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Trim Tabs - Orkney Pilothouse 20

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Extremely fast to render charts - which is something you perhaps don't think you need until you try it.  I have an Raymarine eS97 system on the yacht, which is 2014, and this is miles faster.  The eS is no slouch and perfect for most people, but the Axiom is that bit slicker and no more expensive.  In fact, you need to add a sounder unit and transducer to the eS (just a suitable transducer to the Axiom) which makes the eS more expensive.  On the other hand, the eS has physical buttons as well as a touchscreen.  Only the Axiom Pro (newer still and over £2k for the 9inch version) has the same hard keys too.  Personally, I don't mind, but some will prefer both.


Haven't had the chance to really play with the sounder yet, but even out of the box it is very good.  The 3D view will take some work to get perfect - at the moment I spend too long looking at it and moving it about rather than just viewing it and interpreting the data.  It is great though how you can drive back and forth over an area of seabed and it will piece together a 3D picture of that area.   The high speed CHIRP and downview settings are very good though - very clear. 


I added a new VHF (Ray70) which has an AIS receiver built in because I wouldn't have bothered fitting a separate unit and VHF splitter etc. (this uses the single aerial).  However, nothing is ever that simple - to make the two talk to each other you have to have a SeaTalkng backbone.  Thankfully I had a few spare SeaTalk cables from the yacht, and only needed to add a 5-way splitter.  It is very good at displaying AIS though - again, easier to use and view than the eS system.

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Hi Mel


Thanks for the comments about on the Axiom, I'm thinking of upgrading my 11 year old Raymarine system (E120) to Axiom.


I'm particularly interested in the 3D sonar feature, basically to know if it's worth having or still a work in progress and you are the only one I know who has one and used it round here!


Does it display 3D as you motor along and if so how fast can you go?

Is the 3D image clear in our waters (looks great on the demo done in fresh water)?

Do fish in the water column really show up as dots?

Do you think it will show up a decent images of a wreck?


I'm sure lots of people in the club will be interested to hear more about it.

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Good questions Steve.


To be honest, I've not really got to grips with it yet, and am sure that it will improve once I have my settings correctly, well, set...


To date, I've only had it in up to 15m/20m of water.  In deeper water I would expect it to perform even better and show a wider tranche of the seabed.  As it is, you can build up a picture of the seabed by motoring back and forth so that it can piece the strips together, if that makes sense.  Slightly annoying, but you get there in the end.  It does show features very well though and the latest update to Lighthouse software is supposed to make it even better - particularly in terms of being able to mark waypoints anywhere - not just where you are at a particular moment.  


I like the 3D function.  But I also like the high Chirp and Downvision settings too - I don't think you would constantly use one or the other.


Not sure about speed it will work to - I've tended to use it when we've been looking for features, so only going less than 8/10kts or so.  


Wrecks - I think this is where it will shine.


Fish - yes, it does. Again, need to get the settings right because to start with it looked like there was an aquarium beneath us - turned out that it needed winding back a bit, but then it's clear to see where fish are.  


I'll try to do some more indepth testing in the coming weeks,  although we're not out this weekend and possibly not next either due to other commitments.  

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