Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Electrical and electronic topics for small boats
Don SSDD
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Postby Don SSDD » Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:02 pm

There are some end of season sales on now for VHF Marine Band radios and for multi-function displays, but I wonder if the sales or discounts for these electronics are better in spring or fall.

My new boat has no VHF Marine Band radio or GPS receiver. and my old boat had both, including a Raymarine A7 MFD.

I don't shop often for these items so I thought I'd ask here.

Thanks,
Don
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

jimh
Posts: 7207
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Postby jimh » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:41 pm

Don--I don't think there is too much seasonal promotion on VHF Marine Band radios. The are already priced rather modestly. For a roundup of radios on the market see my article at

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=460

About the only price discount that you'll see on radios may be a rebate offer.

As for multi-function displays, the prices don't usually drop based on seasonal influences; a priced reduction of an existing model may occur when a new model comes out, or just before a new model comes out. Retailers like to clear out inventory of models they KNOW are going to be replaced by newer product, so you can often find price reductions from retailers for certain models. In fact, sometimes the best evidence that a new model is coming is the announcement of discounts on existing models.

Product introductions are often timed to be announced at major boat shows, particularly the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show (just concluded) or at the Miami International Boat Show (in February, I think). These shows are often when you first hear of new products coming, but the new products may not be available for some time after they are announced.

Don SSDD
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Postby Don SSDD » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:36 pm

Thanks Jim, I read your good article on marine radios, it was very informative. I guess I'll just buy a radio or MFD that fits the bill when I see it. I'd like a radio with AIS and GPS options as listed on your link.

Don
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

jimh
Posts: 7207
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Postby jimh » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:25 am

From what I can tell, the least expensive VHF Marine Band radio that also contains its own GNSS receiver and AIS receiver is the Standard-Horizon GX2200. The only drawback for the GX2200 is its NMEA output is only available via NMEA-0183, so it can be more difficult to interface to a multi-function display than radios with the same features but also having NMEA-2000. The drawback to the radios that do have NMEA-2000 is their greater cost, and they are typically about $200 more expensive.

There is a reasonably good chance that after the big winter boat shows at least one manufacturer of radios may have announced new models, and since boating season for those of use in northern latitudes is over, waiting for a bargain in a radio and multifunction display is a good option.

Jefecinco
Posts: 1014
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re: Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Postby Jefecinco » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:32 pm

I sometimes wonder why, with todays advances in electronics, VHF radios and MFDs cannot communicate wirelessly via Bluetooth or some other protocol. An alternative would be to incorporate a VHF radio function into an MFD.
Butch

Don SSDD
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2015 6:58 am
Location: Nova Scotia

Re: Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Postby Don SSDD » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:43 pm

Thanks Jim, I looked at the GX2200 as an option based on price. I'm thinking the wait and see for something to come along is a good option.
1986 Outrage 18 with 2001 Honda 130 HP
Former Owner 1991 Guardian 19 with 1994 Evinrude V4 140HP
Former owner 1987 Montauk with 1998 Mercury 90HP
Nova Scotia

jimh
Posts: 7207
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Good time to buy a MFD and Marine Radio

Postby jimh » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:51 am

Jefecinco wrote:...An alternative would be to incorporate a VHF radio function into an MFD.


As I recall, Standard-Horizon did just that several years ago. They made a multi-function display with a chart plotter, SONAR, and a integral VHF Marine Band radio. I don't think it was a big seller, and I don't think they made a follow-on product with that same integration of radio and chart plotter.