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Old 26 December 2020, 17:19   #1
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Chart plotter recommendations

Looking for recommendations for a chart plotter.
Have space for a flush mount 7” or 9” display, looking for a GPS/chart function don’t have a need for fishfinders.

Not looking to spend a fortune, Garmin GPSMAP or Raymarine Axiom unit looks reasonable.

I might want to upgrade later to AIS in the unit, but probably unlikely!

Added bonus would be if it will interface via NMEA to my Mercury outboard to display engine parameters

Welcome any views
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Old 26 December 2020, 18:07   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjohnson View Post
Looking for recommendations for a chart plotter.
Have space for a flush mount 7Ē or 9Ē display, looking for a GPS/chart function donít have a need for fishfinders.

Not looking to spend a fortune, Garmin GPSMAP or Raymarine Axiom unit looks reasonable.

I might want to upgrade later to AIS in the unit, but probably unlikely!

Added bonus would be if it will interface via NMEA to my Mercury outboard to display engine parameters

Welcome any views
I have no experience of anything else but the Axiom units were by far the best value last summer and work very well.

The AIS integration is very good.

Iím not sure if the deals are still available now that the Axiom +ís are out, maybe give Hudson marine a call as they will beat any other price.

To integrate with a Merc engine you will either need a Mercmonitor gauge or I think if I was doing it again Iíd buy one of these: https://www.yachtd.com/products/engine_gateway.html
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Old 27 December 2020, 00:43   #3
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After 25 yrs of being with lowrance I recently moved over to Garmin and so far very happy with the 8410.
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Old 27 December 2020, 17:29   #4
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I bought a simrad go7 exe. Flush mount, touch screen and access to n2k backbones and instrument monitor.

Nice bit of kit and didnít break the bank
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Old 27 December 2020, 19:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonp View Post
After 25 yrs of being with lowrance I recently moved over to Garmin and so far very happy with the 8410.
Hi jonp

I moved the other way Garmin to Lowrance, sorry I did.
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Old 27 December 2020, 23:48   #6
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Hi jonp

I moved the other way Garmin to Lowrance, sorry I did.
If you have tried dealing with Lowrance here lately you will know why I moved to Garmin. Garmin also seem to be less glitchy and work really well in deep water (talking about beyond the continental shelf). The 1900x1200 screen resolution gives far better fish and structure finding detail.
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Old 28 December 2020, 02:44   #7
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I've got limited experience as I went down the Garmin route due to having a Garmin on my motorbike. I like the Homeport software which enables you to plan a route and then export it to your chart plotter. I've always found the Garmin support very good as well.

I expect most will be NMEA 2K compliant so adding a network will be relatively straightforward if you want to add AIS later on. I don't know anything about interfacing with a Mercury outboard.
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Old 28 December 2020, 14:26   #8
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We had all Lowrance units on our boat but the units were getting old so we looked at the space we had on the console and decided we could get a 9 inch screen fitted flush as well as a smaller older Garmin Echomap 50s unit to go alongside. We intended to use the smaller unit for a small scale view of the general area and the newer 9” one for the large scale detailed view. We went for the Garmin 922XS for the main view and connected the sonar to that unit. We stripped out all the electrics and put a new NMEA spine in. The new units simply plug into the spine and all the engine data, music, mobile phone text messages, WhatsApp messages, AIS via the VHF unit etc can be displayed on the main chart plotter. We are really pleased with it. The touchscreen can be difficult in very bumpy seas but we try to leave it alone in those conditions as the chart centres itself. The only downside was that the older Echomap couldn’t be linked into the spine but Garmin units have an inbuilt GPS so it’s not an issue. The updates for the G3 Vision charts are very easy to do by an app on your mobile. I know other makes of Chartplotter are just as good, it is just that we use Garmin units a lot on Club Safety Boats and we find them very easy to use.
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Old 29 December 2020, 09:16   #9
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I would recommend a unit with physical buttons. Touch screens are really hard to use while in choppy conditions. A unit with both buttons and touch screen is the best. At the dock the touch screen is superior but while driving buttons are superior.

I bought a Garmin last year and I like it overall but the only thing I don't like is plotting and saving courses is quite annoying. The active captain mobile app is junk too.
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Old 29 December 2020, 20:40   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babbot1 View Post
I would recommend a unit with physical buttons. Touch screens are really hard to use while in choppy conditions. A unit with both buttons and touch screen is the best. At the dock the touch screen is superior but while driving buttons are superior.

