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Help selecting electronics for non-boat owner

Old 08-19-2017, 09:24 PM
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Default Help selecting electronics for non-boat owner

So I am not lucky enough to own my own boat YET, so I often rent boats wherever I am vacationing/living. We do the keys 1-2 times a year, east coast of florida once a year, and tampa area is close by. With always renting, I never know what kind of unit is going to come on the boat and after a bad experience in the keys with the last GPS being out dated and crappy when it comes to how often it updated I wanted to buy my own GPS that I can just take with me regardless of what the boat is equipped with...

With that being said, what do you recommend? Is my only option a hand held, or is it practical and sensible to buy a larger display unit and just bring it with me? I am fine spending 500-1000 dollars and will more than likely look for something used. Thanks for the info.
Old 08-19-2017, 10:59 PM
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An iPad with the Navionics App. And a Ram Mount
Old 08-20-2017, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by StevoWA View Post
An iPad with the Navionics App. And a Ram Mount
I tried using the navionics app on my phone while I was down in the keys last week and couldn't figure out how to load large amounts of coordinates manually, and when navigating to a particular point the app would stop giving directions at 0.1 miles from the coordinate. That is not good enough to find a lobster hole in the middle of the gulf! What was I doing wrong?
Old 08-20-2017, 09:19 AM
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https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/63603



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Old 08-20-2017, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by floridafisher0510 View Post
I tried using the navionics app on my phone while I was down in the keys last week and couldn't figure out how to load large amounts of coordinates manually, and when navigating to a particular point the app would stop giving directions at 0.1 miles from the coordinate. That is not good enough to find a lobster hole in the middle of the gulf! What was I doing wrong?
To my knowledge, unless you are using the plotter sync feature with a gps that has navionics to sync all data between the two, you will have to enter coordinates one at a time. I have had great success using the boating app and hate to hear you have had trouble. When I am creating routes between two points, I will use the auto routing feature. Works great. Once I get to the coordinate I am navigating to, I will get right over it with my boat and I am usually spot on. Also, if you have any problems in the future, try contacting their customer service. Great customer service and I have used their online chat before with great success. Hope this helps. https://navionics.secure.force.com/kb/?l=en

Old 08-20-2017, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by semperfifishing View Post
Thats what I was trying to decide to just go with handheld or to just buy a 7 inch touchscreen that I could eventually just put on my boat in the future?
Old 08-20-2017, 01:31 PM
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I would go for a 7" touch screen unit. Lowrance Elite-7 Ti has a robust housing well suited for use as a mobile unit. This unit will give the option to use a large number of different chart formats.
Old 08-20-2017, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
I would go for a 7" touch screen unit. Lowrance Elite-7 Ti has a robust housing well suited for use as a mobile unit. This unit will give the option to use a large number of different chart formats.
Thank you, I will look into that device. What would you say are key differences between the brands, for example what is a hallmark difference between garmin, simrad, lowrance, etc, if any?
Old 08-20-2017, 02:29 PM
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Garmin has a reputation of being one of the most user friendly brands on the market. I have had a 5" hummingbird, a very old furuno, a garmin 74sv and a garmin 1042xsv. The 74 sv chirp is the best band for buck unit IMO, but I would lean towards the 94sv for the larger screen. The 1042xsv is the MOST user friendly unit I have ever used.

I'm curious how your going to go about using a 7" on a boat your renting. I know your going to wire it to one of the batteries but how are you going to mount it? Keep it from flopping around and falling over when you get in a chop... Also are you familiar with touchscreens. I got caught in a horrible storm and had to drive through the middle of it to get home. I used my non-touchscreen to lock in my home port so I could navigate to it while it was pouring down rain... If a touchscreen bottom machine is ANYTHING like my cell phone it would have been completely useless in that situation. Also my hands are always wet or slimy from fish. I cant imagine the glare from smudges you would get from using a touchscreen with dirty fingers...

If your going with a bottom machine 7" is the absolute minimum I would go with. 9" or larger is preferable. Only problem with buying a bottom machine is they get outdated like cell phones (okay, not quite as quick as phones). I would hate for you to buy a brand new unit, use it one or two times a year on the boats you rent. Then several years down the road when you buy your own boat you end up with a bottom machine that is not the latest and greatest... that being said I have no plans on replacing my 1042xsv until it breaks and hopefully that's 10 plus years from now.

