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Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:03 am 
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Hey Guys!

So this topic has been beaten to death before, and I know a lot of you are Garmin guys. However, I just wanted to ask everyone with my situation in mind. I asked the wife, and she has said if I spend $1,000 or less on the Fishfinder/chartplotter combo and transducer, then I am good to go!

I have an Airmar P79 transducer installed in my bilge from the previous owner. He cut the plug off on the unit end, so I don't think I can reuse or splice a new end on. I think I will have to buy a new one unless someone here knows a trick to save the old one. I believe I asked SeaBob about this a few years ago, and he said that there would be too much interference in a respliced cable to make it work. Will I need to buy a brand new P79?

I want a 7 inch widescreen unit to center on my console. It will be mounted on the bracket & on top of the console. No flush mounting due to the original console not having enough room.

I am looking at a Lowrance HDS 7, Garmin 741XS, or a Lowrance elite 7 ti.

I know some of you have the HDS and some have the Garmin. So, if I am going to be running around Tampa Bay, Sanibel, Marco Island, and Lakes in Tennessee & Alabama, what is the best unit for me?

I would love some NMEA2000 networking ability, but my 2001 Yamaha HPDI will not connect to these units. I would like a fuel flow meter, stereo networking, and VHF networking for now. If I did have a new motor in the next 3-5 years, I could unlock that extra networking potential as well. I would like to know which unit would be best for my current and future needs?

If I need to mainly learn my way around the new-to-me Tampa Bay Area without wiping out my lower unit, then what unit would be best for me? I have always been a shallow(95ft & under) lake guy & intercoastal fisherman, so which unit would be best for fish finding in shallower environments? I'm not traveling out to deeper waters in a 22-2.

I have no holes below the waterline. The previous owner sealed the drain plug over when he replaced the transom, and I have not added any transducers, underwater lights, etc. I would like to keep my transducer in hull unless the benefits of a thru-hull or transom mount really open up the capabilities of the unit.

Which unit do you guys think I should buy? Feel free to suggest other units as well!

Thanks!
-Ben[anchor= ][/anchor]

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:10 am 
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Garmin 741XS,
I had Hummingbird, & two different Lowrance and now Garmin by leaps and bounds a better unit in every way

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:35 pm 
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first off no bilge drain? how do you get any water out?

on to your question. ive had lowrance for years. loved the elite series. but i now have a garmin. garmins maps are better in every way. the g2 cards are well worth the money as well. both have a shoot through transducer but you basically loose structure scan and chirp. at that point your better off buying a 200$ cheapo fish finder. also i dont know if its still the case but you used to have to buy the transducers separate.

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Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:25 pm 
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Yeah, I thought that was pretty interesting too when I bought the boat back in 2011. The last owner who replaced the transom & deck in 2008 never redrilled a transom plug hole. The boat has no holes drilled below the waterline, which I appreciated at first since my last boat had a rotted out transom. Eventually, I am sure I will drill a hole below the waterline for a transducer and/or underwater lights. To answer your questions, I just pump any water out with the bilge pump and it is usually completely dry. They bilge hatch is sealed, so I rarely accumulate any water.

I will most likely but the unit without a transducer, then purchase the best transducer for my situation. So it sounds like Garmin is the way to go. How much extra are the G2 maps?

I'm not by any means a fish finder technology expert. Is it worth it to install a transducer on the transom for CHIRP and sidescan or structure scan capability? I am used to just seeing a clump of baitfish or a brush pile on the bottom of a lake on a 2D fish finder screen.

Thanks,
Ben

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:14 am 
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I love my lowrance HDS. N2K networked to my Fusion radio allows me to control my tunes from the helm including bluetooh, pandora, mp3 etc. N2K devices allow fuel flow and more to be added to the network. My Etec is networked to my lowrance as well. Having owned both brands I feel the lowrance ui is esier to use.

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:32 am 
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I recommend a transom mount transducer, IMO the "shoot thru" transducers are worthless.

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 07, 2016 3:22 pm 
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that 741x will do the same thing bruce. i can even control it via wifi with my phone. the 3d stuff is pretty cool. lets say you find a rock in 30ft of water. with normal 2d you will see the raise on the bottom. with the structure scan you will see down both sides of it. if there is a hole at the bottom you will see it. pretty cool stuff.

on to drilling holes. over size your hole fill with thickend resin. then redrill for the right size and install your screwes. its like it never heppened.

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Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:04 pm 
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I am in the Garmin camp as I run twin 740s and GMR18HD radar which is fully networked with my gauges and engine through NMEA. The 741xs is much more advanced than my 740 and should offer you all that you need. Nothing against Lowrance, I am just a Garmin guy for now. If I were going to do it over again I would buy Simrad stuff but that will well above your budget I think.

If you shop around you can get a 741xs for a smidge above $1K. The transducer will be an additional cost and depending on what features you want to leverage the cost goes up. I have been very happy with my arimar b60 through-hull but this design has limits related to sidescan. Good thing is, there is nothing hanging off the back of the boat and or exposed wires. I would be happy to show you my setup and I am sure Aaron would be willing to do the same.

