NOS Garmin questions

Discussion in 'Electronics Q&A' started by Garintheair, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Garintheair

    Garintheair Member

    May 4, 2019
    1995 Sea Ray 290
    4.3L w/Alpha 1 Gen 2 Drives
    This is my first "actual" post here. I have recently purchased my first Sea Ray-a well equipped 1995 290- which I am working on getting in the water; details of which would be best for another thread. This boat will be used on Lake Ontario, both American and Canadian side, as well as the St. Lawrence two or three times a year.

    After a severe night fog episode last year in a friends 300-too thick to see the bow rails or ANY lit reference-in which a second alternator failure caused a gps failure-the resulting severe pucker factor for all on board had me considering radar for my 290.

    As I cannot afford state of the art new equipment I started looking for used. I found the following brand new in the boxes equipment from the widow of a person who bought it for a never completed great loop trawler project:

    2 Garmin 5212 w/gps antennas and assorted mounts
    2 ICOM M604
    Garmin 18XD radar w/mount
    2 Shakespeare 5225 XP
    Ghp 10 Complete auto pilot system w/shadow drive, pump and all hoses and fittings
    GHC 10 autopilot control
    XM radio module w/antenna
    GSD22 digital remote sounder
    GHD 22 sounder
    2 Airmar transducers
    Garmin marine network both 2000 and 0183
    ALL cables, connectors and mounts for everything
    Bluechart g2 cards for everywhere, it seems
    A bunch of other electronics and mounts which escape me at the moment

    This is a complete new unused in boxes turn key system with everything needed for install.

    I don't know if I paid too much for this obsolete equipment but it has everything I would have looked for. My question is for anyone who has/had a similar setup:

    Is this stuff still viable and worth installing (I can do it myself)?
    Is it worth putting on a 290?
    Will I find it to be obsolete for the use I'm intending?

    Any other thoughts and insight would be greatly appreciated.

  2. yobub

    yobub Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jul 29, 2016
    1998 400 Sundancer
    Cat 3116's
    That is a big package from someone who was serious about redundancy.

    Is the stuff still viable - absolutely. Plenty of us run gear that is that age.

    Is it worth putting on a 290? That depends on what you want to do with your boat, which you haven't really stated. More info would help us give better advice.

    Beyond that, you probably don't need two VHF radios or two antennas. One each is good, and that Icom is a good radio.

    If you have space for two MFDs, then great. Many of us on bigger boats run two and keep radar on one and charts or engine info on the other. If you don't have space, then just install one.

    The radar is fine, and an appropriate dome for that size boat.

    Autopilot is really convenient if you are going on longer runs. Are you?

    Two transducers is one more than you need unless they are different frequencies and you really are serious about your fishing. If not, one will do.

    Can you install it all? How handy are you? As boat projects go, each is a little bit of work, some harder than others. VHF - easy. MFD - easy.
    Transducer, depends on what type. You are putting a hole in the hull either way, but it may be a small hole in the transom or it may be a big hole in the bottom. Or.maybe no hole, depending on the transducer.

    Autopilot - I've never done that but I think it is pretty involved.

    Radar - the trick is getting the right angle when you are running. The rest is holes, bolts, and wires.

    Networking - sure, if you are willing to read. Lota of reading about how everything connects and how to configure communications.

    You can also sell the stuff you don't need to help offset the cost (or offset the cost of having someone install the rest)

    One real advantage of doing it yourself is that you know where everything is and how it works. The disadvantage is that it takes a whole bunch of time.

    Let us know more about your usage and we can tell you more about how appropriate this gear is for your needs.

    Oh, and post pix as you go.
  3. Golfman25

    Golfman25 Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2009
    I am not too familiar with it all, but on your size boat I think the GPS unit with the Radar overlay would work great. The rest is probably overkill, imo.
  4. Garintheair

    Garintheair Member

    May 4, 2019
    1995 Sea Ray 290
    4.3L w/Alpha 1 Gen 2 Drives

    Thank you. Yes, it would be more helpful knowing usage.

