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Old 09-27-2018, 10:18 AM   #1
moose tracks
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I am new to boating and I am looking for some advice from my boating forum friends on a GPS chart plotter. To lean about the navigation hazards on Lake Winnipesaukee I used the Bizer chart of the lake and the Navionics app on my smart phone. For next year I would like to purchase a GPS chart plotter with about a 6 inch display which I can mount on my console. I am looking for advice on the best navigation display to purchase and the best navigational software for Lake Winnipesaukee. Thanks in advice for your recommendations.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:50 AM   #2
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I use a Raymarine Dragonfly 7 using the Navionics charts and highly recommend both! https://www.bing.com/aclick?ld=e3Qma...186f93427a39a7
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Old 09-27-2018, 11:08 AM   #3
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I use a Raymarine Dragonfly 7 using the Navionics charts and highly recommend both!
Do I need the sonar feature if I am not going to be using it for fishing? Is the transducer easy to mount?
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Old 09-27-2018, 12:02 PM   #4
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For a different brand -- we have the Garmin53CV and have had great luck with it -- when loaded with the Lakes chip (add$150)

https://www.amazon.com/Garmin-echoMA...+echomap&psc=1


and to answer your question about the transducer -- if your not fishing, we find a bottom view quite useless on this Lake as the contour changes so drastically and rapidly. Cool to look at periodically -- but can also scare the crap out of ya too... using it for boating is not wise as by the time it traces on the screen you've probably hit it !!
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:47 PM   #5
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I would disagree that knowing your depth is unimportant on lake Winnipesaukee.

It's nice to know if you're going to toss an anchor, you can actually hit the bottom. Going thru channels that you are staying in safe water.
Know right where your depth is when bellying up to a sand bar. And chart plotters do fail.

If you decide to add a depth transducer, there are two kinds that we deal with. The thru-hull which requires you to drill a hole in the bottom of your boat. However I find they work best. The other is a transom mounted transducer. It is mounted on the rear of your boat. This is the easiest to install.
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Old 09-27-2018, 01:53 PM   #6
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I also agree that depth is important. I use it to know how much rode I need--I have my rope marked in ten foot sections. Also, when I'm at a sandbar, I need to know depth so my ladder doesn't hit bottom in the waves. I use depth all the time.

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Old 09-27-2018, 01:56 PM   #7
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If you already use and like the Navionics app, I would expect the chartplotter display to look the same. A convenience to me as opposed to working with two different displays.
I took my old (2002) chartplotter to the Raymarine folks in Nashua and within a couple of days they had upgraded some internals and software. Don't remember the cost but it didn't stick in my mind as expensive. They did the same for me many years ago with a problem on my handheld VHF. Nice guys to work with and I'd guess they get a fair number of walk-ins.
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Old 09-27-2018, 02:02 PM   #8
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"we have the Garmin53CV and have had great luck with it -- when loaded with the Lakes chip (add$150)"

I have the exact same setup, but the 73CV (7-inch screen vs 5)

I only use the transducer for depth and the periodic looking at the bottom before I drop (or snag) anchor.

The biggest thing I use a LOT with this setup up and the 'chip'. I get auto guidance.

Not autopilot, more like MapQuest for boats. Just use the cursor, put in home location and tell it to auto-navigate there. Because you define in setup your height, beam, and draught it knows what bridges I can go under and it knows how shallow I can go (the chip also gives you auto lake depth). Then I have a purple line on the chart to follow.

I could be in Moultonboro at 11PM with no moon and get to Paugus or Alton with no worries. Or, I can hand the helm to my wife and say, follow the purple line, I have to hit the head

I try to keep a line on the map from where I am to home also just in case something happens and I can not navigate (bonk on the head, attacked by bears,,, ) basically just in case I have to tell anyone how to get back home.
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:26 PM   #9
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Do I need the sonar feature if I am not going to be using it for fishing? Is the transducer easy to mount?
No, you do not. It is relatively easy as long as you are OK with drilling a hole through your transom!
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Old 09-27-2018, 03:47 PM   #10
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I have always had transom transducers and they do have their idiosyncracies.
Always wondered about the in hull units and how well they work.

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Old 09-28-2018, 06:21 AM   #11
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I also agree that depth is important..
Gentlemen -- you are crossing up a "depth finder" with the Sonar Transducer!

Although the side benefit of the Sonar is acting as a depth finder the designed purpose is to "paint a picture" of the bottoms contour. Most boats today come equipped with a straight forward (thru Hull) depth finder.

My point was that when driving around -- although it is rather cool to look at for the first few trips - it gets rather distracting to watch the contour of the bottom, when in reality by the time it "paints it" / your past it !

I was simply trying to save Moose Tracks some money as he investigates the options --- all said & done (with installation included) the Sonar transducer is NOT worth the expense (in my humble opinion) as a non fisher.

