Chart plotter recommendations

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Russ
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Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

My Garmin chart plotter may be toast.

So I’m looking for recommendations.

What do you like and why?

Needs are simple. Good inland lake charts and simple depths.
--Russ
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Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

Follow up question. Are transducers universal?

I currently have a garmin unit. Will it work if I change brands
--Russ
pitchpolehobie
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by pitchpolehobie »

https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/592921/pn/010-01885-05

Garmin echomap 44. Its not touchscreen. It has buttons to navigate screen options, that could be a pain for more advanced users who do more in depth course plots than for my Ohio lakes and Erie

I got this from cabelas. Use it for inland US lakes. The charts they have seem more accurate than the ones the state supplies. It has the great lakes as well and has worked very well for me.


I recommend getting the cover as well to protect the screen when the display unit isnt attached. https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/598127
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Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

I'm leaning towards the Garmin Echomap because I like Garmin products.

Changing the transducer could be a PITA.
--Russ
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Be Free
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Be Free »

Transducers are sort of standard but their connectors are often not. Check the specs on the old plotter to see what transducers (frequency) it supported and see if the new one supports the same (Garmin) transducer. Sticking to the same vendor will probably be less painful. Good luck.
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Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

So I bought a Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv.

I like the improved docking vs. my GPSmap440s that I had to unscrew the connectors each time I left the boat. That's a plus.
The maps seem to be in great detail. I bought a map SD card for my 440s to get more detail. This puppy out of the box has detail down to my slip (in panning mode as I'm at home bench testing).

Now.... Transducers.

This thing has a massive wide angle transducer. Not compatible with my existing trans.

What to do?

For now....I think I'll mount this long 12" long transducer off my ballast valve with a hose clamp. Seems easy to do. Run the cable up to the pedistal. The boat is in the water so access is limited.

Long term...I really hate transducers off the transom. Makes aft beaching not possible.

Here's my question. Can I mount the wide angle CHIRP transducer INSIDE the hull? I really don't care about the fish finder wide angle stuffs. But if it gives me good depth INSIDE the hull in a bed of caulk like I've done in the past, that might be a good long term solution. THEN, I could beach the boat aft to shore again without worry of ripping off the trans.
--Russ
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Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

So I finally installed this Chartplotter (on sale for $300 off). Fits the mount for my garmin 440s so no new holes on the ped.

I tried a new transducer technique. Found it on youtube. I bedded the transducer in this "putty" stuff. Right INSIDE of the hull.

https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bender-D ... B00689V41G

Results:

First attempt: Got a reading of 17' in the slip. So I assumed all was good. That was it. No other readings.

So...I moved it to OUTSIDE the ballast tank "tubes" in the aft berth. Bedded the "caulk stuff" and then sank the transducer into it. Woala!!! I'm getting depths! I simply moved the "caulk" stuff to outside the ballast and now I'm getting readings of over 150' from thist thing. YAY!!!

I'm sure I can move the "caullk" stuffs easily if I need to. Nothing is permanent and the ducer is working great. I was willing to do my silicone caulk trick but this is easier and less permanent.

The transducer is capable of side view and some fancy stufs that I don't care about. Maybe if I mold the caulk it would work better.

But this is a success. Not silicone caulk. Easy to remove. WORKS!

And the chartplotter looks amazing.
Last edited by Hamin' X on Tue Aug 02, 2022 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made link embedded
--Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by ruddercutter »

Whoa, good solution, I'm gonna try it! I bought a Garmin EchoMap UHD system too, with the GT54 transducer. Transom mount isn't going to work, my 26S doesn't draft deep enough to submerge the transducer and there's the rudder interference to worry about too. Any tips on how thick to go on putty? Did you have to apply any offset to compensate for the effect of the hull on the reading?
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by BOAT »

Okay Russ, I'll bite.

First off: Why was the old plotter toast? What was it doing that made you think of oven baked bread?
May I guess that it was giving you an alarm? What alarms were you getting?

Second: What is the model of the new plotter? I am assuming the new plotter is not gonna work with our old in hull antifreeze liquid transducers.

I guess I can live with that if the new transducer can just be bedded inside, but first I want to makes sure the new plotter solved your old problem.

Thanks. :|
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Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

ruddercutter wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:24 am Whoa, good solution, I'm gonna try it! I bought a Garmin EchoMap UHD system too, with the GT54 transducer. Transom mount isn't going to work, my 26S doesn't draft deep enough to submerge the transducer and there's the rudder interference to worry about too. Any tips on how thick to go on putty? Did you have to apply any offset to compensate for the effect of the hull on the reading?
I used the entire 1 lb pug of putty. It was almost the perfect size for the transducer. First attempt was inside the ballast and didn't really work, so I just pulled it off and stuck it outside the "ribs" of the ballast. Spread it out and then mashed the transducer into the putty. Been working great. The side scan doesn't seem to work. Perhaps if I spread the putty out more or mashed the transducer deeper into it. But I don't need that functionality anyway.

I don't see a place in settings to offset for the depth which I assume is 1' below the waterline. I assume they expect it to be transom mounted.

--Russ
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Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

BOAT wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 10:30 am Okay Russ, I'll bite.

