New GW Freedom 335

capeman

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#1
I've made the decision to upgrade from my Freedom 255 to the 335. Boat ordered and now I am thinking about electronics. I ran with Garmin gear on the 255 and likely will go with them on the new boat. That said, I have a coupe of questions for the experts out there.

- I have room for 2x 16" displays. So I am leaning towards the 8616xsv for both displays. Gives me options for more transducers and a backup if one unit fails. Wondering if this strategy makes sense or should I not spend the extra $500 for the second display?
- Has anyone used the GRID 20 which is the small control panel that can be used instead of the touchscreens? Wondering if its really worth $250 extra.
- I'd like to extend my mission capabilities and do some night time boating. I can buy a FLIR system but wonder if in practice whether it is useful or not. I won't be able to spend more than $3-4k on the unit.
- Should I go with AIS? I will be boating in the offshore locations that overlay shipping lanes off of cape cod. Thinking its a good safety measure, but its not a cheap option.
- Always a challenge to select the transducer. I believe its rather challenging to do a thru hull on the Grady. So, transom mount seems like the best choice. That said, I fish mainly in 20'-60' of water and no more than 500' when offshore. Wondering if I should get 1 or 2 transducers and if so what models would be best for my use cases?

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
 

SkunkBoat

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#2
First question...twins? What size? 425s???

Lets deal with transducers first. You will definitely have a place in the bilge in that deck hatch (under the genset if you have one.) Your transom has huge motors and trim tabs and only one place (center near the garboard drain) to mount it.
It won't work on plane. IMO, spend the FLIR money on thru hull transducers and 2 sonars.
Definitely get at least one GT51 thru hull so the sidevu on the 8616xsv will work best. You can't shoot thru with sidescan so that will have to be Thru Hull (best) or transom mount. .

If you go for two, the second one should be a traditional 50/200kHz sonar (GSD-24) with a shoot thru or thru hull and get an 8616 without the built in sidevu sonar or... you can display it on the same 8616xsv and only have one display (I'm pretty sure about that....) The 50/200kHz will work much better running on plane and much deeper.

A matched pair of 16" flat screens will be impressive. Only you know if your fingers work on touchscreen displays.

Definitely at least get AIS receiver in your VHF. That'll connect to the displays and show you where commercial shipping is and what direction its moving, and warn you about imminent collision.
As for the AIS transmitter, its way more useful than a FLIR.

I'm assuming you are getting radar....
 
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capeman

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First question...twins? What size? 425s???

Lets deal with transducers first. You will definitely have a place in the bilge in that deck hatch (under the genset if you have one.) Your transom has huge motors and trim tabs and only one place (center near the garboard drain) to mount it.
It won't work on plane. IMO, spend the FLIR money on thru hull transducers and 2 sonars.
Definitely get at least one GT51 thru hull so the sidevu on the 8616xsv will work best. You can't shoot thru with sidescan so that will have to be Thru Hull (best) or transom mount. .

If you go for two, the second one should be a traditional 50/200kHz sonar (GSD-24) with a shoot thru or thru hull and get an 8616 without the built in sidevu sonar or... you can display it on the same 8616xsv and only have one display (I'm pretty sure about that....) The 50/200kHz will work much better running on plane and much deeper.

A matched pair of 16" flat screens will be impressive. Only you know if your fingers work on touchscreen displays.

Definitely at least get AIS receiver in your VHF. That'll connect to the displays and show you where commercial shipping is and what direction its moving, and warn you about imminent collision.
As for the AIS transmitter, its way more useful than a FLIR.

I'm assuming you are getting radar....
I am getting the genset and will be powered by twin 425s. Makes sense to have a shoot thru on the 50/200khz and thru hull on the GT51. Wasn't aware that you can get an AIS receiver in the VHF. Will go that route for sure. Indeed getting radar as its a must have on the cape w/ frequent fog conditions possible. Here is my initial electronics wish list:

2x GPSMAP 8616xsv
1x 9-Axis Heading Sensor (had this in my 255 and makes all the different especially when drifting)
1x GMR Fantom 24 - Radar
GXM 53 - XM/Weather Receiver

Need to figure out the VHF radio now.. Do I go w/ Garmin or ICOM or ?? All w/ AIS seem to integrate w/ the MFD via NMEA 2000 / 0183. Any recommendations?

Cheers.
 

SkunkBoat

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#6
My VHF recommendation from a previous thread...

....added a Standard Horizon GX2200 with DSC and AIS receiver. It was $309 on TheGPSStore.com but I got price matching at West Marine.

The AIS receiver is a plus. Radio has a display screen for it but I hooked the NMEA 0183 to the Garmin 4208 and it displays symbols and can give proximity alarms.
This will be a plus for crossing two shipping lanes in the fog. Also shows you where the scallop dredgers are.

Oh yea, the Hailer/Fog horn is great too. I can yell at my brother when he's hauling the anchor.
Auto fog horn signaling is anotherr great added benefit.
 

