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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Need a GPS/Sounder
|Author||Topic: Need a GPS/Sounder|
posted 06-06-2009 11:18 PM ET (US)
Well, the electronics on my 1990 Revenge 22 W.T, the "Kelsey J" (Cetacea page 44), are working on their 20th season.
The Raytheon fishfinder (V700) is a huge monstrosity, works well, though no in the sun and not at speed.
The Northstar LORAN says "Clock no good" and has been marginal since the turn of the century (Y2K).
The Garmin 75 is just a small portable unit though has worked well for 14 years.
Maybe it's time to upgrade to a combination GPS/sonar and ditch the LORAN.
1. Combination unit
2. Fathometer works at 29 knots (200/50)
3. Works well in the sun (obviously, to a point)
4. GPS map cards are available for Southeast Alaska.
5. A used one might be available on eBay or from one of you guys at a reasonable price (under $350)
Is there such a thing?
I like the Garmins, but what do you guys recommend?
Thanks in advance.
P.S. Father's Day is coming
posted 06-07-2009 10:12 AM ET (US)
The failure of your LORAN receiver is timely. The LORAN system appears headed for a shutdown because the Obama Administration wants to save the few million dollars it costs to operate it. A GPS receiver is probably a better investing looking forward.
I suspect that you are like me in that when you read the boat electronics menu you read from right to left. That is to say, cost is a consideration. You should mention a upper limit on cost so that we can better suit our recommendations to your budget.
posted 06-07-2009 10:13 AM ET (US)
Sounds like you've had excellent value out of your current electronics.
Buying used electronics is always a crap shoot. If you go that way I'd buy from a local dealer rather than from some person in the lower 48.
I recommend the largest screen you can afford. Having gone from a small screen to a large one (10") I'll never go back. My combo unit has been very reliable and is a pleasure to use.
The Lowrance is now available with the GPS unit and antenna built into the head unit (display, also known as MFD (multi function device)). The units also have the digital sonar/fish finder built in. This is a huge advantage when it comes to installation. With the new units all you have to do is install the MFD at the helm and transducer on the transome, hook up the power and you're ready to go. Lowrance is compatible with Navionics charts which are superb. However, they have a built in chart which is excellent and meets all my needs. I'm pretty certain that Alaskan waters are included but you can check that for yourself to be abslutely certain.
The HDS units are, IMO, the way to go but you can forget about $350. There are many on-line suppliers competing for your dollars so some deals are available.
Garmin also make an excellent product. They are much more expensive and should be a much better product. I'm not positive they deliver enough extra performance to justify the price but many would disagree. Garmin's fish finder performance may not yet be up to par with Lowrance's if fishing is a priority for you.
If price is not a concern Furuno would be my choice.
posted 06-07-2009 03:28 PM ET (US)
I'm trying to do it cheaply. There must be older units out there that work fine and are sitting on people's shelves that have been replaced with newer equipment (I've still got my Sitex Honda paper graph fathometer that came off my 1982 Montauk, it worked fine in 1990! Anybody want it?). So, for right now, $350 is my upper limit. Obviously, I'm not going for state of the art stuff as I don't need the "latest & greatest". Some folks must have upgraded and have stuff sitting around.
As Butch mentioned, it could be a crap shoot, but I don't want to spend a thousand. Lowrance is popular here in Juneau, as they sell it locally. And the big screen is a big plus. I also like the build in antenna, but not required.
I just got back from Long Island (back East for Kelsey J's college graduation) and was using my Dad's 1998 Garmin ___(?) that had a mono-chrome picture and the base maps, and it worked great. That is a step up from the Garmin 75 that I have. It would be fine here, but Dad wouldn't appreciate me prying it out of his console.
Thanks for the comments.
posted 06-07-2009 07:29 PM ET (US)
I can appreciate your desire to replace your electronics cheaply. Used is an option. Perhaps reconditioned with a warranty would be a better option depending on your requirements. If required to replace my electronics I would shop around the web and perhaps base my buying decision on availablity and price rather than features as long as my minimum requirements would be satisfied.
You might try a google of "reconditioned marine electroncs" or "reconditioned Garmin" etc. If you're lucky and find what you want please let us know.
posted 06-08-2009 12:41 PM ET (US)
I'm still shopping for a combo unit for my Outrage. If you don't need color there are plenty of deals for new units on Ebay. Locals around here West Michigan charter boats say good things about recent Humminbird models and not much good about Lowrance. I am still looking and checking. I'd check the Ebay stores for new, never opened mono-chrome units or maybe your local shop can get you something from their suppliers. Since everyone seems to want color there have to be great deals on monochrome.
Tell us what you wind up getting.
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