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Author Topic:   SONAR, GPS Receiver, and Chart Plotter For Great Lakes
whaler007 posted 07-31-2009 02:13 AM ET (US)   Profile for whaler007   Send Email to whaler007  

For a Whaler 190 Montauk and in the price range $500-600 for use in the Great Lakes region, if that matters, suggest a fishfinder and GPS combo.

Jkcam posted 07-31-2009 04:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jkcam  Send Email to Jkcam     
Although my experience with Automobile GPS and Garmin has been outstanding, I will never buy a Garmin for my boat again.

So, I have been looking for a replacement for my Garmin 160C. In the past I have had great success with both Lowrance and Humminbird. If you look at their web sites there is very specific information on their numerous models.

Good luck, and post what you decide.

Whaler27 posted 07-31-2009 05:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler27  Send Email to Whaler27     
RayMarine makes great units, imho.

Go to their website and size one for your applications.

The E series are sweet.

matthughes posted 07-31-2009 08:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for matthughes  Send Email to matthughes     
I can recommend the Garmin GPS Map 420s. The base unit itself is around $400 and the electronic chart for all of Lake Huron / Georgian Bay /Lake St.Clair is around $200. Excellent detail, nice features, and some cool views. I would go with the "s" because it will allow to add a sonar at some point (the unit is ready for processing, just need to buy the transducer - ~$80). It has the ability for other NEMA devices as well...


69boo307 posted 07-31-2009 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for 69boo307  Send Email to 69boo307     
I'm using a Humminbird Matrix 97 bought used from another member here. So far I am pleased with it. The fishfinder functionality is awsome, I think that's where the Humminbird shines.
The GPS works fine, but I'd prefer more flexibility when it comes to the PC interface. The built in 'uni-map' have very little detail, you need a Navionics card or some other way to get better charts for the unit.
Speaking of, don't spend $30 on their PC cable, you can buy a $10 SD card and use that to transfer things to/from a PC. Their PC software is pretty limited though, I'd like to see better integration with something like Google Earth.

All in all I'd rate the fish finder an 8 out of 10, since there are some newer (and more expensive) models out now with a little better resolution. I'd give the GPS functionality maybe a 7 out of 10, it gets the job done but could be a little better. Again I think there are some newer units for considerably more money that have more functionality.

womms posted 07-31-2009 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for womms    
So far so good with my Garmin 440s. It is a little small, but has great functionality.
cwolf posted 07-31-2009 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for cwolf  Send Email to cwolf     
Not to stir up a debate but my experience has been very positive with the older Garmin units. They have taken a beating and are all still working fine. I started to look at Lowrance but numerous friends warned me not to as theirs have all failed (electronic malfunctions) and had trouble getting them fixed. I really like the what Lowrance offers but care more about dependability. Just my opinion.
frontier posted 07-31-2009 04:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for frontier  Send Email to frontier     
I've got to go with Lowrance.
We used Lowrance color and grayscale GPS/Sonar combo units for years and love 'em.
Heard good things about Garmin, so bought a Garmin GPS498C for our current boat to check it out.
Good unit, but not up to Lowrance quality.
For salt water, I'd go with a Lowrance LMS-527C DF iGPS.
PeteB88 posted 07-31-2009 11:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Lots of info in electrical section including recent threads. Raymarine, Humminbird would be my top choices right now. Garmin makes great stuff, I heard new models are on the shelf or out soon. Good luck.
whaler007 posted 08-01-2009 02:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for whaler007  Send Email to whaler007     
Any thoughts on the optional factory installed Northstar 650? Pro/cons?
number9 posted 08-01-2009 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for number9  Send Email to number9     
Northstar 650 has a low resolution display, their 660 model is nice. I have a yet to be installed Navman 6600 that's supposed to be the same unit as the 660. All I really know is Navman made a good non Chinese product.
thunderpaste posted 08-01-2009 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for thunderpaste  Send Email to thunderpaste     
There is a $200 mail in rebate on the raymarine a50 and a50d units right now. I am installing mine today.
PeteB88 posted 08-01-2009 11:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Can't beat the rebate on A50s. I jumped to A57d for screen size, not sure if it's worth it but because I jump all over the boat, stand on the seat etc when fishing thought it would be best. They are super awesome and I think I might jump on the Gold or Platinum option.
highanddry posted 08-01-2009 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for highanddry  Send Email to highanddry     
Humminbird has great customer support, open your wallet a tad and get yourself the 798ci with internal GPS or 798c with external GPS. Get the preloaded Navionics package.
JLW posted 08-01-2009 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for JLW  Send Email to JLW     
Just installed a new Humminbird 788Ci Combo and can't think of anything bad about it. Dual range transponder, 1500ft depth capability,dual SD card slots, upgradable,and a beautiful color display. MSRP is 649.95 but I got mine off Ebay for $530.00. JLW
floatinghat posted 08-01-2009 10:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for floatinghat  Send Email to floatinghat     

Why wouldn't you buy a Garmin again? You don't mention a reason yet you have their cheapest FF. What is the problem with it?

PeteB88 posted 08-02-2009 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
RAYMARINE - Make sure you double check models and features of A series. You have a choice of coastal and Great Lakes or inland lakes maps: Be advised that if you choose "inland lakes river" option you also get a different transducer. Inland lakes transducer could work but only has 100 watts and rated to 300 feet. What's super cool is that the beam is adjustable - wide port to starboard, or fore/aft. I understand that Detroit River fishermen like it.
SJUAE posted 08-02-2009 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE    
PeteB88 - Have you resolved your screen brightness issue with your A57d ?

Whaler007 - The new Lowrance HDS units have some outstanding features and map coverage you require, I just got the HDS-5


PeteB88 posted 08-03-2009 12:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
I have had zero time to get the boat out - even a driveway test in full noon sunlight. We just rolled in from a three state road trip and family visits. This week is boat week. Will post asap.

The A57d is an impressive unit - I was very close to the HDS5 but made the decision and spent several hundred more bucks to do so.


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