Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
jheiii
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Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Postby jheiii » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:56 pm

Hi all. Is there a certain chartplotter (with fish finder) unit or size and location that you've found works well on a 170 Montauk?

I was thinking of having [a chartplotter with fish finder] installed on top of the console on the starboard side. I started thinking a 5-inch unit would be sufficient, but now have myself looking at Garmin and Simrad 9-inch options. Any advice from those who have already gone through this?

Thanks--Joseph
2007 Montauk 170

Jefecinco
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Re: What chartplotter/fishfinder would you recommend for a Montauk 170?

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:30 pm

A 9-inch unit is always superior to a 5-inch. On your Montauk I would gimbal-mount the unit atop the console directly ahead of the steering wheel. In that position you can see the unit without taking your eyes off your course line over the water.
Butch

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Phil T
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Re: What chartplotter/fishfinder would you recommend for a Montauk 170?

Postby Phil T » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:30 am

Bigger screen is always better.

I found 5-inch was too small, and I was constantly zooming in and out.

Agree with Jefecinco. On the rail is best. Less holes to drill too.
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1992 Outrage 17, 1992 Evinrude 115

jimh
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Re: Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Postby jimh » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:23 am

Usually at the helm console of any boat of any size, the boat compass is mounted directly behind the helm wheel. If there is a compass on your boat, then mount the chart plotter several inches away. I don't think a typical chart plotter will have any sort of permanent magnet inside that can distort the compass, but in some models a magnet is used to retain certain opening doors. You certainly don't want any magnets near the compass. Check the chart plotter for use of any magnets as door latches.

If there is no compass, you are free to mount the chart plotter where you like.

As for what model and size, this is usually determined by the budget. Many years ago I spent $1,500 and got an 8-inch display on a top-tier product (a Lowrance HDS-8 first generation). I am still using that device after what seems like an eternity and the introduction of three newer generations in that product line.

In buying a chart plotter with fish finder, I would look at the following aspects:

  1. does it have NMEA-0183 ports? I'd want at least one and preferrable two.
  2. does it have a NMEA-2000 port? This is a must-have feature.
  3. what navigation systems can its GNSS receiver use? In addition to GPS the receiver should be able to receive and make use of GLONASS and GALILEO, and use augmentation from WAAS for GPS.
  4. what electronic chart cartography can be used? There must be suitable charts available for the waters where the boat will be used; in my case that means good Canadian chart coverage.
  5. what SONAR technology is available? I expand on this below

In establishing a budget, allot at least $200 for additional electronic charts.

In regard to NMEA-0183 ports, you will want to interface the chart plotter to your VHF Marine Band CLASS-D DSC radio--I assume you have one. Many radios need NMEA-0183 inputs for getting automatic position update data to them. There is a trend in lower-tier chart plotter products to omit a NMEA-0183 port. Be careful if buying a chart plotter without a NMEA-0183 port that you don't create a mess for interfacing to the radio.

SONAR technology is now very complicated. Traditionally a monotone pulsed SONAR was the norm. Now we have enhancements like frequency-modulated continuous-wave SONAR (often referred to by the term "chirp" or by a fanciful and inaccurate acronym CHIRP), side-scan SONAR, forward-looking SONAR. You have to decide how much SONAR you need. Do you want to just find the depth to the bottom? Do you want to have frequency agility to tune the SONAR frequency for certain species? Do you want to have superior target resolution in water depths greater than 200-feet? The field of SONAR devices available now spans an enormous range of technology and price. Without knowing your requirements, no recommendation can be made for a particular device.

As for brands, there are several major families:
--NAVICO, with their Lowrance, Simrad, and B&G lines, all with many models
--GARMIN, with many, many models
--RAYMARINE, with many models
--HUMMINBIRD, particularly popular with freshwater anglers
--FURUNO, particularly popular with professional saltwater boaters and anglers

I can't make much sense of all these choices myself for my own use, so I cannot really offer any sort of well-thought-out advice to you on a particular brand and model. It will always come down to your budget. You should mention that to begin to limit options.

