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Old 09-21-2014, 08:02 AM   #1
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Fish Finder, Marine Electronics

Getting a diesel inboard trawler type boat and I fish a lot for Salmon, Albacore Tuna, Halibut and Rock Fish on the Washington Coast. All the boats I am looking at have old electronics which will need to be upgraded. Looking for a fish finder, transducer, good 18-24 NM radar and GPS/Chart-plotter that works well, tried of catching fish and seeing a blank screen on my fish finders.

I know the sky’s the limit on price so my budget is 5K-8K. Any suggestions from anyone that has something that works well?

What is the best bang for the buck?
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:35 AM   #2
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What is your layout? Do you require single station or multiple station electronics?

I'd look at price as a secondary's consideration, and regard functionality as a primary requirement. For example, Lowrance may meet the budgetary requirements, but IMO that line of electronics is best left to the bass boat crowd.

I wouldn't want to be miles offshore with cheap gear.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:36 AM   #3
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Old 09-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #4
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We've had a Lowrance HDS-5X for over 6 years and love it. We fish shallow water as well as canyons (15'-3000'). It will feed most newer MFDs either through NEMA 2000 or Ethernet networking. The new model, with a wifi module, will work with your tablet or smart phone. They've come a long way! Lowrance is owned by Navico which also owns Simrad and B&G.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:04 PM   #5
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I've found nothing wrong with Lowrance equipment for offshore use as well.

But for bang for your buck look at the Standard Horizon combo plotters/fish finders/radars as well.
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Old 09-21-2014, 05:19 PM   #6
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Need electronics on inside helm and on the flybridge. Those multi function displays with the IPad or remote controlable screens seem to be a intriguing option especially considering $350 vs $2500 for just a additional screen.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Drzasa View Post
Need electronics on inside helm and on the flybridge. Those multi function displays with the IPad or remote controlable screens seem to be a intriguing option especially considering $350 vs $2500 for just a additional screen.
my route...plus a notebook with OpenCPN on it with free up o date charts and a $29 GPS puck.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:54 PM   #8
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What transducer are you running to get that depth?

Tom
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:57 PM   #9
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my route...plus a notebook with OpenCPN on it with free up o date charts and a $29 GPS puck.
That's my plan to start off with in the boat I'm planning to build.I have this for mine currently.I wrote this post back in 2010.I had a cheap old,I believe,Johnson depth sounder.Fish finder I used my gut and some published fishing guides. USB GPS BU-353 and Earth Bridge - Setup Instructions - Laptop GPS World
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:10 PM   #10
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That's my plan to start off with in the boat I'm planning to build.I have this for mine currently.I wrote this post back in 2010.I had a cheap old,I believe,Johnson depth sounder.Fish finder I used my gut and some published fishing guides. USB GPS BU-353 and Earth Bridge - Setup Instructions - Laptop GPS World
That's what I'm using, too. I have the OpenCPN and Offshore Navigator Lite that I run on the laptop. I also run a Note 8 tablet with NOAA and Navionics maps and BoatBeacon and MarineTraffic apps.

It's hard to beat free in the charting world. I just can't find a really good reason to invest big bucks in a dedicated screen to provide the same info.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:12 PM   #11
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Larry

What transducer are you running to get that depth?

Tom
Airmars' model B744V.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:24 AM   #12
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So what is the verdict? I know electronics are not cheap but was hoping to come away with some different options that meet the requirements I stated above. Seems that even 20k for 2 screens in each location might not be enough money anyone have some suggestions?
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Old 09-22-2014, 04:41 AM   #13
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I've always found Lowrance very easy to self install, user friendly, innovative, and reliable. I think of it as the Toyota of marine equipment, and I'm still driving a 25 year old Toyota GT4 which still goes like new. My Lowrance GPS combo unit I installed myself in 2004 also still fine.
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:40 AM   #14
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I would make sure the unit can read to at least 500ft ,

so Contour Navigation can be used if needed.
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:56 AM   #15
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I have no experience with any of this stuff - just reading what everyone has to say about all boat systems etc.

This is what I have set in motion; I bought a Raymarine E7mfd for fish finding & sounding. If I choose, I can build from that base. I bought a new ASUS PC for Nobeltec chart-plotting. I also bought a Furuno 36 mi open ray radar new in the box. Here is the one of the best parts of my shopping, most of these systems are blue tooth capable, so I will buy a sunlight readable monitor for the upper helm & use a blue tooth mouse to do the controlling of the lower helm systems. Those systems that are not blue tooth capable, I will hard wire. Most of my systems are redundant, so this is good, right. I am into all of this for about $8,000, so far. I still need an autopilot, which I'm still trying to figure out. I must add that the entire radar system was bought for far less that $2,000. Which was a big savings. Spread the word around the dock that you are looking for this or that. You will be surprised. I hope this helps, in that, I had to make a course of action, then put in motion. Right or wrong.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:37 AM   #16
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Here's our setup:

Lower helm- Raymarine e127, connected via NMEA 0183 to a Standars Horizon GX2150 VHF for AIS data; P179 transducer for depth; Raymarine Evolution 400 autopilot with P70R A/P control head. Second screen is a 19" monitor running OpenCPN on a Mac Mini computer with a USB GPS puck. All Raymarine gear is networked to the upper helm;

Upper helm:Raymarine e125 connected to 4kW open array radar. A/P controls built into head unit.

Rear (cockpit) helm station; iPad connected via wifi/Bluetooth.

I use my iPhone as a remote control for the MFDs.
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