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New guy starting from scratch- what's needed for fishing offshore out of Texas?

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New guy starting from scratch- what's needed for fishing offshore out of Texas?

Old 02-24-2012, 07:46 PM
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Default New guy starting from scratch- what's needed for fishing offshore out of Texas?

I just picked up my first boat- a Dakota 36' cc- and want to use it fishing in the Gulf out of Texas. The boat came stripped of all electronics except a ship to shore radio so I have a blank canvas to play with. No transducers have been installed in the hull yet (as far as I can tell) and there is only a speed sensor that I can see. The t-top had radar and multiple other antennas but that is all gone. I'm even installing a complete new steering system so I'm considering autopilot as an option. Oh, the outboards are triple Merc EFI's (2- 2001's and 1- 2003)so i doubt there is a possibility of displaying engine data on a MFD. Here are my questions:

1) For fishing in the Gulf (Texas and Louisianna), what type of equipment is mandatory? How about preferred equipment? What "if money was no concern", what should I wish for?

2) Is autopilot a necessity? If so, what steering system should I look at regarding a triple Merc 225 EFI set up? Currently thinking a standard SeaStar system but if I add a/p, is this the right choice?

3) Does it matter in resale value, say 5 years from now, in the type/brand of equipment installed? I kinda feel the marine electronics have about a 5-7 year life span.

4) Can ya ballpark a price in a complete setup, assuming I do the installs myself? Trying to get a realistic budget for getting this boat ready to get wet.

I know these are open-ended questions and everyone has their preferred setup/brand but I'll appreciate any assistance. I've fished a handful of times in the gulf but it's always been on a charter so I never saw the 'magic' of getting there and finding the fish. I'm pretty savy on aviation equipment but am clueless on marine stuff. I've also tried to research as much as I could on THT before I posted but I feel like I'm more lost after reading a lot of previous posts. Please advise!

Old 02-25-2012, 03:56 PM
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Assuming sometimes you will travel at night, with limited crew, and without buddy boats, I propose the following as the beginning of a minmum electronics list for a boat of that size and presumed cost.

Chart Plotter
Old 03-13-2012, 01:14 PM
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you forgot beer
Old 03-13-2012, 01:39 PM
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Since you have a blank canvas, and I fish Texas too, here is waht I would do with my money. With that boat, you will quickly want to get out to the tuna grounds/shelf and that 80-115 mile trip each way will be much more pleasureable with auto pilot. However, with deep dropping becoming much more pouplar, I would buy as much of the equipment (VHF, auto pilot, etc) as possible used and save that money for the new CHIRP technology which you will likely have to buy new. Search CHIRP here and you will find as much reading material as you can stand. Good luck, see you out there.

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