Best sonar, GPS, charting
What is everyone's recommendation for a combo Fish finder, sonar, GPS, charting? My use is 98% on rivers. I am looking for a color monitor in the 7-9 inch range. I have been looking around on the net, but have not come to a conclusion. I want to hard wire it in the boat, so there is no need for portability. I have a hand held for off boat operations. I know absolutely nothing about them, so any help would be appreciated.
Oh I want one with the maps pre-loaded versus having to buy another program to fill it. Easier to sell to my wife.
I don't think you're going to get any consensus on this--it all comes down to personal preference.
Lots of folks like Furuno. Others favor Garmin, or Raymarine, or Simrad, or Standard Horizon. They all offer good units, and it really comes down what mix of feautures and price grabs you.
Recommend you go to the above manufacturer's web sites and peruse their offerings. Narrow things down to two or three options that interest you, then go to the store(s), look at them and play with them in the flesh (plastic?), and make your choice.
For what it's worth, and only my 2 cents, if your primary concern is the sounder/fish finder part of the equation, take a hard look at Furuno. If GPS is key to you, consider Garmin.
In the last twenty years I have had 4 different boats that had a combination of systems. Many times I would have a backup to the main system. I have used and owned Furuno, Raymarine, High Standard,JRC, Simrad, and Garmin. I started with individual stand alone items and am running a single Navigation system. My choice and the one I have had the best luck with is the Garmin. I am using the 3210 system.
Furuno Radar very good, Older CTR Fish Finder Very Good, GP 50 GPS Poor
Raymarine 425 GPS good when working poor over all, Raymarine Radar Very Good, 810 Fish Finder Very Good Raymarine Loran C good quality
Simrad 3D Radar over price, quality fair
High Standard GPS good quality but did not last two seasons
JRC Radar over all poor quality, JRC color Fish Finder Very Good
Garmin 210 GPS installed 1993 still working outstanding, Garmin 3210 Radar,GPS, Fish Finder Outstanding Also note I have two Smaller Garmin GPS/Fish Finder Systems that are really great.
Thanks gentlemen, I will be looking into those. GPS is a little higher than sonar/FF, but I want both. My consol is too small for two separate units.
I have worked with most brands, makes and models and if your looking for one that you can tie all together into one display I would look very closely at Garmin.
The reliability, ease of use and product support has been outstanding with my Garmin chartplotter, radar, gps and sounder on my boat.
On one of the above posts someone correctly said that your going to get a lot of opinions here and they will all be different: he is right! and no doubt mine is not worth more than 2 cents!
Once you find what you want, check out www.getfeetwet.com, I had picked up my Garmin plotter from them cheaper than I could find anywhere else. They don't have the best prices on everything, but they normally have very good deals on most stuff.
Take a look at lowrance. Their plotters are simple and inexpensive, i run rivers mostly and own 2. Both have a network ,nema 2000. I run the fuel flow meters on both, the info lets me dial in the best mpg for the load i have on that day. No calculating! Sonar is good, and a $100. Map card gets me everything i need. I know nothing about radar, on rivers it's a moot point. I would try garmin but $2k wasn't in the budget. Hope this helps.