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Raymarine C90W Review

The Raymarine C90W is the little brother in the updated C-series widescreen lineup. The update was more like a complete revamp of old C-series into what is best described as a next-generation multi-function display capable of interfacing with radar, AIS, other C-series units, a black box sounder, and more.

The C90W package ships with the display unit, a sun cover, printed installation manual and quick start guide, and cabling. The full 222-page instruction manual as well as electronic versions of the printed manuals are supplied on an accompanying CD.

raymarine c90w multi-function display

Raymarine C90W

Like all other widescreen C-series units, this one has an internal GPS sensor while still maintaining the ability to interface with an optional external GPS antenna if needed or desired. Our test unit came preloaded with cartography covering U.S. coastal waters. The C90W can also use Navionics Gold or Platinum cards in its single front panel card slot.The display unit measures nearly 12.3-inches wide, 7.8-inches high, and about 5.2-inches deep.

Once we receive the optional metal trunion bracket, we will be mounting the Raymarine C90W to our test rig using it. Under most conditions it would be best to mount a display unit this big flush in a panel. Flush mounting generally offers a cleaner look and more support of the display—hardware to do so is supplied.

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Connectivity

The display unit power supply feeds in through a cable that also provides NMEA0183 data and a video port. The 90-degree cable connector attaches to the case back with a twist lock that fit securely. The unit can use either 12- or 24-volts DC power.

You will also find two SeaTalkhs network ports and a single SeaTalkng port on the rear of the display unit.

SeaTalkhs allows the C90W to connect to another C-series widescreen display, radar, or a black box sounder while SeaTalkng is an N2K compliant network.

Three NMEA0183 ports are available for interfacing with AIS, a third-party autopilot, a VHF radio, or a few other sensors. Port one is a normal NEMA0183 input/output port. Port two is also input/output capable and high-speed, meaning it can operate at 38,400 baud—a necessity for connecting most AIS units. Port three is normal speed input only.

Screen Size and Viewability

The Raymarine C90W display screen uses a landscape layout and measures 7.7-inches wide and 4.6-inches high. On the diagonal we measured it at exactly 9-inches. Resolution is a very respectable 800 by 480 pixels.

raymarine c90w multi-function display screen shotWe built this custom two-window page to view the chart page and navigation data to the selected waypoint in larger text. Most of the navigation data was already available in the data boxes located on the top of the screen. All of this data can be modified to suit your specific needs.

We took the C90W out in our local area for some a daylight testing. Even in our test boat with no shade cover the screen was bright and easy to read from straight out front and from side angles. When I put on my polarized sunglasses the screen darkened somewhat but was still quite readable even from the side. I gave the C90W an excellent rating for daylight viewability. Because of its high resolution this screen shows amazing detail when viewed close up.

The Raymarine C90W has a daylight and nighttime color palette for viewing the chart page, you choose one or the other using a soft key. A bar graph displayed onscreen lets you know where the backlight brightness is set. I rated the C90W excellent for night viewability. At night, when viewed from side angles the screen remains clearly readable.

Operation

Like its other widescreen siblings, the C90W uses five soft keys, six function pushbuttons, and a rotary trackpad with an OK button in the middle for control. Soft key functionality changes to match and increase the utility of the displayed page.

This C-series widescreen can display full screen views of the chart page, course deviation indicator with data, and user selectable data in large numbers and letters. When connected to other sensors it will also show full screen radar, fishfinder, video, and 3D chart data.

All this data can also be displayed in two, three, or four windows combination views. Pressing the Active pushbutton toggles between open windows making each active and bringing the associated soft key functions onscreen. Like the other C-series widescreen units this one was intuitive and easy to operate.

Waypoints

A press of the WTPS key brings up waypoint related soft key functions. You can place a waypoint at the cursor position, the vessel position, or input latitude/longitude. The remaining soft keys bring you to waypoint lists. Pressing the WTPS key twice, from any screen page, will create a waypoint at the vessel position.

To navigate to a waypoint you first select it from the chart page or off a waypoint list, then select the GoTo soft key. This puts data boxes up with course and distance to the point, plus shows a course line to follow on the chart page. The C90W can store up to 3000 waypoints.

Routes

Simply following the soft key prompts makes route building with the C90W a pleasure. The cursor pad lets you place waypoints directly onto the chart page. Soft keys options let you save the route, edit it, follow it, and reverse course on it. We found it to be a very intuitive and easy to use function. This Raymarine MFD can store up to 150 routes.

Odds and Ends

Pressing and holding the WTPS/MOB button puts the C90W in man overboard mode and sound an audible alarm. If you are already on a chart page the view will automatically zoom into the MOB position, draw a course line back to the MOB, and change the data box display to numerical for the return. If you are not on a chart page the only navigation data back to the MOB you’ll see will be displayed in the data boxes. A second press of the MOB key takes the unit out the MOB mode.

raymarine c90w multi-function display screen shot

Screen shot of chart page in normal mode.

Data boxes can be placed on the top or side of the screen. I liked the large mode best, it showed cursor position, course/distance to waypoint, vessel position, COG and SOG. The normal data box display mode has minimal information. Each data point can be changed by the user.

raymarine c90w multi-function display screen shot

Here is the same screen shot with Declutter mode selected to on. Note how many depth sounding and other details have been removed. This is a good option for cleaning up the chart display when you’re in an area where all the details are not needed for navigation.

The depth safety contour on the chart is user adjustable down to a minimum water depth of seven feet. This makes all water areas deeper than seven feet appear white onscreen. I found this to improve daylight viewability under some circumstances.

Heading Up, North Up, and Course Up chart orientation all work well on the Raymarine C90W and responded quickly when needed.

If you place the cursor over a service icon then hit OK information about that facility will be displayed onscreen. Tide information can be found in the same manner or searched by proximity to the vessel or site name.

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Final Thoughts

The Raymarine C90W has a 2-year warranty and is waterproof to IPX6 waterproof standards.

I like the Raymarine C90W for its big screen, ability to connect to a variety of other components, and easy to use software.