A New Adventurer
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Grand Rapids MI
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I have been looking at similar set-ups, HDS-7m with the broadband radar, Garmin 740 gps along with the 18 HD radar, and Raymarine's new e7 with the standard radar. All run about the same, but the radar and charts is what is hard for me to figure out.
I really like the idea of the low power draw on the Lowrance HDS-7 (9.6w with backlight and 4.8w without) and broadband radar (only 18w in use and 2w standby) so I can leave this on all the time without worry. Also, of course up close detail is great, but long range falls off quickly.
The way I see it, if I'm actually able to keep this radar on 24/7, the chances of me seeing something before it hits me is greater than the extra range of the other radars if they are not being turned on for fear of using up the battery. Will the extra 48 amps a day of the other units kill me? Unfortunately, until I'm actually out there sailing for extended offshore trips, I'm not really sure if my power fears are valid. I have a 450 amp hour bank with 475 watts of solar. I have a good estimate what the autopilot, refrigeration, navigation lights, and radar will use, but unsure how much my solar will produce when out in the ocean.
The Garmin HD radar seems the best balance of long and short distance beam with the 4kw 18", but their radar uses double the power of the Lowrance system. Also, with the needed charts, Garmin is the higher priced vs the Lowrance and Navionics charts. The 740 will not do radar overlays which is something I would like.
The Raymarine is the most interesting chartplotter out now, but once you factor in the needed charts, the price is much more. To get their HD unit, you spend almost double what the Garmin and Lowrance runs. They only come with Navionics silver charts, and from what I hear, those charts are not too useful. I do like the idea of using my Iphone anywhere on the boat and being able to see the radar and charts in real time, so I may still go this way.
It’s fall here and the boat is going away for the winter. As it stands, I’m waiting until spring to see if Raymarine comes out with a broadband unit and if anyone else does anything interesting.
To answer your question two and three... yes. I'm not sure on your heading sensor, but if it's not a 10hz unit, the radar overlay features wont work. I'm going with the KVH autocomp 1000.
1989 Sabre 34II Targa
Last edited by funjohnson; 10-04-2011 at 10:23 AM.