Bottom line- You gotta have a good plotter around here, especially being new to the waters... Its a safety thing..


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:03 pm 
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I don't have much experience with Lowrance, and have a Garmin 498- but I agree with Berger's quote- having a good Chartplotter is imperative to safety and successful fishing. I have a half tower and have relied on experience, polarized glasses, and good ability to read water for the majority of my time fishing and boating around Sarasota and Tampa Bay,,, but on my recent trip to Islamorada (where I am familiar with the water)... I relied more heavily on my GPS Chartplotter to help me navigate the channels and find a lot of good bottom changes that I may have missed previously.

Because of that- I would go with Garmin as they have the faster processors and the screens/map will update regardless of how far you zoom in and how fast you are going.

Check websites like SemperFishing on THEHULLTRUTH, he has a ton of knowledge and experience and also deals from time to time... and also watch for the sales flyers from BassPro, WestMarine, and Cabelas... they have some good deals also if you aren't in a hurry.

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Post Posted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:51 am 
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omnifish wrote:
I would go with Garmin as they have the faster processors and the screens/map will update regardless of how far you zoom in and how fast you are going.


I run both side by side and Garmin all the way for navigating, much faster updates, I'm in the keys right now in a new place and that faster refresh rates make all the difference, my lowrance is used just as a fish finder and back up chartplotter

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:11 am 
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Hey Guys! Thanks for all the great input. It sounds like the chartplotter/GPS on the Garmin is the way to go for quick accurate information while navigating (which I will need in a new area to me).

You guys also have swayed me into doing a transom mount transducer if I can unlock all the capability of the unit by doing that. Does anyone have a good transducer recommendation for the more shallow gulf waters with a sandy bottom? I get pretty confused looking at all of the transducer options out there. Am I better off buying an Airmar transducer separately, or buying the 741xs with one of the transducer package options?

I looked up SemperFishing and he has some 741xs unit for sale now for $815 without a transducer. I may have to scoop one of those up if I don't find any better deal. The Lowrance HDS 7 Gen2 Touch I was in the market for must have finally sold out. I can only find the Gen 3 Touch now, which is out of my budget.

I plan on setting up a pretty simple NMEA2000 network right now with just a fuel flow meter for now. Then once my radio dies, I can get the Fusion radio networked in. Add a VHF radio and network that in as well. Slowly build it up over time.

How big of a set of holes would be recommended to drill and then backfill with thickened resin? I don't want to drill such a big hole that the whole plug comes out with the transducer while cruising. All of my fiberglass supplies from my last project are up in Tennessee, but I could drill the hole when I go up to pick the boat up. I have Polyester Resin and wood flour up there, if that will work for this purpose.

Thanks everybody!

-Ben

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:35 am 
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depending on the hardware that comes with your transducer- I would imagine anything from a 5/16 to 3/8" hole would work; good rule of thumb is twice the diameter of the screw you plan to use. Once you have the hole drilled- you could even angle the cavity a little bit so it's wider at the end (think of a cone shape with the pointed end towards the outside of your transom. that would help anchor the fill).

Some people even install a length of Starboard as a ledger board where you can have that "permanently" leave mounted to your transom and then swap out or change locations of your transducers as needed without drilling 20 holes in the transom.

your Poly resin will work fine. and you will still want to 5200 any screws you install.

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:33 pm 
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Ben,

This is what I would recommend... The gulf waters off the west coast here are really not deep enough to take full advantage of CHIRP. The install of the b60 seems a little more daunting (due to size of hole) but in reality it's super easy. The through-hull will give you a better read and they are less susceptible to damage and if mounted in the right location provide a cleaner return at all speeds. I get a great bottom read at 40mph. Bruce (volunteering him) and I (other Bruce) can help you with the install. It takes about an hour using a drill and wrench and 5200. The rest is plug n play with the 741xs.

Note: You will need to match the tilt angle to your deadrise. The one below is for more offshore style boat with a 20 degree deadrise. They have the same with with reduced tilt..

http://www.westmarine.com/buy/garmin--a ... --13178397" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Off Airmar web page with 12 degree tilt:

http://www.airmartechnology.com/product ... html?id=13" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Manufacturer Part Numbers
B60 with 12° Tilt
Furuno—525T-LTD/12——Airmar—31-554-5-01
Garmin—010-10982-01——Airmar—31-554-6-01
Lowrance—000-0136-04——Airmar—31-578-1-01
Raymarine A Series—E66088——Airmar—31-554-4-02
Raymarine C/E Series—E66086——Airmar—31-554-3-02

If you want CHIRP:
Here is some info but you are going to pay some $$ for it.

http://www.airmartechnology.com/images/ ... es/b75.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Post Posted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:44 pm 
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so your gonna be looking for 8 pin transducer with chirp. part number 010-11928-20 for the transom mount

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Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:55 am 
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I think all the Garmin stuff is now 8 pin. My 740 is a six so I had to really search for a compatable b60. The eight pin versions are readily avail whether you go with 50/200 or CHIRP.

B

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