Marine Electronics Forum - If your budget was $ 3500 what electronics would you buy

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Capt Bud4222
06-23-2010, 07:28 PM
I'm trying to run my 31 Contender as an offshore charter boat and it's great so far but the boat's ten years old and the electronics nearly so,, ideally I want GPS/Fishfinder/with the ability to tie in Auto pilot and radar in the future,

I currently have a Furuno gps fishfinder unit but the cable on the airmare is almost shot and no one thinks this unit is a going to be supported for much longer. All help is appreciated.

I have a humminbird on my 20' inshore boat but the transducer took a dump yesterday and I'm reasonably sure it won't stand up to offshore abuse,

06-24-2010, 06:34 AM
Garmin GPSMAP 740s Chartplotter / Sounder with GMR 18HD Radome for $2599.00 at West Marine. This looks like a pretty good deal.

06-24-2010, 11:06 AM
Bud, place a WTB post in the trading dock. There have been some great deals on late model used electronics lately. There is always someone that wants to trade up and get the latest and greatest.

Here is an example of a great deal that just sold.

06-24-2010, 12:46 PM
I just installed this - $3,340 with overnight shipping from AnchorExpress

GARMIN GSD 22 Digital Remote Sounder - 010-00397-00 $409.99

GARMIN 200/50KHz, 15/45deg, bronze, thru-hull mount transducer with Fairing Block (depth, temp and speed) - 010-10183-02 $229.99
GARMIN GMR 18 4kW, 18 inch Radome Radar Antenna - 010-00572-00 $862.99
Garmin GPSMAP 4210 10.4 inch GPS Chartplotter - 010-00690-01$1809.99

06-24-2010, 01:01 PM
Raymarine c120w or 140w.

06-24-2010, 01:41 PM
used navnet vx2 7in or 10 in

06-24-2010, 06:36 PM
Garmin 4212 bundle for $2,700 and B164 transducer for $650 = $3,350;
later you can add a 24" HD dome for $1,800 and the autopilot of your choice for another $3,000.

06-24-2010, 07:10 PM
I would first determine my needs, then determine what would fit in the available space, and then get the largest screen MFD that fits the space and budget.

06-25-2010, 06:06 AM
I just got a Garmin 4210, Garmin GLD30a, Furuno 585 for abt 3700 through BOE.

06-25-2010, 07:48 AM
used navnet vx2 7in or 10 in


06-25-2010, 08:33 AM
I don't know why no one considring Lowrance HDS 7 or 8 with BR24, is there a reason for no budy considring Lowrance???

Prop Blast
06-25-2010, 09:06 AM
Okay, What do you mean by "offshore fishing"? Where are you doing it and what fish are you targeting? The Northeast canyons for tuna? Mid-Atlantic for variety? SE Florida? The Bahamas? The GOM?

What features do you need? Radar? If so, what do you need the radar to do? Find birds? If that's the case, you need a 6kw open array to start with. Here in the SE, radar will be important to track T-storms and keep you and your clients out of harms way. If you'll do nightime swordfishing, it's almost essential to avoid large ships.

I'd think Auto pilot is a given. As a charter captain, unless you have a fulltime mate, you're going to have your hands full. A good Auto Pilot will save you. It's not a crutch, but it is a valuable tool. I think TR-1 is still the most highly thought a/p out there.

You'll want two "large" screens most likely -- so what will fit your console? Since it's an "older" Contender, most likely a 10" display is the best you'll get. I'm pretty sure (okay I'm certain) you can fit the Furuno 10.4" and 7" NavNet 2 screens on that console. Of course those fitting properly depends on what else is on the console panel -- things might have to be relocated to the radio box. That'll allow you to run the radar/GPS on the big screen and have the 7" as your bottom machine.

If you can't go that route, do the 10" NavNet2 and keep your current FF, just replace the cables. Is it the 582L? That'll fit. You can send the unit back to Furuno to be refurbished for around $500 I think.

Finally, you can go with a single 12" display -- just don't know if your console will take it.


Capt Bud4222
06-25-2010, 10:37 AM
Prop Blast

Thanks for the questions. I am running everything from the beach to the gulf stream off the coast of NC on this boat. leaving port about an 1 1/2 south of Cape Hatteras.
I have seen many Contenders that have had that console redone with starboard or other components in order to get a new set up.
The Furuno I have is obsolete so Im pretty sure we are starting with a clean slate,
I agree with the 6 kw open array, and I have a spot on the T top for the array.
This boat does not have a overhead radio box, so that would be an option if I ran out of room. I'll post a pic of the current set up soon.
Looking for used set up is a good idea, I've seen some problems interfacing components talked about on here so I want to avoid that. Guys I have a great deal of respect for those of you that have responded so far, so please continue to walk me through this.
As far as Lowrance product, I've pretty much burned that bridge years ago when I couldn't get serve on my x 15 unit after a couple of years of service on my flats boat. I have the first generation 947c 3d Humminbird on that boat now and the transducer just took a dump. so while I'm intruiged by the side scan,, I don't trust the manufacturer.

Cousin Eddie
06-26-2010, 03:46 PM
Prop Blast

I have the first generation 947c 3d Humminbird on that boat now and the transducer just took a dump. so while I'm intruiged by the side scan,, I don't trust the manufacturer.

The Hummingbird stuff has come a long ways. A lot of guys in the Great Lakes are now running HB and I've heard nothing but good reports. The down side is that they don't yet have radar but I have a feeling that it's coming. The way Lowrance is going, I could see HB pushing them out of the market at some point down the road.

Maybe not what I'd pick for $3500 but you could always keep the HB and use the money to get in to an auto pilot now rather than later.

06-30-2010, 09:35 AM
I can sell you a Garmin 4212 bundle and 20 degree 1kw tilted element airmar ducer for less than 3500 brand new have 2 in my 35 Bertram love them
GAR0100059204 GARMIN 4212 NETWORK BUNDLE $2,729.95
AIRB164206 AIRMAR B164 1KW BRONZE TH $695.95
SUB TOTAL $3,425.9

PM me for website address

06-30-2010, 10:05 AM
For the 31 contender the Garmin 4212 is most likely a very good option and fits your budget, Auto-Pilot, Sonar, Radar all can be added as needed and is NMEA2K ready. A new bundle price will save you money. Be careful of used equipment, no warranty. Not that I would not consider it, but make sure you check it out prior to commitment and it is priced correctly, as is , no warranty.


Capt Bud4222
07-01-2010, 04:56 AM
Thanks for the input guys,,, I'm working the boat 4 days a week, so I'll be ready to make my furchase this fall and put it all together over the off season.

07-01-2010, 05:43 AM
Buy the Raymarine C90W fishing pack, comes with the display, DSM 30 sounder module, transducer and a VHF radio. I just bought this package for $2800 , then add radar if you wish.

I considered the Garmin 740s, but the fact that it wont overlay radar on your chart is a big turn off for me. On a bigger unit, I like a separate radar screen, but on the 740s it's just too little of a screen to be splitting up.

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