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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a 21 foot boat last season as a project boat.



It's older, so I am going to use it for pass and bay fishing most of the time. I may take it offshore now and then, depending on my comfort level, after seeing how it does on a few inshore/pass trips.



I have a small fishfinder/gps chart plotter on my 16ft boat, and what drives me bonkers is trying to look at the gps tracks and fishfinder all on one screen. I positively hate it.



So considering what my intended use of this boat is ( see above ), I would like to know your recommendations on the following.



1) I want two screens



One must have gps info

One must have fishfinder info.



If either is redundant, that's fine , ie, if the fishfinder also has gps, or gps has fishfinder, but don't use it. But I am trying to shop on a budget, and don't want to pay for additional functions that I don't need.



2) I need a basic radio for emergencies



I have heard mostly good things about Garmin, Humminbird, Ray Marine, but told to stay away from Lowrance, and I have seen a Furuno that seemed like you needed to take a class first to use it.



I hate to give a budget... Let's just say that I've been called cheap more than once lol.



I'm ok with used or last year's models too.



Seem's most of the lower priced models come with a transducer, so I guess I don't need to really worry to much about how many watts on transducers, but correct me if I'm wrong.



Also, wanted to know if anyone has any experience with the Garmin g2 and g2 vision maps? Would love to hear the pros and cons of those, if they are worth it or is it just oohh ahh eye candy
 

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Go to George's on New Warrington? He's not a great guy, but the folks who work for him are great. He's not there all the time, so ask the girls in the front. The techies in the back are great.
 

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I'm buying a new boat too.

21' Flats boat.

I decided on a Lowrance DGS-7 just because it's expandable for "side scan" and it seems to be the "newest" system with digital returns.

I've used a Garmin GPS for 9 years, replaced 3 times, twice under warranty. GREAT service.

I've used a Furuno Fishfinder for 9 years... works great, lasts a long time

I've used a small Furuno Radar for 9 years, stoped working about afew monthsago at about the same time I started turning theantenna upside down once in awhile for transit. I dunno if its old age or being turned upside down once in awhile.

If Furuno had side scan I'd get that first. If Garmin had side scan that would be my second choice. Hummingbird has always been "freshwater" in my mind. Lowrance seems to have the latest technology in a smaller unit, plus side scan capable (an expensive upgrade)and otherwise very expandable (SiriusWeather RADAR) etc So I chose Lowrance.

Jim
 

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Contact "Steve Steck" with Offshore Electronics. Steve is completely mobile, and he is a great guy to deal with. He recently installed a new GPS / Chartplotter on our boat and we could not be happier. His number is 850-777-0740
 

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Come to West Marine, 3500 Barrancas and look at all of them at one time. Ask questions, study, then make a decision.

West Marine matches prices with all bona fide retailers, is open every day except Christmas and New Years, and has a excellent return policy.

You must find your own installer or DIY.
 

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Garmins are nice but Raymarine is the way to go. Very user friendly screens and screen clarity is great. The only problem is they aren't cheap unless you can find a good deal.
 

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oldflathead (4/9/2010)Come to West Marine, 3500 Barrancas and look at all of them at one time. Ask questions, study, then make a decision.

West Marine matches prices with all bona fide retailers, is open every day except Christmas and New Years, and has a excellent return policy.

You must find your own installer or DIY.
+1 Best advice so far! If you're looking to save money DIY is the best way to go. Go Garmin for a GPS and then do like Oldflathead said and compare fishfinders. I ended up with a Garmin GPS/Fishfinder Combo and a Garmin Fishfinder, both work great and didn't cost an arm and a leg!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I dont hear much about humminbird, anyone got humminbird?



The one I have now is humminbird, and I like it, except for the flipping screens back and forth crap I mentioned previously.



Do it yourself is no problem. I installed this one, ... leveled boat, ran the wiring, installed xducer, etc
 

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Discussion Starter #10
jim t (4/9/2010)I'm buying a new boat too.







If Furuno had side scan I'd get that first. If Garmin had side scan that would be my second choice. Hummingbird has always been "freshwater" in my mind. Lowrance seems to have the latest technology in a smaller unit, plus side scan capable (an expensive upgrade)and otherwise very expandable (SiriusWeather RADAR) etc So I chose Lowrance.



