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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Want to buy a new GPS fishfinder combo unit. Friend has the Lowrance 527C and he says its pretty good. Want to also get the Navionics chip so I can easily find my way home at night, Right now, I would rather pull the boat to Crab Creek instead of going home thru the rivers at night.

Here are a few of my thoughts -
1. I want a gps that easily can mark the 3 mile limit for stripers in winter.
2. Hate having to go thru too many menu choices to drill down to an option.
3. Don't need touchscreen but it is nice on the Garmin GPS Nuvi in my truck.
4. Want a color unit to see what I'm not catching.
5. Mostly a coastal boater but a 50/200 transducers makes sense.
6. Want to spend under $1K with the chip.
7. Screen resolution should be high pixels so I guess Hummingbirds are out. Prefer brands like Lowrance, Raymarine,etc.
8. Its going in a Grady and some say that I should get a unit with an external antenna for better reception on the GPS. My current Garmin GPS has a 6" little mushroom antenna (152C).

What do you recommend and where to buy. I'm been to West Marine but their demo units are limited as well as Boaters World. The internet shows many more items but I want to hear from users instead of watching something in 'demo' mode.

Thanks Guys (and Ladies)

John
 

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John,

ACF Marine Electronics is second to none...prices, customer service etc...Look here... GARMIN GPSMAP 3206 BUNDLE 3206 GDL30A GSD22 GMS10

A little more than you were looking to spend but if you are already using Garmin the transition is seamless...the bundle is awesome in flexibility...you get GDL30A WEATHER DATA RECEIVER, GSD22 "BLACK BOX" SOUNDER, GMS10 NETWORK PORT EXPANDER, you'll need a TRANSDUCER, the 50/200 along with this unit makes an awesome unit...I bought a 3210 bundle from them awhile back and couldn't be happier...

Oh yeah... the 32XX series come with pre-loaded maps that rock...no real need for a chip...

BTW...I'm adding a Garmin Radar from them next...
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The garmin looks very interesting - strange thing about boatings - always capable of spending a little more and we can justify it to ourselves.
 

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I had a Lowrance and it was a POS. I suggest a Garmin or Raymarine. I personally have a Furuno, but they are a little pricy and I fish mostly offshore.

Happy Hunting....
 

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stick with the lowrance much easier to use if you have never poked around with garmin or raymarine, but i would wait until after christmas, the reason is they will be bringing out there new stuff witch is gonna be compatable with the navionics platinum plus, even there 5oo series the 525 and 527 which arent compatable with the platinum plus. also there new vehicle units are gonna be set up for people who have motorcycles, and you can put the plat. + in the unit. just some info for ya.

mark
 

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I've had good luck with garmin...unless you are getting a really big screen I wouldn't
advise the combo unit.... my boat had a combo garmin when I bought it but it was a
hassle changing screens so I bought a color sounder and just unplugged the transducer
from the garmin combo unit and plugged it into the garmin sounder.....
 

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I had a Lowrance and it was a POS. I suggest a Garmin or Raymarine. I personally have a Furuno, but they are a little pricy and I fish mostly offshore.

Happy Hunting....
My boat came with a Lowrance, more hassle to remove it and **** can it- so I left it where it was.....never use it.

Installed my kickass GARMIN on the dash......

The Garmin COMBO unit it just as awesome, you can have BOTH screens displayed at once. When in doubt use the owners manual
 

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The Wife was nice to me and got me a Hummingbird 997. I really like the side scan sonar. You can opt for a 700 series but you have to get the chip extra. I have the side scan set for 150 feet on either side of the boat, which really shows the wrecks and rock at the tubes. Right now I am running 2 units a garmin 188c that came with the boat and 997. The 997 has 3 hot keys that you can set for any 3 screens you want with out having to go all the around the menu. The chart has the 3 mile limit on it and I added a route to the Garmin to show the 3 mile limit from the eastern shore to OI as well as the demarcation line of the bay/ocean.
 

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I haven't used it yet but I just purchased a raymarine A60 from Boaters world (7 Nov) for 499.00.

I have had Raymarine before and thought they worked very well, the units are built to last and dependable. The A-60 got some really good reviews from the normal sport fishing magazines.

Boaters World list them for $999.00 (in their catalog), with a BW price of $879.00, however when I went to boaters world (hampton) to buy some fuel additive I went and drooled over the A-60 again, I asked if they were having any discounts and he said that the unit was on sale for $699.00, my wife gave me the thumbs up and I took it to the registrar. When I got there they handed me a rebate form from the manufacturer for $200.00. As I write this I am staring at the picture of the unit on the box with a stupid grin on my face.

On top of all that I got $24.00 credit on my capts club membership.

Hope this helps

r/sam
 

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I've got both, and both have their high points.

I LOVE the fishfinder part of the Lowrance.
The Garmin fishfinder marks fish, but isn't nearly as nice

The maps on both are pretty identical, so GPS-wise, they are a draw.

I think both units are very good IF they are installed properly.

-TH
 

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Lowrance chart chip

If you decide to go with the Lowrance try the NauticPath chart chip. $100 gets you the whole U.S., Carribean, Alaska and Hawaii coastal areas. The charts are exactly the same as what you get when you buy a chip for the Garmin or what comes preloaded on the newer Garmins. I've run boats in the FL Keys, the lower Chesapeake Bay and the seaside E Shore with the NauticPath chip installed on a Lowrance. I've run boats in the same areas with Garmins with chips installed, and Garmins with the preloaded charts. There is no difference in the charts in any of these situations, except that all the charts cost $100 with NauticPath, but cost hundreds more with any other system.
 

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Go with the Lowrance. Make sure you have the latest updated software for the unit. You can go to the Lowrance site and download the latest updates on your memory card, (same one that are in the digital cameras). This unit is easy to use and floats if you need it to. I got caught in a major thunderstorm on July 4rth. I unplugged my unit and in a hurry to get everyone off the boat I left it on the cooler seat of my Carolina Skiff tied up to the dock. In the morning it was floating in 5 inches of water in the back of my boat. I Plugged the unit back in and it was good to go. Get the NauticPath chart chip like dboyd351 recommends. It shows a nice contour of the bay, wrecks, and some of the deeper parts of the eastern shore.
 

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FYI lowrance is going digital in 2009. All 2008 leftover analog units will be on sale at a great price. The new units will be great if you want to wait. 5th
 
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