First off: Why was the old plotter toast? What was it doing that made you think of oven baked bread?
May I guess that it was giving you an alarm? What alarms were you getting?
It blew a fuse. I replaced the fuse with a larger one (all I had) and smoke started coming from it. Took it home, cleaned the connectors and same thing. Wires got hot and smoked.

So I headed out to buy a new chartplotter. Then for the heck of it, I ordered a new wiring cable for the old one (Garmin 440s). When connected the new cable, it worked fine. So now I have 2 chartplotters. But the old one is original from 2008 and the new has better features, resolution, and touch screen.
Second: What is the model of the new plotter? I am assuming the new plotter is not gonna work with our old in hull antifreeze liquid transducers.
New chartplotter is Garmin ECHOMAP UHD 73sv. The 73 series comes preloaded with inland lakes, the sv stands for SIDE VIEW. The 94 series comes loaded with coastal charts.
I guess I can live with that if the new transducer can just be bedded inside, but first I want to makes sure the new plotter solved your old problem.
The new transducer is different tech and won't work with the old one mounted on the transom. The boat is in a slip so I couldn't mount a new one so I bedded it in putty (see post above). Seems to work a charm.
--Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by BOAT »

RUSSEL SAID:
The 73 series comes preloaded with inland lakes, the sv stands for SIDE VIEW. The 94 series comes loaded with coastal charts.

So I assume the 73 only has charts for lakes. So to get the charts for the ocean I need the 74? Is that why the 74 is 100 bucks more than the 73?

And you do not need to twist those connectors every time you remove the unit now? I like that feature but will it work with the old cables we already have or did they make you use new cables? :|
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Russ »

BOAT wrote: Wed Aug 03, 2022 6:37 pm RUSSEL SAID:
The 73 series comes preloaded with inland lakes, the sv stands for SIDE VIEW. The 94 series comes loaded with coastal charts.

So I assume the 73 only has charts for lakes. So to get the charts for the ocean I need the 74? Is that why the 74 is 100 bucks more than the 73?

And you do not need to twist those connectors every time you remove the unit now? I like that feature but will it work with the old cables we already have or did they make you use new cables? :|
Could be Garmin is gouging coastal boaters. Maybe the charts cost them more. It's a nice chartplotter.
I picked this guy up for $500 locally on sale. And locally is rare here. I love the extra resolution and screen size as well as touch screen.

I truly think my old Chartplotter wore out the cables. I had to disconnect them every time with a kludgy connector that faced the weather. I suspect that was my main problem. Crud got into the connector and shorted out terminals. The new cable works fine so the problem was a faulty power cable.

The new chartplotter has a "dock" that it sits in. The dock comes with a rubber protective cover for the terminals. So I expect it to last better in the weather.

I've only used the new chartplotter for a few weeks. So far it works great for what I need. Sideview....can't see squat but I don't need that. In the putty bed, the transducer has worked to over 200'. It seems to freak out in less than 5'. When I went into shallow bays, the display blinks, which means reading errors. But I rarely boat in less than 10'. I may try to push the transducer deeper into the putty.
--Russ
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by Herschel »

I am a "day late and a dollar short" on this thread, but the Admiral saw me looking fondly at a Garmin Echomap Plus 40 a few birthdays ago and said, (bless her heart) "why don't you get the bigger Echomap Plus 60." So, that is my model. Not touch screen, but except for my phone, I don't use touchscreen devices, so I am happy. Came with inland lakes of USA and Canada. I can add coastal charts if I ever go "salt water", but that is unlikely these days. I got the transducer that either came with it or was designed for it. Mounted it on the stern. Works great. I did discover that I could power the unit with a simple 2-amp AC/DC converter for use at home in planning trips. You just need to splice in the same type cables used on the plotter which I think I got from Garmin a few months after I bought the unit at West Marine. I'm happy. 8)
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Re: Chart plotter recommendations

Post by BOAT »

Ocean sailing is "plot and pray" because the destination is often 50 miles away in a straight line course such as San Diego to Oceanside. Essentially you head way out to sea away from shore because that's where the best wind is. Then you turn towards your landing of choice and it's a straight line to there. The problem is that you can't see your destination over the horizon and even if you could see it's too hard to tell the harbor mouth from sea and confusion reigns in southern California where there is a marina every 20 miles. I remember one time with my dad back in 72 we plotted a course to Long Beach and ended up at Alamitos Bay because of a 2 degree error we did not figure for current.

The chartplotter allows you to set a heading line based on course over ground. The chartplotter projects my boats actual line of travel many miles ahead, thus the name: PLOTTER. I can see my COG 100 miles out so I know exactly which marina I am headed to by my ACTUAL DIRECTION OF TRAVEL, not by where the boats bow is pointing. On long legs the actual direction of travel (COG) is rarely the same as the boats heading because of currents, tides, or even the crab of your boats daggerboard. Crabbing is common going downwind with the board up. (It's fast and with a kite it's ludicrous fast but the boat crabs). Much of our travel is crossing from the shore to islands 30 to 50 miles off shore and back so there are a lot of long legs on one heading.

Chartplotters really made life easier for us folks out in the ocean. (No more figuring for tide and current and hoping your close).

I hav not decided yet if I am going to get a new one - my old GPSMAP from 2013 seems to have more features than the new ECHOMAP being offered now so I am torn on updating. I would like to but they are asking me to give up some features. Why?
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