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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
|Author||Topic: Furuno GP1870f|
posted 06-21-2013 12:00 AM ET (US)
The FURUNO GP1870f is a 7-inch wide-screen combination chart plotter and SONAR with internal GPS receiver that has just come to my attention. It seems to have an excellent SONAR which employs some sophisticated circuits seen in FURUNO's stand-alone sounders, and also is a chart plotter that uses C-MAP charts. The retail price in the USA is around $1,100, and that makes this seem like a rather attractive unit.
FURUNO is very highly regarded for commercial quality products, and this low-cost model seems to be priced far less than I would expect.
I don't have any experience with this unit--I have not even seen one in person--but it appears to me to be rather attractive. You get FURUNO quality at a bargain price. If anyone has experience with this model, please join in and tell us about it.
For details and specifications see
and for pricing:
posted 06-21-2013 07:40 AM ET (US)
More detailed specifications are found in this literature:
The device does have NMEA-2000. It supports the following PGN's as inputs:
You can identify the PGN functions by comparing with
I was curious if the device supported AIS targets. It seems to have AIS support with PGN 129038, 129039, and 139040.
posted 06-21-2013 08:50 AM ET (US)
This indeed looks like a possibility to replace my older chartplotter and (separate) fishfinder.
I haven't kept up with mapping technology - does the unit come with any kind of chart? - sometimes they have a built-in base map which covers everything, but at very little detail. I am assuming I would have to buy a c-map chart for my area. Not cheap.
posted 06-21-2013 06:06 PM ET (US)
There are two drawbacks in the GP1870f and its price:
--the charts are not bundled; you have to buy a C-MAP chart;
--there is no transducer in the bundle; you have to buy a transducer.
Buying electronic charts will probably add at least $200. Buying a transducer will probably add at least $100. I am sure you can spend more on both charts and transducer.
posted 06-21-2013 09:02 PM ET (US)
My new to me boat came with a Furuno GP-1650F (I believe vintage 2003/2004) color chartplotter/fishfiner. I lived with it last Summer but it was awfully hard to read in bright sunlight and the user interface was terrible, something that seemed to be design in the 1980s. I flipped through the manual for this new unit and it looks like the interface hasn't changed all that much other than the Roto-Key control. For the price they are asking, the unit should have a touch screen and preloaded detail charts.
posted 06-23-2013 08:25 AM ET (US)
At $1,100 retail, where can you get a 7-inch display chart plotter, touch screen, good cartography, and top-notch SONAR? A Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 Touch with charts is about $1,500 retail.
posted 06-23-2013 07:41 PM ET (US)
Garmin 740s is under $1000 even at Westmarine. If one shops around at some reputable Internet retailers one should be able to get the 740s and an Airmar P66 transducer for about $1000. I've found that the 740s with an Airmar P66 produces very good sounder images at the depths I typically experience (less than 200 feet).
posted 09-28-2013 08:22 AM ET (US)
Furuno have lowered the MSRP of the GP 1870f to $995. See
posted 10-04-2013 12:57 PM ET (US)
Street prices for these Furuno's are even better:
- 1870F <$800
- 1670F <$600
posted 10-05-2013 11:31 AM ET (US)
Street prices are a bit higher than that because you need to buy a C-map chart which is sold separately.
posted 10-05-2013 05:25 PM ET (US)
Here is street pricing:
"The 1870F now $719; 1670F [is] $510."
What a deal! It does support CAN bus, so I guss it would show engine data on a NMEA 2000 network.
posted 10-06-2013 08:31 AM ET (US)
A full list of the NMEA-2000 PGN data that is supported by the FURUNO GP 1870f is given in an earlier article in this discussion. Note that PGN 127488 and 127489 are supported. For more information on those parameters see
With PGN 127488 and 127489 supported, it sounds like the FURUNO GP 1870f will be able to display the most common engine data sent on NMEA-2000.
posted 10-06-2013 04:58 PM ET (US)
A C-MAP 4D chart is needed and that is $199 putting the price at $ $918 for the 1870 model without a touch screen or ability to connect to radar and display radar images. I think they are still behind where the consumer market is even with the lower price.
posted 10-06-2013 06:59 PM ET (US)
Furuno are justifiably proud of their products. Because of their prices they are not on my horizon. BMW's are not on my horizon either but they are fine products and I'd have BMW and Furuno if my budget could stand it.
Touch is nice and I have a Garmin touch unit. Sometimes I think touch is over valued.
posted 10-08-2013 08:59 AM ET (US)
I think the 7" Furuno 1870F would be a good buy for many boaters and fisherman, despite the cost of the excellent C-map cards. It will be just over $1,000 with an Airmar P66 transducer to be used with their highly regarded dual-frequency digital 587 fish finder circuit. The C-Map card can be further unlocked (for a fee) to also include 3D charting with satellite images and more. Furuno also get high marks for long term durability and exceptional customer service.
Compare this to Garmin's new 721/741 at more like $1500. They have the new CHIRP sonar technology, a faster GPS refresh rate, but the included transducer will not work for CHIRP--add $250 for that--and the 3D charts also cost more. These may be the class of the field for a 7" combo unit, but are a significant step up in cost. My experience with Garmin service has also been very good.
For some, the touch Garmin will be better; others, me included, will prefer the rotokey of the Furuno.
posted 10-12-2013 10:17 AM ET (US)
According to an article by Ben Ellison on his blog PANBO, the NMEA convention this year awarded FURUNO for being the manufacturer with the best support. Ben also noted that FURUNO has always won this award ever since its inception. This seems to suggest that support from FURUNO for their products is excellent. Having good manufacturer support can be a consideration in choosing an marine electronic product.
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