SkunkBoat

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#8
I was considering an AP but wasn't sure it was worth it. What is your experience with one and why do you think it is critical?
"I'm pretty sure" the 425s have built in electric steering. Are you getting Helm Master? or I think there is a Garmin autopilot that works with the electric??? "I'm pretty sure":)

I wouldn't have that boat, with those motors, and not have autopilot. In fact, I'd get the Helm Master if I had that kind of bread. Does it have a bow thruster?
 

capeman

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"I'm pretty sure" the 425s have built in electric steering. Are you getting Helm Master? or I think there is a Garmin autopilot that works with the electric??? "I'm pretty sure":)

I wouldn't have that boat, with those motors, and not have autopilot. In fact, I'd get the Helm Master if I had that kind of bread. Does it have a bow thruster?
I did purchase the helm master option plus bow thruster. I’m in a fairly tight marina and want to have all options available. 425s are steer by wire. So the Garmin Reactor 40 Helm Master I believe is what I should purchase.
 

SkunkBoat

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#11
really depends on how you plan to use. I personally bought my boat to be at the helm. just me.
If you've ever driven 3 hours to the canyon into the rising sun with a quartering sea you might change your mind;)
and trying to reel in a triple of mahi with 6 lines back and 2 guys on the boat...o_O

I just bought an AP and have yet to install. Yes it will be worth it.

Good you got the Helm Master. Would not make sense to do otherwise...
I'm just surprised that the helm master won't act as an autopilot and hold a course heading or go to waypoints on a chart plotter thru NMEA2k. The Mercury product does.
I see it does the slow things like Hold position/hold heading on drift.
 

Halfhitch

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#12
If it were me, while the boat is being rigged and outfitted, I would request high water alarms in all independent compartments with indicators. My brand of choice would be WEMA.
 

ocnslr

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#13
Definitely get a VHF with AIS receiver built in. BUT, there are many with NMEA2K so why bother with the old 0183, as you are unlikely to need it for anything else.
 

capeman

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If it were me, while the boat is being rigged and outfitted, I would request high water alarms in all independent compartments with indicators. My brand of choice would be WEMA.
High water alarm is installed as a standard option. Will look into WEMA for extra protection.
 

Fishtales

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#16
If you've ever driven 3 hours to the canyon into the rising sun with a quartering sea you might change your mind;)
and trying to reel in a triple of mahi with 6 lines back and 2 guys on the boat...o_O

I just bought an AP and have yet to install. Yes it will be worth it.

Good you got the Helm Master. Would not make sense to do otherwise...
I'm just surprised that the helm master won't act as an autopilot and hold a course heading or go to waypoints on a chart plotter thru NMEA2k. The Mercury product does.
I see it does the slow things like Hold position/hold heading on drift.
I guess, if you are using it enough. I've seen too many with issues over the years to be worth it.
 

capeman

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I guess, if you are using it enough. I've seen too many with issues over the years to be worth it.
I like concept of more precise navigation especially in reduced visibility situations. Being able to pay more attention to my surroundings and not constantly adjusting course seems like added safety overall plus you gain fuel economy by going in a straighter line. I suspect and hope that the new 'fly by wire' capabilities will improve the capability, but when something is new there are always bugs to be worked out of the system. The Yamaha 425s have been extensively tested from what I understand to the tune of 2x as many hours as previous engines. So, on the surface I would expect the digital/electric steering to be solid. Couple that with a good auto-pilot and I hope for a quality result.

Likely going to not go w/ FLIR and instead invest in the auto-pilot.
 

SkunkBoat

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#19
Definitely get a VHF with AIS receiver built in. BUT, there are many with NMEA2K so why bother with the old 0183, as you are unlikely to need it for anything else.
I agree, I got a deal on that one. I'm sure they are phasing out 0183 and clearing inventory. Effectively(in this case)the only difference is bare wire hookup vs a nmea2k plug. Once its hooked up its there.
Mfgs have been putting both on for backward fits to old equipment. Won't be long there won't be any 0183.

If you are going with Garmin everything, might as well get one of theirs. In theory, you'll be able to click on an AIS symbol on the 8616 and make a DSC radio call to that contact
 

capeman

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I agree, I got a deal on that one. I'm sure they are phasing out 0183 and clearing inventory. Effectively(in this case)the only difference is bare wire hookup vs a nmea2k plug. Once its hooked up its there.
Mfgs have been putting both on for backward fits to old equipment. Won't be long there won't be any 0183.

If you are going with Garmin everything, might as well get one of theirs. In theory, you'll be able to click on an AIS symbol on the 8616 and make a DSC radio call to that contact
I agree that it makes sense to stick with your vendor of choice as it in theory should be a more integrated system. There is an amazing lack of information available online when it comes to reviews of marine electronics. Forums like this help if you can find people with hands on experience with the particular gear you are considering. I guess some of this technology is relatively new, so that is a barrier in and of itself. Thanks to everyone who has shared their knowledge and experience as it has certainly helped me in my decision making process.