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Grady 226 new electronics: what flush GPS/sounder?

Old 03-04-2013, 12:34 PM
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Default Grady 226 new electronics: what flush GPS/sounder?

I just bought an '01 Grady 226 which has an electronics "box" in the dash, currently with a Garmin 496 gps/sounder, standard VHF, and alpine car radio in marine enclosure.

I want to get a panel made and flush or surface mount a modern GPS/sounder display. I might even have room to mount the VHF to the panel, or relocate lower under the console. The radio I can move to the cabin, I don't listen to tunes while underway.

Who makes the latest, greatest plotter/sounder? I'm looking for the best maps and graphics, not so much on the sonar side- pretty much water depth is all I care about. I'm a Garmin fan from the past, but know nothing of the other marine brands such as SIMRAD, raymarine, lowance, etc. I boat the Potomac River, Chesapeake, and Lake Anna, VA.

Will I be able to use my existing GPS antenna or transducer (glued in place, through hull)? I'm assuming "no" and will need senders.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:14 PM
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If you want the best plotter go with garmin.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
I just bought an '01 Grady 226 which has an electronics "box" in the dash, currently with a Garmin 496 gps/sounder, standard VHF, and alpine car radio in marine enclosure.

I want to get a panel made and flush or surface mount a modern GPS/sounder display. I might even have room to mount the VHF to the panel, or relocate lower under the console. The radio I can move to the cabin, I don't listen to tunes while underway.

Who makes the latest, greatest plotter/sounder? I'm looking for the best maps and graphics, not so much on the sonar side- pretty much water depth is all I care about. I'm a Garmin fan from the past, but know nothing of the other marine brands such as SIMRAD, raymarine, lowance, etc. I boat the Potomac River, Chesapeake, and Lake Anna, VA.

Will I be able to use my existing GPS antenna or transducer (glued in place, through hull)? I'm assuming "no" and will need senders.
If that box is anything like the box on the Grady 208, its small and the resulting surface will be small. A flush mounted 740s on the new surface would probably work. You won't need the existing GPS antenna. May be able to reuse the shoot-thru-the-hull transducer. Pretty good pricing on the 740s these days.

If not Garmin, then Simrad NSS7 and Raymarine E7D are also something to consider. I've looked at all of those and I think the Garmin interface is the most fool proof.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by zimmer View Post

Who makes the latest, greatest plotter/sounder? I'm looking for the best maps and graphics, not so much on the sonar side- pretty much water depth is all I care about.
Garmin. I would buy a Garmin 740S as they can be found for a very good price right now. They require no additional external antenna (they have one built in) so wiring should be straight forward. You can sell your 496 on ebay, maybe get a few hundred for it.
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:36 PM
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On my (previously owned) 228 w/glove box I was able to make a flush mount panel and mount a Simrad NSS8 and HDS-5. Behind the panel in the drop down closure is a Sonichub, NEP-2 box, radar connection, LXW-1 box and N2K network. Quite a bit can fit there. In the upper electronics box I had an Icom 504 and GS15 N2K GPS antenna. NSS7 or Garmin 740 would fit easily on a panel and leave room for a VHF.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:21 PM
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Here's what I did

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Old 03-04-2013, 07:46 PM
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smart choice ^^^^^^^^^
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:16 AM
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Looks great. What did you use for the panel? Is it screwed in or did use the hinges?
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:40 AM
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If I want two screens- one for sonar, one for mapping- what's a good and affordable setup? I like the 7" garmin, but split screen the map will be really small.

Here's the console- I'm also trying to figure out where to move the VHF to...

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Old 03-05-2013, 07:00 AM
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You will need to open the swing-down cover inside the cabin to access the rear of the opening. I made a template using foam poster board - it's a little trial and error to get things where they'll fit just right. You'll also want to use your plotter templates to get them lined up correctly on the foam board. I actually mounted the electronics in the foam board just to make sure everything would fit.

To attach the bottom of the panel I think I used 3 1/2" screws to attach to the helm itself. The top of the panel was attached by replacing the machine screws on the hinge of the cover with longer screws.

Initially I installed just a single Garmin 740s but quickly realized that I could fit another unit into the space so I purchased a Garmin 720 (with Vision chip). Its a pretty tight fit but they will work.

I use the 720 on the left side as my plotter and the 740s on the right as sounder. There's also the option of radar on one side and plotter or sounder on the other. It works well for me.

My VHF is mounted in the electronics box in my hardtop. If you don't have a hard top you could always mount the radio in the cabin and use a remote mic. The vertical space beneath your binnacle would be a perfect location for this setup.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Strikezones View Post
You will need to open the swing-down cover inside the cabin to access the rear of the opening. I made a template using foam poster board - it's a little trial and error to get things where they'll fit just right. You'll also want to use your plotter templates to get them lined up correctly on the foam board. I actually mounted the electronics in the foam board just to make sure everything would fit.

