GPS/Fishfinder Suggestions?

ezzriderezzrider Posts: 75 Greenhorn

Looking for a GPS that can chart and be a fish finder. Thinking about the Garmin 54cv. Need navigational guidance first, fish ID secondary. Going to have is built into a new Tritoon Console. New to Saltwater boating but long time freshwater. Need something to help keep me out of trouble and help with directions in areas I do not know.

Replies

  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 603 Officer

    Lowrance or Simrad.....I came from the freshwater world about a year and half ago. I fish the 10K islands and cant imagine the **** i would have torn up without my FMT card. Hands down money well spent.
    Heres a link to alittle discussion about it. http://forums.floridasportsman.com/discussion/250554/choko-s-turn-gps-track#latest

    Jason :USA
  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,073 Captain

    Go to BOE marine. Contact Jim or 1 of the others. Tell them your specifics. They will give you some close recommendations whether you buy (they have very competitive prices) from them or not.

    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • austjjaustjj Posts: 45 Greenhorn

    I have Lowrance at dash HDS 5 2nd. I just added Garmin 840xs with maps, and a Garmin 73dv with GT22 transducer. I also have Garmin 54DV as well. All have salt and freshwater maps. Message me if you wish, gl in your search

  • Knot LeftKnot Left Posts: 72 Greenhorn

    @austjj said:
    I have Lowrance at dash HDS 5 2nd. I just added Garmin 840xs with maps, and a Garmin 73dv with GT22 transducer. I also have Garmin 54DV as well. All have salt and freshwater maps. Message me if you wish, gl in your search

    Based on the OPs needs, no way your equipment would work very well for him if he is running inshore around the SE. Maybe if he is running up in NY or something its different. But that unit runs some of the worst charts you can get and they are famous for showing your boat on land when its floating. They may look cool but they are really bad on accuracy and detail and provide zero in the way of clear navigation info.

  • Rich MRich M Posts: 886 Officer

    Bass Pro has a decent sale coming up - check out the flier. You shouldn't have to spend a lot since you just want to run around with a pontoon. Remember that the hurricanes change the sandbars and such - the chips don't get upgraded after every hurricane.

  • 1outlaw1outlaw Naples FLPosts: 603 Officer

    @Rich M said:
    Bass Pro has a decent sale coming up - check out the flier. You shouldn't have to spend a lot since you just want to run around with a pontoon. Remember that the hurricanes change the sandbars and such - the chips don't get upgraded after every hurricane.

    BPS never has competitive prices even on sales. BBG marine is where i shop for electronics!

    Jason :USA
  • mikenavmikenav Posts: 631 Officer

    Navionics is running a deal where if you buy certain plotters (Helix 5 or 7, Lowrance Elite Ti 7 or 9, Hook 5, 7, or 9; Axiom 9, Dragonfly 4 Pro and 5 Pro or a Simrad Go 5, 7 or 9) you can get $50 off a Navionics + Regions card, which makes it $99. That might help with both issues

  • ezzriderezzrider Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    Thanks to all. I went with the Garmin 54cv. That is what the boat dealer had in stock, what he had on his boat and highly recommended. The research I did looks like this is a good unit. It was one that fit to be installed in the console dash on my new pontoon boat. In the past I got email notifications when people responded to my thread. How to I get them again.

  • Skinny RunningSkinny Running Posts: 66 Greenhorn

    Good luck with it. I think you will likely regret that choice pretty quickly and find yourself in the same boat (no pun intended) as may other former garmin users who found the charts a complete disaster with no alternative options. Most of those ended up spending twice as much to get something that could provide better information. Ask me how I know. Now if you are OK seeing your boat running on your gps in the treetops when you are cruising down some river or shoreline, you might be totally OK with it.

  • SaltygatorvetSaltygatorvet TallahasseePosts: 1,938 Captain

    @Skinny Running said:
    Good luck with it. I think you will likely regret that choice pretty quickly and find yourself in the same boat (no pun intended) as may other former garmin users who found the charts a complete disaster with no alternative options. Most of those ended up spending twice as much to get something that could provide better information. Ask me how I know. Now if you are OK seeing your boat running on your gps in the treetops when you are cruising down some river or shoreline, you might be totally OK with it.

    Garmin bought navionics a few months ago. I would think those problems will be solved

    You should have been here yesterday
  • ezzriderezzrider Posts: 75 Greenhorn

    @Saltygatorvet said:

    @Skinny Running said:
    Good luck with it. I think you will likely regret that choice pretty quickly and find yourself in the same boat (no pun intended) as may other former garmin users who found the charts a complete disaster with no alternative options. Most of those ended up spending twice as much to get something that could provide better information. Ask me how I know. Now if you are OK seeing your boat running on your gps in the treetops when you are cruising down some river or shoreline, you might be totally OK with it.

