Moderated Discussion Areas
ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Garmin 54DV or Alternatives
|Author||Topic: Garmin 54DV or Alternatives|
posted 09-11-2015 06:26 PM ET (US)
I'm considering installing a Garmin 54DV but would welcome any suggestions for a five-inch or larger [chart plotter with SONAR].
posted 09-11-2015 09:58 PM ET (US)
You haven't given us enough information to make an intelligent recommendation. What boat, what use, what budget, what other systems (radar, NMEA 2000, engine parameters, Sirius Weather radio, etc.) are in the mix. There is lots of good stuff out there but getting the right "fit" is the challenge.
posted 09-11-2015 11:31 PM ET (US)
With the only criterion as "five-inch or larger" I recommend larger.
posted 09-12-2015 11:14 AM ET (US)
[The combination chart plotter and SONAR is] to be used on 17-foot center console in Florida for Atlantic Intracostal Water Way (AIWW) cruising and near coastal fishing. I am very happy with an older Garmin 541 which I use on one of my other boats, a 1968 Sakonnet.
posted 09-12-2015 01:02 PM ET (US)
I've seen guys use a 12-inch chart plotter on an 18-footer. Did you have any budget limit?
Once boaters get accustomed to a particular brand of chart plotter, they often feel more at home with new products from that same brand, assuming that the user interface will have some constants from model to model. If that is true for you and Garmin, then you probably will be happier with a Garmin as your new device.
posted 09-13-2015 11:04 AM ET (US)
If you have two boats with electronic chart plotters and use them in the same general area, it would be advantageous to have the same brand of chart plotter on both. The advantages would be:
--you would not have to learn two different user interfaces and operating systems, as chart plotters from the same manufacturer should share many common elements in their user interface and control system;
--you could carry electronic chart packages on memory cards between the two boats and use just one set of charts for both; this would save the cost of purchasing duplicate sets of charts; and,
--if you performed off-line planning for navigation, you could use the same off-line navigation software for both chart plotters.
Overall all, I see some advantages for owning two chart plotters of the same brand for use on two boats. Unless there were some very compelling reasons to get a new chart plotter for the second boat of a different brand, I'd stick with the same brand.
posted 09-14-2015 10:03 AM ET (US)
Regarding competition among makers of chart plotters, it appears to me that the most competition is occurring in models of chart plotters with a 7-inch display. The 7-inch display screen seems to have the most options and choices among the several major manufacturers. There are so many good chart plotters combined with many SONAR options available in 7-inch multi-function displays that it will take a very careful survey and cataloging of all the choices to discover the best one to buy.
posted 09-14-2015 12:29 PM ET (US)
There are several prior discussion in the archives of SMALL BOAT ELECTRICAL concerning 7-inch chart plotters with SONAR. Reading the prior articles would be a good way to become more familiar with what is available on the market. The articles often have discussions and hyperlinks to more resources. Here are a few pointers:
The SIMRAD NSS7 was discussed recently at
The SIMRAD GO 7 was discussed recently at
The Lowrance HDS Gen-3 series, including the HDS-7 was discussed last year at the time of introduction at
The Hummingbird HELIX 7 was discussed recently at
The Lowrance ELITE 7 was discussed some time ago at
The SIMRAD NSS evo2 series, including the NSS7 evo2, was discussed at the time of the introduction at
Perhaps a careful reading and review of all these prior articles about chart plotters combined with SONAR that are suitable for use in a small boat will help you to come to a decision about which one would be best for your use.
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