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Newbie Needs help with navigation/gps system advice/suggestions

Enduro900

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So after 20 years out of boating just bought a 2012 Challenger 210SE. It has a depth finder BUT i run mostly shallow lakes, so i want to find a system that will show me the lake/river, map of the depths, and show me where i am on the lake in real time as I’m running instead of carrying/studying lake maps for depths/sandbars, etc.

Would like something with the maps loaded and ready to go.

Price $1k or less thx
 

biffdotorg

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With a thousand dollar budget, the world is yours. So many good brands, and so many options.

Biggest tip, good lake maps are for fisherman, and don't avoid them. Some are updateable for a fee, some include free updates. Otherwise, navigating the unit itself is all in what you get used. to.

Garmin, Hummingbird, Lowarance all make good units with built in maps, and updates for a fee. We have been very happy with our Simrad, and the Navionics maps are built in and update over WiFi. Worst case, you could always load Navionics on an old tablet with GPS. Most have GPS. And the maps are dirtball cheap and updated regularily.

Good luck,
 

2kwik4u

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Worst case, you could always load Navionics on an old tablet with GPS. Most have GPS. And the maps are dirtball cheap and updated regularily.
With a $1k budget, this would be my last choice. Navionics worked GREAT for me while in the Gulf in September. Then again while navigating in near pitch darkness with a failed spotlight on 4th of July on my local lake. The lack of realtime measurement is the big downfall IMO. Having a transducer on the boat and reading the depth and water temp realtime is a huge benefit that I didn't think I wanted until I've used Navionics a few times.

The new yearly subscription model for Navionics is quite reasonable though. I have constantly updated maps for less than the price of a tank of fuel each year. It's worth getting the app just as a backup to your standalone unit IMO.
 

biffdotorg

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With a $1k budget, this would be my last choice. Navionics worked GREAT for me while in the Gulf in September. Then again while navigating in near pitch darkness with a failed spotlight on 4th of July on my local lake. The lack of realtime measurement is the big downfall IMO. Having a transducer on the boat and reading the depth and water temp realtime is a huge benefit that I didn't think I wanted until I've used Navionics a few times.
100% correct, I would not have made the suggestion if you had not said you already have a depth finder. As it is not a replacement. These charts can still be off and will not take into account the rise and fall of lake levels.
 

Julian

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So after 20 years out of boating just bought a 2012 Challenger 210SE. It has a depth finder BUT i run mostly shallow lakes, so i want to find a system that will show me the lake/river, map of the depths, and show me where i am on the lake in real time as I’m running instead of carrying/studying lake maps for depths/sandbars, etc.

Would like something with the maps loaded and ready to go.

Price $1k or less thx
Having used both non-touch screen and touch screen GPS solutions, I will never go back to non-touch screen. I bought a Garmin Echo MAP Plus 94SV - the 74 (7" screen) is probably plenty big enough for most.

 

212s

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Yup, chartplotters are great to have for both fishing and navigating waters. I installed the 7" Axiom like a few others did, and it both works great and looks great like it belongs there:
212Dash.jpg
 

HangOutdoors

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Enduro900

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HangOutdoors

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@Enduro900 Yes it is in Chart Plotter Mode there in the Picture. I use it all the time for shallows. Not hard at all to run the wires. Go through the thread I posted above the picture. Complete write up and images of everything I did including mounting the transducer. Others have mounted differently.
 

Enduro900

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@Enduro900 Yes it is in Chart Plotter Mode there in the Picture. I use it all the time for shallows. Not hard at all to run the wires. Go through the thread I posted above the picture. Complete write up and images of everything I did including mounting the transducer. Others have mounted differently.
Will this also display your speed? I might just cover up my speedo if it does……

I see you also added trim tabs…how much did they improve the ride in the chop??

Thx Hang….ill probably head over to the metro show Thursday or Friday…
 

biffdotorg

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Cool part about speed is it's GPS Speed and not Yamaha Dream-O-Meter speed. Sorry, old photo with old stereo. But the depth charts are amazing when the boat is in the water.

FFD31948-14F5-4C3C-960B-8DA0FED62753.jpeg
 

HangOutdoors

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Will this also display your speed? I might just cover up my speedo if it does……

I see you also added trim tabs…how much did they improve the ride in the chop??

Thx Hang….ill probably head over to the metro show Thursday or Friday…
Yes it can display your speed either GPS or Water Based.

Trim Tabs are like night and day in the chop. Very large improvement.
 

Enduro900

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Yes it can display your speed either GPS or Water Based.

Trim Tabs are like night and day in the chop. Very large improvement.
Ok I think you sold me on the Garmins….though I might go with the 7” over the 9” just from a layout standpoint…..OR I might totally re-layout my Challenger dash and flush mount the 9” LOL…..

