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  • Need fish finder upgrade help

    Currently running a Garmin GPSmap 178c and am tired of the dreaded flashing depth while in PWS. Looking to upgrade but don't want to spend $5k to do it. Anyone running something affordable that they absolutly love? I want to be able to find depth in 600' of water and have good sonar picture for finding fish. Mine seems to just not being doing what I want. Can I upgrade transducers or what unit to purchase?
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

  • #2
    Furuno. Love mine. Fcv 587

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    • #3
      2X on the Furuno's love both of mine & da radar to! You want to give Semperfifishing Gil a call. You can find his contact info on the hull truth website.
      Click image for larger version

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      sigpic
      Alaska Shrimp Pots

      Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
      Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
      Ropes, Buoys, Bait
      alaskashrimppots.com
      akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
      907 775 1692

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      • #4
        Yup! Got mine from gil too......btw. My sounder went put when I started it up this spring Sent it to the warranty center & had a new unit back in 2 weeks... No questions asked. Didn't send any invoice or warranty papers with it. Only cost was my shipping to them.......I was totally pleased

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input. What transducer are you guys running? On the Furuno site it showed 600w or 1kw
          Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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          • #6
            I just installed the Furuno 627 and an Airmar P66 transducer. I've only used it once so far this season, but the difference between it and my old Lowrance sonar is like night and day.

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            • #7
              I'm running both a 600 on the small machine that came with the boat and a 1kw on the big machine.
              sigpic
              Alaska Shrimp Pots

              Rigid & Folding Shrimp & Crab Pots
              Electra Dyne Pot Haulers
              Ropes, Buoys, Bait
              alaskashrimppots.com
              akshrimppots@mtaonline.net
              907 775 1692

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              • #8
                I love garmin's 547xs

                I have a Garmin 547xs, its a chartplotter/ sounder combo. I use a 300 watt airmar tm150m chirp transducer. Last week I got bottom of 1087' while cruising. At the same time I could see fish arches at 400', bait at 25', and my downrigger flasher spinning at 50' in zoom window. Bundle with G2 coastal charts its pretty sweet. Also downview compatable!
                QF

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                • #9
                  I won't tell you what to buy, but under no circumstances should you buy anything that rhymes with "Hummingbird". Enough said.

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                  • #10
                    I'm sure part of my issue is I don't have a bachelors degree in sonar and it seems ya need one for these to work right. I get frustrated trying to set pots in 400' of water, looking for the ledge and I lose depth for a few minutes. At first I thought it was from the jet but it doesnt change even with the boat off. I went out last year with a guy who had a Garmin and you could see everything so easy. Bait balls, fish, individual fish in the rocks and such where mine shows some stuff but not close to his. Could be settings but willing to upgrade if needed. I have heard great things about the Airmar transducers, maybe I should try one out before I dump a bunch of money on a new unit. Does the transducer make that much of a difference between brands? I'm running the Garmin 50/200
                    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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                    • #11
                      Furuno 1870F with 1KW transducer and C-Map chip. Seattle boat show prices about $1500 total. Love it, just installed a few weeks ago and used for a week in PWS. Spent a bunch of time with factory tech reps, learned a lot. Furuno rep the best plus all the Furuno support on this forum sold me, and glad I listened!! 1 KW transducer is huge but wow I like it, doesn't drop the bottom and make me miss shrimp ledges like my old Garmin 5" with toy transducer. The c-map has batholytic data upgrade, really impressive, like an underwater topo map on steroids! Bought mine from J&G Marine Supply in Tacoma WA www.jgmarinesupply.com

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                      • #12
                        I went with the Furuno 620 with 600w Airmar P66, it is a huge improvement over the old cheap one, but I still have trouble seeing depth while cruising, I suspect because the bottom of my boat has a ton of aluminum patches which create turbulence. The 1KW thru-hull transducers seem to be the way to go, but I take my boat into the shallows and beach it too often. I prefer separate screens for my electronics, because you need a big screen to see GPS/Sonar/Radar in a split screen.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BQuad View Post
                          I went with the Furuno 620 with 600w Airmar P66, it is a huge improvement over the old cheap one, but I still have trouble seeing depth while cruising, I suspect because the bottom of my boat has a ton of aluminum patches which create turbulence. The 1KW thru-hull transducers seem to be the way to go, but I take my boat into the shallows and beach it too often. I prefer separate screens for my electronics, because you need a big screen to see GPS/Sonar/Radar in a split screen.
                          What kind of boat you running? I have a 21' Tjet and was looking at the P66. Thats a big sucker but probaly why it works better then the little Garmin one. Since I am running a combo Garmin, I am willing to buy a seperate unit for depth. I have run into issues like you said with a split screen in bad weather, can't see.

                          Thanks everyone for the tips and input. Now I need to do some window shopping and settle on something.
                          Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

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                          • #14
                            It looks big compared to the dinky ones on the cheaper ones, but you never think about the size once your done mounting it. Especially since it shows bottom so much better. I will say the menu system is a little harder to get used to then the others but you figure it out pretty quick. Mine's on a 25' bowpicker style(rear cabin) aluminum boat.

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                            • #15
                              I think just about everybody is making a good sounder these days. The older stuff, I'd stick with Furuno if you go used. I love furuno though, and I can only imagine what the new stuff can do. 600w transducer works fine on the old Nav Net w/sounder module I use.
                              Alaska Wide Open Charters
                              www.alaskawideopen.com
                              907-965-0130

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