I bought a Garmin last year and I like it overall but the only thing I don't like is plotting and saving courses is quite annoying. The active captain mobile app is junk too.
Hi babbot1
I'm a geriatric and as thick as a brick.
If you think Garmin plotting and saving a course is difficult, don't buy a Lowrance I think they have a copyright on difficulty.

Garmin, plug your unit into your computer, sit back with a beer (optional), open "Home Port" plan a route and transfer it to your GPS unit.

I can't see anything that could be easier.
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Old 30 December 2020, 07:18   #11
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The Garmin echomap 65cv represents very good value over here, not sure on the price in the UK. This model tends to come bundled with a transducer and G3 mapping.
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Old 30 December 2020, 07:46   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Pete View Post
Hi babbot1
I'm a geriatric and as thick as a brick.
If you think Garmin plotting and saving a course is difficult, don't buy a Lowrance I think they have a copyright on difficulty.

Garmin, plug your unit into your computer, sit back with a beer (optional), open "Home Port" plan a route and transfer it to your GPS unit.

I can't see anything that could be easier.
I haven't tried home port, I will try it in the Spring.

Once you figure out the logic to their screen navigation it isn't awful but I am an IT Developer so if things aren't done well, it's annoying.

I am looking into a small unit for a small rib and stumbled across Vexilar. They make a wifi transducer that you use with a phone or tablet. Its a lot cheaper, if you have a phone or tablet, and it integrates with Navionics. Not sure how good they work but reviews seem positive.

Thanks
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Old 30 December 2020, 17:01   #13
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A few new Garmin models being launched now, already seeing a drop on older models over here.
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Old 03 January 2021, 13:37   #14
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I've been very happy with my Garmin 751.
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Old 20 January 2021, 21:09   #15
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I would avoid the Axiom

Upgraded my RIB 3 years ago with a 9 inch Raymarine Axiom and a compatible VHF radio. The Raymarine replaced an older Garmin system. After 2 years of use I augmented the Axiom with a Garmin GPSMap 942xs. The decision was not made lightly.

The actual hardware of the Axiom is very well made, I would go as far as saying it is excellent. The issues are with the software. There are two categories of issues, stability of Operating System and buggy or poorly implemented features.

Stability Issues
The Axiom chart plotters just crash now and again. It crashed often enough that I could not count on the plotter and it was dangerous. I augmented the Axiom with a Garmin GPSMap 942XS. The Garmin has never crashed.

Buggy features
Some features of the Axiom just don't work properly. The core navigation features have been sorted over the last couple of years. However features related to fuel management are still not functioning correctly.

Engine features from the NMEA2000 network are still not working reliably. As a contrast, the Garmin 942xs plugged in and worked immediately. It just feels as the people writing the Axiom software have never actually been on a boat.

Raymarine has been working on correcting the problems with the Axiom. The overall performance is much better today than 3 years ago. They issue software patches on a regular basis. However, the last software update could not be installed because I had not updated my charts in 14 months..... Essentially they want me to purchase new charts, that I do not need, so that I can download bug fixes that I do need.

This year, the Axiom is going in the garbage and will be replaced by a second Garmin 942xs that will be dedicated for engine instrumentation, and a hot backup in case of failure. Having the Garmin connected to my outboard has been really useful in managing fuel burn and optimizing fuel consumption.

I would never buy a Raymarine product again. Garmin is not perfect, but they make a solid product with excellent charts.
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Old 22 January 2021, 08:58   #16
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Welcome to the forum - interesting first post.
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Old 22 January 2021, 09:26   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theOldMan View Post
.....Garmin is not perfect, but they make a solid product with excellent charts.
FYI Garmin now own Navionics. I always found the Garmin charts a bit ďfisher priceĒ tbh.
I also had a poor experience with Raymarine, never again. They have excellent customer service, but unfortunately need it due to the unreliable (in my experience) kit.
Iím firmly in the Navico/Lowrance camp, especially if you want to go down the NMEA2000 route.
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Old 22 January 2021, 12:44   #18
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Click image for larger version

Name:	75c7a600-4ade-426d-94f0-1b70511d82e3.jpg
Views:	70
Size:	165.8 KB
ID:	136126

This is my set up works very well and super happy with the integration with Mercury via Vessel View Link

Got both Navionics and C-Map; tend to use the former only as used to it. Navico people excellent to deal with
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Old 22 January 2021, 18:18   #19
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Attachment 136126

This is my set up works very well and super happy with the integration with Mercury via Vessel View Link

Got both Navionics and C-Map; tend to use the former only as used to it. Navico people excellent to deal with


Looking good Rick
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