What do you use in the way of fishfinders? I have been using lowrance for years but seems like quality control has hit rock bottom. Mine quit working twice last year and naturally waranty was out. It cost me about $75 the first time to get it fixed and about $ 200 the second time. I moved it to another boat today and the transducer snaped in half. Where it broke it had a big air bubble where it had not been molded right. It took me 35 minutes of holding the phone to get someone to talk to. They informed me they would take care of me for about another $ 100. I do not mind paying for good reliable equipment, but hate to have to pay over and over for something not working as it should. Please post anything good or bad about the unit that you use. If you had to contact customer support please tell if you had a good or bad experence. Thanks for any help or information you can give.
I'm planning on upgrading to a Furuno. A buddy got an FCV 620 last year and said the performance is outstanding.
A top notch fish finder is well worth the $.
I've been using the same Furuno FCV582L for the past 12 years, 80-90 days every summer in southern, S.E. Ak. hasn't missed a beat yet. I wouldn't have anything else. Sure you can save some $$$ on other brands but $$$ saved now is $$$ spent in 2 years for repairs when it takes its 1st dump on you, then a couple years after that you can use the rest of the $$$ you saved to buy another 3 to 5 year unit or you can spend a little more upfront and be done with it. Don't expect alot from entry level equipment. My $.02 worth.
Garmin / Raymarine
On my new boat I chose a Raymarine all-in-one Chart plotter/GPS/radar/depth finder model, the C90W. It has a depth module and thru-hull transponder that is supposed to be superb. One of the things I have struggled with is depth finders that don't keep up (or plain just stop working) when the boat is on step, and I'm told with the $300 module that will not be the case.
I haven't used it yet, but it's the latest/greatest and I'll report back on its qualities as I get more experience with it. Cost for the whole setup (radar, etc. was around $4k.
As a backup and what I'll use when trolling, mounted on my back deck, I have a Garmin GPS 421 that I love. I used it in the open skiff I ran for charters this past summer. I got the BlueChart G2 Vision card as an add on and it is just amazing to see 3D contours of the bottom. It really helped me find fish. Cost for the unit and card was about $550 with a rebate that was going on when I bought it.
I used a high end Raymarine ff/cp combo for a little bit, and it saw kings really well.... Good unit.
I'm a Raymarine fan myself. There is so much good stuff out there. though.
My last purchase a few yrs back was a Furuno GP7000f (not sure of the letters in title) it is a Plotter/Sounder with 50/200 mhz option on the sounder and is really a nice fish finder and "bottom examiner".
I upgraded the Transducer (sorry don't have the # on it) and that is a key I think, get a GOOD Transducer for sure!
I don't use the Plotter part much except as a backup GPS unit on board which is always a good idea anyway,
I often leave the sounder on a split screen so I can see both 50 and 200 mhz. at same time. For around $1700 it is a real nice machine( transducer adds some to that $#)
The plotter is excellent also but I run a computer program that smokes it so I leave it on Sounder
Years of Hard Use on Furuno products with no failures yet
This 7000 is noticeably better than the GP1850 or 1650 they also make, I've had them both in past, tho they will work well for a small boat