raymarine replaced my unit and my system worked flawless thereafter. Simply put, amazing customer service and unbelievable that the company would respond by replacing all Mexican made DSM units no matter how old.

Being a loyal person and extremely impressed with Raymarine's customer service, when I built my next boat (a 34' SeaVee), I put Raymarine equipment on my boat. Simply put, the equipment was light years better than my previous Raymarine equipment and performed flawlessly. Last year, I built another boat (a 37' SeaVee) and once again I went with a full Raymarine system. Once again, I can honestly state that this system is unbelievable. I have two 16" MFDs. These are touch screen systems and they work very similar to my IPhone and IPad. Each function has an icon that I simply touch to activate. The operating system is very intuitive and simple to learn. My radar is awesome. On a recent tuna trip to the Bahamas, I set it to bird mode and was able to locate a few birds at three miles and flocks out to six miles. What was most amazing, however, was my CHIRP sonar. It read down to 4800' (it would have read deeper, but that was as deep as the water I was in) and when deep dropping I was able to located fish with separation from the bottom at 1350'. The most incredible, however, was when I headed back home and tracked bottom the entire way at 40 mph up to 2650'. It did not lose the bottom once all the way from Lucaya to Port Everglades and actually marked fish at 40 mph. Everybody on the boat was amazed.

I know the old DSM problems and the way the previous owners of Raymarine handled the problem (as well as other issues) caused many of you to swear off Raymarine forever. I don't blame you. Trust me, I was really close to doing the same, but based on the new ownership's response to my problem and stepping up to the plate to solve a problem they did not create, I believed they earned another try. I am very happy with my decision. If you are not happy with your current electronics, I urge you to give Raymarine another look. You will find that FLIR invested a ton of money in R&D and its new products are simply amazing. If you are considering new electronics and are down in the keys, please PM me and I would love to show you how good these electronics really are. I am not on Raymarine's payroll. I am just simply giving credit where credit is due and trying to help out my fellow THTers who may be confused about what electronics to put on their new boat.
Old 07-29-2016, 01:36 PM
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My only problem with Raymarine is that my specific MFD's (2 x C140W) are kind of "stepchildren"... They're not the old "classic" series so on the one hand they require the newer digital radar while, on the other hand, they're not the newer series so some of the new goodies (e.g. chirp, side scan etc) or the newer MFD OS (Lighthouse) are not compatible with my equipment...

Otherwise I'm happy...

And to be perfectly truthful, I'm not even complaining about the facts of life... That's technology for you... New stuff comes out and suddenly your stuff is "obsolete"... My 2nd Gen iPad won't run the newest iOS... My older laptop (used now by my daughter) can't run the newest OS... But that's a never ending race and as long as the technology I have does what I got it for I'm a happy camper...
Old 07-29-2016, 06:20 PM
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At some point, you have to get away from the old to new. Sorry you were on the cusp of that changeover.

Garmin did same thing when they introduced their 4000,5000 series units. At least when Raymarine did it, the radars, GPS antennas, autopilots, remotes and depth finders were compatible.

The switch from analog to full digital units was the BEST thing FLIR-Raymarine ever did!
Old 07-29-2016, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mig888 View Post
This is a long post, but very responsive to your question. Raymarine has really come a long way and stepped up its game since FLIR purchased the company.

At my wits end, I posted on THT an open letter to Raymarine expressing my frustration and begging them to fix the system or refund my money. The post quickly went relatively viral. To my surprise, I was contacted by Raymarine in less than a day and they arranged to have the Global Head of Warranty and an engineer visit my boat in Key Largo the next week to evaluate my system. Shortly thereafter, a very senior officer at Raymarine posted on my thread publicly acknowledging the problem and offering to replace all defective DSM300 units. Quite impressive customer service!
I'm familiar with your "open letter" to RM here on THT, and have to wonder whether your great customer service that resulted was because they were publicly called-out, plus had already planned to be in your area anyhow with tech-support people. I'm in a remote area, with no boat shows, and question whether I would need to publicly shame them to get any relief from problems...I think you went about it the right way, but that should not be necessary, and for many of us not located where they ever plan to physically be, I have to wonder if your success was a combination of both factors. I'm still not convinced you were treated like most people have been.

Although not problem-free, I'm still leaning toward Simrad...especially with their history with solid-state broadband affordable radar, not that Halo is affordable for me.

I think you might be a case of where the loudest squeaking wheel gets the grease first...especially, with an audience. Glad it was resolved for you, but it sounds like the FLIR acquisition was just an investment for them, rather than a major commitment to improving the technology of the brand, especially after 6 years of their ownership of RM.
Old 07-29-2016, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
it sounds like the FLIR acquisition was just an investment for them, rather than a major commitment to improving the technology of the brand, especially after 6 years of their ownership of RM.
That's a load of shit. Just like your snarky post.