One comment I can make: unless you want to upgrade the chart plotter with fish finder frequently, buy one that you can be happy with for the next five to ten years and figure its cost will be amortized over that period. Look for good support and longevity of support for a product. Also consider buying a used device from someone who loves to buy the latest and greatest every 18-months.

jheiii
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Location: South Florida

Re: Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Postby jheiii » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:30 pm

Thank you for the tips on placement. Jim, the boat is fished around the South Florida area, sometmes we will trailer it down to the Keys or over to Boca Grande. Ideally I would like to have a Navionics chip, and see that Garmin still doesn't seem to work with Navionics. I need to stay under $1,000 for this purchase and am looking for a 9" screen with a transom mount transducer. I was very close to getting a Garmin EchoMAP 94 SV Plus, since I can remove the unit without having to unplug any wires and it seems to be newer technology but you're stuck with Garmin maps.
2007 Montauk 170

jimh
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Re: Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Postby jimh » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:43 pm

jheiii wrote:...I was very close to getting a Garmin EchoMAP 94 SV Plus, since I can remove the unit without having to unplug any wires and it seems to be newer technology....

The ease that you can temporarily remove and re-install the chartplotter is a good consideration.

I have found that connectors with a bayonet-type latch are much easier and faster to install or remove compared to connectors that use a threaded collar that has to be slowly and carefully threaded or unthreaded to mate or unmate the connector.

Another consideration is weather protection for any connector plugs left exposed on the helm when the chartplotter is not installed.


jheiii wrote:... but you're stuck with Garmin maps.

GARMIN has always been very parochial about using only its own brand of electronic charts. In October 2017 GARMIN announced it had acquired NAVIONICS, an independent electronic chart publisher. At the time of the announcement, the press release said:

GARMIN Press Release wrote:By combining Navionics’ content with Garmin’s BlueChart® and LakeVü™ content, we will be able to offer the best available breadth and depth of coverage to our marine customers. Going forward, we plan to retain the Navionics brand and will continue to support Navionics’ existing customers.


I think the most significant words are "by combining Navionics’ content with Garmin’s...." They seem to suggest that GARMIN's plan is to add the data from Navionics charts to their own Garmin-branded proprietary-format charts. I haven't been following this at all, so I don't know exactly what has happened. The expectation would be that, after buying all the intellectual property of NAVIONICS, GARMIN will make use of it in their products. You might want to explore the GARMIN–NAVIONICS chart situation in greater depth before crossing off GARMIN from your list of potential products for a chartplotter.

Jefecinco
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Re: Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Postby Jefecinco » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:43 pm

Referring to the MFD mounting location on the Montauk console and the possible problem with interference with the helm compass. When mounting a ten inch MFD on our Dauntless 16 we faced a similar quandary. The solution we used was to remove the compass from its usual location and relocate it to a cup holder space starboard of the steering wheel. When the cup holder was removed the remaining hole through the console was a perfect fit for the compass. We decided it was an acceptable alternative position for the few times we would need to rely on the compass for navigation. We cut a circle of King Starboard material to make a circular cover over the hole previously used for the compass.

The compromise served us well for the ten years we owned the Dauntless.
Butch

jimh
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Re: Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Postby jimh » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:58 pm

For more discussion about the screen display dimensions, please see my recent article and thread on that topic:

Discussion thread:
Screen Display Dimensions
http://continuouswave.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3122

Reference article
Screen Display Dimensions
http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/displayDimensions.html

jheiii
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Location: South Florida

Re: Chartplotter for 170 Montauk

Postby jheiii » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:54 am

Jefe, you make a great point. I'll have to pay close attention to any interference between a 9" console mounted chartplotter and the compass. On this Montauk 170, it's one of 4 from the mold in that year (2007) that had pads put in for a T-top from the factory. Birdsall Marine fabricated a t-top so it does not have that traditional grab rail that you may be used to setting. I considered gimbal mounting it on the t-top, but will likely just mount it on the console on the Starboard side.

Appreciate the link to the article Jim. Great for comparison shopping and you clearly have a great deal of knowledge on this matter. In the 7 or 9-inch range, what do you suggest as the best in class chartplotter (keeping the budget at or under $1,000).
2007 Montauk 170