Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: Need Sonar/GPS recommendations

  1. #1
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default Need Sonar/GPS recommendations

    I am looking for a fishfinder/GPS unit that is less than $1000. I would prefer color mapping but it is not an absolute. I have a handheld Garmin Rhino 530, so I have some GPS capability already, BUT: I'm figuring that a chartplotting unit with all of the marine maps loaded is better...I'll be fishing Whittier/Seward mostly.

    I have seen the Humminbird 967c "3D" model and it was the first fishfinder that made sense to my brain. Being able to "see" everything underwater with the correct spatial relationships was pretty cool. My only beef was the price. Their monochrome version of the "3D" model did not have the GPS unit as part of the package .

    So...I'm looking for suggestions within this budget. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default

    This doesn't answer your question, but unless your space is limited, I would not buy a combo unit.

    I have a Lowrance sonar that I think is ok, and I love my Garmin GPS Map 182 (an older model chartplotter). I don't think you could go wrong with Garmin products.

  3. #3
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default PS....

    Space IS limited to a single unit...

  4. #4

    Default

    Then I guess you WILL have to get a combo.

    My recommendation will just have to be applied to those who wonder whether to get acombo unit or individual units.

  5. #5
    Member JOAT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Soldotna, ALASKA since '78
    Posts
    3,720

    Default Garmin

    You can find a Garmin unit that meets all of your needs...

    http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/site/us/onthewater/

    Specifically under Sounders:

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=150
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  6. #6
    Member captaindd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Salcha, AK
    Posts
    762

    Default Garmin

    http://www.getfeetwet.com/
    Last year when I had my boat built the people at www.getfeetwet,com where really great to work with and they had some of the best prices that I could find.
    Good Luck

  7. #7

    Default

    The Garmin GPSMAP545 is a very nice unit for your price range. It has a full color display, dual freqency sounder, the G2 chart card will give you more chart detail than you can possibly use.

    I bought my electronics from getfeetwet.com and their prices were very low. Their customer service was very good.

    Here is a link to that plotter/sounder at getfeetwet.com:

    http://getfeetwet.com/products/SKU-0...-01.aspx#Order

    check out the unit specs at Garmin:

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=148&pID=8109

  8. #8
    Member Tolman24's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    236

    Default Lowrance

    While others may disagree I bought a Lowrance LCX 28C HD last year and I really like it. It has nice maps and the sonar works well. I pick up the bottom at 30 MPH over 600'. Who knows how good the fishfinder is. I mark fish and sometimes I catch them and sometimes I don't. It seems to mark bait well. All the nautipath topo and marine maps are preloaded. It is a fairly simple task to convert garmin to lowrance waypoints using GPSBabel utility. Those maps have been good enough for me. The Navionics platinum maps are supposed to be an option first qtr this year which will give more detail.

    Another thought is if you decide to add radar in the future it can be added to this unit for about another 1K. And for another $400 or $500 you can add a HD sonar that is supposed to really enhance the picture of the bottom. No one said this was a cheap hobby.

    I am not a Lowrance dealer or affiliated in any way but this has worked for me.

  9. #9

    Default

    VITmarine is a good electronics outlet on the web, also Overtons and boating world, we have bought stuff from them. West Marine has deals that pop up for the individual every now and then, they might have that "one item remaining" or "last years model" that they will let go for a steal. Radar and chartplotters are great combos, because you can over lap the radar on to the chartplotter, its logical and makes sense visually. But the sounder is something that needs to be on all the time, no flipping through screens to find out your depth. Fuses go out on them, make sure you carry spares. Check the power and depth range of the sounder, also screen size, these factors affect the price. You don't need one that reaches further than you fish, but you get what you pay for.

  10. #10

    Smile

    ...Also, transducers for the sounder usually aren't cheap and don't always come with it, same with the GPS antena and nav maps for regions or areas. Radar antena's cost extra also, not to mention something to mount it on, the type of hardware needed (stainless bolts, plates, etc...) and that nice expensive tube of 5200 sealant and epoxy. After all that you'll need lots of expensive gas to get you far enough away to make it all worth having.

  11. #11

    Default Lowrance

    6 years ago I started using Lowrance combo units. 3 units and a bunch of problems/upgrades,etc. have made me want something else.

  12. #12

    Default

    You can't go wrong with the Garmin or Lowrance.

    It's important to make sure you get the right transducer for your sonar application. For saltwater you want the dual 50/200kHz. From personal experience I would stay away from the Hummingbird brand.

    I have a Garmin 276C map GPS. It's compact in size and works awesome. Got me home many times in complete fog. It shows every single rock in PWS, with accuracy. My Lowrance Sonar/GPS (can't remember what model) is the best I've had too...good reception to 1,000 ft while running. You can probably get more of a Sonar unit (bigger, clearer screen) if you forego the color. There's nothing wrong with gray-scale.

