Boat Electronics?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Ed Call, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, so the bayliner is not a hard core fishing vessel. I have a wife and two little girls that have to be comfortable or the time on the water is cut short. Now this little rig has a depth/fish finder, simple thing. What I want is something nice, GPS/Plotter/Sounder so that I can input or that has inputted byathermy maps (is that the right word), allow me to mark spots and track information about fishing/crabbing.

    So, what is cool technology that won't break the bank?

    This vessel also does not have downriggers, but should. I love to fly fish, but when killilng time between dropping and pulling crab traps dredging up some powerful and fast freezer meat while filling the catch record card would be nice.

    Oh, and anyone with an angle on a kicker, let me know.
     
  2. [WR]

    [WR] Member

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    How big is the budget? For about $550, you can get a Humminbird 778C which gives you gps, color, and way too many features for me to try to remember. Plus, you can get additional MMC /Sd cards with maps etc, or load your own if you want.
     
  3. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    I just added a lowrance HDS5 to my boat. Pretty stoked on it, the UI is very easy to use, it comes stock with detailed charts of the pacific, and as far as I can tell most major lakes. I know everyone loves to talk up whatever gadget they bought, despite that, I've been on a lot of boats with a lot of shitty electronics, and this has been my favorite to date. I picked mine up in Portland for just under 800$, so it's not cheap.

    I would go to westmarine or some other store and play around with a couple of the demo models they have available. Anything new will get the job done, I think the important thing to consider is how easy is it to use. No one wants to have to bust out the manual while on the water. An intuitive UI goes a long way.

    http://www.lowrance.com/Products/Marine/HDS-High-Definition-System/HDS-5-FishfinderGPS-Chartplotter/
     
  4. Mike (Doc) LaCombe

    Mike (Doc) LaCombe Member

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    Ed you are slipping into the dark side and blaming the ladies as you slide. I went the other way. I once had all the crabbing/salmon gear a man would want. Then I took up the fly rod and now I only have craft that can be inflated with my hot air. May you always have fair weather and following seas shipmate.
     
  5. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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  6. veilside180sx

    veilside180sx Member

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  7. charlesasmith

    charlesasmith Chuck

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    Mumbles:

    What ever unit you decide on, go online to Hodges Marine and check their prices. Quick delivery and usually cheaper than any other source.

    I have appreciated your suggestions and willingness to provide detaied feedback RE: questions of mine. Hope this resource helps you.

    Chuck
     
  8. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    when looking at the combo units, make sure you like the split-screen views. i've fished with people with the all-in-ones and it seems like the screen is either on the gps map or sounder full screens due to not liking the split-screens.

    if i was rigging a boat, i would get a stand alone sounder and a stand alone gps... so i could have both on their full screens.

    and ibn is right about the unit needing to be easy to use. don't forget to practice with it all the time until you are super comfortable with it's functions. even on clear days practice running just by gps, doing the trackback, and setting routes. the more you use them, the more you figure out all the cool little ways they can help you.

    good luck... i wish i was pondering which electronics to buy... because then i'd have a boat.
     
  9. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Lots of good stuff here. Keep the suggestions coming. I'm looking into units and catalogs online based on your suggestions. This may take some time.
     
  10. wet line

    wet line New Member

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    Ed,

    On downriggers, first off I think they are not essential. But then I have always prefered to mooch or motor mooch for salmon.

    If you go the downrigger route then get them installed by someone who knows how to properly ground them. Wire moving through salt water creates an electrical charge. And be sure the chunk of zinc on the motor is clean.

    If using a downrigger DO NOT use a graphite rod. It is only going to be a matter of time until one is broken by a sudden and hard strike. I have seen graphite rods snap just by the quick jerk required to release the line from the clip.

    Dave
     
  11. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Dave, thank you. The Zinks are all pretty good looking right now and I'll keep an eye on them. I was thinking manual downriggers just to keep the cost down. The manual crab trap pulley and arm I mounted on the swim ladder rail worked well, pulling them manually was not a huge problem. I was browsing some "Ugly Stix" yesterday, hearing that they are the most indestructable rods with which many gear folks like to troll and down rigger fish. For now I'm going to use my two level wind outfits from my corkie and yarn days and call it good. In time I'll settle on the right stuff. Right now the right stuff has to be the girls in the boat and whatever gear I have to make it work. Mooching is in my arsenal, so that will work fine for now. Thanks.
     
  12. Kim Hampton

    Kim Hampton Not Politically Correct

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    Hey Ed,
    Welcome to boat ownership. What does B.O.A.T stand for? Break Out Another Thousand.
    --Humminbird seems to make decent stuff. I've read through other forums Lowrance doesn't have the best of service. I like my combo unit well enough.
    --I bought downriggers for my boat last year....I'm not sure why. If not fly fishing I prefer mooching but I grew up with that style working as a bait boy and then later running charter boats out of Westport. To me it's kind of sort of like fly fishing in it's all about the take. I could care less about the fight after it is hooked. You "might" get more fish with the downrigger but you are just waiting for the line to pop out of the clip.

    --I mooched (pardon the pun) this off of another site. Good advice for a boat owner. I'm sure you have it covered but....I check and recheck myself all the time.

    "'Tis that time of year again when the coast guard will be out there boarding vessels looking for safety violations. The best thing you can do is double check all your required essentials.

