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Author Topic:   SI-TEX Chart Plotters
Ferdinando posted 02-21-2013 11:11 AM ET (US)   Profile for Ferdinando   Send Email to Ferdinando  
I currently have a Standard Horizon CP190i chartplotter on my boat and it's working perfectly. I have the urge to upgrade and I'm looking at the [Si-Tex] EC7 or SNS-700. Does anyone have any experience with the [Si-Tex] brand, good or bad? Appreciate the feedback.--Fred
jimh posted 02-21-2013 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Deleted long sidebar that resulted when Fred got the name of the manufacturer wrong in his initial article.--jimh]
Tom W Clark posted 02-21-2013 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Si-Tex has been around for a long time. They offer high quality products. I have a Si-Tex auto pilot on my own boat and like it very much.

Si-Tex seems to have often offered products made by others manufacurers. For example, My Si-Tex SP-70 autopilot is actually made by a company in British Columbia known as ComNav [ ]. They offer the same autopilot under their own name as the 1440, but it is not available in North America, I suspect, because of some licensing arrangement with Si-Tex.

The LORAN I bought in 1990 for my Outrage 18 was a very highly regarded and reviewed unit made by Ross Laboratories here in Seattle. At the time Si-Tex offered the identical product under their own name.

ASIDE: re Ross Laboratories I mentioned above. Back in the early 1990s, Ross's corporate address moved from Seattle to somewhere in Florida. I presumed the company was sold, or perhaps it actually moved to be closer to greater numbers of boaters or, perhaps, to reap same tax advantage.

I was pleased to note that James Ross himself, the guy behind Ross Laboratories is still in Seattle and appears in the video I recently linked to in this thread about Lake Union:

Ferdinando posted 02-21-2013 03:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
Pricing for these units is very reasonable that's why I was asking for any opinions on the units. Thanks [to] Tom for your input. [I] might just spring for one to keep my boat updated.
jimh posted 02-21-2013 04:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Re Si-Tex, I used to have the impression they were in Florida, but I think they have relocated to--or perhaps they have always been in--New York or the Northeast.

My impression is they re-label products that someone else makes for them. Actually, that describes a lot of brands in marine electronics these days, so I don't want you to think of it as a pejorative comment. For example, Si-Tex is selling an AIS Transponder, and it is clearly a case of taking a private OEM and rebranding it as Si-Tex.

Because the chart plotter uses C-Map cartography I think there is a stronger probability of the chart plotter being a re-branding. These days a lot of chart plotter makers like to use only their own private brand of cartography. For example, Garmin likes to sell you a chart plotter with Garmin charts on its hard drive. Humminbird likes to sell you their charts, and so on. For an independent publisher of cartography like Jeppesen (who publishes C-Map), they cannot get their charts on the big-name big-brand chart plotters. They have to sell their cartography for chart plotters that are more independent of an in-house or house-brand cartography.

It seems like there is a small cadre of chart plotters that are marketed under various brands in various regions which use C-Map cartography. Sometimes these devices seem to be very similar, although sold under different brands. This makes me speculate that perhaps there is really only one source for all of these chart plotters, and they just customize them a bit for various brands to sell under their customers' brand names.

These C-Map chart plotters usually don't come with big bundles of included USA cartography; buyers will be buying a C-Map chip for their area. In some regions away from the continental USA, the best cartography is from an independent publisher like C-Map.

As for the EC7, if it does not have NMEA-2000 this would be a deal-breaker for me.

jimh posted 02-21-2013 07:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Also, there are some styling cues in the case, buttons, and knobs on that SNS-700 Si-Tex chart plotter that give me a strong association with some older Raymarine devices. Raymarine has recently completely re-styled their chart plotters. The EC7 looks like the newer Raymarine style. I can't figure out if the EC7 and SNS-700 are supposed to be the same device. I usually equate bad website with bad products.
bluewaterpirate posted 02-21-2013 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Si-Tex is now a part of Koden a Japanese company. They will release some new products this year that will include chirp fish finder technology in a combination multi-function display. Here's the Koden website
jimh posted 02-21-2013 11:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Tom_BWP: I think there are two companies with Si-Tex in their names. They are two different entities. You are pointing to the one that does not make the chart plotters being discussed here. Maybe Fred can give us the website and the URL to the particular devices he is interested in, and we can end all the speculation about the name of the company and what he is asking about.
Jefecinco posted 02-22-2013 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jefecinco  Send Email to Jefecinco     
Fred--before buying you may want to add the availability and quality of customer support to the decision process. In my experience new boat electronics are pretty much problem free, until they aren't. When our electronics start misbehaving it's nice to know we can pick up a telephone while on our boats and get some immediate help.

Over the years I've owned Standard Horizon, Icom, Lowarance and Garmin plotters, sounders and VHFs. All of these main line makers have provided very good to superb customer support.

From my experience I would probably replace my next MFD with a Lowrance because of their extensive adoption of NMEA 2000 technology and their very good previous customer support. I like my current Garmin 740S MFD and I have found Garmin's support to be a slight notch above that of Lowrance's but it lacks complete NMEA 2000 inter-connectivity.--Butch

Ferdinando posted 02-23-2013 06:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ferdinando  Send Email to Ferdinando     
Good point Butch!
conch posted 02-23-2013 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for conch  Send Email to conch     
Older Si-Tex color chart plotters offer some good value. In used or as-new condition, they are relatively inexpensive. They seem to always be listed on the common auction or [unclear acronym] sites. I look for the Si-Tex Color Max in 6-inch or 7-inch screens to use on an open hull like the Sport 15. They perform well and usually are not stolen overnite, with most of the big boat plotter features for a lot less money, and they are usually sold with the local C-map chart chip and antenna included.--Chuck

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