    Garmin bought navionics a few months ago. I would think those problems will be solved

    Well crap! Was told flowing recommendations by the boat dealer selling me the boat and installing the GPS in dash who has the same exact one on his boat as well as others who work at his shop. Did you have the Garmin 54cv and use in the central Florida West Coast around Tampa Bay to Crystal River?

  • Skinny RunningSkinny Running Posts: 66 Greenhorn

    There are lots of dealers out there that are more interested in pushing a brand than being totally honest about the pros and cons of each and trying to find the best unit for a customer based on their individual needs. Ask your dealer what specific advantages there are to that unit vs. any of the others that cost the same. The truth is there are none. You will probably hear.. well the user interface is better. That is just user preference and you hear it all of the time. I ran both and found minor differences but did not find one to be all that much better than another once you learn it. All of the touch screens are very similar in terms of ease of use once you learn the organization after a trip or two. If you are fishing the West Coast of Florida and not heading way out in the blue water, unfortunately for you your Garmin runs probably the worst chart you can get and there are no options to that. Perhaps your dealer likes his because he only runs way out in the ocean and is not aware of how bad it is close to land. Who knows but the bad advice is all over the place. Even right here in this forum where there are dealers trolling for business every day routinely doing the same thing as your dealer recommending that same unit as great for boaters just like you. I also see them recommending touch screen only units all of the time for smaller open boats when there are so many other units that have the same capabilities but also with buttons doing away with the problems of touch only units. As for Garmin now owning Navionics, the navionics map is a little better for sure but its not by much. It has plenty of problems too but it would be better than Garmin. Both of the maps have a long history of bad press about their map issues. Its easy to find and read it for yourself. But I would not hold your breath waiting around for Garmin to start running any alternative map on it. It could be years if it ever happens. Its a really bad feeling to spend a couple thousand and get out there and look at your gps and what you are looking at is pretty much useless to poor for so many areas. I would tell your dealer to lose the garmin and get a Navico unit. Perhaps a Simrad NSS or a Lowarance Elite Ti or HDS unit. At least with one of those you will have the most flexibility you can get with no disadvantage. A raymarine could also work and would be better for you than garmin.

  • Skinny RunningSkinny Running Posts: 66 Greenhorn

    @Saltygatorvet said:
    Garmin bought navionics a few months ago. I would think those problems will be solved

    I would not spend a couple of thousand on a machine and installation hoping that might happen sometime. It would be an ill advised assumption to make and why take a chance when you don't have to? The chances are if it does happen it won't be any time soon. Its a good unit but does nothing any better than any others that cost the same. I loved my garmin machine but had to get rid of it as I found the vision chart they make provided virtually no useful info to me other than what my gps coordinates were and the sat overlay totally sucked. That is just the truth of it. I made the same mistake as the OP and it cost me twice as much to fix it.

  • ResinheadResinhead Posts: 8,858 Admiral

    I've had Garmin products for years. About 7 different units. Last year I went to Simrad and could not be more pleased.

  • jordinejordine flPosts: 17 Greenhorn
    I recommend the Simrad Go series. They are very reliable and easy to use.

  • MaineRidaMaineRida Posts: 147 Deckhand
    Any thoughts on the Lowrance Elite 9 Ti? Looked at in the shop and it looks promising.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,476 Moderator
    edited March 5 #18
    Not to worry. I have had Garmin for many years, I have two on one of my boats now  best service in the industry. I started using them in the 80`s on Lake Erie And Lake Ontario and down here around 1986.
      There a lot of good brands on the market and they are getting better all the time. Have fun enjoy your purchase, learn to use all the features it has.
    larrywitt 
  • avmechavmech Posts: 1,252 Officer
    Ran away from Garmin about 14 years ago because of their joke Blue Charts always showing me about 150 yards east of my actual location. Running Lowrance/Navionics since with no issues. 
    Joined: Oct 7 2002
    Member #10822
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 298 Deckhand
    I also have Garmin 54cv.No problem with 
    screen but they have a 10' transducer.It
    was causing such terbulence it was spraying
    water on the trim tab switch on my Yamaha.
       So moved directly in front of motor,there is
    a pocket under the livewell where the 
    transducer fit nicely.

  • ezzriderezzrider Posts: 75 Greenhorn
    Well guess I am stuck for now with the Garmin 54cv that the dealer installed on my boat.  Wish I had more time before purchasing the boat to get the great comments here on the forum. So far I have only used in our lake as going through the first 20 hours breakin on Yamaha F150XB.  Then out to salt water probably Tarpon Springs north to Crystal River.  Having some issues learning how to use the unit.  There are a lot of options.  The display is very bright and clear.  Of course the only reason I got this was to help me navigate, not run aground, find my way out and back.  New to saltwater boating but decades freshwater boating.  Have always used Hummingbird depth finders on my freshwater fishing boats.  I do not intend on going way out in the gulf mostly nearer shore and islands.  

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