Jim


I know what you mean about Humminbird, but they definitely arent... for example look at this monster http://store.humminbird.com/products/271398/1197c_SI_Combo



out of my price range, but obviously they have some heavy duty stuff like the rest.
 

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If your not going offshore and mainly know how to get around in the waters you fish. I'd drop the majority of the cash on the fishfinder unit if you buy two seperate units. I believe you will fish one unit with the expansion port (like someone said) would be the way to go. Professional installation is highly recommended.
 

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I've got the 797c si from hummingbird with maps. Cost around $1000. I really enjoyed using the side immaging at first, and it's still pretty cool to see the bottom in 10 to 30 feet of water, but beyond that it's kinda useless around here. side immaging that is.

The GPS and maps work great. I've got cought in the fog a couple times and it turned out to be priceless. The 88/200 mhz bottom machine works fine too for finding structure even in deeper water.

Mine stoped working after about 6 months and Hummingbird was great about fixing it under warranty.

My biggest complaint is the transducer. My 20' Keywest does not have a stepped hull so I have to mount it on the transom near the motor. First time I took it out it spayed more water up on my motor than a fire hose. After playing with it a while I ended up fabricating some aluminum to knock the spay down behind the boat. Even so, it still kicks up if I hit a wake too hard. If you don't go over 30MPH this may not be an issue, but it sure has been a pain for me to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
FishVan (4/9/2010)I've got the 797c si from hummingbird with maps. Cost around $1000. I really enjoyed using the side immaging at first, and it's still pretty cool to see the bottom in 10 to 30 feet of water, but beyond that it's kinda useless around here. side immaging that is.



The GPS and maps work great. I've got cought in the fog a couple times and it turned out to be priceless. The 88/200 mhz bottom machine works fine too for finding structure even in deeper water.



Mine stoped working after about 6 months and Hummingbird was great about fixing it under warranty.



My biggest complaint is the transducer. My 20' Keywest does not have a stepped hull so I have to mount it on the transom near the motor. First time I took it out it spayed more water up on my motor than a fire hose. After playing with it a while I ended up fabricating some aluminum to knock the spay down behind the boat. Even so, it still kicks up if I hit a wake too hard. If you don't go over 30MPH this may not be an issue, but it sure has been a pain for me to deal with.


When do you think the side scan is useful?
 

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The new Lowrance with structure scan is pretty cool but expensive. Like Tom said though,go to West or Georges and play with a bunch of units and ask a lot of questions. Cheap and Boats should not be used in the same sentence.
 

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Choppedliver,



You commented that there did not appear to be too many PFF's that had Humminbird - I do and I've been pleased with my unit.



I've had a 937 DF (dual frequency) C unit for about 6 years. Although Humminbird earned their fame as a freshwater unit I've never had mine in freshwater. I've always fished salt water. The unit is a combo plotter/finder and is powerful and flexible in that you can configure the split screen in just about and combination of the available screens. Humminbird provides excellent support through technical questions and you can update the software by downloading it from their website. Although I mostly fish inshore I do occasionally go offshore (on a "good' day) and the dual frequency 'ducer is great on structure. Rather than transom mount the ducer I was able to epoxy the ducer on the inside bottom of my boat. It works great like that and you don't have to worry about damage or the spray that someone else commented on. I'd recommend that when you are talking to salespeople ask about whether the ducer can be mounted within the hull. I did the entire installation myself. It was not that complex, it just took time.



Although my experience has been positive with Humminbird I believe that most mid to upper cost units are pretty good - regardless of the manufacturer. Go and play with the units and see what feels good to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
bonita dan (4/9/2010)The new Lowrance with structure scan is pretty cool but expensive. Like Tom said though,go to West or Georges and play with a bunch of units and ask a lot of questions. Cheap and Boats should not be used in the same sentence.


I took your advice, went to the big West Marine on Barrancas.



Played with a few, but annoying because most of them are in demo mode.



Lady working there was absolutely clueless. Got a catalog and walked out. Hate when employees cant answer the most basic questions. Gonna study up on the internet and read the catalog, glean some info from you guys. Salespeople generally seem to be useless to me anyway, don't know why I expected this to be different. LOL.
 

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Should have talked with Don. Carol Faye is a nice lady but her strength is really the cash register. Sorry.
 
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