Dragonfly 5 Pro - My opinion

Boat is a 6m Centre Console (Penguin hull) with foam filled hull (making it heavy)

Well I had been thinking about doing this review for a while, though after my worst day with the unit, and a couple of nips of Port, I thought it would be the ideal time to vent my opinions on this unit.

Purchased from the forums, in NEW condition (still in box, in plastic), I picked up and installed the unit a couple of months back, and have had 6-10 trips out and about to play with it.

Initial thoughts on the install were that it was very easy. straight forward and with the addition of an inline fuse, we were powered up in the back yard. Being the impatient person I am, we launched the next day at Leeuwin Barracks and putted down the harbour and back.

With about 2 years of sailing behind me, working with a variety of Echo Sounders (yes, kids, Echo Sounders), plotters and fish finders, this was my first adventure into an all in one product.

The initial sounds going down river were extremely pleasing. motoring past moorings you could not only see the fish at the mooring assembly, but also the rope going down, piles along Northport and even the underwater structure on the bridges. Sonar is as expected though the down vision with the CHIRP was exception. You could almost see the starfish thinking about which way to go. Very pleasing.

Very happy with the unit, I went home content.

After a couple of fishing runs out, it told me where fish were and we successfully landed numerous whiting and various other bottom dwelling critters and the clarity of bottom structure is brilliant.

Good things:
- Install is easy (I am not a sparky)
- Down vision is spectacular
- Easy to identify if you are on weed, sand or rock)
- Saving a waypoint (on sonar or plotter screen) is a two press process. Easy as!
- it looks pretty.

This is where I think the good things about this unit end in my opinion.

In no particular order:
- It is very slow like a 5 year old computer slow, when booting up, and sometimes when changing screens.
- Three times, it has lost the bottom, when the boat is stationary. First two times in sub 5m, and today in 20m, for 30 minutes.
- Today it lost me. Complete GPS and sonar failure. Two restarts and nothing. left for 20 minutes it finally got GPS back (speed only, not location) and then location, and then sonar, minutes apart.
- It is a fish finder and chart plotter, not a GPS. I expected at a minimum a GPS screen (DTG, BRG, Lat and Long)
- You cannot simply put in waypoints from Lat and Long. you need to put one (very easily) in and then go and edit to the position you want
- The 5 inch screen is really too small when on split screen. I have fairly good vision though have to look hard to see depths on the plotter

This unit, in my opinion, is like going out with a Miss Teen USA model. You like it because it is pretty though get disappointed when she cant figure out how far you will go in 30 minutes, when doing 100 kmh.

I don't know if my expectations were too high on this unit though given I had the money again, I would get a dedicated GPS/Plotter + a dedicated fish finder.

Hope this is helpful to any potential buyers.


Posts: 634

Date Joined: 30/12/09

Yep my dragonfly 7 has all

Mon, 2015-07-06 10:20

Yep my dragonfly 7 has all those same features but a bigger screen. I thought it being a raymarine it would have been a much better unit. In my opinion it's not even good enough to be used as either a sounder or a gps as the gps keeps dropping out and the sounder loses the bottom at 20 knots in my dingy. 

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 Get busy living, or get busy dying!

Vinesh87's picture

Posts: 2747

Date Joined: 02/04/11

 Mine was great. Thats all i

Mon, 2015-07-06 10:28

 Mine was great.

 

Thats all i can say!

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2626

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 I got mine based on your

Tue, 2015-07-07 19:22

 I got mine based on your review.....your fault!

 

haha

Vinesh87's picture

Posts: 2747

Date Joined: 02/04/11

Ok then lets get some facts

Tue, 2015-07-07 20:19

Ok then lets get some facts straight.

 

Firstly mine was the original, not the 5 pro. The Dragnonfly was a proper GPS with navionics card and Chirp sounder

Mine basically never lost ground ( unless i slammed it into reverse) Have had issues with losing ground on seriously sharp terrain e.g 50m to 4m within 20m in the kimberlies, changed the scroll speed to 80% and it was a lot better.

Read well up to 22 knots ok to 26

It was quick enough to start up, never had any issues with that

It was instant to change screens

Never had any 'failures'

I never ran mine on split screen yes it was ok but i have 2 dedicated units like you suggest.

 

The only issue i ever had was with the software update that took away zoom function and a few other things, after talks with RM they fixed these. Maybe you need a software update, and ccheck transducer positioning ?

 

Was the best $600 i ever spent. Should have pulled it out of my last boat and put it in my tinny!

 

Maybe i got the only good Dragonfly unit ? haha

 

grantarctic1's picture

Posts: 2543

Date Joined: 03/03/11

Same

Wed, 2015-07-08 14:15

I have the same one as you but haven't updated it.
Works pretty much as you say and have had no problems to speak off
Yes its small if you split the screen, it also drops out at speed but this is due to the hull shape. It surprises me how many people expect sounders to work at speed without considering the hull shape and location of transducer.
I fitted the unit to my workers boat because he had very little experience with gps/sounders and didn't want anything too complicated. The dragonfly is as simple as they get IMO and a child could use one easily .
At that price you get what you pay for. A simple unit, you can see in sunlight with the nice advantage of downvision.
IMO, it is not really suited to larger boats unless you run separate units, either the same brand or other systems.

adamibinfishin's picture

Posts: 74

Date Joined: 16/03/14

other issues

Wed, 2015-09-02 19:06

 Hi guys, my boat was in storage recently  for a extended period and I had fitted the 1st batch of dragonfly versions to my boat. Just a heads up for guys to check the micro sd slot. Mine had had some moisture intrusion and nearly wrecked the card and the contacts I am guessing. Managed to clean it and get out of trouble before I had done too much damage. Don't trust the magnetic door for a 100% seal. I also ran the new update today aswell.fingers crossed all is good,haha.cheers

adamibinfishin's picture

Posts: 74

Date Joined: 16/03/14

true or magnetic

Sat, 2015-09-19 18:05

 Hi guys. After just updating the software on my dragonfly I was wondering what people's preferences are on bearing settings.  True or magnetic? Just curious. Any feedback appreciated. Cheers

Swompa's picture

Posts: 2626

Date Joined: 14/10/12

Cant say i have done the

Wed, 2015-09-23 07:18

Cant say i have done the update as of yet.

Posts: 1

Date Joined: 23/09/15

Dragonfly

Thu, 2015-09-24 09:41

 Worst product I have ever bought!!  The plastic fitting clip is rubbish, I have to tape it in to hold it.  The signal continually breaks up even at low speed.  The controls are far from intuitive.  I have had various sounders for 40 years and had the Dragonfly fitted by a marine electronic specialist for close to $1,000 all up.  I hate this machine and would love to throw it into 50 fathoms in front of the idiot who designed it!!!