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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Electronics: What Works
|Author||Topic: Electronics: What Works|
posted 07-22-2008 05:57 PM ET (US)
What electronics have you have success with? I am leaning toward a Garmin 4210 for GPS receiver, chart plotter and SONAR and may add radar later when it will fit in the budget. I own a 1997 Boston Whaler CONQUEST 23. I am in the process of looking at new electronics. I need data regarding size specifications [apparently to calculate if the devices will fit into the] dash box and overhead box. Thank you. NILO
posted 07-22-2008 07:47 PM ET (US)
I have the following devices and they work very well:
VHF MARINE BAND RADIO: Standard Horizon GX1500S
GPS RECEIVER and CHART PLOTTER: Standard Horizon CP-150
SONAR: Lowrance X87
You can get the dimensions of most all units from the manufacturer's websites, so I won't include them here.
posted 07-22-2008 09:12 PM ET (US)
I appreciate your response - I only need the size of the whaler dash box and the top box on hard top - that will determine the size of the units purchased
posted 07-23-2008 10:14 PM ET (US)
I have the following electronics, they all work very well:
VHF MARINE BAND RADIO: ICOM IC-M302
GPS RECEIVER and CHART PLOTTER: Garmin GPSmap 492
SONAR: Furuno FCV-620 (my latest and favorite device).
posted 07-23-2008 10:59 PM ET (US)
I have had to replace the starboard in my overhead console due to the fact that I have changed devices since buying the boat from my neighbor.
I currently have a Furuno FCV 600L fish/depth finder and a Icom IC-M422 Radio. This time I left room for a Radar display on the right side. Unit size can't exceed 7.5 inches in height unless you remove the starboard top and bottom stop in the area of the display, then you can squeeze another half an inch or so.
posted 07-24-2008 12:07 AM ET (US)
I have a Lowrance GPSr and fish finder, a Standard Horizon radio and very soon a Raymarine autopilot.
If you plan to add more electronics or if you plan to integrate your electronics, you might want to consider desired features supported by unit to unit communication and buy components from the same manufacturer to take full advantage of unit to unit communications and functions supported by the exchange of data.
For example, I wanted to connect my DSC radio to the Lowrance GPS. I spliced wires and have the radio connected, but my GPS will not display the location data of other vessels. There was a slight learning curve to get the units communicating (thanks again Jim). If I had a Standard Horizon radio and GPS, the communication may have been "plug and play."
posted 07-24-2008 12:18 PM ET (US)
Wow, this is fun.
Icom IC-M72 6W handheld VHF (Just in case I inadvertently go overboard).
Last but not least a Garmin 276c combo chartplotter/GPS/sonar system.
Good luck with your informed choices.
posted 07-24-2008 05:45 PM ET (US)
my radar is JVC my GPS is garman my depth finder is by sytex,as is my radio,my loran was taken by a lightning strike, all have preformed very well for me and i only replaced a fuse or 2 in 20 years,,as you can see i do not have any one item that does several things so if i lose one i don't lose all and can replace only the one that went bad
posted 07-24-2008 08:32 PM ET (US)
David, I doubt it would have been any more plug and play if
it had been all Standard-Horizon stuff. You would still
have had to splice.
posted 07-24-2008 10:27 PM ET (US)
I have a 19' BellBoy (1960) cruiser, restared with new electronics for off-shore cruising on Lake Ontario. I have the Garmin 540s chartplotter / sonar combo. My VHF radio is the Standard Horizon GX3000S DSC with the command mic on the helm and the radio mounted in the cabin. This combo does everything I need for safe, off-shore boating.
posted 07-25-2008 09:27 AM ET (US)
I have on a Nantucket a Garmin 545s with sounder. A Navman 3100 Fuel, a Uniden UM525 and a SR161 AIS reciever. These are all interfaced using the Pas-Thru box. The box makes connecting all this much easier. I know it was a little pricey but it is now less than $100 at Worst marine. Sometime I will photo it so you can see. The connections are easy to manipulate using spring loaded terminals and pull off jumpers to get things to go where you want. No soldering and it helps to visualize what different wires are connected to.
I am still not totally happy with the Garmin's human interface. I like more dedicated buttons not scrolling through many menu choices but the hardware is very good including the sharp bright screen. Just updated the software using SD chip and it was very easy.
|Tom W Clark||
posted 07-25-2008 09:54 AM ET (US)
To determine the sizes of the Whaler dash box and the top box on the hard top, I recommend the use of a tape measure, available at any hardware store.
posted 07-27-2008 04:42 PM ET (US)
I have had many Garmin GPS units, ending with the 276 and the 492. I swear by Garmin for reliability, accuracy, and particularly the readability of the display in all lighting conditions from bright sunlight to pitch dark, When I have had occasion to use their customer service, I have been satisfied. And these are not even their latest technology line.
I also have a Garmin Model 80 fish/depth finder. This is an absolute bottom-of-the-line model, yet it performs very well. Small boat sounders easily lose the bottom due to turbulence near the transducer, yet this outperforms more expensive units I have had on larger boats with a smoother slipstream near the transducer.
My VHF is a low-end Raytheon unit. It is out of sight, out of mind. I don't even know the model number. It just works beautifully even with a crappy 3' shorty antenna on a Montauk. Its height above water couldn;t be more than 7 feet!
posted 07-28-2008 09:45 PM ET (US)
I think the net here is that there are several brands that
are pretty good, and none head and shoulders above the rest.
The important think is to find out what brands to avoid.
I'm probably pretty rough on gear. My Montauk goes out on
In that time:
Apelco (Raytheon) VHF, died in about a year and a half.
The repaired radio is in my
Replaced it with a Standard Horizon Spectrum, it's rated
I figured 10 years was enough and got an SH Matrix GX3000S.
First fishfinder was a REALLY low end Humminbird. Probably
Humminbird Wide 3D Paramount. This is a seven beam unit
I started with a Garmin GPSMAP 175, which I upgraded to a
Let's say I won the Lotto (FAT CHANCE, I don't play), and I
VHF: Two high end Standard Horizons, one on CH 16 all the
GPS: Two or three displays of the highest end Garmin, with
AIS: Don't know where I'd go here, but it would feed the
Sidescan SONAR: Hbird's fanciest sidescan.
posted 07-29-2008 10:37 PM ET (US)
Some manufacturers (Lowrance, Raymarine) make units with connecctions that can plug/play into each other without splicing which can make installation a little easier.
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