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Hello Everyone!

I finally had the green light (by my wife) to go ahead and buy a new boat.  Over the years I have purchased older boats that were 20+ years old, and with this green light I had to take advantage.

 

So, for my price range my options were the Ranger RT178, Tracker 190, Lund 1775, and the Crestline VT 18.  These boats were very similar with a few options more than the other.

 

My overall decision came down to the Crestliner VT 18 for the simple fact of price, size, and motor options (115hp).  This boat had the same layout as the RT188 and the Lund 1875, and it was priced to sell so I took the bait and should arrive this Saturday (3/31).

The model I bought is barebones meaning the FF is only a Pirhanamaxx 4 at the console and nothing up front, and the trolling motor is just a basic 70lb 24v cable trolling motor.

 

Here is my question for all of you that have more experience than me on the water.  When I had my older boats, I ended up buying the MinnKota Terrova 80# w/ Link (I still have it).  I loved using this trolling motor just by using the remote from anywhere on the boat and using the spot lock when tying or rigging.  After doing some research I noticed that people have their pros and cons when it comes to cable or electric trolling motors.

 

So, my question is should I sell the Terrova and use the $ to upgrade my FF for DI/Si up on the current 70# cable driven trolling motor?

I know it comes down to personal preference, but I want to have a competitive advantage since I will be entering little tourneys in my area.

 

Thoughts?

Thanks!

 

Oh.. I also heard that the Terrova foot pedal will not fit my tray up front ( I don’t know yet since the boat hasn’t arrived)

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I had that tm on my VT19 for 5 years and never had a problem so in my opinion I would leave it for bigger graphs. 

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Thanks 3dees.

 

I can only buy one at the moment 

 

Should I throw the di/si up on the bow or console?

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I'd keep the Terrova.  If you're used to fishing that way, manual steering's gonna drive you nuts.

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Going from a cable drive to an electric steer and vice versa can be difficult for some.  I went from an electric steer model for 15 years to a cable steer and there was an adjustment period.  The recessed area for the foot pedal is designed for a specific model.  I experienced this problem when I bought my Ranger RT178 and they tried to put an electric steer model there.  They may be able to alter the shape/depth of the recessed area for the foot pedal if you ask about it.

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I would install the Terrova that you already enjoy using. Forget what others prefer! 

 I would sell the trolling motor that came with your new boat and look at some reasonably good upgraded electronics. You do not need to purchase $5000 worth of new HDS units or Humminbird Onyx units.  Most anglers use about 1/3 of what their units can do.  I would consider units like the Lowrance Hook or Elite TI, Humminbird Helix series or even a Raymarine Dragonfly unit.

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Thanks for the replies. 

I'll keep the cable trolling motor for now and give it a shot. If all else fails I'll throw on the Terrova. 

 

The problem with the Terrova is the foot pedal.  I might need to find a way to create a cover or look for an aftermarket cover that I can screw the foot pedal down too. 

 

As far as graphs. I get what you're saying. I purchased a HB 9 series a few years ago and was lost. Ended up selling it to buy other gear. 

 

Right now I'm looking at the Garmin 7sv or the 73sv for the console which will provide some contour lines.

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Take a look at the Raymarine Axiom units, too.

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21 hours ago, MrBigDawg said:

Thanks 3dees.

 

I can only buy one at the moment 

 

Should I throw the di/si up on the bow or console?

I have di on the bow and di and si on the console. both Hds 9 touch.

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2 hours ago, PECo said:

Take a look at the Raymarine Axiom units, too.

Are these fresh on the market? Not a lot of info besides marketing . 7" is going for $1300!

 

 

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2 hours ago, MrBigDawg said:

Are these fresh on the market? Not a lot of info besides marketing . 7" is going for $1300!

I have a buddy who has one. They’re pretty amazing. The RealVision™ 3D Sonar, in particular, provides a 3D picture of what’s underneath the boat. When you’re trying to stay on top of a school of stripers in a river, that picture is priceless.

 

I have Humminbird Helix 10 G2 units on my bow and console. They’re much more susceptible to interference than the prior Humminbird units I had. If I were to do it over, I’d give the Axioms a shot.

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Thanks @PECo. I've been doing a little research.  It seems like a nice unit. 

Do you know if traveling at high speeds you can scan; then go back and look at the structure? 

Did you have a chance to see side view?

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17 hours ago, MrBigDawg said:

Do you know if traveling at high speeds you can scan; then go back and look at the structure? 

Did you have a chance to see side view?

No, I haven’t had a chance to operate an Axiom, yet.

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@PECo or anyone else with some thoughts. 

 

I'm still looking at the Raymarine Axiom and might pull the trigger. Only problem is that I can't afford 2 units.

 

So I would like to find something for the bow that I can get some side imaging. Its networking is console to bow a huge advantage? 

 

 

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IMO, SI at the bow is much less important than at the console.

 

I had it for years, found I wasn't using it much, went to DI up there with a Helix G2N that allows me to see it off the transom transducer if I need it.

 

DI and 2D are very useful at the bow, for me, and 360° is as well.