Do you know the difference between the GT24 and GT56 Transducer???

It looks like the GT56 adds $200 to the cost, but I cannot find any comparison of the GT24 vs GT56.

Thanks
 

Enduro900

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Cool part about speed is it's GPS Speed and not Yamaha Dream-O-Meter speed. Sorry, old photo with old stereo. But the depth charts are amazing when the boat is in the water.

View attachment 163432
Is that a 7” screen? It looks good integrated into the dash/perfect viewing position….
 

biffdotorg

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Is that a 7” screen? It looks good integrated into the dash/perfect viewing position….
I can't take credit for it, as the previous owner put it there. If I had done it, I would have put it on a RAM mount with a short arm, so that it could be rotated out of the way. It doesn't block gauges and warning lights, which is important. But it does block all the switches. Which I am only searching for when looking for the lights.

Yes, it is a Simrad GO7. What I have found, and this will be important for you based on the water you most frequent, is the charts are based on a couple things. Inland or offshore, navigation or fishing. They will all work for you, but they do have characteristics that vary.

For example, Simrad is the big brother to Lowrance in the Navico corporation. Here in MN, Lowrance, Hummingbird etc are the big dogs. And their maps have very detailed contours for fishing. In fact, you can highlight a particular depth band, and your trolling motor will keep your boat in that depth band at a particular speed (hand free navigation) On the Simrad, the charts are more offshore specific with more details in navigational items and the autopilot functions work with those found in larger offshore boats and yachts. But it still works just fine in our boat, and honestly the mapping works fine too.

Like Yamaha, this older Simrad had features and touchscreen that have now filtered down to the Lowrance models. So it was cool to see my buddies getting those features today. Not many are familiar with Simrad around here. But look at the dash of many big offshore boats, and that is what you see most of all, that and Ray Marine etc.

I don't think you can go wrong. Hit a price point, get the most bang for the buck, and get a more universal mount by putting a RAM ball on your dash, and then one on the back of the unit. Then you have some flexibility to move it around.

Hit up your local Cabelas/Bass Pro, scheels and ask their advice. Each of those shops usually has at least one wiz kid that knows all the features and is ready to spew them out with little hesitation.

Good luck
 

johhnyboat

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I went with the Garmin Echomap 94SVand I am very happy with my decision. It has a great display that I can see in full sunlight. Also, I do a good amount of driving at night and it really helps to see the channel and objects very clearly with the bigger display.
 

HangOutdoors

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Unless you can flush mount one, I would recommend a RAM mount. As @biffdotorg indicated swiveling it around and out of the way works fantastic. Also you could change lengths of the ARMs on the RAM mount if you so desire at any time.
 

HangOutdoors

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Enduro900

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I can't take credit for it, as the previous owner put it there. If I had done it, I would have put it on a RAM mount with a short arm, so that it could be rotated out of the way. It doesn't block gauges and warning lights, which is important. But it does block all the switches. Which I am only searching for when looking for the lights.

Yes, it is a Simrad GO7. What I have found, and this will be important for you based on the water you most frequent, is the charts are based on a couple things. Inland or offshore, navigation or fishing. They will all work for you, but they do have characteristics that vary.

For example, Simrad is the big brother to Lowrance in the Navico corporation. Here in MN, Lowrance, Hummingbird etc are the big dogs. And their maps have very detailed contours for fishing. In fact, you can highlight a particular depth band, and your trolling motor will keep your boat in that depth band at a particular speed (hand free navigation) On the Simrad, the charts are more offshore specific with more details in navigational items and the autopilot functions work with those found in larger offshore boats and yachts. But it still works just fine in our boat, and honestly the mapping works fine too.

Like Yamaha, this older Simrad had features and touchscreen that have now filtered down to the Lowrance models. So it was cool to see my buddies getting those features today. Not many are familiar with Simrad around here. But look at the dash of many big offshore boats, and that is what you see most of all, that and Ray Marine etc.

I don't think you can go wrong. Hit a price point, get the most bang for the buck, and get a more universal mount by putting a RAM ball on your dash, and then one on the back of the unit. Then you have some flexibility to move it around.

Hit up your local Cabelas/Bass Pro, scheels and ask their advice. Each of those shops usually has at least one wiz kid that knows all the features and is ready to spew them out with little hesitation.

Good luck
Funny you I mentioned that…..I thought about the same thing (going to a bass pro shop). Just hoping for the young wiz kid ready to spew all the tech stuff at me lol……
 

Enduro900

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Ok so I found some specs on the GT24 vs GT56. It looks like “downward” coverage are the same, but the 56 adds the “side view” coverage??? Do I really need all the side view capability if I’m just using it for charting/avoiding shallows on the lakes I dont know and not trying to hunt down the biggest fish (lol)???
 
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