    Current registration
    Flares
    Lifejackets, PFD's
    Throw ring or floating throwable device
    Fire extinguishers
    Horn, or sounding device
    First aid kit
    CO/2 warning sticker(carbon monoxide)
    discharge placard

    I may have left an item or 2 off the list, so feel free to correct me if need be.

    Most common violation found by a USCG boarding party is expired flares, so do yourself a favor and check the expiration date on them.

    Remember, the USCG has a ZERO tolerance policy for drugs, and zero tolerance for alcohol for the operator of a vessel."

    Have loads of fun.
     
  13. Greg Armstrong

    Greg Armstrong Active Member

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    Ed,

    Maybe it's because we're all flyfishers here that "go to the dark side" on occasion as someone else said already, but I don't think it's surprizing that most have posted that they prefer mooching over fishing downriggers for salmon. I've used both as well, and I'd advise against buying and mounting downriggers until you've put in a little time mooching a plug cut herring and feeling the take of a big King! It's by far my favorite (and only) method of fishing without a flyrod.
    We spent a lot of time boating with the kids until they left home and had a blast and created a ton of memories - have fun!!
    Greg
     
  14. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    If you have downriggers you can still mooch. If you don't have them, all you can do is mooch. Too many people think that downriggers=fish. Not the case. You still have to figure out the where/why/what/how before being able to put fish in the box consistently. It's just like flyfishing. Just because there are fish in the water doesn't mean you're going to catch them with any old presentation. Topwater makes a good point about having seperate units. But, there are plenty of good GPS/Sonar untis on the market.

    People have commented that they ONLY mooch. Limiting yourself to only 1 method of fishing is, well.... Limiting.
     
  15. Benn

    Benn Member

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    My 2 cents is that if you plan on using down riggers, or trolling bucktails you need a sonar unit with a paddle wheel on the transducer since 1 +/- MPH can make a difference and depending on the current you can easily see a 2+ mph difference between GPS speed and paddlewheel speed. GPS is great at high speeds, not so much at slow speeds...

    I have a downrigger I took off last year because it is just too much work and gear to futz with. If you don't want to fish down riggers and mooching with herring is too far over the edge for you...you can always try jigging. This is an art I have, by far, not mastered, but I've started to carry a casting rod rigged with a Pt. Wilson Dart in the boat for when the sounder is showing fish at 80+ feet and the currents won't get you there with a fly....I've caught a couple sub-legal blackmouth so far this year jigging...not much success but it is kinda therapeutic and way less gear intensive than down riggers. Plus you don't have to drill holes in your new boat and you can also get away with a much lower quality sonar unit and transducer since all you really are trying to find is the bottom.
     
  16. Ed, I upgraded my Older Lowrance/Eagle which has color/GPS/sounder, to the HDS5 like Ibn also acquired. If you want that sounder/GPS it's yours. It's older technology and requires a speed wheel and possibly a new transducer. I have an external antennae that will also need to be mounted on your boat. I also have the nautic path charts on SDRAM and will need to dig that out somewhere... Let me know...

    The newer GPS/sounders don't require external antennae or a speed wheel. I would also recommend hard mounting to the transome versus a shoot thru the hull transducer.

    Sportsmans warehouse has the Humminbirds for around $400 if you want to go cheaper but not sure if they have built in charts. I have no experience with the Humminbirds in the salt but has been very user friendly for my Stillwater applications. I would also not recommend going with a smaller handheld unit, you'll appreciate bigger screen size especially when it gets foggy out or making runs at 3 in the am

    Oh and the comment about not using a graphite rod?!??? Gotta wonder about that.... Outdoor emporium $15 and get the Daiwa wilderness 9' mooching rod. I have 4 of them and they take the abuse and have landed plenty of hot Kings and Coho with no issues. I run 12 lb balls and troll fast. They get banged around and keep going. One of these days I'll meet you at Kingston and we'll go through the run through...
     
  17. And another thought... If you're a smart phone user for $10 you can download the Navionics marine charts with GPS. Keep in mind that you must have cell signal for it to work but anywhere around the sound should be ok. It's pretty darn accurate and having a backup chart/GPS plotter with real time tides on your phone is pretty nifty.
     
  18. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Benn, you don't need a speedometer to tell you if you're fishing the right speed with downriggers. A 30-35 degree angle on your cable while at 80' will let you know you're fishing at the right speed. It's really not that difficult. Nice thing about downriggers is that you can cover water to find fish and then switch to whatever it is that turns you on when you've found them.
     
  19. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Paul, seems I'd be a fool for not taking you up on your electronics and run through offers. I've not had much time to get the boat dialed in yet, but over time I will. Connecting will be a great thing. It will be good for me to see how someone that does this thing A LOT has his boat rigged. I can come your way whenever we can get our schedules aligned. Unfortunately I'm mostly a weekend warrior right now. Thank you.

    PT, great point about learning your speed/presentation from the angle of the cable. I have had someone giving me a very good explanation of this with downriggers, motor mooching and a couple of other terms I can't recall.
     
  20. You can use the angle of the DR cable as an approximation, but this all depends on the current and tides. I usually troll fast, between 3-3.5 mph which usually equates to a 45 degree angle. I've talked to alot of pros from Salmon University and guys that are alot more fanatic about this stuff (black box dudes) and they all agree with a faster troll speed.

    Having a good sounder is essential IMO for marking bait and structure. Once you find the bait, you will typically find feeding fish. I swear I can distinguish Kings under a school of herring while the Coho are up top of the bait ball snapping off the stragglers.
     

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