If you want Simrad, then go buy it. But take your shitty attitude with you.

But for heavens sake, don't make a post acting like you give a shit only to be an ass when people don't agree with you.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out the door.

Have a great day.
Old 07-29-2016, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by CME View Post
That's a load of shit. Just like your snarky post.
Thanks for that constructive reply...I'm open to criticism, but I thought my comments were pretty neutral, but obviously struck a raw nerve with you. Constipated, or, shitfaced?

And certainly no disrespect to mig888...he handled the matter like a total gentleman, with both his reply, and his open letter. Nice job, handled well.

Maybe stuff a few more socks into the crotch of your Speedo suit, or add another gold chain for the sandbar?
Old 07-29-2016, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
I'm familiar with your "open letter" to RM here on THT, and have to wonder whether your great customer service that resulted was because they were publicly called-out, plus had already planned to be in your area anyhow with tech-support people. I'm in a remote area, with no boat shows, and question whether I would need to publicly shame them to get any relief from problems...I think you went about it the right way, but that should not be necessary, and for many of us not located where they ever plan to physically be, I have to wonder if your success was a combination of both factors. I'm still not convinced you were treated like most people have been.

Although not problem-free, I'm still leaning toward Simrad...especially with their history with solid-state broadband affordable radar, not that Halo is affordable for me.

I think you might be a case of where the loudest squeaking wheel gets the grease first...especially, with an audience. Glad it was resolved for you, but it sounds like the FLIR acquisition was just an investment for them, rather than a major commitment to improving the technology of the brand, especially after 6 years of their ownership of RM.

Karl, I certainly understand the point you are trying to make, but the fact that RM not only replaced my DSM300, but every one else's DSM300, clearly indicates that I was not treated special. This cost RM hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this and benefitted hundreds of people. Again, the question you basically asked was "has the quality of RM's products improved since FLIR bought RM or is it just business as usual?" Thus, it is safe to assume by this question that you lacked knowledge of whether or not things changed under FLIR's ownership and you were seeking information. I took the time to write a lengthy response containing numerous details supporting my opinion that under FLIR's ownership both the product line and customer service have vastly improved in my opinion. I think I am more than qualified to answer this because I owned three RM systems prior to FLIR's ownership and two RM systems subsequent thereto. For some reason, however, you chose to completely ignore what I wrote. That is certainly your prerogative, but please realize the fact that you tried to discredit my answer seems to me like you had an agenda by asking the question in the first place and really did not care to hear other people's opinions. Wishing you the best in whatever electronics you choose, but again, my offer still stands, if you are in south Florida and want to see how amazing my new electronics are, just let me know.
Old 07-29-2016, 10:51 PM
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I'm rural, near the Quebec border, and have no opportunities to even do demo trials...the Florida market is totally different, with lots of competition and lots of opportunities to compare product lines and see MFDs, except on a website...I don't think I ignored you, but it is just not relevant here. It does sound that RM under FLIR ownership, is improving. They were nearly bankrupt and had more debt than assets when FLIR took over. I don't have a product "agenda", except that it supports Navionics charting, ruling Garmin out.
Old 07-30-2016, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by CME View Post
At some point, you have to get away from the old to new. Sorry you were on the cusp of that changeover.
Like I said, I wasn't really complaining... Those are the facts of life with technology... At some point your stuff becomes a "legacy" product... Then, a few years later, it becomes an "obsolete" product... You've got to live with it and I'm not blaming Raymarine...
Old 07-30-2016, 02:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
I'm familiar with your "open letter" to RM here on THT, and have to wonder whether your great customer service that resulted was because they were publicly called-out, plus had already planned to be in your area anyhow with tech-support people. I'm in a remote area, with no boat shows, and question whether I would need to publicly shame them to get any relief from problems...I think you went about it the right way, but that should not be necessary, and for many of us not located where they ever plan to physically be, I have to wonder if your success was a combination of both factors. I'm still not convinced you were treated like most people have been.

Although not problem-free, I'm still leaning toward Simrad...especially with their history with solid-state broadband affordable radar, not that Halo is affordable for me.

I think you might be a case of where the loudest squeaking wheel gets the grease first...especially, with an audience. Glad it was resolved for you, but it sounds like the FLIR acquisition was just an investment for them, rather than a major commitment to improving the technology of the brand, especially after 6 years of their ownership of RM.
You MIGHT have had a point except for the fact that Raymarine replaced anybody's "Made in Mexico" DSM300's... They even took care of people WELL after the program officially ended... In fact, they're STILL taking care of the last few stragglers...

