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Entry Level Products

Old 08-31-2003, 06:55 AM
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This has probably been asked before so please bear with me. I would appreciate any and all opinions on entry level GPS/chartplotter and fixed mount VHF. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-31-2003, 07:06 AM
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Pretty much, every make and model has it adherents on this board. If you want comment on a specific product I'd suggest you do a 'search' for it. For general familiarisation scan through a few pages of this forum and read the ones that catch your interest.

My generic suggestion is to buy products from established manufacturers and outlets. That way you can get quick advice here from folks who already have them.
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Old 08-31-2003, 09:02 AM
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If I was in your situation, this what I would do

Do not buy cheap . . . get good stuff, don't need the fanciest

First buy a no-frills GPS with a small map display (functional and will become your back-up later) and a good VHF mounted radio . . . Major safety items

Second, buy a fishfinder

Third, buy good components when you have the money

Enjoy





" The only boat without a ding or two, is the one that never gets used!!! "
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Old 08-31-2003, 09:05 AM
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garmin gpsmap 162 ($350) will be all you'll need till your wallet gets a mind of it's own...

Pacific 19CC, Yamaha F100
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Old 08-31-2003, 02:03 PM
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lowrance makes a good one, the lms320, its about 570 bucks for the combo fish/map. i use the previous unit, the lms240 and like it. the only diference is in the pixel count between the two.
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Old 09-01-2003, 02:04 PM
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The most important is a good fixed VHF with quality antenna as high as you can get it. There's a lot of difference between a 5W handheld with 4" antenna, and a 25W fixed with 4-8' antenna. The Icom 402S has DSC but deletes the 2nd station capability of the 402 for a lower cost. Here's the best price I've found on it:

http://www.bethel-marine.com/Icom_VHFRadio2A.htm

The Icom M45 is a little cheaper, but doesn't have DSC. I wouldn't buy a radio today without it.

http://www.bethel-marine.com/Icom_VHFRadio1A.htm

These folks also sell the 4' Digital 528

http://www.bethel-marine.com/Digital_Antenna3A.htm

and 8' Digital 529 antennas at good prices.

http://www.bethel-marine.com/Digital_Antenna4A.htm

The Digital antennas are better constructed and perform a little better than most. Bethel can also sell you the appropriate antenna mount.

When you get into fixed mount GPS chartplotters, you're talkin' a good bit of money even for the lower-priced models with limited accuracy and memory capability, like the 162. You might want to minimize your initial investment with a good handheld, especially if you might want a GPS Chartplotter/Sounder combo later.

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Old 09-03-2003, 09:19 AM
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Here's a suggestion for the GPS and Sonar.
Mine is the "top-of-the-line" Eagle SeaCharter 320DF. It's a single-card chartplotter that can write 512 MB of data. It's a dual frequency sonar with water speed and water temp. It's a WAAS GPS with an external antenna that takes Navionics, C-map, or Lowrance/Eagle formatted data.
It's only a 5-inch screen size and black and white (actually, 16-shade grayscale) This unit is identical to the Lowrance lms320, except the case is gray, not black.
I paid 500 bucks for it, but that was from an on-line vender offering free shipping, no taxes, etc.
Loving it so far, but I would like a big color screen.
Ed
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Old 09-03-2003, 12:07 PM
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Yes...either the Lowrance LMS-320 or the Eagle SeaCharter 320DF are you best choices for a chartplotter and sounder. For VHF...best buy in the market is the JRC VHF200 for only $119. It was at $260.

Alan - Felix Marine Electronics, Inc.
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Old 09-03-2003, 01:52 PM
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Alex - I'm curious about that JRC VHF, since I'm starting to have trouble with my Uniden. Can you list the major features and sizes?
Thanks a bunch!
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Old 09-04-2003, 08:19 AM
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by savage:
"the Eagle SeaCharter 320DF...takes Navionics, C-map, or Lowrance/Eagle formatted data."

Savage, pretty sure it does not read C-Map. Great unit for the $$.

Jeff B.
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Old 09-04-2003, 08:40 AM
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Savage..

The JRC VHF features are memory and programable scanning - 1W/25W - channel selector on microphone - DSC - Dual Watch and Tri Watch - waterproof to CFR-46 requirements - Direct one button access to 16/9. Direct one button access to NOAA Weather Alert. DSC interfacing for GPS - Dimensions are 5.9" W x 3" H x 5.6" D.

Its a great VHF - commercial grade quality.

Alan - Felix Marine Electronics, Inc.
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Old 09-04-2003, 08:41 AM
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Try Ebay after you have researched both performance, price, space requirements. Find out what others who fish or boat like you do use and why. Get to know the street price, this varies widely even in catalogues. Bigger is better, color is better after size. Since you mentioned your on a budget, try to get the biggest screen size you can. As for a VHF radio you can't beat ICOM. Just figure out if you want the ability and I recomend it to send your location with a transmission.

Blue skies, rising tides and tight lines...
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Old 09-04-2003, 08:52 AM
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SeaCharter 320 takes Navionics cartridge - great cartography.

Alan - Felix Marine
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