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Thread: What GPS/Plotter?

  1. #1
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default What GPS/Plotter?

    What units are you guys using for marine applications? My father in law's boat came with a Standard Horizon 150 which was probably a good unit in it's time, but it is acting up lately. It has been taking a LONG time to acquire satellite lock and intermittently loses it while out on the water even though it uses an external antenna.

    This last trip to Valdez, I fired the unit up before we launched the boat. It didn't get a fix until we were almost to the Narrows! My handheld Garmin gets a lock in about 20-30 seconds and never loses it.

    We were starting to look around a bit at replacement units and were wondering which ones were popular. A buddy of mine has a Garmin 2006C, but the price tag is a little scary. We were hoping to keep it well under $1,000 if possible.

    Any suggestions?
    AKmud
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'm planning on getting a Garmin 178C, it's a combo plotter sonar unit, and the best price I've found on line with external antenna and transom mount dual freq sender is ~$530, plus shipping. Looks pretty good in the reviews I've seen. The sonar basically adds $100 to price of the unit, so having a backup sounder for an extra $100 isn't too bad.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    198C Garmin and love it.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Default 198c

    agreed.... great set up.

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    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
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    I am using a Garmin 176c. The difference between the others and mine is that they have a slightly larger screen and double as a depth finder in split screen mode. I have a larger depth finder that works fine so I didn't need both. Both the 176C and 198C have been discontinued but they can be found at reasonable prices on ebay. Although I have a couple of Garmin GPS's and have never had a problem with them, somebody mentioned that if they needed both a sounder and a plotter that they would purchase separate units. That way if one quit working they didn't loose the whole enchilada, something to consider unless space is an issue. If you have a garmin handheld GPS you might want to stick with that brand so software and memory cards are interchangable. Just some thoughts.

  6. #6
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Garmin 498. Only complaint is I wish the screen was a little bigger. Other than that it is an awesome unit. GPS, Chartploter, and Depth/Fish Finder.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  7. #7

    Thumbs up Garmin 178C

    My old "green screen" plotter was on it's last leg, so last winter I installed a new Garmin 178C I think I paid $560.00 on e-bay that included the antenna and the dual freq. transducer. It is very simple to install and it is awsome!!!! It aquires the sats in a few seconds and never loses them, early in May we spent 4 days cruising around PWS we loged 276 miles went as far south as Icy bay, never once did I lose signal. I love it!!

  8. #8
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Default garmin

    akmud
    I have the garmin 178 combo depth/gps, dual freq. transducer INTERNAL antennae, I have never had a problem with signal acquisition or losing it, I fish Valdez quite a bit too, it's locked on by the time I get out of the small boat harbor easily. Just bought the PWS chip for it this winter and it looks great as well, can't wait to test it out. luck
    fishn

    p.s. check tigergps.com for prices, it's where I got mine

  9. #9

    Default

    I also have the 178c combo with internal ant. I have had it in a fiberglass boat and now my hewescraft hardtop. I fish Homer, Seward , Whittier, and hunt up on the Yukon. Always locks in quick, doesn't lose signal, so why put another ant. on the roof that might get in the way? I also have a back-up gps and fishfinder just in case.

  10. #10
    Member Dan in Alaska's Avatar
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    I will also jump in on the Garmin bandwagon. I have an older 238 Sounder with an external ant. I got tired of switching back and forth on the screen to get to the fish finder (I never really liked the split screen mode), so I bought an inexpensive Garmin fish finder. The units sit side-by-side on my dash, and the setup works really well.

    Whichever unit you decide on, though, be sure you get the Bluechart Chip for the area you're fishing. It's been invaluable in steering clear of rocks and finding new fishing spots. For Less than $150, bought a chip that covers the waters from Anchorage to Juneau. Perfect!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've heard that in good conditions the int antennas are fine, but in rain they take longer to lock in than the external antennas. Thus in the conditiosn you'd need the gps the most, it would be compromised. I don't think there is a diff in price between internal/external, and I'd rather have a clear signal to the antenna in an enclosed boat.

  12. #12

    Default Lowrance

    I found a Lowrance 7600HD on ebay for $875. It has the 10.4 screen and an external antenna. It was a closeout on last years model. It has a decent marine chart built in as well as two other maps that are great if you are in the lower 48. They have all the big stuff just not very detailed. I think the current year version in called a 9300HD and was at Sportsman's Warehouse for $1900+. The new version supposedly has better maps pre installed but I figured it was still cheaper to buy the old one and update with MMC cards.

    I wanted to mount the antenna under my softtop but after playing around during the install found that it got much better reception outside so I mounted it on the bow handrail for now. I hope to build a tower in a year or two and will move it up there when that dream comes true.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    I've been using my 178c for three years now. It's a great unit for the price. Sometimes I think that I might want a bigger screen, but not bad enough to plunk out the cash for it. My wife's uncle is using a 198c. I played around with it a couple of weeks ago. It seems like a fine unit as well. Although I do like my split screen better...
    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska
    ... you canít tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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    Member Arctic Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Got a Lowrance 337C GPS/Sounder Combo

    Pretty nice unit. I bought it over the Garmin 498 for the fishfinding/sounder capabilities, the GPS is good, but I had to buy the Alaska maps. I use a Garmin 176 handheld as my backup. So far it works great!!! It has a 5 inch color screen and looks real nice in my glass boat.

    AH

  15. #15
    Member Bullwinkle50's Avatar
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    Default Garmin 178C

    My wife got me a Garmin 178C for Christmas and can't wait to try it out. Putting it in the boat this weekend and going down Homer way next weekend.

    Randy

  16. #16

    Default

    I have the 498C and love it.

  17. #17

    Default

    Like most of the above posts I think Garmin is the way to go. I just bought a Garmin chartplotter at a steal of a deal from www.getfeetwet.com. Check to see if they have what you need, I also was impressed with their customer service.

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    Getfeetwet.com is sweet...... just bought a 3206 and I'm pretty happy with it, especially since I need to cover a lot of ground and it has all pre-loaded charts. Great detail too! The 3006 is on sale right now for $799 = chart cards $132 or you can get it pre-loaded with one region for $899. Great service and the best prices I've seen yet.

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    You might consider having Standard look at the unit or contact them as they may have a fix you can conduct with out sending in unit. Probably alot cheaper than new unit. If interested, I have a Tank Tender gauge to monitor fuel in the four tanks on that boat.

  20. #20
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tedo View Post
    You might consider having Standard look at the unit or contact them as they may have a fix you can conduct with out sending in unit. Probably alot cheaper than new unit. If interested, I have a Tank Tender gauge to monitor fuel in the four tanks on that boat.

    Thanks Ted,

    We put a Floscan fuel flow monitor on it recently and it seems to work quite well (running about 12 GPH loaded heavy). The GPS aquires signal quick sometimes and other times it takes 30 minutes or more... My father in law is thinking a larger screen would be better anyway. I will call them though and see if there is something that we can do until we find another unit.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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