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Ok, I bought the older boat. It has an older Furuno (sp?) fish finder and a very old Garmin GPS 120 (can't hardly find any parts for it, searched around on the net). The fish finder works but the GPS won't come on, the electrical bus on the boat needs some attention. Anyway, I want to upgrade to some newer electronics. My neighbor recommended a Garmin 720S. I see these are usually around $1500 but because it is Christmas I can get one for about 1K at West Marine. However, this price does not include antennas or transponders. I plan to go down to West Marine (and other places) to ask questions about it, but I wanted to be a slightly more informed shopper... any suggestions on the pickup electronics for a chartplotter like the 720S? Does anyone else have any good suggestions on electronics? I plan to fish, dive, go to dinner, and just cruise around on the boat so fish finding is a must, GPS is definitely a must, weather is optional although I would like to know my options. It seems like a weather antenna is more expensive than the chart plotter.
My questions for the forum are thus: does anyone have this chartplotter, and if so, what transducer(s)/antenna do you use? Do you like them or have recommendations? What features do you really like and/or use, and which ones are not? Does the 720S seem like more than I need for a pleasure boat? Just by shopping on amazon I got several emails supposedly comparing different chartplotters but they really don't get down to the real "what is good, what is not" from other boaters.
 

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I upgraded from a Garmin 188 to the 740s and couldn't be happier. Not sure the difference between a 720 and 740, but I've been very pleased with the 740.
 

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my suggestion is go to west and play with all the makes and models they have...you may find you dont like garmin or another unit that is more your speed....ive had garmin and liked them...ive always used the Garmin GPS antenna and never had an issue with them and a the west brand transducer since the deepest i would fish is about 60-80' the transducer will make all the difference in the world if you do alot of bottom fishing....you can spend $50 or $500 on one...its your boat so find something you like and go with it!
 

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Check on=line and you can get the 740s for around $1000. Transducer is about $80 for a thru-hull. 740S and 720S have internal antennas, which should be adequate. I have found a 740s with radar package for $1884 on-line, which is what I plan to install. I used this on-line company for pumps and motors as I couldn't find a better price: http://www.shopepal.com/default.aspx
 

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There are so many different units, I definitely would check out several from different manufacturers like Fisheye suggested. Me personally, I've used probably over 100 diferent units from running other peoples boats and my favorite makes are those by Raymarine and Lowrance. I find them to be very user friendly and easy to navigate through even without a manual. I have a Raymarine C90W on my boat and it does everything I need it to and more
 
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