gps and sounder recommendation

 Hi everyone. I am thinking of updgading my Garmin GPS which is pre chart type to a chart one with a sounder. I don't fish deep and want something user friendly. I know that there will be lots of differing opinions.  thanks in advance.

Mack 1

ranmar850's picture

Posts: 2559

Date Joined: 12/08/12

It's a bit like religion and politics

Fri, 2019-08-23 12:15

 All opinion. They are all pretty good nowadays, some may have their strong points. Even the cheaper ones work OK, just don't expect all the fetures and options that an identically-cased higher spec one of the same brand will offer. Touch is good to have,  definitely, but pure touch is really a PITA on the water. Wet fingers and bouncing boats can make it an exercise in frustration. I know this, because i am running both. A system which uses both , like Raymarines Hybrid Touch, is much better IMO. Lowrance also do that with their Elite ti range, and Simrad also, I believe. if you don't want to go to 300 metres, you won't need 1kw otput or transducer. The more standard 600w will be fine out to at least 100 metres, and more, in my experience.

My advice would be to have a look at a demo system where you can get hands on with the interface--see if it feels "intuitive" to you. People's expectations in this respect vary wildly. 

Posts: 76

Date Joined: 26/01/17

 Thanks for the feedback

Thu, 2019-08-29 16:06

 Thanks for the feedback Ranmar. I am a shallow water guy. Generally under 40m. Rockingham home base. Kalbarri annually. I was after something not too complex. My small Garmin 550c sounder is OK and is like watching a plasma tv compared to my old black and white unit, but my older Garmin GPS doesnt have mapping. It was really the mapping that interested me most. By getting a new unit I get mapping and new sounder. Interesting to get your feelings on the touch screens though. 

I have been watching a few youtube demos. as you say, they are all good these days.

Mack 1





dmck's picture

Posts: 140

Date Joined: 07/03/19

Ranmar has nailed it...

Thu, 2019-08-29 19:19

 I've had a touch screen for just over 2 years... and I still touch the wrong place at the wrong time!!

Posts: 141

Date Joined: 27/05/11

My ‘opinion’ only and I must

Thu, 2019-08-29 20:10

My ‘opinion’ only and I must admit I have not got much experience with other brands.

Garmin echomap plus works for me. I like the charts, touchscreen (great for quickly naming and searching your marks) plus 4 hard hot buttons allowing customisable preset screen displays and zoom in/out buttons for the last used setting. Added bonus is the Garmin activecaptian app you can downoad on your phone. Mirrors the maps on your device and syncs your waypoints which helps with planning the trip on your couch the night before.

carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8052

Date Joined: 24/07/07

Size of unit

Fri, 2019-08-30 07:28

 All depends on what size you are after and what space you have for it. 

With GPS all you need is something that accepts a navionics or Cmap card with the capacity to zoom in and having experience on touch screens in heavy weather IMO don't go near them. Cannot see why people spend huge bucks on flashy stuff when a unit costing less than a grand does the same job.


Sounders are a differnt matter, definition is the key word, it has to have good clarity and simple to use. Bottom lock, zoom  and able to add a bigger transducer if needed.

Belly Fish's picture

Posts: 401

Date Joined: 09/03/12

If you have room

Fri, 2019-08-30 12:45

Definately go for 2 head units. Nothing beats running full size separate sounder and map.