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Looking to upgrade my charter plotter in the future, looking for opinions on best models/brands etc, being drawn to the Garminge but would like to see what people have, I will be using a through hull transducer.

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6 minutes ago, KennyPowers said:

Looking to upgrade my charter plotter in the future, looking for opinions on best models/brands etc, being drawn to the Garminge but would like to see what people have, I will be using a through hull transducer.

 

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Do you already have the transducer installed? If so, and assuming you want to keep it, the brand of plotter may be dictated by compatibility with your transducer. What transducer is it and what make is your existing plotter?

Also, what's your reason for upgrading? This will also influence the choice of brand to upgrade to.

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5 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

Do you already have the transducer installed? If so, and assuming you want to keep it, the brand of plotter may be dictated by compatibility with your transducer. What transducer is it and what make is your existing plotter?

Also, what's your reason for upgrading? This will also influence the choice of brand to upgrade to.

His reason for upgrading is because he realised that he could play Tetris and the worm game on my new one 

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I think Kenny has an older Garmin unit and fairly modern lower end raymarine unit that he would keep as it works well. 

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3 hours ago, KennyPowers said:

Looking to upgrade my charter plotter in the future, looking for opinions on best models/brands etc, being drawn to the Garminge but would like to see what people have, I will be using a through hull transducer.

These days they are all very similar because they all use the same technology !

It all comes down to which one you like the feel and smell of.

Personally, I like Garmin, and I have had Garmin products for years that have never let me down. I like the look of Raymarine, but I always felt the operating system was clunky and cumbersome, however, they might have changed all that now as the new operating system across the board for Raymarine is 'Lighthouse 4' which has had good reviews.

 

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Not quite true that they are all similar. If you look at the spec on that raymarine unit you will see it only has a res of 800 x 480 which is pretty low res on the down view, in fact its what sounders were 20yrs ago. If not being used in deep water or searching for fish then low res from the surface to the bottom is fine but for showing structure and fish detail at depth higher res screens will show fish that this unit will not. In comparison my Garmin has a res of 1920 x 1200 gpsmap 8410 as finding fish is more important for me. 

There was a big shift towards Garmin for both commercial and offshore game fishers over here. I use mostly Garmin and a few simrads on the boats I skipper commercially over here but the simrads are prone to shutting down and not so good with the touch screen at times. The rescue boats I used to be on were all fitted with Raymarine but 90% of their use was in charting not sonar.

Many transducers can be interchanged with either wiring adapters or cutting and changing plugs etc. Garmin have the largest choice in transducers and also the option of most airmar transducers to choose from s well as useful Garmin tutorials on YouTube.

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1 minute ago, JDP said:

Not quite true that they are all similar. If you look at the spec on that raymarine unit you will see it only has a res of 800 x 480 which is pretty low res on the down view, in fact its what sounders were 20yrs ago.

You and I would notice that, but 'Joe average' wouldn't 😉, and out in the Thames estuary they are lucky to see 20m depth ! 🤣

I never liked The RayMarine operating system, but I am fussy. Lowrance works well, but the kit has gotten flimsy in the last few years.

I quite like Koden kit, but it is heap expensive and uses 'C' Charts.

TBH Jon, if I had a boat with a wheelhouse, then I would be tempted to build my own rugged PC with commercial software, and use large flat screen displays.

 

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6 hours ago, GPSguru said:

These days they are all very similar because they all use the same technology !

It all comes down to which one you like the feel and smell of.

Personally, I like Garmin, and I have had Garmin products for years that have never let me down. I like the look of Raymarine, but I always felt the operating system was clunky and cumbersome, however, they might have changed all that now as the new operating system across the board for Raymarine is 'Lighthouse 4' which has had good reviews.

 

You are spot on with that, I watched a YouTube tutorial on the axiom 7 and the operating system was simple but fast, also was really customisable.

 

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10 hours ago, Andy135 said:

Do you already have the transducer installed? If so, and assuming you want to keep it, the brand of plotter may be dictated by compatibility with your transducer. What transducer is it and what make is your existing plotter?

Also, what's your reason for upgrading? This will also influence the choice of brand to upgrade to.

My original plotter is outdated, a lot of the buoys have been moved in river and do not show on my plotter in the correct locations, it’s also a bit clunky and lacks options, my current transducer is raymarine.  

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I like the one Jon c bought, only issues with it I see was inference due to transom mount transducer which I wouldn’t use anyway and if I’m honest it did seem a little slow on positioning, it might sound silly but I rely on the direction the boat is facing via the plotter for positioning myself on banks etc, sometimes it didn’t seem to catch up, and as a brand new unit I wouldn’t expect it to freeze up and need rebooting, although having said that johns fingers are so big that when the average person hits one button Jon hits 4 so it could be that.

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6 hours ago, GPSguru said:

TBH Jon, if I had a boat with a wheelhouse, then I would be tempted to build my own rugged PC with commercial software, and use large flat screen displays.

This is what Jersey Girl was fitted with originally, but I removed it all as it didn't work! The SS HDD had come loose and wouldn't boot up. Plus it was running 240v through an inverter, which I suspect may have been why my house regulator packed up.