To attach the bottom of the panel I think I used 3 1/2" screws to attach to the helm itself. The top of the panel was attached by replacing the machine screws on the hinge of the cover with longer screws.

Initially I installed just a single Garmin 740s but quickly realized that I could fit another unit into the space so I purchased a Garmin 720 (with Vision chip). Its a pretty tight fit but they will work.

I use the 720 on the left side as my plotter and the 740s on the right as sounder. There's also the option of radar on one side and plotter or sounder on the other. It works well for me.

My VHF is mounted in the electronics box in my hardtop. If you don't have a hard top you could always mount the radio in the cabin and use a remote mic. The vertical space beneath your binnacle would be a perfect location for this setup.
Soooo... you have the screens mounted in something like starboard and then put plexiglass on a hinge over it? It's hard to see from the picture. I'm thinking I don't even need the plexiglass, more along the lines of the post above yours- with the screen surface mounted. I don't even think I would need hinges- since I could access the backs from the cabin.

Twin Garmins would be pretty cool- I'm looking at the new for 2013 models- I'm clueless on how they network together though- do I buy two of the same models? Or can I buy one model and then a dumber, slave version with just the screen? Lots to learn, this is my first salt water boat.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:21 AM
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I didn't remove the smoke colored door. Just left it in place along with the lock. I'll try and get some pictures this weekend and send to better illustrate what I did.

I purchased one unit without a sounder or built in charts to save a little money. However, I did add the G2 chip to the 720.

Make sure you measure the new units carefully. There's not much room for error.

I also built a NMEA2000 netowrk. You can share some data but the 720 and 740 units aren't networkable. Not sure about the new ones.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
Soooo... you have the screens mounted in something like starboard and then put plexiglass on a hinge over it? It's hard to see from the picture. I'm thinking I don't even need the plexiglass, more along the lines of the post above yours- with the screen surface mounted. I don't even think I would need hinges- since I could access the backs from the cabin.

Twin Garmins would be pretty cool- I'm looking at the new for 2013 models- I'm clueless on how they network together though- do I buy two of the same models? Or can I buy one model and then a dumber, slave version with just the screen? Lots to learn, this is my first salt water boat.
If you need the flexibility of having the fishfinder on both displays, then you would want two 740s (you would need a way to switch the transducer between each unit). If you are OK with only one having that capability, then buy one 740 and one 740s. You will save your self about $100 -- that's it.

The 740's will share basic NMEA 2000 data with each other when connected by an NMEA 2000 network. What that means is that you will be able to see a depth reading on the 740 which is derived from the 740s, but you will not be able to see the fishfinder display. Also, when NMEA 2000 networked, if you setup a navigation route on one of the 740s, it will display on the other. Also, if you add a waypoint to one, you can send that info to the other via the NMEA 2000 network. Also, both 740s are radar ready so should you decide you want to add radar later, you can plug it into either one. The radar display will only be available on the one that it is plugged into.

Given that it appears there is room for two 740 models on a surface mount on that Grady, if I were you, I would go with a 740 and a 740s side by side as you see in the picture, but not behind the plexiglass. Should set you back about $1900 give or take a few $.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:55 AM
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I removed the smoked glove box door to avoid the obstruction of the door in the UP position plus you actually have more room by flush mounting on an exterior starboard panel where only the back of the display unit extends into the glove box. The 740s cannot be networked together like the 4000/5000/6000… series can, but they can share some data over N2K. Originally I had a Garmin 4208 and Furuno 620 sonar installed. A Garmin 740 and Furuno 627 would be a nice combo for under 2k.

My panel was made from ½ inch King Starboard (Sea Foam) from Interstate Plastics and is screwed directly into the dash.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
I just bought an '01 Grady 226 which has an electronics "box" in the dash, currently with a Garmin 496 gps/sounder, standard VHF, and alpine car radio in marine enclosure.

I want to get a panel made and flush or surface mount a modern GPS/sounder display. I might even have room to mount the VHF to the panel, or relocate lower under the console. The radio I can move to the cabin, I don't listen to tunes while underway.
Sounds like a good plan, so far.

You may also want to re-do that upper panel area, which presumably houses you engine instruments, to make more efficient use of the space. At least, that's what it looks like on this somewhat clearer pic of another G-W 226:




Who makes the latest, greatest plotter/sounder?
That's a question which can start a virtual bar fight in short order.


I'm looking for the best maps and graphics, not so much on the sonar side- pretty much water depth is all I care about.
This explains why you got so many recommendations for the Garmin 740S. Yes, for the money, it's a fairly good little chartplotter. But it is also rather limited in several potentially significant ways (including its no-great-shakes sounder). How important those limitations will be to you will depend in part on how and where you use your boat.


