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Too many chartplotter/fish finder choices?

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Too many chartplotter/fish finder choices?

Old 04-03-2015, 11:07 PM
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Default Too many chartplotter/fish finder choices?

I have spent many hours researching MFDs with plotter and fish finder capabilities. Just when I think I've decided which way to go, I read a post on this site or come up with something new that changes my mind.

I have a 22' Campion powered by twin 150 OptiMax motors. She has a Raytheon L750 fish finder with a transom transducer, Raytheon SL70 Radar and a Garmin GPS. The GPS is really dated and I want to replace it with a new plotter. For a few more bucks I want to add a modern fish finder and a thru-hull transducer. I also want a bigger screen, preferring about 9". I primarily fish inland, coastal and off-shore waters here in Washington State. Salmon is the primary species.

I'm trying to keep the total cost under $2000 and would rather spend under $1500.

I've used button controlled plotters and found them slow and clunky, holding down the cursor key to shift the chart screen left and right. Since I own an iPhone, an iPad and a touch screen lap top, the pinch and touch screen has lots of appeal. However, I've read discussions on this site where members have talked about difficulty using touch screens when underway in a choppy or rough sea.

Chart options can be bewildering. Will I need to buy detailed charts?

I've favored the Raymarine a97, a98 and e97. Garmin models within my budget are all button controls. The Lowrance 9" gen2 models step up in price. I was all set to buy a factory reconditioned Raymarine e97 until I learned that the touch screen had no pinch screen capability. This seems like a big shortcoming for a touch screen.

I looked for a threads that could help me and to my surprise I didn't find any. Maybe this is all a matter of personal preferences and this is a dumb thread to introduce. Still, I'm willing to take the risk. Who knows, your comment could be the decisive one for me.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:16 AM
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I don't see how you could go wrong with the new Garmin 76xx series.
It may be slightly over your $2k budget once you add the transducer, but if you consider that you'll probably be using it for the next 5-7-10 years it doesn't make sense to leave off features to stay under a preset budget by a couple of hundred dollars.

Presently, i don't see any units that have more useful features than the new Garmin 76xx series.
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:46 AM
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Garmin 76XX and call it a day.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:12 AM
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An 8" Garmin 76XX is about $2000 plus $300 for basic transducer. Okay, I get the value added argument but does this unit provide $500 more useful capacity (with 1" smaller screen) than the Raymarine aSeries?
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:14 AM
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How about a new Lowrance HDS 12m with sonar hub, for $1750?
http://www.thehulltruth.com/fishing-...ub-1750-a.html
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:20 AM
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raymarine a98 and you are done. I don't understand spending 2k or more on electronics on a 22 ft boat.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:28 AM
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The GT50 and 51 appear to have a bar attached to the hull. On a trailered boat, placement would be tricky.

My priorities with a plotter/finder unit are:
1. Safety - just like my radar unit
2. Navigation, especially in coastal waters
3 Bottom structure and depth, especially for bottom fish and of course also for crabbing
4. Freshwater charts of the Columbia River. I've fished for years without them but would love to be better aware of where I am.

I know I've probably been using it incorrectly and suffering for it, but I've never really felt that "showing fish" has been much of a help salmon fishing. For that reason, I haven't been convinced that CHIRP would really do much for me. Again, I'd love to find out I'm wrong.
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:00 PM
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I know this is an old thread.
I did a search and found little also.
I am in FL and will seldom be in water over 60'
What did you end up with?
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:21 AM
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Sorry to be slow responding. I just now saw your post.

I ended up buying a Lowrance HDS12 Gen2 Touch. I got a really good deal on it and the big screen is a major plus on a fishing boat where you could be looking on-screen from 10 feet away. I'm generally happy with this Lowrance unit. However, I wish it was more intuitive to use. There are important functions that you simply have to learn to use. You can't "feel" your way through.
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Old 06-13-2016, 02:58 PM
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Thanks!!
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:42 PM
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Basically, nowadays, they are all pretty much the same. There are only two major chart suppliers. The biggest difference is in the user interface (touchscreen or buttons). Choose whichever one you like the best. Really, you can't go wrong.
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