Hello folks, I hope everyone is itching to get on the water like we are! Last fall I bought a '79 Bayliner Saratoga (350 Chevy/Mercruiser?) and since it had a Lowrance 5 inch GPS/sounder I wanted to switch it over to Garmin. I got a sweet deal at the show on a 547XS..I wanted larger but I don't have the windshield view space. I am going to run a GFS 10 fuel sensor on it through a NMEA 2000 network. I have a couple questions for you guys that have done some of your own installs. The instructions say you have to have both the GPS unit and the network ran to 12 volts, and that the NMEA cord needs to be switched so it doesn't run the batteries down. They show a switch in the schematic. I guess my question is twofold. First, does it matter if I go straight to the battery bank since it'll be switched, or does it need to be ran another route? I was going to go right to battery 1 of 2 and switch it so I can still have GPS at night for the anchor alarms. The second part of this question is say if I did switch off the NMEA network side, will the GPS still work but without the networking aspects? You know like the anchor alarms, general direction finding, and fishing? I have only 2, group 31 batteries on this boat and they are way up front under the berth bed. The previous owner said he wanted to distribute some of that weight forward but I'm ignorant on that with this vessel. The boat is old but has been well cared for and has had some fiberglass mods done in the last couple years to strengthen the spars near the engine. I might run it like this for a year and see what we think..but I'm concerned that a few days of camping on board might be fairly hard on these 2 little batteries. Any thoughts on this from you all?
Thanks for any responses.