 

 

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Get the Garmin Echomap 73SV for console and Striker 7DV for bow.  Link them with a single wire, so you can share waypoints between them.  I'd start out with a Striker on the front and save for the nicer unit for the console.  You can just run the Navionics App on your phone so you can get contours and store waypoints that way.

MinnKota makes a quick release plate that allows you to mount the Terrova without having to drill new holes on the bow.  Look into that.

If you sell the old TM, understand that the market for basic TM's is pretty non-existent and that you won't get anything really for it.  I'd keep it as a spare should anything happen to the Terrova.

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Thanks for the replies @Further North and @webertime. I always assumed that side imaging was being used up front.

As far as the trolling motor goes I'm going to see the Terrova and stick with the cable. The main reason is the foot pedal won't fit. I don't want to use the remote the whole time. Later down the road I'll upgrade to the Ultrex.

 

Like you said @webertimeI'll also get some of my money back allowing me to use on the new electronics.

 

I'm still intrigued by the Axiom and RV. I might throw that on and get a Garmin unit in the front that is capable of Papontix. Only problem is the networking. 

 

Gotta love decisions on top of decisions.

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Build an insert for the recessed tray?

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That is an option @webertime. I did my break in the other day and running the cable wasn't bad. 

 

I figured I could sell the motor so I could get some decent graphs.

 

I'll look into build a cover.

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3 hours ago, MrBigDawg said:

I always assumed that side imaging was being used up front.

SI only works if you're moving, and works best if you're moving in a relatively straight line at a relatively consistent speed.

 

When I'm at the front of the boat, I'm not doing that very often.  YMMV.

 

If it were me, I'd keep the Terrova, but I like the advantages of the Terrova/Ulterra over a non-networked, cable steer trolling motors that I have to drive the entire time I'm fishing.  I prefer to fish and let the trolling motor do the work. I also think that the ability to put the control pedal in a tray is moot because the Terrova pedal is thin enough that it doesn't need to be in a well, and since you're hardly ever using it (you use the remote, let it run programed routes, follow the countour, or some other form of set-it-and-forget-it while you fish) height doesn't matter anyway...

 

Again, YMMV.

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Regardless of what unit you decide and where you put what, make sure you get a screen large enough that you can see, especially at the bow where you are spending most of your time.  If you are at all visually challenged, seeing a small screen is especially difficult, and if you use split screen, you might just as well give it up.

I've had a Lowrance Elite 5Ti for about 18 months at the console, and I've tried various ways to incorporate my 10" Ipad at the bow, linked to my Elite 5.  In an ideal world(in my garage), my set-up worked satisfactorily.  However, on the water, the Ipad could not tolerate direct sunlight or Texas summer heat.  In short, I constantly struggle to utilize my sonar fully.  I've decided to offer my Elite 5 for sale and have purchased 2 Elite 9's.  Since I also upgraded my trolling motor to a Motorguide Xi5, I'm really excited about putting it all together and getting back on the water.

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On 4/13/2018 at 9:34 PM, Further North said:

Terrova pedal is thin enough that it doesn't need to be in a well, and since you're hardly ever using it (you use the remote, let it run programed routes, follow the countour, or some other form of set-it-and-forget-it while you fish) height doesn't matter anyway...

I do have the Terrova w/ link and I should take advantage of that feature. I also have the quick release. I'll throw it on this week and look into a 9 inch Humminbird for the bow

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2 hours ago, MrBigDawg said:

I do have the Terrova w/ link and I should take advantage of that feature. I also have the quick release. I'll throw it on this week and look into a 9 inch Humminbird for the bow

That's what I'd do, for a couple reasons:

 

  • I think going back to having to have a foot on the pedal all the time after 6 seasons of not...would drive me nuts.  I walk all over the boat while I fish, and to feel chained to the trolling motor would feel like a chore.
  • I love my electronics, and they tell me a lot of things, but at the end of the day it's just information that I still have to process and apply to catch fish...since the Terrova/Ulterra/Ultrex changes the way I fish, I view them as the most important equipment on the boat.  To coin an awkward metaphor, they are a tool we can use...electronics are like reading the manual.

If I had to make a choice between new electronics and my Ulterra, I'd go with the Ulterra every time.

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Update. 

 

Well I decided to keep the Terrova w/link ; I might as well use what I have.  

 

With that said I now need to stick with Humminbird (was looking at Raymarine) products and don't know which unit (s) to get.

 

I was thinking 2 Helix 7's with SI g2n or 1 Helix 9 Mega at the console for now, and then get another Mega at the bow when I can afford it. 

 

Any thoughts? 

 

I'm not fully sold on this Mega yet. 

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MEGA is nuts, in terms of detail...witll it catch extra fish?  I dunno.

 

I went with it at my console (12") because it was time to update, and that's the biggest screen that fit the budget.

 

I went with a 10" DI G2N at the the bow, again, biggest screen that fit the budget...and...shared the MEGA transducer at from the other unit.  They both also share the 360°.

 

...all that said...the biggest reason for staying with Humminbird for me was the ability to use all the ways they link with my Ulterra.

 

Your Terrova will do the same.

 

...as far as picking a Helix unit, I advise picking the biggest screen you can afford with MEGA...because you'll be crabby later if you don't and will probably wind up upgrading...

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