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I'd like to add one, or a combination of the above, to our 2002 Trophy walkaround before the spring season - currently we have a basic fishfinder mounted/wired on the dash and a handheld gps.

I've been reading up (here and different magazines) about the different features/functions and all of the brands, but most of it's over my head. Few questions....

- are the color screens that much better for the cost/visibility in sunlight?
- when you purchase one, can the dealer/store install it for me (probably the most important question!)?
- does installation require any drilling thru the hull?
- is it realistic to get a decent one (installed) for $1000 - $1200?

I'm going to track down Backdraft at the show this weekend for some guidance, but any other opinions/advice would be great!

Thanks - Andy
 

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Color screens are worth every penny. They offer much greater charting detail and much easier to view in the sunlight. See Boaters World at the Boat Show as they can do installations if you can drop you boat off at either severna park or the boat house in graconville. That price range is resonable for a combo unit. To install the unit you will most likely need to drill a hole for the transducer wire to run through. It is usually covered with a vent and filled with silicone or other sealant. You will also need to drill pilot holes for the transducer which will be mounted with 3 or 4 beefy screws. Not the most difficult thing to do, running the wires is the hardest part.
 

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There is a bit of a changing of the guard going down right now with chart plotters... The "old" stuff is good... The "new" stuff has a lot of promise... Its all a matter of what you actually want.

Your title list three seperate things. A "basic gps" will display a longitude and a latitude in numerical format. It is then up to you to consult your paper chart and decide where you are and where you want to go... We know the answer to this question... You don't want one of those, which is a good thing, because those aren't manufacuted in excess these days...

Chartplotter... Now these are abundant. My recommendations on this one are to buy a unit with as large a screen as you can afford, and fit. Get a color screen if it is in the budget. It is easier to read all around. With a color screen you tend to watch the water in front of the bow more than a hard to read screen, this is always a good thing as the screen was intended for guidence and not constant viewing. You may want to look into an intgrated system when you do your research. Its the newest trend in the industry and has a whole host of posibilities. Garman and Raymarine are two outstanding brands. Keep in mind when purchasing a unit is that in addition to the outright purchase price you will most likely be laying down an additional 150- 300 bucks in memory chips.

Sounders... FURUNO... end of story... plenty of good deals on the 582 and 600 models these days. Furuno went digital this year and their analog stuff is very resonable these days but still very effective. Hole thru the hull? Not neccesary, but highly recommended. Transome mount tranducers are a problamatic bunch that will not give you the full range of capability from your machine. A thru hull ducer will give you better performance... But you have to drill the dreaded hole.

There are folk around who install, most of them are quite expensive.
 

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Few questions....

- are the color screens that much better for the cost/visibility in sunlight?
- when you purchase one, can the dealer/store install it for me (probably the most important question!)?
- does installation require any drilling thru the hull?
- is it realistic to get a decent one (installed) for $1000 - $1200

I favor lowrance. I have the LCX-26HD. The picture is very clear and does everything I need . I think lowrance has the highest pixel count for the screen size. It has a hard drive and has bouys, marinas etc already in the unit. No need for an extra chip. I hate the small screens!. When running in rough water its hard enough trying to keep your course but trying to see a tiny screen while bouncing up and down, raining, and 3 ft seas is frustrating. this screen is the perfect size for our boat. we use it offshore as well as the bay.

as far as color....GET IT!!! You will be very sorry if you dont.

BW will install it but I would consider doing it yourself

If you decide to go with a transom mount You will have to drill about a 1" hole. Guys fill it with silicone or 5200. heres a tip. Get a pc of solid pvc or starboard like material or similiar. imagine a broomstick about 1" in diamater. cut a pc as long as the thickness of your transom. Drill a hole thru the center about the size of your transducer cable. Now cut it in half lengthwise. put your cable in the center and put the 2 pcs back together. use 5200 around the inside of the hole in the boat. now put your "broomstick" pc into the hole with the cable in it. finish it off and you have a clean finish. if you want to can install a clamshell to cover the work.

there are other ways to do it without drilling a hole. One is to epoxy it in the bilge or somewhere like that. then you have to make sure it has a clear path for the signal. I dont like this method.

The other is a thru-hull. This will give you the best signal but you will have to drill a hole in the bottom of the boat.

last qusetion. you pretty much get what you pay for. you will use this equipment more than any other on your boat. Dont skimp.

If you are fishing in the bay you will most likely want a 200 transucer. it shoots a wider signal than a 50.
 

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If I may offer a suggestion...

The Atlantic City Boat show at the end of this month, will offer would be buyers the opertunity to talk with and see demo's of the latest equipment offered by Garmin, Ray and many others.

Factory people will be glad to answer any questions you might have. From radio's to GPS to radar and even chips for your units. Mounting tips, discounts so much more.

Before I made my decision to buy, wanting to do the purchase only 1 time and not be sorry the following year, I was able to dispell all "stories" I had listened to prior to the show about this unit or that unit.

Understanding that each person has their own thoughts on electronics, I felt that I came away with a better understanding of what was on the market and also what was ahead in marine electronics. I felt good about my purchase and have been pleased with my equiptment.

Just 1 mans thoughts...Good luck with your decision

Bruce
 

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I have the Lowrance 26HD that I installed myself. It's not a big deal. I ran the transducer cable over and down the back of the transome. Its held in place with nylon clips/sm screws.
Invest in the color. its worth it. Maping is a big plus. Chips add up real quick if ya want to fish other areas--------------
 

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Aaument,

Whatever you decide on, make sure it is chrtplotter/gps/fishfinder combo unit. The chartplotters are wonderful, I don't know how I made it without one years ago. :D

If your budget allows, get the color display, it will be easier to differentiate between markers, contours, buoy's, etc...

I have had Lowrance products for years and never have had a problem. If you are thinking Lowrance, just to let you know, their screen sizes come in 5 inch, 7 inch, and 10 or 11 screen sizes. If it were me, I would stick with their 7 inch screen or better...

Cheers
 

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Just installed a Garmin 498c (Color) chartplotter fishfinder combo with built in basemap for the entire coastal US. External GPS Antenna run through the TTOP, and transom mount transducer run through the hull and over the cut transom. Bought it for $600, and all the local shops estimated $1200 labor to install this unit and a vhf!

Took a few hours, but I got it done myself with a total of $30 investment in tools. Drilling the first hole in that virgin gelcoat was like drilling a hole into my chest, but after the first one it was pretty simple. Measure three times, drill once!

The unit is user-friendly, and has great detail. I haven't had it in action enough to comment on the fishfinder's accuracy, but it seems good. So far the split screen on the smallish screen isn't too bad, and its easy to switch back and forth from chart to depth full screens. I saved room in the console to add a through-hull Foruno unit if necessary. I think I could even bring myself to cut that hole, too- maybe measure 4 times!!!
 

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Chartplotter... Now these are abundant. My recommendations on this one are to buy a unit with as large a screen as you can afford, and fit. Get a color screen if it is in the budget.
Sounders... FURUNO... end of story...
Furuno FCV-600L and Garmin 2010
I can recommend both of them.

 

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Andy see you at the show. Also the units will be displayed at the D.C. boat show. I will have my price list this weekend. Charlie
 
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