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Old 29 October 2014, 07:30   #1
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Which GPS/Plotter and radio for circa 700 - max 1k?

500 ish for GPS 200 ish for DSC radio if possible. Total not over 1k. Cheaper the better but not a false economy.

Flush mounted. Water proof as possible. Fair size screen and ease of use key. Used for going round N Wales coast and possibly across to Isle of man/East coast Ireland. (We have chart card for this area on the Navman)

I have no idea what's on the market and as we use it generally for just seeing where the hard and shallow bits are, the technical aspects of navigation options and route planning are less important.

Radio needs to be DSC for emergency.

Any recommendation on brands and model.

We have had a navman combo up to now, but both have died. Hopefully those members that boat "a lot more" than we do, and go "a lot further" can help, rather than extract the urine as to "Why does a cardinal bouy need a radio and GPS?".

So:
Raymarine a series 5.7" without sonar/downview
Lowrance HDS 7m Gen2 touch

Touch screen or buttons? any views
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Old 29 October 2014, 09:45   #2
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You've not mentioned a depth finder? If you already have a standalone unit of a similar vintage to the Navman kit, I'd plan for it's demise too.

My pick for you based on budget and usage would be:

VHF: Standard Horizon 1700 Explorer. Has built in GPS and so only requires a power cable - no networking. From a safety point of view - it's idea for the Olds. If the radio is on, it has a GPS position loaded and is ready for a DSC alert at all times. It will take waypoints too, so if you plan ahead, you can set up a route on it. 190

Plotter/sounder: IMO, you'd be nuts to pass up on the sounder option so the Lowrance Elite 7 HDI - a good big screen in a useful format, good to run a split screen on. Has NMEA2000 so would be handy to add an AIS receiver in the future if you felt the need. c/w transducer at 580

Plotter needs a chart. Treat yourself to a Navionics Gold - UK & Ireland for 175

Over the line at 945
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Old 29 October 2014, 09:57   #3
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Which GPS/Plotter and radio for circa 700 - max 1k?

Cheers Willk. Useful info. I like the autonomous radio.

Yep we have a fairly old and the black and White Sea bottom/fish is fairly basic, but it shows depth,what more do we need.
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Old 29 October 2014, 10:51   #4
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but it shows depth,what more do we need.
IMO nothing - I certainly wouldn't remove it unless you need the space. That said, I wouldn't buy a standalone plotter in your case either. Think of it as forward proofing... Mind you, if you're Kernytite - there's a plotter only version for a whole 155 less
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Old 29 October 2014, 14:31   #5
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IMO nothing - I certainly wouldn't remove it unless you need the space. That said, I wouldn't buy a standalone plotter in your case either. Think of it as forward proofing... Mind you, if you're Kernytite - there's a plotter only version for a whole 155 less

LOL I'm now worried as that's exactly where I got to. The plotter only and a twinned low ranch vhf, but the latter swapped for the horizon could be good.
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Old 29 October 2014, 18:41   #6
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A point to ponder...

I thought all VHF's were by and large the same within any particular brand and the variations were really subtleties and styling, with e.g. big screens for those mounting far away or with poor eyesight. I recently acquired a big screen VHF a bit like this:

I bought it because it was cheap (living up to stereotypes!), but there are a number of nice features - like repeating direction to waypoint features, which is probably not that useful if you are buying a shiny new plotter too BUT it can also navigate to the source of a DSC distress message, or a position sent from a friend - both those features strike me as really useful in a small open boat although I've not used them in anger. The repeater for the plotter heading etc. may itself be useful anyway if you have a navigator and helmsman both able to view screens.

Now you mention crossing the Irish Sea. One of the worries on a trip like that is fog. I'm not normally persuaded on the benefits of AIS on small boats, but something like this which provides that too might be interesting:


Of course there are ways to get all this onto the plotter too - but that will depend on the exact spec of both pieces of hardware and how they are connected.
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Old 30 October 2014, 05:46   #7
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Cheers Poly, useful info particularly if we don't go the plotter route.

Agreed re fog too.
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Old 30 October 2014, 12:15   #8
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Cheers Poly, useful info particularly if we don't go the plotter route.

Agreed re fog too.
If I'd known that you went out in fog, I'd have suggested upping the ante on the VHF to the full DSC,GPS,AIS model at around 300 but dropping back to a more basic NMEA 1830 plotter, maybe a 5" screen - look at a Garmin with charts included maybe? There's a tad more wiring faff so less time at the bar, but if you know where you're going anyway.... meh!

I'd still fit a sounder/plotter tho
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Old 30 October 2014, 15:12   #9
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HP, whichever make / model you go for, try and get to see one before you splash any cash and as far as the depth bit goes, when we fitted the Garmin 4008 I took the advice of someone who knew much better than me and went for a in hull transducer which has been brilliant, gives reasonably accurate depths at speed, which the previous transom mounted Navman failed to do at anything over planning speed only other comment I'd make is the bigger the screen you can afford the better, makes it much easier to see, especially for us oldies
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Old 30 October 2014, 16:46   #10
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HP, whichever make / model you go for, try and get to see one before you splash any cash
I'm also in the market for a new plotter and DSC fixed radio, have a good idea what I want, but am finding it VERY difficult to get hands-on with any kit. Since Mailspeed Marine departed from Warrington a few years ago, we're not blessed with many 'leisure-oriented' marine electronics outlets here in the North West.

The one big Marine Electronics outlet in North Wales is willing to rig up the particular plotter I'm interested in so I can have a 'fiddle' provided I can give them a few days' notice but if, for whatever reason, I'm not happy with it or wish to have a look at something else, it will be a faff for them to rig up alternatives.

It seems the boat shows are the only place where you can get hands-on with any kit these days?

I might have to cancel my visit from Santa this year and trek down to the (previously dire) boat show at London's Excel in the New Year unless anyone can tell me where I can get up close and personal with some leisure-oriented marine electronics within 50 miles of Liverpool?
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