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I'm looking to upgrade from my junky fish finder to one of the smaller GPS/fish finder combos. I have a hard top on my 23 WA, and I'm wondering if a unit with the internal GPS receiver/antenna will work ok under the top. My hand held GPS unit works fine underneath, but a guy at Bass Pro Shops told me I would need the external connections. If it helps, I'm looking at the Hummingbird 383c and Lowrance M68CS units right now.
 

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The internal antenna should be fine under a hardtop.

I have had a Garmin 498c sounder for 2 years, and love it. The built-in coastal maps of the entire 48-state coastal waters are phenomenal; Garmin is top notch on GPS, and the models with the built-in Bluechart G2 maps offer tremendous detail (including bottom contours equivalent to the NOAA charts). Their fishfinder is OK. With some tweaking (following some great suggestions here at TF) I got it working very well; I can find spot on the bottom, and tell the difference between rock and blues most of the time.

The 498c is discontinued, but some are still available various places from time to time. The internal antenna with a dual-freq. transducer typically sold for ~$500 - $550.

I think the Garmin 440s is a roughly equivalent unit with a bit smaller screen. You can get it for $567. The 540s ($729) has the same size screen as the 498c.

Screen size is important, but thats where the cost keeps going up (as you can see in the 440s/540s price jump). I can't read fine detail when up on plane, nor set new courses on the 498c (5" diagonal) in the bumps, but it is very easy to follow a course you have already set. At trolling speed it is fine, even for my aging eyes.
 

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I got an email ad from BOE Marine, an online vendor with great prices that is located in Annapolis. They are great folks, and really know their stuff!

They now have in stock rebuilt Garmin 498c, internal antenna with a dual freq. transom mount transponder for $527.95. That is a great price on a popular but discontinued unit that is getting hard to find.
 

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I had the 498c on my previous boat and really liked it. I now have a Garmin 4208 and also like it a lot. It's very user friendly and has all the options I could ever need.
 

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I don't know much about them but the A60 raymarine is on sale this weekend for 500 bucks at boaters world. They are hd fishfinders and look to be nice. Regular price is like $1200. It's on sale and has a 200 buck rebate.
 

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People hate hearing this recommendation, i know because i was one of them. I have an eagle color ff/gps combo. Great unit and i love it. Problem is, the screen is WAY too small to run a split screen.

You are going to say it's fine, whatever i don't need it. I did the same thing.

Well, let me tell you, i just got a seperate chartplotter so now i have 2 units. I run my combo in FF mode all the time now. It is so great when you are trolling to be able to see the channel edges before you actually start coming up them. Likewise, now i have a backup GPS unit in the event of a failure.

I didn't think it would be my cup of tea, but i gotta say that i love having 2 seperate units!!!
 

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I just got an email from >>>>> BOE Marine - The nations leader in Marine Electronics and Boat Sales on remanufactured stuff being on sale.. I am gonna ask the wife for radar for Christmas :clap: (then again, I think the boat may have been my Christmas, birthday and fathers day gifts for the next few years already :eek:)

I love my garmin with new gssd22 digital sounder!
 

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I don't know much about them but the A60 raymarine is on sale this weekend for 500 bucks at boaters world. They are hd fishfinders and look to be nice. Regular price is like $1200. It's on sale and has a 200 buck rebate.
Bought this A60 unit 3 months ago. It's fishfinder capabilities are awesome. I just miss the chart capabilities of the Garmin that I had on my old boat. 500 bones for this unit is a pretty good price.
 

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the Raymarine A60 (and rebate)

At last Raymarine is selling something at it's true value. It is a good $500
fishfinder. Just disregard the fact that is supposed to be a gps/chartplotter also.
 

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I have a Garmin 545s and Boater's World has it for $999.00 Saw it at Bass Pro for $1199.00
Very good unit but need to use it more to fine tune myself..........Gary
 

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Lowrance "combo" unit in action.
nice!! what model is that?
Globalmap 9200 with a broadband sounder and a shoot thru the hull transducer.
Any of the Lowrance color models can look like this.

The screenshot feature is also easy to you and gives perfectly exposed pictures
of what ever is on the screen. Just push a button and the picture is saved to an
sd card. Those pictures in the lcx 28 thread below could have used this feature instead
of a camera snap shot. Nothing to it. Lowrance has done all the hard work!

from earlier this year.
 
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