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  • Best sonar/Fish finder

    I am looking to upgrade my sonar/fish finder this season. I have a 22' Hewescraft and I am just not happy the the performance of the Garmin that came with it (it's a 590 I think - 2 years old). Anyway, will a better transducer solve my problem or is it the signal processing in the unit itself that makes the difference? I'm not satisfied with the quality of the image that I get. The level of detail is poor and there if often a lot of clutter. I also loose bottom lock about half the time when I get on step. I've messed and tuned and tweeked everything, and actually improved things somewhat, but nothing like I've seen on other boats.
    Also, is a through-hull transducer a possibility with aluminum? I had a glass boat with one, but my feeling is that its a no-go with metal.
    Anyhow, any direction, opinions or suggestions for brands/ models would be appreciated. I'd like to keep the price around 1k if possible. What does the rest of the fleet use?

    Summer's comin'
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  • #2
    Originally posted by jhall543 View Post
    I am looking to upgrade my sonar/fish finder this season. I have a 22' Hewescraft and I am just not happy the the performance of the Garmin that came with it (it's a 590 I think - 2 years old). Anyway, will a better transducer solve my problem or is it the signal processing in the unit itself that makes the difference? I'm not satisfied with the quality of the image that I get. The level of detail is poor and there if often a lot of clutter. I also loose bottom lock about half the time when I get on step. I've messed and tuned and tweeked everything, and actually improved things somewhat, but nothing like I've seen on other boats.
    Also, is a through-hull transducer a possibility with aluminum? I had a glass boat with one, but my feeling is that its a no-go with metal.
    Anyhow, any direction, opinions or suggestions for brands/ models would be appreciated. I'd like to keep the price around 1k if possible. What does the rest of the fleet use?

    Summer's comin'
    As soon as I finish de-winterizing my boat & Redoubt quits screwing around, I am going to order a new Furuno FCV 585 digital fish finder to replace the old B&W Garmin that came with my 04 SeaRunner. You can find them online with a 500w transom mtd transducer for less than 1k even with paying freight to Anchorage. Maybe its the economy, but no one in town seems to want to stock them yet. There was an FCV-620 on craigslist earlier this year for $1200 or $1300 - it is an 8" screen instead of the 5-1/2" screen that the 585 has.
    2007 24ft NorthRiver OS
    Twin 175 Suzuki's
    "Thunderbird"
    MMSI #338033856

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    • #3
      Hummingbird 525

      IMHO you can't find a better unit than the hummingbird line of fish finders.
      The 525 is an excellent unit - I would purchase the 525 with a temp and speed indicator. I have seen times where you can see a school of silvers on the screen and tell within a few seconds when to reach for your rod - knowing you have the bait where it should be. The temp and speed indicators are important if you plan on doing any trolling. Just make sure you have the transom unit adjusted at the proper angle -keeping in mind the way you boat sits in the water.
      http://humminbird.factoryoutletstore...ishFinder.html
      Last edited by akfishnut; 04-05-2009, 21:40. Reason: format
      How stupid is it to be wasting tons of salmon and halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea and then have the coastal villages hollaring they have no food? It's got to stop!

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      • #4
        I'm also planning on a Furuno 585, from the reviews I've read is the best in it's class.

        With the transom mount transducer, it needs to be as far away from the prop as possible. I'd originally mounted mine about a 1' away from the V in the hull, and had problems with loosing my reading. I remounted it about 1' away from the edge of the hull bottom and now it reads all the time, but the image is so so, also a Garmin unit.
        Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

        If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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        • #5
          Lorance 525 DF

          I am super happy with my lorance. I was looking through it the othe day and found that I could have sonar on if I wanted. I didn't even know that was in there.

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          • #6
            I have the furuno navnet 2 system in my boat with the 1KW thru-hull ducer and am very impressed. I can track bottom crossing port wells (1000'+) at cruise and have been very impressed with the detail while setting shrimp pots and searching for bait balls. In my opinion, the transom mount ducers are toys. Get a powerfull thru-hull and you will not be disappointed. Just my 2cents and you can have it for free!:eek:
            sigpicSpending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by akdeweyj View Post
              There was an FCV-620 on craigslist earlier this year for $1200 or $1300 - it is an 8" screen instead of the 5-1/2" screen that the 585 has.
              You have this backwards. The 585 has the bigger screen, and the 620 is the smaller one. Furuno uses counter-intuitive model numbers, for sure.

              Furuno Link

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              • #8
                You might want to consider the Raymarine DS500X or the DS600X. I bought the DS500X last year to replace an older Humminbird unit that came with my boat and it is the difference between night and day.

                An outfit called Bethel-Marine (www.bethel-marine.com) currently has both units on clearance. The 500X is just a hair over $260, and the 600X is $326. They are both color digital HD units, and compare well (IMHO) to the Furuno 585 and 620. Some guys on another forum I visit even went so far as to check directly with Raymarine about the seller and were supposedly told the seller is an authorized Raymarine dealer and a stand-up outfit. I'd jump on the deal if I hadn't bought one last summer.

                Good luck,

                Chris

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                • #9
                  Thanks for the Bethel-Marine tip. I'll check that out.

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                  • #10
                    I have to agree with Spoiled One, a thru-hull Transducer with at least 1KW of power is the way to go, expressly in PWS. My Garmin has 500watts, Iím lucky to keep a lock below 600ft, and you all know that donít cut it when shrimping- drop into the abyss and theyíll float away. If your transom mount lasts a season without cracking or being knocked off your lucky.
                    Unfortunately in-hull only works with glass, so through hull is your best choice.
                    Just my advice...

                    Iíll be looking for a good stand alone 1kw/thru-hullÖ.any suggestions?
                    Jay
                    07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
                    OurPlayground.

                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Thru Hull Installation

                      I am upgrading to a thru hull 1KW transducer on my alum hull Weldcraft. Is this a do-it-yourself project or should I go with a pro? And which Anchorage outfit would you recommend for installation? Thanks for the info!

                      Nozzlehog

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                      • #12
                        A bronze or brass transducer on an aluminum hull is a no go from a galvanic corrosion standpoint. Don't even go there. Plastic is okay, but you won't find me installing a plastic through-hull transducer, which requires drilling a hole in your hull. Airmar now makes a stainless through-hull transducer that works with tin boats.

                        http://www.airmartechnology.com/uplo...hures/B164.pdf

                        Anything less than the SS164 in a through hull for a tin boat is a no-go.

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