Moose Tracks original question was do I NEED the Sonar feature
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:47 PM   #12
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Gentlemen -- you are crossing up a "depth finder" with the Sonar Transducer!

Although the side benefit of the Sonar is acting as a depth finder the designed purpose is to "paint a picture" of the bottoms contour. Most boats today come equipped with a straight forward (thru Hull) depth finder.

My point was that when driving around -- although it is rather cool to look at for the first few trips - it gets rather distracting to watch the contour of the bottom, when in reality by the time it "paints it" / your past it !

I was simply trying to save Moose Tracks some money as he investigates the options --- all said & done (with installation included) the Sonar transducer is NOT worth the expense (in my humble opinion) as a non fisher.

Moose Tracks original question was do I NEED the Sonar feature
Honestly, I didn't read the whole thread, only the comment above mine. I've been lonely and wanted to be involved in something bigger than just myself. Thanks for taking that from me, Phantom.

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Old 09-28-2018, 10:46 PM   #13
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First few words of original post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moose tracks View Post
I am new to boating........
Second reply / post in thread.

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Originally Posted by moose tracks View Post
Do I need the sonar feature if I am not going to be using it for fishing? Is the transducer easy to mount?
Well you really don't need it to just navigate, if you are always going to be in water that you know 100% for sure is deep enough all the time. Will you always know that for sure? If your new to boating and Lake Winnipesaukee get a unit that does both. It will help you master the lake faster and safer than without and it won't really cost that much more to have both. So many of the newer ones these days do both seamlessly and can show both the sonar and the navigation features at the same exact time on the same screen, albeit a 6x6 screen would give you 2 3x3 images. But can easily be sized to any meaning "any" combination and size you want. Not to mention even at a full size image on the navigation you can include what is called the digital data on that screen with a small text blocks that would show things like just the depth or water temp each or together. (Like a wrist watch shows the day & date). New units these days are highly customize-able.

The transducers IMHO are a pain in the ass to mount if you want maximum performance. (Just a personal opinion.) Yes the instructions make it look easy and the process is just drilling a few holes and installing a few screws. But again (IMHO) getting the thru hull transducer works better and will do less permanent visible damage to the hull and eliminates having wires going over the transom. However not all boats can use thru hull transducers but most can.

From personal experience I can't imagine having one without the other in the same unit and have had just better overall luck with an epoxied thru hull transducer. (No drilling at all) (However often they don't come with some units standard but can often be acquired free/no cost as an even exchange from the manufacturer in a few days.)
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Old 09-28-2018, 11:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Always wondered about the in hull units and how well they work.

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Having had both on a number of boats, a properly epoxied thru hull transducer is superior to the transom mount. (If you can do it) Can't be done on aluminum or wooden boats. Has to be good solid (non porous) high quality fiberglass mounted where no air pockets can get formed on the outside/bottom of the hull while the boat is moving.

Done correctly you get no surface clutter in rough water and constant bottom contact all the time at all speeds and different water conditions.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:16 AM   #15
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Do I need the sonar feature if I am not going to be using it for fishing? Is the transducer easy to mount?
Get a chart plotter/sonar unit and donít look back! Have a qualified, tech from a marina do the installation. Why fret about not needing sonar when most very affordable units have NAV and Sonar built in?
The old adage applies...why not have it and not need it than need it and not have it?
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Get a chart plotter/sonar unit and don’t look back! Have a qualified, tech from a marina do the installation. Why fret about not needing sonar when most very affordable units have NAV and Sonar built in?
The old adage applies...why not have it and not need it than need it and not have it?
+1 on this advice. Given you can get a 5 inch Garmin package (with GPS/sonar/transducer/LakeVu maps) for around $400 to $500 I don't see any reason not to get sonar/depth finder.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:22 PM   #17
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+1 on this advice. Given you can get a 5 inch Garmin package (with GPS/sonar/transducer/LakeVu maps) for around $400 to $500 I don't see any reason not to get sonar/depth finder.
Thatís what I have on my toon...love it!
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:16 PM   #18
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Garmin also has "Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 63cv" which comes preloaded with LakeView. I have a Lowrance with Navonics and have looked at the Garmin and in my opinion the Garmin LakeView is better then the Navonics.
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Old 10-01-2018, 08:49 PM   #19
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Garmin also has "Garmin ECHOMAP Plus 63cv" which comes preloaded with LakeView. I have a Lowrance with Navonics and have looked at the Garmin and in my opinion the Garmin LakeView is better then the Navonics.
Thatís the one I have...Echomap 5xx something or other. Nice little unit
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:38 PM   #20
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I just got a Dragonfly 7 Pro with Navioncs for my boat. I just installed it in lat august so have only been out with it twice, but it works great! The install took me a few hours being extremely picky with the install.
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