Raymarine has started an impressive new VHF line with the $569 Ray218. It’s a Class D DSC set that purportedly offers the best audio specifications—like receiving sensitivity and intermodulation rejection, plus spurious transmitting emissions—in the business. It’s also the first VHF ever with soft keys, which appear quite useful for negotiating complicated menus or getting at favorite channels quickly. Additionally, the set can show a dual-channel display and has no fewer than four scanning modes.
The Ray218 design complements the look of Ray’s C- and E-Series MFDs (no surprise) and includes a 30-watt hailer and NMEA in/out (the latter for plotting DSC calls). And, while it comes with a large speaker and a conventional mic, you can accessorize it with the new $153 Raymic, which can serve as a full-function second station with duplex intercom to the base set. Raymarine also introduced the $1,120 AIS250 receiver at the show, which though only a one-channel-at-a-time design (unlike the dual-channel Furuno FA30 AIS receiver), includes an antenna splitter and NMEA multiplexer for easy installation.
This article originally appeared in the May 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.