I'm a Garmin fan from the past, but know nothing of the other marine brands such as SIMRAD, raymarine, lowance, etc. I boat the Potomac River, Chesapeake, and Lake Anna, VA.
And, I gather, when you say "boat", you don't mean "fish" or "dive". That's OK, just a little unusual around here; but knowing that helps us make more accurate and useful suggestions.

That said, I think you should at the very least take a close look at the Simrad NSS series, particularly the NSS8 if it will fit -- you'll need to make some precise measurements. You may also want to consider the Raymarine e97, which almost certainly WILL fit (tho' two of them would be "iffy" at best -- again, you need to measure). The larger screens on these units vis-a-vis the Garmin 740 will prove VERY nice to have, once you actually get some hands-on experience with them.


Will I be able to use my existing GPS antenna or transducer (glued in place, through hull)? I'm assuming "no" and will need senders.
The GPS antenna will near-certainly not work with the newer gear. But that's OK, because everything under discussion thus far includes an internal GPS antenna anyway; and on that boat, an internal antenna will surely work just fine.

The transducer MIGHT be adaptable; but you probably don't want to. Whatever transducer was supplied/used with that old Garmin will near-certainly be notably inferior to what you'd WANT to use with the new gear. And besides, transducers do not have infinite life-expectancies. (And BTW... are you sure it's not a 498? The Garmin GPSMAP 496 https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=6426 is an aviation unit.)


Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
Soooo... you have the screens mounted in something like starboard and then put plexiglass on a hinge over it? It's hard to see from the picture. I'm thinking I don't even need the plexiglass, more along the lines of the post above yours- with the screen surface mounted. I don't even think I would need hinges- since I could access the backs from the cabin.
I agree with you. As long as you are diligent about keeping the sun covers on the gear when not in use, ditching that plexiglas door will give you more room to work with, and clean up the helm in general.


Twin Garmins would be pretty cool- I'm looking at the new for 2013 models- I'm clueless on how they network together though- do I buy two of the same models? Or can I buy one model and then a dumber, slave version with just the screen? Lots to learn, this is my first salt water boat.
As noted both above and elsewhere in the thread, the Garmin 740-series is NOT networkable. Yes, they support NMEA 2000 (as does pretty much everything else these days); but that's not the same thing. Others have suggested some work-arounds to help cope with this limitation; but IMCO it's better to not have the limitation in the first place. Hence, part of the rationale behind my recommendation that you look at the Simrad NSS8 and Raymarine e97.



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Old 03-06-2013, 06:10 AM
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Based on the OP's original criteria and on a 22 foot Grady, unless one is heavy into deep sea fishing where you might want a Garmin GSD 26 black box sonar or near equivalent which requires a networkable display, I think the networking feature is overrated and mostly unnecessary and not much of a limitation here because the OP wants a plotter first and foremost with sonar being a secondary consideration.

If the OP wants just a single display, then besides all of the 7 inch screens previously mentioned, the Simrad NSS8 (8 inch screen) and Raymarine C97 or E97 (9 inch screen) should be considered as all of those have a built-in sounder module and built-in GPS antenna and all of that would make installation pretty simple. Garmin doesn't make an 8 inch screen with a built-in sounder and GPS antenna and so I'm less inclined to recommend due to additional installation efforts but for almost the same money as Simrad NSS8, one can pick up a refurbished Garmin 5208 and a GSD 24 sounder box and have a solid system. If touch screen isn't required then for even significantly less money, the Garmin 4208. Yes, the 4208 and 5208 have been around a long time and are "slower" but they are proven units with strong customer support.

As between the he NSS8 and Raymarine X97s, I think the NSS8 would be better because the larger screen (over the 7 inch models) is larger in the right direction (vertical). Judging by the picture in post # 5 here, two NSS8s or two Raymarine X97s will not fit.

The GPS antenna WILL work with the Garmin 740 because it has an old fashioned GPS antenna connector, but it is most lilikely unnecessary given that the 740 has a built-in antenna.

The OP probably has the Garmin 492 which does not have a built-in GPS antenna. The 498 had a built-in GPS antenna.
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:44 AM
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Thanks guys. The more I think about it, I'm leaning towards just 1 unit with the largest screen that will fit in the panel. I'll have to measure it. I'm not fishing (yet) and if I do, I don' t think I'll ever get more than 100' under the keel. The Potomac is 4-35' deep and chesapeake doesn't get very deep either. I'm mostly wanting good charts and graphics as well as ease of putting in routes. My old garmins were terrible to enter anything, scrolling through the alphabet for each character and panning around with the thumb pad thing.

