Tried and tested: Raymarine Axiom touchscreen multi-function display

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Replacing my aged Raymarine C70 with the company’s latest Axiom screen was an interesting exercise in electronic progress, starting from the moment I went to plug it in.

The two round plugs that feed it now have arrows marking top dead centre, making them far easier to locate (I take mine off when not in use). Despite being roughly the same size (mine is the midsize Axiom 9), the screen is usefully larger at 9in instead of 7in.

It’s a joy to use compared to the older model with far brighter and sharper graphics. The reason for that extra size is the lack of buttons, the whole thing is now touchscreen, which works well although the screen can get hot to the touch in very bright sunshine (and suffers inevitable smudgy fingerprints, especially if sun lotion has been applied recently).

The old MFD came with enough instruction books to sink a small boat – this one came with none, everything is online. I dutifully downloaded it to my iPad but have never referred to it as operation is so intuitive. If you can operate a smartphone, you can operate this.

I opted for the RealVision RV-100 transom mount transducer that gives side scanning and also maps out the seabed as you travel over it at low speed. Now the novelty has worn off I rarely use it. As long as I know how deep it is I’m good, I suspect this is of more interest for fisherman.

In fact the RV-100 is the only downside to the device, on my boat it lost depth reading altogether once over 10 knots. The answer apparently was to lift the boat, unscrew it, fill the screw holes, mount it in a different position and relaunch and cross fingers. Repeat until it works.

I didn’t fancy the cost or hassle or holes, so opted to replace the through-hull transducer already fitted and take the depth reading from that. It’s proven more reliable, although not perfect. But beyond that wrinkle it’s been excellent.

Price: £795
MBY rating: 4/5