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Author Topic:   Montauk Fishfinder/depth unit choice???
delasource posted 03-04-2005 02:35 PM ET (US)   Profile for delasource   Send Email to delasource  
I just bought my first boat and after all of my years on the water in borrowed/rented boats, I'm proud to say it's a 2004 Boston Whaler Montauk. Being new at this, I would appreciate any advise on what kind of fishfinder/depth unit I should be looking at.

I will be on inland lakes in Northern Michigan with alot shallow waterway and lots of walleye. I won't be fishing the Great Lakes at this point so a GPS unit may not be necessary.

I contacted Hummingbird and they advised that I use a through hull vs. transom mount for the transponder to get maximum accuracy on a Montauk. Any opinions on that? BTW, they suggested a Matrix 17.

Finally, any idea of how much I should put away for a good installation job? Is a transom installation something that a person with normal mechanical/electrical skills should consider taking on?

Thanks for your help,


Endless Wave posted 03-04-2005 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Endless Wave    
This will do nicely on your console.

montaukman posted 03-04-2005 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for montaukman  Send Email to montaukman     
Hi....I bought the 178C garmin based on that review. I am taking delivery on my 2005 maontauk on the 26th and will have it installed soon thereafter. I can let you know what i find out.

Just incase you want to purchase it, i found the best deal at They are selling me a 50/200 tranducer, internal antenna 178C for $609. It is the best price i have seen. I should have it in two days.

Good luck and let me know what you decide.

Alan C.

Moe posted 03-04-2005 06:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Here's another vote for the Garmin 178C combination GPS/fishfinder. Putting a separate fishfinder on the limited console space won't leave you much room for a GPS later.

The 170 Montauk is a foam filled hull with no manufactured in provision for a through-hull or in-hull as with some of the larger Whalers. You use a transom mount transducer.

Divedog posted 03-04-2005 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
I installed by 178C last Saturday. I'll be testing it out for the first time this Sunday. Hope to track down some local salmon.
DeepSouthWhaler posted 03-04-2005 08:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeepSouthWhaler    
Do you have to spend another $200 to get the mapping software on the Garmin 178C?
montaukman posted 03-04-2005 10:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for montaukman  Send Email to montaukman     
Hi Deep South,

I just bought the 178C..waiting for it to be delivered. Here is what the person from told me.

There area few ways to get te bluechart mapping that goes this the garmin gps. One way is to buy a CD of the mad and a data card and downlaod areas sections of the map as you see fit. each section requires anunlock code and you can only use it once. So if oyu want more sections, you need to buy more unlock code certificates.

The CD is a bout $100 and comes with one unlock code. the cards range in size. the 64 MB card (holds about 10 sections is roughly $65. So bottom line, you have to spend 160 plus another 50 for the card reader/ it proprietary to Garmin as i was told so any usb card reader won't work.

Eac unlock code certificate is about $80. This works if you plan on having many areas that you want detailed maps with.

The other option is the preprogramed chips. The cme in jumbo (all the US), medium (east coast or west coast or central US) and sections. Each section seems to cover sort of a 100 mile radius. The best price i saw was $123 for each section. I don't know about the medium size chip price. the Jumbo i beleive is in th $750 range

Confused? I spoke with a very very patient person at and got all the information i could. Again, he also had the best price of $609 for the 50/200 transducer and the version that has the internal antenna.

Anyway, that is what I found out. I ended up getting the 178C and the long island area chip. thats all i need.

They also sell a fishing hot spots chip that has detailed lake information. the rep has a list of what lakes that are covered. not all lakes are represented.

Hope that helps.


Moe posted 03-04-2005 11:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
You can only use an unlock code for one area, but you can install that area on two units, a fixed one and a backup handheld, for example.

The CD not only contains all the regions you can unlock, but also Garmin's PC-based MapSource software. That lets you install the same charts you're going to put on a blank memory chip onto your PC as well, and do trip planning (establishing waypoints and routes) and exploring, on its large screen, keyboard and mouse, with the MapSource software. This is great.

Besides the unlock code that came with the CD, I bought an additional. To give you an idea of the regions, the first one covered the lower half of Lake Huron, Lake Saint Clair, Lake Erie, and the western portion of Lake Ontario. The second covered Tampa, Florida to just west of New Orleans. Both of these take less than 19MB on the card, but keep in mind you also need memory for recording your track, if you want to follow it back.


delasource posted 03-05-2005 10:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for delasource  Send Email to delasource     
Thanks for all of the responses.

Reading the Garmin 178 spec's leads me to believe that it is beyond both my needs and means. I'm trying to keep my price below $350. Is this unrealistic?

As I mentioned, I'll be using my Montauk on shallow
Northern Michigan inland lakes and bays and I don't see the need for a GPS at this point.

Can anyone give me recommendations for a combined fishfinder/depth/temp units? I went to and saw a Gramin 250. Would this or a Hummingbird Matrix 17 do the trick? Any other model suggestions?

Also, any transom installation details regarding transducer location and fixing method as well as wiring hookup will be appreciated.

Being a good craftsman, should I should tackle installation or leave it to a dealer?


Whalen posted 03-05-2005 10:59 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalen    
You can probably get an older model for 350, like a Lowrance 380 (B&W). Chip adds two hundred more though.
delasource posted 03-06-2005 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for delasource  Send Email to delasource     
Thanks for the suggestion.

It seems by your response and the others, that anything less than the units discussed aren't worth the investment.

Replies also indicate that GPS is essential. Do you believe that it's necessary for shallow lakes and bays where visual landmarks + compass are the more common ways to navigate?

The reason that I mentioned the Hummingbird Matrix 17 or the Garmin 250 is that they fell in the $200 price range.



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