Small boat electronic upgrading questions


New member
Hi all !

I am looking for some advice and or recommendations and i have some questions to go along as well. I am looking to upgrade my electronics and my ideas maybe going overboard for my type of fishing, but let me start by letting you know what i have and type of fishing i do. I have an 18' Lund Sport Angler - aluminum and I mainly fish L. Michigan trolling for Salmon , mostly 65 to 240' range and also troll or reef fish L. Winnebago for Walleye with a max depth of around 23' .

I currently have a Furuno FCV-620 which i really enjoy for L. Michigan Salmon trolling and a Hummingbird Helix 10 SI GPS. On Michigan i use the Helix for GPS and the Furuno as my locator as I really don't think i benefit from SI at all for deeper water and the Furuno seems to work better for locating fish and bait.

I am looking to upgrade and like the idea of having 2 units, 1 for locator and 1 for gps. The FCV-620 works fine " looking for something a little bigger " and the Hummingbird i really just don't care for " maybe have not used it enough other than for gps ".

So i have listed some ideas and thought maybe i could get some feedback from users with experience. As stated i have and 18' aluminum so transducer options are limited to transom mount for me. I maybe going overboard with some of these systems as i really wont get the most out of them as far as radar, autopilot, etc. and what they would be used for mostly is just locating fish, gps and waypoints. " I absolutely enjoy my Furuno locator but one of my concerns going with a Furuno plotter is the mapping for my area L. Michigan Milwaukee, WI and L. Winnebago in Wisconsin ". Would the current mapping capabilities be comparable to Navionics or Lake master ?

1: ( 1 ) TZTouch3 12"? Would i benefit from DFF3D and would i need the DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar Black Box with this unit still? What transom mount transducer or transducers would one recommend? As said, i would prefer 2 units but if i need the DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar Black Box still another TZTouch3 would be out of my finances and my FCV-620 wouldn't make sense running on the side of this machine.

2: ( 2 ) Possibly 2 TZTouch3 9" with the same questions above ?

If something stated above is out of my league for the type of fishing i do here are some more ideas.

3: ( 1 ) Furuno FCV-588 and a Simrad NSSevo3S 12" for mapping as i can run Navionics if need be ? Also the Simrad can be used for SI and DI for walleye on L. Winnebago.

4: ( 2 ) Furuno GP1971F units ?

Any other recommendations please chime in.

For the size of boat and need, I think the GP1971F would be the most appropriate. C-map has good 4D chart mapping options for that area. While you could dive into a NavNet, it really wouldn't be cost effective considering you have no need for Radar etc. The Gp1971F supports up to 1kw of transducer so it is a step up above the FCV-620 while providing GPS and charting. If you change your mind about radar later, the wireless (DRS4W) radar could be added later.
Thanks for the reply Johnny,

The DFF3D seems intriguing though. Would i benefit any from using DFF3D for salmon trolling? Also i could benefit from the side view of the DFF3D i would imagine for shallow water fishing for Winnebago walleyes.
Yes, if you want the DFF3D; then you would be moving into the NavNets to run it. Yes, I would think the DFF3D would work well for your stated fishing depths. It might be a bit unfair as you empty the lake of fish. Before you go that route, I think you should seek comments from DeepBlue or C-bass about what to expect. I would also recommend you contact Furuno support directly with a Lat/log of that lake so we can get you some sample photos of the available mapping for that area. It is very unlikely that NOAA will provide much if anything in regards to free mapping for that area. Most likely a chart purchase would be needed unless you want to also use the TZT3 and DFF3D to map the lake yourself with the PBG recording.
Thanks again Johnny!

I know i would need the transducer but am i correct that i would still need the DFF3D Multi-Beam Sonar Black Box with the Navnet 3 ?
Yes to get the multi-beam, you would need both the DFF3D and multi-beam transducer. To run the unit you would need either TZT2, TZT3, Time Zero PC software. If you wish to conduct PBG then it would need to be one of the later two options. I worry it is a bit overkill for your boat and fishing area. C-Bass and DeepBlue have been tied up in meetings this week. Hopefully they will chime in soon.
I agree, i am starting to think its a little to much also. I was looking at the possibility of trying to keep side scan as well, not that it's mandatory. decisions, decisions.

Thanks again,

For your size of vessel and what you are currently fishing for, I'm thinking that the GP1971F is the right Plotter/Sounder for your application.

In order to get the PGB, you would have to purchase a TZT3 MFD and a transducer, and then purchase DFF3D (with another transducer) and then find all the room to mount all these items on your vessel.

However, the GP1971F has an outstanding performing sounder that gives you the same performance of several light commercial sounders.

If it were me, I'd go with the GP1971F...

- Deep Blue ;)
Deep Blue,

Thank you for the reply! A couple other ideas i had being though i prefer 2 units as opposed to a bunch of split screens and such are these below. I am coming from a FCV-620 and Hummingbird Helix 10 SI which i mainly use for GPS and run the Furuno for L. Michigan but do use the Bird with side scan and such for Winnebago walleyes as its a shallow lake.

So would any of these make sense over what i have already?

2 - GP1971F's but would have to live without side imaging.
1 - GP1971F and keep the Bird.
1 - GP1971F and 1 - FCV 588

My initial thoughts were upgrading the FCV-620 to the FCV -588 for bigger screen, etc. until i started researching. Is the FCV 588 a step above the GP1971F as far as sonar performance or do they preform the same?

While the FCV588 is a 1kW unit that has the bigger screen, the GP1971F give you the ability to use either an Airmar or Furuno 50/200 kHz Conventional Wave transducer (max. 1 kW), or the Airmar single band 40-225kHz CHIRP transducer (max. 1 kW).

If it were me, I would pick the GP1971F over the FCV588 and keep your Hummingbird Helix, for use with it's side scan. This setup should give you pretty good coverage for all the fisheries that you want to engage in.

- Deep Blue :)