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Bentrod704

GPS/Fishfinder reccomendations for small boat

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I'm in need of some advice. I'm outfitting a newly acquired boat(Sailfish 17'CC) with some navigational electronics. I will be using this boat primarily in the Thames River (CT) and just outside the mouth on good days(for now) maybe a little farther when i'm confident. I'm looking for a budjet GPS/Fishfinder that would fit this application. I see a few sub 500.00 models and am curious if these would do.

Thanks in advance for your help.

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If you can find a used Garmin 498 on ebay that would be your best bet IMHO.

 

5" split screens really stink though, it's very hard to see stuff especially when traveling. Good news is though is that the GPS plotter portion of the 498 is very good and when you get some more $$$ you can just turn off the FF part of the 498 and get a good fishfinder.

 

-andy

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I have the Garmin 178C ff/gps combo on my boat, and it works great. It came with the boat, so I didn't have any choice in the matter, but it has served me well. It's a discontinued model now, but I've found them for around $300 or so if you search. It was about $650 new.

 

Most of the GPS/FF combos will have a US base map included on the machine's internal drive. It gives you a high level of where you are, but in order to get the real detail of depths, shoals, reefs, etc., you will also need to buy yourself the detailed map chart chip for your area that is compatible with your machine. I believe that most manufacturers have their own brand, so just check for the compatibility. You won't be sorry that you spent the money for the chip. If you find a used unit in your area, it will probably already have a chip installed.

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Most of the GPS/FF combos will have a US base map included on the machine's internal drive. .. you will also need to buy yourself the detailed map chart chip for your area that is compatible with your machine.

 

The 498 comes preloaded with all the detailed maps. No need for chips, anywhere you go.

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I agree with the Garmin 498. I've used one for the past couple of years and it has been great. For a smaller boat, the 5" screen is fine. Even in split mode, it's not too bad because you are typically only a couple of feet away from the display while at the helm. When I find my spot, I switch to sonar... since I'm already where I want to be.

 

If you "need" bigger, then you are really jumping up in cost. I'm a huge Garmin fan and the next ones up are the 4208 which will cost you a couple thousand $. Lowrance has some interesting units in the 7" range, but I've heard some complaints ( I have no personal experience with them). Also Raymarine is revamping their product line, so you may be able to get 2008 model year units at a discount.

 

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

 

David

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The Garmin site says the 498 is has been discontinued. I went with the Garmin 540 with a seperate Furuno depth finder. You can get the 540s with built in sonar for around $640.

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