I'm looking into the NSS8 right now. I need to get over to west marine and play with these things to see what I like.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
Based on the OP's original criteria and on a 22 foot Grady, unless one is heavy into deep sea fishing where you might want a Garmin GSD 26 black box sonar or near equivalent which requires a networkable display, I think the networking feature is overrated and mostly unnecessary and not much of a limitation here because the OP wants a plotter first and foremost with sonar being a secondary consideration.
King-Kong sounder modules are hardly the only useful (or even important) use for networking MFDs. Consider: RADAR, possibly with multiple ranges concurrently displayed, and with or without chart overlay; multiple chart-range displays; XM/Sirius weather (again with or without chart overlay), StructureScan for shallow/mid-depth fishing & diving, Autopilot control, display of engine parameters and other misc. data... The list goes on and on; and at some point, a single screen (almost no matter how large) just gets too cluttered to be conveniently useful. Sure two 740s or similar can "sort'a" work around this problem; but you lose a lot of flexibility vis-a-vis true networkable MFDs.



Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
Thanks guys. The more I think about it, I'm leaning towards just 1 unit with the largest screen that will fit in the panel. I'll have to measure it. I'm not fishing (yet) and if I do, I don' t think I'll ever get more than 100' under the keel. The Potomac is 4-35' deep and chesapeake doesn't get very deep either.
That doesn't mean you won't want a good sounder (and possibly something like StructureScan) if/when you do start dabbling in the sport. I'm not saying you should "go overboard" buying this sort of stuff before you need it; but you should keep your future options open to the degree reasonably possible.



I'm mostly wanting good charts and graphics as well as ease of putting in routes. My old garmins were terrible to enter anything, scrolling through the alphabet for each character and panning around with the thumb pad thing.
You'll like the various touchscreen and hybrid-touch systems which are now fairly common.


I'm looking into the NSS8 right now. I need to get over to west marine and play with these things to see what I like.
Good move.



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Old 03-06-2013, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Itteldoo View Post
King-Kong sounder modules are hardly the only useful (or even important) use for networking MFDs. Consider: RADAR, possibly with multiple ranges concurrently displayed, and with or without chart overlay; multiple chart-range displays; XM/Sirius weather (again with or without chart overlay), StructureScan for shallow/mid-depth fishing & diving, Autopilot control, display of engine parameters and other misc. data... The list goes on and on; and at some point, a single screen (almost no matter how large) just gets too cluttered to be conveniently useful. Sure two 740s or similar can "sort'a" work around this problem; but you lose a lot of flexibility vis-a-vis true networkable MFDs.

All good advice, as usual. But this is a 22 foot boat owned by a guy who isn't fishing. Based on the "need", I think a single 740s would do just fine for him but for the screen size being a bit on the small side. Two 740s would give him significant capabilities for a 22 footer -- radar, nav chart with radar overlay on one side, nav chart and FF on the other plus XM on one or the other and NMEA 2000 data on both-- with enough screen surface to make it work in the available space plus GPS redundancy and touch screen at a pretty good price for what you get.

The NSS8 would be a good single unit but as you say, craming all that information on one screen -- not so good. The NSS8 screen is about an inch taller than the Garmin 740 but about the same width.

I think Strikezone has a sweet setup on the Grady 22.

Having just gone through all of this, best advice is to go play with the units and figure out which one you are most comfortable with using. They all do the same basic things more or less. For me it came down to two things -- total cost to get the basic functions that I needed (radar, ff and GPS chartplotter with redundancy) and user interface. It may take a while to figure that out. I ended up with a 5208 and 740s. Garmin interface was easiest to use for me and the units took up the smallest space on my dash. Price was right.

I get a good chuckle now and then because I can't understand how I managed to boat/fish all those years before we had the fancy electronics.
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:39 AM
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Where you really notice the screen difference is adjusting range in and out. By this I mean there are different settings within a given range when using the NSS8. You see more geo area. Both systems are good solid choices. The best idea as you said was go to WM a try each unit ... sometimes what you read about and see online may not suit your needs.

Here's a screen comparison.

Underway videos ......

http://bluewaterpirate.phanfare.com/5431412_6348360

http://bluewaterpirate.phanfare.com/5431412_6392395

DSC fuctionalities ........

http://bluewaterpirate.phanfare.com/5431412_6371041

NEXRAD NOWRAD animation functions/displays .....

http://bluewaterpirate.phanfare.com/5431412_6299606




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Where the real difference lies is in the installation. The NSS8 takes up more space in witdth/height/depth behind the install than the 740. I feel the user interface used by the Garmin is easier to use in as much as the cascading drop down menu system used by the NSS series is more cumbersome to manipulate.


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