Beginner Electronics

Old 02-12-2012, 09:44 AM
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Default Beginner Electronics

Hey guys, hoping to order my first boat soon, 22' center console. Will be using it in back bays and out front a little of southern NJ. As well as delaware bay. Was looking for some input as to what I will need for electronics, VHF, fishfinder, GPS, etc... Trying to get an idea of what I will need so I can know how much I am looking at spending. Not looking for anything fancy. Just something decent to get started with that wont need to be upgraded in 2 years. I did some searching on here and read a lot. Just seems most guys on here are way past beginner electronics. Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:30 PM
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It really depends on your dash space and if you want seperate units or all in one.

Screen sizes are anything for 4" to 15". In your post above, you say VHF, Fishfinder, GPS, etc. What is etc? Are you looking for radar also?

Garmin tends to be very easy to use so it might make sense to stick with that brand, but don't rule out the compitetion either as there are really a lot of good products out there. If you look at Garmin, to stay simple but good, look at the Garmin 740s. It will provide you with GPS and Depthsounder abilities (you will need to get a transducer). The 740s will also allow for radar input if you desire but it's a lot on the smaller screen.

Other options would be smaller units like the 400 or 500 series which are in the 350 to 700 range. You might look at going for two of these units and have 1 unit for GPS and the other as a sounder.

If you have a higher budget and room on your dash, you can always upgrade to the 4000/5000/6000/7000 series which will drive your costs way up but give you options for larger 10, 12 or 15" screens. However these larger more complex systems seem out of your interest per your post above.

Standard Horizon and ICOM are the two favorites for VHF. You don't need to go crazy on the VHF, as they all will transmit and have build in DSC (when you connect to your GPS correctly). The important thing is to go for a very good quality antenna like Digital.

It all depends on your budget as well.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:32 PM
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Thanks Justin, by etc I meant antenna, transducer and things like that. I dont think I will be looking for radar. However, the Garmin 740 says it can be added to that unit.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:46 PM
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I really like Lowrance products so don't be afraid to take a look at them. My Lowrance GPS/Fishfinder has never failed me even when getting soaked in bad seas.
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:45 PM
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Also have a look at the Lowrance HDS line of products. Your fishing habits sound alot like mine except I also spend time in fresh water from time to time. An inexpensive option would be to buy the largest screen you can afford with Insight built in maps and either the 83/200 for inshore or 50/200 transducer if you plan to venture well offshore. The unit would also be capable of adding structurescan later as well as the sonic hub, weather, and radar if you choose. IMHO the built in insight maps are just as good as anything on the market currently. You also have to option of buying optional map cards should you require more detail later. As for VHF, I prefer Icom but I also have a Standard Horizon handheld as a backup. Never had any problems with either brand so I don't hesitate to recommend them. Antennas are a personal choice. Inshore or close in to the coast you could probably get by with a lower profile antenna. Again, when navigating well offshore you need to think about buying the highest quality antenna you can afford!

And don't forget networking. All new outboards are NMEA2000 capable meaning you can interface you engine guages through your plotter giving you more information than an analog guage or an idiot light. You can also track fuel usage and find out where you boat performs best and adjust you habits to get the most out of every gallon of fuel. Considering the cost of fuel you can see where this could actually pay for itself in money saved on gas in the long run.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:33 PM
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Thanks guys, the lowrance HDS look really nice and I like that its available in defferent sizes and budgets.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:36 PM
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check out the new raymarine e7d
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:38 PM
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Raymarine e7d....
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:49 PM
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Garmin 740s if you just want it to be easy. Lowrance HDS-7 with LSS1 if you want the best fishing machine for your area.
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