Honestly its sounding more and more like a quality handheld is the way to go for you. While I was in between boats I fished on my buddies boat all of the time. They had nice bottom machines and we usually fished all of my spots. I would bring my old garmin handheld (with no marine charts) and I would use it when we were fishing offshore wrecks. I keep the boat over the spot with the handheld. I bring it with me every trip now on my new boat. Its a great back up in case my bottom machine fails. I can easily catch fish without sonar, just holding over my numbers with the handheld. Also great to have if you hunt or camp often... it has multiple uses.

If I were you I would buy a handheld, and probably the same one Gil mentioned above. You also have the perfect opportunity to use many different styles and models of bottom machines on the rental boats. Play with each one and see what you do and don't like about them. Then when you finally get a boat you will have a better idea of what brand and model bottom machine would best suite your needs...
Old 08-21-2017, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mdees88 View Post
Garmin has a reputation of being one of the most user friendly brands on the market. I have had a 5" hummingbird, a very old furuno, a garmin 74sv and a garmin 1042xsv. The 74 sv chirp is the best band for buck unit IMO, but I would lean towards the 94sv for the larger screen. The 1042xsv is the MOST user friendly unit I have ever used.

I'm curious how your going to go about using a 7" on a boat your renting. I know your going to wire it to one of the batteries but how are you going to mount it? Keep it from flopping around and falling over when you get in a chop... Also are you familiar with touchscreens. I got caught in a horrible storm and had to drive through the middle of it to get home. I used my non-touchscreen to lock in my home port so I could navigate to it while it was pouring down rain... If a touchscreen bottom machine is ANYTHING like my cell phone it would have been completely useless in that situation. Also my hands are always wet or slimy from fish. I cant imagine the glare from smudges you would get from using a touchscreen with dirty fingers...

If your going with a bottom machine 7" is the absolute minimum I would go with. 9" or larger is preferable. Only problem with buying a bottom machine is they get outdated like cell phones (okay, not quite as quick as phones). I would hate for you to buy a brand new unit, use it one or two times a year on the boats you rent. Then several years down the road when you buy your own boat you end up with a bottom machine that is not the latest and greatest... that being said I have no plans on replacing my 1042xsv until it breaks and hopefully that's 10 plus years from now.

Honestly its sounding more and more like a quality handheld is the way to go for you. While I was in between boats I fished on my buddies boat all of the time. They had nice bottom machines and we usually fished all of my spots. I would bring my old garmin handheld (with no marine charts) and I would use it when we were fishing offshore wrecks. I keep the boat over the spot with the handheld. I bring it with me every trip now on my new boat. Its a great back up in case my bottom machine fails. I can easily catch fish without sonar, just holding over my numbers with the handheld. Also great to have if you hunt or camp often... it has multiple uses.

If I were you I would buy a handheld, and probably the same one Gil mentioned above. You also have the perfect opportunity to use many different styles and models of bottom machines on the rental boats. Play with each one and see what you do and don't like about them. Then when you finally get a boat you will have a better idea of what brand and model bottom machine would best suite your needs...
Definitely leaning towards the handheld as I don't really know how I would hook up the unit for the rentals.
Old 08-22-2017, 01:10 PM
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you could put a cig lighter style plug on the end of it, that way you could just plug into a cig lighter outlet and power the unit. from that there are adapters that take the cig lighter style to alligator clips to go straight to a battery
Old 08-23-2017, 11:13 AM
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Default mobile gps/ff

I swap between kayaks and boats. I use the lowrance elite7ti with 8-12ah bell cell battery. Have unit mounted to ram ball that can be mounted (even suction cupped) pretty much anywhere. I have a totalscan transducer that can be hung over side of boat or kayak (that monster transducer works great under hobie Outback!).
If just using gps just eliminate trans. I use handheld as backup as the screen is way to small for my eyes. The elite7ti screen is smallest I find practical. Drawback also with touch screens that have no buttons to control brightness. When the sun is beating on the screen it's almost impossible to raise brightness to see it, leave it full always!
Old 08-25-2017, 08:39 AM
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Hello, take a look on ebay, Raymarine made one a while ago called the RC400, it is excellent, you would likely need a card for it, I think it used the older CF card format which I understand is still available and can updated, or buy the card second hand but check if you can get updates, the other brand is Geonav froom italy, in fact I think the Geonav unit is the Raymarine unit or vice versa just with different name. Garmin made a few too but I find the charting options inferior to the others. Hope this helps.

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