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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
VHF Radio, GPS Receiver, Chart Plotter, and SONAR for MONTAUK 17
|Author||Topic: VHF Radio, GPS Receiver, Chart Plotter, and SONAR for MONTAUK 17|
posted 09-04-2014 11:13 PM ET (US)
Six weeks ago my buddy Chuck bought a very nice [1986 Boston Whaler] Montauk. He has not splashed the boat yet and wants the boat fully equipped and ready before he takes her out. He lives next to Lake Michigan in Southwest Michigan. He will trailer the boat to Florida for the winter. He wants the latest GPS combo and VHF radio. His electronics-pro pal will install for him. He is not a fisherman so no big demand for serious SONAR.
I'm thinking Lowrance something 7-inch screen, and one of the [ICOM] radios. So if you don't sharing recommendations, advice and experiences, I will share with Chuck who is taking me to the Notre Dame game in South Bend this Saturday.
Thanks in advance!!
Needs and prefers wide screen, rational controls, bright screen, reliable. Not a fisherman, great maps. I have Raymarine a few years old but not sure I'd recommend that--7-inch very spendy. I like Garmin.
posted 09-05-2014 10:33 AM ET (US)
Lowrance Link 8 VHF radio and a Lowrance Elite 7 chartplotter.
posted 09-05-2014 01:00 PM ET (US)
Convince him to get a Command mic accessory and install the VHF body inside the console. Makes a clean install.
For the recreational boater AIS is overboard. Most owners don't even register for a MMSI.
posted 09-05-2014 03:03 PM ET (US)
All VHF Marine Band fixed-mount radios sold in the USA are now DSC radios rated to Class-D. It will be necessary to obtain a marine mobile service identity and input that MMSI into the radio in order to make use of the DSC features of the radio. Without an MMSI, the radio is crippled and reverts to a non-DSC radio. It makes no sense to avoid obtaining an MMSI and entering it into a DSC radio. I don't worry about what a bunch of numbskull boaters do with their radios. If they don't enter an MMSI that has no influence on my practices.
I have found that Standard-Horizon VHF Marine Band radios offer excellent performance as radios, are very compliant with DSC feature specifications, generally have well organized user interfaces, and are very strongly supported by the factory with service available in the USA for a fixed price. For that reason I recommend Standard-Horizon radios. Also, Standard-Horizon radios are very competitively priced, and are often no more expensive or even less expensive than competitors' radios with equivalent specifications.
The present market of chart plotters, GNSS receiver, and SONAR combination devices is so varied, the features so complex, and the models and prices so confusing, that I cannot make any recommendation for a particular unit. This comes because I cannot figure out what most of the features are supposed to be. The makers of these devices all use their own trade names for features, and to understand exactly what a particular device does, particularly the SONAR devices, requires an enormous amount of careful study and comparison.
The most basic criteria for choosing a chart plotter, GNSS receiver, and SONAR combination device is the price. Without some guidance for price it is impossible to narrow the field to any sort of manageable choice of models.
posted 09-05-2014 07:29 PM ET (US)
Thanks so much for helping. Chuck's price range is $600 to $1000 for chart plotter and sonar. Thanks again. Very important.
posted 09-05-2014 08:18 PM ET (US)
There are numerous chartplotter choices in the $600 to $1000 range. They all perform well as chart plotters and sounders and often the choice comes down to what interface the user feels most comfortable with. Chuck should go "test drive" some at a local Westmarine or equivalent store to see which of the interfaces he likes best. I have both Garmin and Lowrance Elite combination chartplotter/sounders and I find the interface on the Garmin easier to use. The Lowrance unit is not difficult to use once you understand its architecture but the Garmin seems more user friendly right out of the box. The Lowrance required reading the manual a little bit before getting comfortable with it.
posted 09-05-2014 08:58 PM ET (US)
posted 09-06-2014 02:14 AM ET (US)
Have him look at the Garmin 547 xs. Have one on my Outrage, and I can't imagine a better unit for a Montauk--easy to use, great plotter, great sounder with the transducer [suitable for pulse compression and frequency modulation techniques].
posted 09-06-2014 07:31 PM ET (US)
I suspect that the spending ceiling may need an increase to purchase a new GPS/MAP, great maps and VHF radio. I believe the Garmin 740S GPS/MAP is being sold at a significant reduction in the original price. It is an excellent unit but need the accessory map chip for "great maps". BOE Marine is an on-line seller I can recommend for excellent service and good pricing.
posted 09-07-2014 04:14 PM ET (US)
Pete--look at the Simrad NSS-7. The pricing on these units is great because of Simrad's introduction of the NSS evo2 wide screen series. It is in his size range, has built in charts that are good, and he can add Navionics charts, if he wants. Also has an internal GPS [receiver] and echo-sounder module, and no additional purchases for them. He can easily get the chartplotter, a radio, and transducer for near $1,000. OK, maybe slightly more as he will need a NMEA-2000 cable for the radio-to-chart plotter interface.
posted 09-07-2014 11:07 PM ET (US)
Ya Frank, I saw yours at Homassasa and looked awesome. Thanks for the reminder.
posted 09-08-2014 12:06 PM ET (US)
My Outrage 25 has the small Montauk console, and I used the VHF mounting suggested by Phil T - a full featured VHF mic ('commmand mic') mounted on the console, and the VHF mounted totally inside the console, hanging from the top of the console. I can read and control the VHF from the side console door if I have to, but the command mic does everything and is super convenient.
I highly recommend this approach whatever VHF he goes with even though it is an extra $100.
posted 09-19-2014 09:16 AM ET (US)
Pete, if your friend still hasn't made his choices this is a hellofadeal, today only:
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