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First String
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
O.K Moma has given me a Christmas GPS $600.00 Budget.

I do coastal cruising and want to get as much as I can with that money. What to do???
Your suggestions?
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
Well, given that budget you are going to be looking at 5" plotters, from what I've seen you basically have a choice of Garmin, Lowrance or the Standard Horizon units for that sort of money. The Lowrance 5 is on a cracking deal at WM at the moment, transducer, Gold charts for under $450 plus taxes so you'd have a few bucks left over for other toys.
I liked the interface on it, I've tried several different manufacturers out and that Lowrance seemed the most obvious, followed by the Garmin with the SH just not seeming that easy. I also didn't like the little stick control on the SH.
I'm sure with some study of the manual they would all be fine. Pretty sure the Garmin and SH don't come with charts, or transducers if you want depth.
Haven't looked at the Hummingbird units, nor the smaller Raymarine which is on special at the moment but I think still out of your budget.
Best bet is to get yourself to a marine supplier and play with a few, see which one you like.
 

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First String
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Do I have to have a GPS antenna and a thru hull transducer to make these things work?
My Garmin 215 I use now is outdated but it has a white mushroom antenna mounted on hte back of the boat. How does it get the depth reading? it does have a memeory card in the unit. Do I need to update the card or do I have to buy a new card?
Can I update the old card and use it in a new unit?
Sorry for all the questions.
 

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Sailor
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928 Posts
The units most likely have an internal gps antenna and won't need that mushroom antenna. The units that measure depth will come with another transducer. If you have a depth sounder already, I really don't see the major benefit for installing the chartplotter's. I believe that chartplotters that come with depth transducers typically are for finding fish. I would save $$ by buying a plotter without that feature but then I don't fish.

Tod
 

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Sailor
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928 Posts
You might be able to network them. You can also check on each units website to see compatible transducers. As far as details about how to do that, you need to review the documentation, often located on-line, for the unit.

Tod
 

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8,475 Posts
I like the Lowrance Elite series plotters if one is looking for a standalone plotter or plotter/depth combo- great value for the money, especially pre-loaded with navionics charts- it saves a substantial amount of cash.
Lowrance Elite-5m HD Gold Chartplotter

I know, it is only NMEA 0183, but if you are looking for a capable standalone, not trying to link it to the rest of your electronics suite, it is more than enough.
I have had one aboard for 5 seasons, and have zero complaints.
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
And until Sunday, it's under $400 at WM,with Gold card and a transducer, pretty unbeatable deal I think. I'm quite tempted myself.
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
I have 8.4" of chartplotting doolally at the moment, not sure I could go as small as 4" and still be able to actually see it from the helm. 5" is pushing it, the 7 would be better. Anyway, I am not spending any more money on the boat this year. Repeat. I am not spending any more money on the boat this year. Although I wouldn't mind a traveller that is actually usable. And genoa tracks. And some new sails.
 

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First String
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
echoMAP 50s GPS. With the Off shore G2 Chart
And A thru-hull Transducer?


The guy at west marine said my st50 transducer I have now "would not work". They want $179.00 for the bronze transducer they sell.
What a shame. I just want a good 5" unit that I can see the bottom and nav-aids It would be nice if it couse use the data from the 5 transducers I have already mounted for the Autohelm stuff.
Bumer. Whats a man to do.
 

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ltg, I and others have had good success with simply hull-potting the transom mount transducer that many chartplotter-sounder combos include. If the hull isn't cored, it will work fine shooting through the hull. Another plus for the lowrance elite gold series- everything you need is included- just plug and play. no chips or transducers to buy.
 

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Old enough to know better
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4,344 Posts
I like the Lowrance Elite series plotters if one is looking for a standalone plotter or plotter/depth combo- great value for the money, especially pre-loaded with navionics charts- it saves a substantial amount of cash.
Lowrance Elite-5m HD Gold Chartplotter

I know, it is only NMEA 0183, but if you are looking for a capable standalone, not trying to link it to the rest of your electronics suite, it is more than enough.
I have had one aboard for 5 seasons, and have zero complaints.
Well since the origial budget is 600, this looks good:

Lowrance Elite-7M Gold $584 with free shipping

Lowrance Elite-7m Chartplotter Gold

It is NMEA2000 and 7 inch. I am not familiar with Digital Oasis but they have a 9.8 out of 10 on Resellers ratings with a 112 reviews.
 

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First String
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Looks like a great unit Paul,
I just want to be able to use my Autohelm ST4000 with the unit I buy. I want to be able to plott a course on the GPS and have the Autohelm follow it while I sleep?

thing the elete GPS will connect up?
 

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Old enough to know better
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If the Autohelm ST4000 is Nema 2000 it should, but I am not sure. It can get complicated getting the different standards talking and can sometimes work, sometimes not.
 

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First String
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868 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I found this researching the web for answers.


Connect your Navman NMEA Out (+) to the Autohelm NMEA In (+). Connect the NMEA Out (-) on the GPS to the electrical (-) of the autopilot, (NOT the NMEA (-)). Configure your GPS to talk NMEA 183. Set a course on your GPS, Sail that course. Hit (Track) on the Autopilot. Watch out for other boats. Good luck Steve Alchemist #909 p.s. The Raynav ST-4000 manual tells you all of this. You may need to cousult the Navman manual for the colors of the wires. It will be fun finding the right size terminals to connect the
two.

Is this corect information?

Is there differnent versions of 0183? like veirsions 3 and V3.01?
 

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Remember you're a womble
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2,328 Posts
NMEA0183 stuff is usually pretty easy to get to talk to other NMEA0183 stuff, most of the time just wire it up and you're off, default speeds are normally 4800 for everything aside from AIS which runs at 38400. I haven't played with NMEA2000 stuff but I think it's similarly straightforward.
 
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