  13. #13

    Default GPS Store

    I went in the GPS Store on the Old Seward Hiway around 70th Ave and boy do they ever have some units there. Heck for $1000 you'll do fine. I got a GarminMaps 498 Sounder. Color GPS & Fishfinder. The Garmin Web site is great too.

  14. #14

    Default Antenna and Ergonomics....it matters

    Whatever you do, don't buy an internal antenna unit. I got the Lowrance 520c and love it, but I goofed and ordered the one without the external antenna. Huge mistake. After picking up the external antenna, I was more than satisfied. The Nautipath card was at Sportsman's Warehouse cheaper than online and works like a champ. What it comes down to for me is ergonomics. The Garmin is nice, but it wasn't easy to navigate the buttons with one hand (which you end up doing most of the time while you're driving). Make sure you put your paws on them all before you make a spendy decision!

  15. #15
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default Just curious, Big Water

    What was your experience with the Humminbird brand that made you gun-shy about recommending them to others?

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    anchorage
    Posts
    344

    Default

    Last summer I bought a Garmin 545s GPS/Sounder with the new G2 3-D Vision technology for above (terrain) and below (bottom) viewing and absolutely love it!! If you order it online ( got mine from Tiger GPS) the unit with the G2 3-D card and thru hull transducer costs a couple hundred over your $1k minimum last year - probably cheaper now!!. As far as a previous poster saying the Garmin was not so easy to navigate one handed??!! - I have never seen a GPS that couldn't be operated one handed while driving/navigating a boat. I am not aware of any function on a Garmin requiring two hands to perform it. Also do not let anyone tell you there is any GPS/Software that displays every single rock in PWS. As of this last summer, as far as I could ascertain, NO ONE has done any additional soundings of PWS regarding changes to the original soundings done BEFORE THE '64 EARTHQUAKE that would change the data shown on any GPS/Sounder card. That means that even though the rocks shown on your card are still relevant, there may be new rocks not shown on your screen because they have risen up since the earthquake!!. I can't believe boaters don't bring this up many times each year for the newbies - not to emberass them but to save them from the $$ of repairing their hulls and outdrives!!.

  17. #17
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    552

    Default Hmmm...that' some of the info that I needed...

    I'm quite interested in the 3D readout. It's the only one that makes sense to my brain...

  18. #18

    Default

    The Garmin 545s is a pretty good deal, but it is over your price range of 1000. I think it runs around that price, or up to 1200-1300 depending on where you shop. It has all the charts preloaded into it for alaska, so you won't need to buy anything extra other then a transuder($77 for a transom mount, or up to $300 for a high end thru-hull) but you wont get the 3D views of under your boat without buying the G2 Vision card, which is $300. I've seen the humminbird also, and their 3D views are better looking and more detailed then the Garmins, but Garmins is still pretty good.

  19. #19
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Sitka, AK
    Posts
    142

    Default

    http://www.getfeetwet.com/products/S...b-4f2f7b65032f

    Garmin 545 with transducer for $960.

    The G2 card runs $266.41

    Total 1226.41 + shipping

    These are pretty nice units like everyone else has said. I'll also throw in a vote for www.getfeetwet.com. I ordered a GPS chartplotter from them and their service was great and they ship FAST. The folks who answer the phones (so far) have been very knowledgable about their products. From here on out, I'll get all my electronics from them.

  20. #20

    Default

    I contacted Garmin about this, since it related to my comment about how accurate the plotter charts are:

    Quote Originally Posted by bushboy
    Also do not let anyone tell you there is any GPS/Software that displays every single rock in PWS. As of this last summer, as far as I could ascertain, NO ONE has done any additional soundings of PWS regarding changes to the original soundings done BEFORE THE '64 EARTHQUAKE that would change the data shown on any GPS/Sounder card. That means that even though the rocks shown on your card are still relevant, there may be new rocks not shown on your screen because they have risen up since the earthquake!!.
    Garmin told me that they use the latest updated NOAA edition charts. For PWS many of the charts have been updated consistently, and many times, since 1964, and certainly within the last few years. These charts include NOAA's notice to mariner changes. Garmin also has a mariner reporting system for corrections/anomalies that they continually use for their updates. I know I have used their reporting system for a few minor things that were outdated on my chart. So I'm not sure how critical the original spot soundings from 45 years ago are. However, if there is a rock somewhere that bushboy says has risen up since the earthquate (??) he should not only tell us its exact location here, but report it to NOAA and Garmin using their reporting system. Thanks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •