When the Raymarine 215 first appeared on the market it was at the top of this marine electronics makers’VHF radio lineup.
When connected to a GPS unit through its NMEA0183 connection this radio will display latitude/longitude and current time.
This Ray VHF can use an optional remote microphone and operate as part of an intercom system when it’s connected.
Overall transceiver performance of the Raymarine 215 was just average when compared to other comparable marine VHF radios.
Although transmitter power output was stable over our complete range of tests, frequency stability was off a bit and was rated only fair. Receiver sensitivity was rated good while its selectivity is specified at 70 dB rating.
Audio quality was excellent and sound pressure levels measured a respectable 94 dBA.
Though the display is large with easily readable channel numbers it does not have the ability to display channel comments or list alpha channels. After viewing the display screen with polarized sunglasses and noting a significant decrease in viewability we assigned the display a fair rating.
Raymarine 215 functions are controlled through 7 pushbuttons on the radios faceplate and a DSC distress button on the back of the hand mike. A single button push of the 16/9 key selects channel 16. A single press of the D/L key changes receiver sensitivity to local or distant. Volume and squelch level changes and channel selection are accomplished with rotary knobs. A second full-function handset that provides significantly more features can be added to the radio as an option.
To scan two channels, the 215 is put in Dual-Watch mode by pressing the MON/1/25 key momentarily. To add a weather channel to the mix and initiate Tri-Watch simply requires a momentary press of the WX/INT key. All channel scanning, memory scanning, and memory channel selection is done by pressing the SCAN/MEM key.
Digital Selective Calling
DSC capabilities of the Raymarine 215 are very limited. It will make distress, individual, and all ships calls only. Up to 10 MMSI numbers of other vessels can be stored in the phonebook. One real downside is names are restricted to a single letter name.
Odds and Ends
This radio does not have hailer or foghorn capabilities.
Limited DSC capabilities and only average transceiver performance hold this radio back. The Ray 215 carries a 3-year warranty.