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Old 14 August 2019, 03:46   #1
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Fish finder advice

Hi guys, I am looking for a reliable piece of kit that will show me depth and speed in real time. Am I looking for a fish finder?
I have a Mercury 420 with a jockey console.
I am not great with electrics so would it be best to have it fitted by a professional or is it quite easy to do?
What sort of price do I need to be looking at to get a decent product?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 14 August 2019, 04:13   #2
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Fish finder advice

Youre looking for a plotter/sounder combo. All the big names will have offerings to suit your purpose starting from around 300. Not difficult to fit if you can build an Ikea bookcase & wire a plug.
Here are a few for starters
http://www.cactusnav.com/chartplotte...c-1117_32.html
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Old 14 August 2019, 05:15   #3
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If you really only want basic depth/sonar view and speed then a fishfinder with GPS is the cheapest way to go. Like this Garmin which is a bargain at 119 inc the transducer...

https://www.force4.co.uk/garmin-stri...-with-gps.html

A smallish 3.5" screen though but you can go up the models to this with a better transducer, more facilities and 5" screen for 279...

https://www.force4.co.uk/garmin-stri...ml?sqr=garmin&

However if I was going to the trouble of mounting and wiring a unit I'd go for a plotter combo with mapping as PD mentions.

I have the previous but near identical version of this...

https://www.force4.co.uk/garmin-echo...r=garmin%2045&

Currently 320 but you will need a transducer on top around 50-140 extra depending on model.

I can't fault mine and it's been totally reliable over the past three years despite being exposed to the weather on a SIB and having the extra wear and tear being fitted then removed every outing as we daily set up.

I only mention Garmin as it's the range I have experience with... others prefer different makes.

Bit about when I bought and fitted it here...

Garmin 45DV chartplotter & transducer fit to SIB (Aerotec)
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Old 14 August 2019, 06:04   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikey Dave View Post
Youre looking for a plotter/sounder combo. All the big names will have offerings to suit your purpose starting from around 300. Not difficult to fit if you can build an Ikea bookcase & wire a plug.
Here are a few for starters
Cactus Navigation
Thanks for the advice
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Old 14 August 2019, 06:16   #5
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To address the ease of fitting, it will depend on your boat setup and how you want it to be mounted. If you are going to use the swivel bracket, wire it straight to an in console bracket and have over deck cables to the transom, it's an easy DIY job. A few holes for screws/cables in the console, run power to the battery, screw the transducer to the transom (with screw hole sealant!!!) and cable tie the cable to existing over deck ones.

It potentially gets more complicated from there. If you are flush mounting the screen in the console, then you need to cut the hole. If you have a fuse box then you need to wire to that instead of the battery. If you have under deck cables, you need to pull the transducer cable through etc. More time consuming and more potential to ruin a console, but not difficult. My plotter is also linked to my engine gauges and DSC radio, which took a little sorting out but again, all simple electrical connections and not hard to do. If you're a DIY novice, you will need to allow 3-6 hours, depending on complexity.

Phil M
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Old 14 August 2019, 10:16   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
If you really only want basic depth/sonar view and speed then a fishfinder with GPS is the cheapest way to go. Like this Garmin which is a bargain at 119 inc the transducer...

https://www.force4.co.uk/garmin-stri...-with-gps.html

A smallish 3.5" screen though but you can go up the models to this with a better transducer, more facilities and 5" screen for 279...

https://www.force4.co.uk/garmin-stri...ml?sqr=garmin&

However if I was going to the trouble of mounting and wiring a unit I'd go for a plotter combo with mapping as PD mentions.

I have the previous but near identical version of this...

https://www.force4.co.uk/garmin-echo...r=garmin%2045&

Currently 320 but you will need a transducer on top around 50-140 extra depending on model.

I can't fault mine and it's been totally reliable over the past three years despite being exposed to the weather on a SIB and having the extra wear and tear being fitted then removed every outing as we daily set up.

I only mention Garmin as it's the range I have experience with... others prefer different makes.

Bit about when I bought and fitted it here...

Garmin 45DV chartplotter & transducer fit to SIB (Aerotec)
Thanks for the advice, very helpful
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Old 14 August 2019, 10:18   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil M View Post
To address the ease of fitting, it will depend on your boat setup and how you want it to be mounted. If you are going to use the swivel bracket, wire it straight to an in console bracket and have over deck cables to the transom, it's an easy DIY job. A few holes for screws/cables in the console, run power to the battery, screw the transducer to the transom (with screw hole sealant!!!) and cable tie the cable to existing over deck ones.

It potentially gets more complicated from there. If you are flush mounting the screen in the console, then you need to cut the hole. If you have a fuse box then you need to wire to that instead of the battery. If you have under deck cables, you need to pull the transducer cable through etc. More time consuming and more potential to ruin a console, but not difficult. My plotter is also linked to my engine gauges and DSC radio, which took a little sorting out but again, all simple electrical connections and not hard to do. If you're a DIY novice, you will need to allow 3-6 hours, depending on complexity.

Phil M
Thanks for the helpful advice Phil
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Old 16 August 2019, 03:24   #8
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Everyone has their favourite brand but having seen various makes at two different RYA centres, on nine ribs and three other boats in total,, I think Garmin are the easiest to use and link together, so much so that Ive just replaced the Lowrance system on my own rib with Garmin. There are lots of different models but Id go for a combo. The price increases with larger screen sizes. Id go for the biggest that you can accommodate and afford.
Fitting is relatively easy as others have outlined.
Good luck and post what you end up doing if you can.
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Old 16 August 2019, 03:54   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil and Jane View Post
Everyone has their favourite brand but having seen various makes at two different RYA centres, on nine ribs and three other boats in total,, I think Garmin are the easiest to use and link together, so much so that Ive just replaced the Lowrance system on my own rib with Garmin. There are lots of different models but Id go for a combo. The price increases with larger screen sizes. Id go for the biggest that you can accommodate and afford.
Fitting is relatively easy as others have outlined.
Good luck and post what you end up doing if you can.
Like Phil & Jane I ditched the Lawrance system that came with the boat, in my case, because Lawrance wouldn't provide charts or updates for it.

Now I've got both Humminbird and Garmin systems and I definitely prefer the Humminbird.
The Garmin I have, has a few more features than the Humminbird but the Humminbird's display and sonar's performance, detail and "ability to hold bottom" (both have DI) far out strips the Garmin IMO. I also find the Garmin menu system very "clumsy" by comparison but that's maybe just me.

Just my preference.
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