Personally I'm a Lowrance fan - simple, fast OS and good quality touch-screens.

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5 minutes ago, KennyPowers said:

I like the one Jon c bought, only issues with it I see was inference due to transom mount transducer which I wouldn’t use anyway and if I’m honest it did seem a little slow on positioning, it might sound silly but I rely on the direction the boat is facing via the plotter for positioning myself on banks etc, sometimes it didn’t seem to catch up, and as a brand new unit I wouldn’t expect it to freeze up and need rebooting, although having said that johns fingers are so big that when the average person hits one button Jon hits 4 so it could be that.

If boat orientation is important you'll need an electronic compass/GPS sensor (e.g. the Lowrance Point-1 GPS module). Regular units like Jon's don't actually have a way to know the orientation of the boat - they infer it from the GPS heading, but that only works when moving. For example, you could be drifting banks with the bow pointing across the tide, but without the compass module the plotter will show your boat pointing downtide.

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39 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

If boat orientation is important you'll need an electronic compass/GPS sensor (e.g. the Lowrance Point-1 GPS module). Regular units like Jon's don't actually have a way to know the orientation of the boat - they infer it from the GPS heading, but that only works when moving. For example, you could be drifting banks with the bow pointing across the tide, but without the compass module the plotter will show your boat pointing downtide.

I’m struggling to get my Garmin to talk to my older autopilot, that has a flux gate compass so once I get them talking it should work more betterer. 

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42 minutes ago, Andy135 said:

If boat orientation is important you'll need an electronic compass/GPS sensor (e.g. the Lowrance Point-1 GPS module). Regular units like Jon's don't actually have a way to know the orientation of the boat - they infer it from the GPS heading, but that only works when moving. For example, you could be drifting banks with the bow pointing across the tide, but without the compass module the plotter will show your boat pointing downtide.

Ahh interesting to know, yes it is quite important to me, ironically my older plotter is very quick on direction, I will need to look into a package I guess, I’d like to think my in hull transducer will work on another raymarine product, I don’t want hassle I want plug and play.

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1 hour ago, KennyPowers said:

My current finder is a Dragonfly-5

Don't think the Dragonfly series are networkable, so it makes sense to replace with a plotter that can be connected to others for data sharing, such as charts, marks & GPS info. Networkable plotters are more expensive, but very worth it in my view.

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Running a shoot through transducer is no big deal and they aren’t overly expensive 

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3 hours ago, Andy135 said:

If boat orientation is important you'll need an electronic compass/GPS sensor (e.g. the Lowrance Point-1 GPS module). Regular units like Jon's don't actually have a way to know the orientation of the boat - they infer it from the GPS heading, but that only works when moving. For example, you could be drifting banks with the bow pointing across the tide, but without the compass module the plotter will show your boat pointing downtide.

That is all very well unless your electronic compass isn't spot on. Mine varies from accurate to about 20deg out depending on direction meaning the boat icon on the plotter often points a different direction to the one I am going in. I would much rather the icon direction was taken from the GPS direction which always agrees with the compass.

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1 minute ago, Gordmac said:

That is all very well unless your electronic compass isn't spot on. Mine varies from accurate to about 20deg out depending on direction meaning the boat icon on the plotter often points a different direction to the one I am going in. I would much rather the icon direction was taken from the GPS direction which always agrees with the compass.

Sounds like it might be worth doing the calibration procedure again Gord. +/- 20 deg is too much variation. The Point-1 unit is accurate to 3 degrees, for example. What model is yours?

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3 hours ago, Andy135 said:

This is what Jersey Girl was fitted with originally, but I removed it all as it didn't work! The SS HDD had come loose and wouldn't boot up. Plus it was running 240v through an inverter, which I suspect may have been why my house regulator packed up.

Personally I'm a Lowrance fan - simple, fast OS and good quality touch-screens.

There is no way a modern M2 2850 motherboard mounter SSD should come loose, it is screwed in. Also, there is no need to run at 24v.

TBF, it would have to be a very rugged build, which may make it quite an expensive project.

 

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3 hours ago, KennyPowers said:

it might sound silly but I rely on the direction the boat is facing via the plotter for positioning myself on banks etc,

Both JonD and myself are using Garmin panoptics transducers that have a built  in AHRS compass ( Automatic Heading Reference Sensor i.e. a magnetometer sensor), so yes, I can fully understand your need for this type of functionality.

When we are drifting it displays the boat icon in the correct orientation, irrespective of drift direction, which for me is quite helpful when drifting wrecks

 

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Just to add with point 1 as long is it is linked in the nmea network it will work on other units. I still have my old Lowrance point 1 which works with both my simrad and Garmin. 

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20 hours ago, GPSguru said:

Both JonD and myself are using Garmin panoptics transducers that have a built  in AHRS compass ( Automatic Heading Reference Sensor i.e. a magnetometer sensor), so yes, I can fully understand your need for this type of functionality.

When we are drifting it displays the boat icon in the correct orientation, irrespective of drift direction, which for me is quite helpful when drifting wrecks

 

Yes that’s exactly what I would want.

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