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NEWBIE boater - question/opinion

Old 09-08-2014, 08:41 AM
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Talking NEWBIE boater - question/opinion

Newbie boater....just purchased a 2006 Bayliner 185 with 4.3L Merc...boating will be almost exclusively Thousand Islands NY LOTS OF SHOALS and rocks (some marked, most NOT). Friends have shredded props on display as testament to the bad spots.

What would you recommend as a good starter device for a "new" boater to install on the boat to best "avoid" the bad spots? I rented a pontoon boat this past summer in the TI and it had a Garmin (not sure of model) device that graphically showed "danger spots - white areas" that I was easily able to see and steer around. I should have paid more attention to model but I didn't know at that time that I was to become a boat owner myself....short story but here I am.

What's good to start with.... WITHOUT breaking the bank? or a nice CHRISTMAS present? to ask for. Thanks in advance for the feedback.
Old 09-08-2014, 08:49 AM
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I say a Garmin or Lowrance, the vendors on here always take care of the members so when you're ready shoot them an email.
What I would do is go to your local marine electronics dealer like a West Marine, that has a bunch of models on a working display and play with the different models that will be in your price range. Raymarine makes a couple of 5" models that are very reasonably priced as well.
Given the limited space you might have you're probably looking at a 4 or 5 inch model.
Btw, Welcome Aboard!
Old 09-08-2014, 09:29 AM
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1. Get the biggest screen you can afford/ fit. The above mentioned brands are all good.
2. Take above advice and go try them out @ a store. Not sure where you are, but there is a Bass Pro in Auburn. Gander Mt in Cicero right off 81.
3. Get some paper Charts. Old school yes, but you can sit down and look over a large area, check the shallow spots and see where to avoid. TI Bait store, or the Hardware store in Clayton has them.
4. DO NOT try to get a closer look at floating clorox jugs. many small shoals are marked by the locals with them.
5. Even the locals hit stuff cause the water levels vary based on season etc. so when in doubt find the deepest water route.
6. Talk to vendors on here, they will steer you right.
6. Enjoy the 1000 Islands, my favorite place!
Old 09-08-2014, 04:28 PM
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The GPS is only as accurate as the maps. NOAA maps may or may NOT be accurate, no matter how new they are (and they were recently updated by NOAA). I Know. My Lake Erie maps have errors, was in 5 feet of water today and GPS map shows 21 feet. Conversely, was in an area that according to the map was 3 feet, but the sounder was showing me 12 feet, and it really was. I think I wouldn't trust just the loaded NOAA maps (Garmin), maybe something else.
Old 09-08-2014, 05:12 PM
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Best advice I can give you is in waters you're not familiar with go SLOW
Old 09-08-2014, 05:14 PM
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A chart (paper).
Old 09-08-2014, 06:15 PM
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Call the place you rented the boat from and ask them. Tell them you liked the garmin and could they get you the model number
Old 09-09-2014, 11:25 AM
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Thanks guys, all good advice. I'll be haunting the nearest West Marine, Gander Mntn, for possibilities.
Old 09-10-2014, 04:38 AM
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Does your boat have a depth finder already? or will your new GPS unit be filling that role?There are a lot of options depending on your price point. I highly recommend the Simrad NSS7 evo2 but it will be over $1000. The Garmin Echomap 50s would be at a much lower price point, is a good unit, and is easy to use. You can get the Echomap without a transducer for under $400 or with a transducer for about $40 more. Did the GPS you used on the pontoon happen to look like the picture below? If you click on the picture it'll take you to a page with a video of the unit so you can get a better look at it.

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