Re: Christmas GPS $600.00 Budget
NMEA 2000 is even easier than NMEA 0183 in my experience. It is a lot easier to expand the network.
At $600 you are just getting to the price point where NMEA integration is an option. Check units and manuals carefully if you want that feature.
I do find the fish finder view useful when anchoring. It gives you a pretty good understanding of bottom conditions that is difficult to get with just a depth finder number.
Depth transducers are often compatible between brands if you can figure out the wiring. Airmar makes the transducers for everyone and documents the wiring for almost all brands. A 200khz transducer is the most common.
I'm no longer participating on SailNet.