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Looking to buy a GPS Chartplotter for my 2008 Monterey 270 cr. Will be used on the Great Lakes (Lake Saint Clair mostly). Any advice on which one?

 

I recently purchased a Garmin 535s (the "s" includes the depth sounder). Comes with preloaded inland lakes/rivers - other models come with different preloaded charts and you can add others with the purchase of "plug in chips". If you want a larger size screen and have the space on your dash, the Garmin 4208 looks interesting. Raymarine is supposed to make some very good units - not sure about smaller display sizes, and they are "pricey" (at least for me). Both Garmin and Raymarine have pretty good websites where you can compare the different models. Prices vary,so it pays to shop around.

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There are so many choices out there and they add new models frequently. They range from a couple hundred bucks to thousands of dollars. It really comes down to your needs. The more distance you are going to be traveling the more options you will want from a unit. For a person who stays around the same area all the time, just a basic lower end unit will be fine. If your going to cover 100's of miles then you want to step up to something more sophisticated. Raymarine, Garmin, Lowrance, they're all good quality components.

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I have used a Garmin for the past 5 years and loved it- It was easy to use and they have a great website with good info...https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=148

HOWEVER I just bought a Raymarine 435. It is not yet installed so I can not give first hand in depth info but have played with one from a boat buddy of mine- it is bright and easy to read in the sunshine. Was also easy to navigate.

Making sure you get the best screen with no washout is very important. If it's easy to use but you can't see it then it's just taking up space.

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I recently purchased a Garmin 535s (the "s" includes the depth sounder). Comes with preloaded inland lakes/rivers - other models come with different preloaded charts and you can add others with the purchase of "plug in chips". If you want a larger size screen and have the space on your dash, the Garmin 4208 looks interesting. Raymarine is supposed to make some very good units - not sure about smaller display sizes, and they are "pricey" (at least for me). Both Garmin and Raymarine have pretty good websites where you can compare the different models. Prices vary,so it pays to shop around.

 

 

With the 535 did you have to hard wire the power since it does not have a battery?

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With the 535 did you have to hard wire the power since it does not have a battery?

Haven't installed this yet - waiting for a break in the weather. Initial plans are to hard wire to the fuse block under the dash.

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I have a 2006 270CR and installed the Garmin 3206. I love the bigger screen and you can add XM weather and depth finder in addition to the GPS. Mounted on a dual ball swivel, it is very convenient and visibility is great.

 

 

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I have a 2006 270CR and installed the Garmin 3206. I love the bigger screen and you can add XM weather and depth finder in addition to the GPS. Mounted on a dual ball swivel, it is very convenient and visibility is great.

 

Hey Knight Moves, Any chance you could post a picture of your installed 3206? Any helpful tips with the wiring?

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post-85-1206907771_thumb.jpg

Hey Knight Moves, Any chance you could post a picture of your installed 3206? Any helpful tips with the wiring?

 

 

 

Hope this works. It was not too bad to install. The biggest problem was the hole passing from the arch into the engine room was way small. If I had to do it again I would probably cut and access hole into the arch near the base. If you take your cupholders out of the side, routing wire to the dash is not bad. I tied one wire (#12) to the bus under the dash and use that to feed the power to the components (3206 module and depth sounder module). I reverse mounted them under the dash. Just make sure wherever you put it that the door will clear the modules and wires. Leave plenty of extra spare wire in the dash too in case anything goes wrong and you have to start over. I soddered all the wires together and then used heat shrink tubing for a watertight seal. Took a while to get used to with the small GPS wires, but not that bad. Took the better part of one evening for the whole job. It has worked like a charm. I had the same unit installed on my last boat. Installation was $1000 so any hassles were well worth it.

 

Good luck.

 

 

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I have the same set up and mount but i have it coming out where night moves has his VHF radio mic hung. works great there.

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Hope this works. It was not too bad to install. The biggest problem was the hole passing from the arch into the engine room was way small. If I had to do it again I would probably cut and access hole into the arch near the base. If you take your cupholders out of the side, routing wire to the dash is not bad. I tied one wire (#12) to the bus under the dash and use that to feed the power to the components (3206 module and depth sounder module). I reverse mounted them under the dash. Just make sure wherever you put it that the door will clear the modules and wires. Leave plenty of extra spare wire in the dash too in case anything goes wrong and you have to start over. I soddered all the wires together and then used heat shrink tubing for a watertight seal. Took a while to get used to with the small GPS wires, but not that bad. Took the better part of one evening for the whole job. It has worked like a charm. I had the same unit installed on my last boat. Installation was $1000 so any hassles were well worth it.

 

Good luck.

 

 

post-85-1206907771_thumb.jpg

post-85-1206907780_thumb.jpg

post-85-1206907795_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks for the photos.

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Have you considered flush mounting a unit in the dash panel in-board of the wheel? That's what I did with a Standard Horizon 155cp, it fits and looks great. The only draw back is that you have to look down to see it but that has not been an issue for me. Good luck. Jeff

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Have you considered flush mounting a unit in the dash panel in-board of the wheel? That's what I did with a Standard Horizon 155cp, it fits and looks great. The only draw back is that you have to look down to see it but that has not been an issue for me. Good luck. Jeff

 

 

Hi Jeffandal, I will be looking at that area too. Seems like where they would like you to mount it but does seem kind of low. I am really curious about the wiring to tell you the truth. Since I don't have my Boat yet and do not have the manual for it I am not sure how easy it is to tap into the power supply. Also curious if you can tap into the exisiting depth finder rather then having to install a 2nd one to use with the GPS system.

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post-85-1206907771_thumb.jpg

post-85-1206907780_thumb.jpg

post-85-1206907795_thumb.jpg

 

 

Hey Knight Moves,

I am having trouble finding where I can connect the ground wire. Can you please describe where you connected yours?

 

Thanks

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The dealer installed a Northstar Explorer 650 on my 270. It is on top of the helm and to the right, the wires are not visible as they are behind the unit. One advantage of the Northstar unit is that it has an interface to the proprietary Mercruiser Smartcraft system, so if you get the additional "Y" cable you can access critical engine functions, including fuel flow. Only a couple of units have that capability. My dealer installed the Northstar fuel flow monitor as well, which works great (I was always told the only two times a fuel guage is correct are when it reads full and when it reads empty - the fuel flow monitor helps a lot with that problem, and also helps me pick the optimum RPM). I have the sonar, I added a c-map cartridge and I'm overall very happy with the unit. I have seen some other 270s with the unit mounted to the left of the steering wheel, and I agree that it looks nicer, but I can't imagine having to look down there to see the unit. I agree with another poster on this site that the seat is too low for good visibility (and I'm 6'2"), so I need to stand to drive, and the higher mounting location is just much better for me. I think the location is a personal decision based on your own comfort level.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

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