Join Date: Jul 2001
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I would consider on a new 350 the following: Purchase the ST60 package with the 5000+ or 6001+ autopilot all installed. Then on the aftermarket, purchase the Microwave ($69.00 retail, $262 Catalina option), TV/DVD/VCR, VHF w/RAM Mic, Radome, Chartplotter, Bimni, stereo and so forth. Don''t get the cockpit table as it is very expensive and defeats the very spacious cockpit on the 350.
Get a reputable person/company to install the electronics. You can also explain to your dealer what and why you are doing. There are arguments obviously. (I have made em'' myself). Your dealer should also work out a deal with you just to install the equipment.
You will save thousands and thousands of dollars.
There is so much profit in these options. Not that they are not entitled to make a living, but I must say as a dealer, I look at the prices the manufactures charge for these items and it drives me crazy. My best customers are those who are well educated and do their research before making purchases.
I work closely with RayMarine, Garmin, Furno etc... Theses folks provide a very high level of service to the end user through the sales process in terms of appropriately equipping the boat and it continues on after the sale. Find exactly what you want, then go out and get your best price from an authorized dealer. A new boat is expensive enough as it is. Let Catalina or whoever make their money on what they do best, building a boat. You will have more money in the bank at the end of your transaction for the boat... Thousands more. It is also a fun time shopping for your new boat on your own. Using the Internet, BoatUS West Marine, Sailnet and so forth. You will develop good relationships with these folks and that is also important for a boat owner as you know. (Don''t be afraid to ask for the VERY best price. They want you as a customer for the long term as well).