I'm beginning to feel like you have an ulterior motive...
Old 07-30-2016, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
ruling Garmin out.
AFAIK Navionics has been working on supporting their product on Garmin equipment (without Garmin support)...

Last edited by Navatech; 07-31-2016 at 01:13 PM.
Old 07-30-2016, 03:18 AM
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Curious to know what part the dealer plays in warranty claims. Appreciate mig888 bought the RM already installed in the boat which explains direct dealing with RM but...
Most of the posts from US seem to have owners dealing direct with the manufacturer.
Having been a Service Manager for a number of highly respected brands in Australia, the buck stopped with me. Owners would liaise with the authorised retailers and they in turn would liaise with me.
Service and repairs where carried out and Warranty was granted or denied. Very rarely did I have any contact with actual customers other than receiving in their warranty registration cards.
Old 07-30-2016, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
Since acquisition by FLIR (now 6 years ago), have Raymarine products significantly improved their quality, or is it still business as usual?
An answer with some authority necessarily requires a reply from an end user who has been a "before and after" RM customer. Who better to express an opinion than mig888?

Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
... it sounds like the FLIR acquisition was just an investment for them, rather than a major commitment to improving the technology of the brand, especially after 6 years of their ownership of RM.
As a response to mig888, that denigrates everything he just said, and was really uncalled for, notwithstanding your steadfast opinion of RM products. I will reiterate that mig888 is a hero around here, and I count myself among those who benefitted from his efforts.

Originally Posted by CME View Post
That's a load of shit. Just like your snarky post.

If you want Simrad, then go buy it. But take your shitty attitude with you.

But for heavens sake, don't make a post acting like you give a shit only to be an ass when people don't agree with you.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out the door.

Have a great day.
Karl, you really know how to push people's hot buttons. In this case, I think you got what you deserved.
Old 07-30-2016, 08:55 AM
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On the technical side ...I have seen a very postive and major improvement in the Raymarine sonar systems.
Especially their black box CHIRP...those are very impressive.
And one does not achieve expertise in that area without a major investment of resources.

So I do see the influence of the new ownership......it just takes time when dealing in a highly competitive & technical marketplace for the results to be seen.
Their customer support still needs some tweaking to get up to the mark of other manufactures...but they have indeed come a long way in the last 3 years.



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Old 07-30-2016, 03:17 PM
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I have nearly all new Raymarine equipment. Digital radar, e165, gps, autopilot and the older DSM300. I really have no complaints. The older set up was Raymarine and the dsm300 was part of that kit. I replaced everything else a few years ago and they all play nicely together.

I have had the dropped connection from the dsm in the past but it was on older batteries that needed to be replaced and only nearing the end of a day fishing. Running the Generator solved that issue and since replacing the batteries I haven't had any issues.

Some day I'd like to add the new transducer/chirp and definitely like to have the FLIR camera for getting out on those early mornings.

Like Apple / Samsung or Chevy / Ford, I think it comes down to what you know what what you're used to.
Old 07-31-2016, 12:30 PM
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I have seen significant improvements with RM. Customer service is responsive where as a number of years ago they were terrible. FLIR has obviously put a lot money into RM and has also put a strong emphasis on customer service. I have FLIR and some RM on my boat but they are older units. Cannot speak for their new electronics but I would not hesitate to put them on my boat. As stated above they replaced my DSM300 and the newer DSM370 for no charge.
Old 07-31-2016, 01:03 PM
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We have a new Raymarine ,Flir System.Two Displays,HD Radar,Evolution auto pilot,RMK9 remote,CP 470 sounder.We run a offshore charter business in the GOM.The equipment has been on over 250 offshore trips,with a 100 miles traveled each trip.The Raymarine equipment is flawless.The displays are bright,clear and fast.You can use Navionics platinum plus charts,C Map4D.You can also down load for Free,Noaa raster and vector charts. Four different quality charts.You can also have sonar charts live.What more can you say.The radar is great.I make a living with the sounder..great.We had all our equipment professionally installed.When We had one issue with the auto pilot,I called the company that installed it.They told there Raymarine Rep about the issue.The same afternoon I received a call from a Raymarine tech.He made a appointment to come to my HOME.When he came out he replaced the course computer and the axis compass,for free!!Then we water tested the boat.All was fine.We will ALAWAYS go Raymarine first.We think it's the best out there.We have owned multiple Furuno systems(295 with a chirp transducer) and Garmin Chirp systems(GSD26)..Give them a another try.You'll be very surprised.Let 2005-2006 go.Capt.Mike

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Old 07-31-2016, 02:56 PM
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Our pair of GS19" , CP470, and all the other RM goodies can't be beat. CHIRP sonar is remarkable and Sonar Charts live is prob one of the best new features.

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