    This boat will be used for general local cruising mainly but will also take several annual trips across the lake to Toronto, Coburg, Kingston etc. It will also travel LENGTHWISE across the lake to various places on the St. Lawrence. The boat is equipped with gen set, windlass, hot water, new canvas and twin 4.3's.

    It will primarily be my wife and myself and we do plan on spending some time on the hook.

    I mostly wanted radar from that experience last year on our friends boat but I couldn't turn down the complete package which included everything needed for installation; the fact that it is all brand new in boxes, and fit my budget, was the clincher! Yes, I did end up with nearly two of everything but, aside from the radar and auto pilot, I could install the other items in a second smaller boat I have. Or, as you have stated, sell what I don't end up using.

    I have read through all of the user and installation manuals and it seems as if this is all compatible and the Garmin network makes it just about plug and play! The 4 degree 4" radar mount seems like it would work well on this boat and even came with a nav light extension post.
  5. Garintheair

    Garintheair Member

    May 4, 2019
    1995 Sea Ray 290
    4.3L w/Alpha 1 Gen 2 Drives
    That's what I thought, too. The boat currently has a Garmin GPSMap 541 only-which seems anemic against the other equipment!

    The Airmar transducers would need to have holes drilled into the hull but there is a through hull transducer in the boat already which isn't hooked up to anything. I'll have to research that and see if it's compatible with the "new" stuff. I can do the work-the boat is on a trailer-but I hate making holes in hulls!
  6. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Nice package and will serve you well. There are many threads, links, and a lot of information on this site that can help in the installation and configuration. Garmin, unfortunately, is not very good on installation in their instructions but with research it's not that hard. There are procedures for coring holes in boats that must be followed so spend time understanding that process. You will need an understanding of NMEA installations (NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000); NMEA 0183 is a bit more complex but for both there are rules that must be followed. Try to stay with NMEA 2000 if you possibly can. On my boats I've done my own electronics installations (I actually kinda like that stuff) and have posted much of it on this forum.
  7. Garintheair

    Garintheair Member

    May 4, 2019
    1995 Sea Ray 290
    4.3L w/Alpha 1 Gen 2 Drives
    I searched the forums and read all that I found about this Garmin equipment. As expected nearly all of the posts are over 10 years old! The general consensus is positive, though, if still a decade old!

    I'll hold off cutting any holes in my hull until I have a thorough handle on that!! With any luck I'll be able to use the transducer already installed although I still need to figure out what I have.

    I have done some reading on both NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 and have at least a basic understanding of it. It looks like I'll primarily be dealing with NMEA 2000. I grew up in a family business with electronics and am comfortable with wiring, crimping etc...

    Even though this is considered obsolete equipment-what isn't anymore after 6 months-it is brand new and I'm excited to even have this much capability! All of the G2 vision charts are a bonus, too!

    I'm leaning towards mounting the 18HD on a flip down mount as this boat will be trailered; if primarily for storage.

    I thank you for your insight and guidance. I have found this board and all of the members here to be most helpful and kind!

  8. RollerCoastr

    RollerCoastr Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cedar Point, OH / Miami, FL / MacRay Harbor, MI
    1997 400DA
    340HP 7.4 Mercruiser Bluewaters
    Garmin 741, 742, 8212, 24HD, Intellian I2
    1999 280BR
    Twin 250HP Merc 350 Alpha Ones
    I had a 5212 for 7-8 years. It was a good unit. I'm still running the 24HD that I bought with it. IMO the operating system in that era is largely responsible for Garmin's reputation of being user-friendly. There really is no "learning it" - it just makes sense.

    My issues with it were:

    - Slow processor. Using G2 Vision makes it even slower. Sometimes I'd pop the card out so I could pan to a new region in a reasonable amount of time, and then re-insert the card.

    - Partial screen video. If you connect a video input, the display window is small

    - Not compatible with NMEA2000 audio controls

    Your dash has a lot of dash space for a 29 footer. I don't know how deep it is under the flat section, but you have a good chance to have a clean-looking installation. provides templates that you can print to scale to help layout the dash and make the cutouts if you can flush-mount them. They even include the footprint of the cover! The templates can also give you an idea of what the units would look like/what they might block if you have to place them in front of gauges. Make sure to follow the printing directions precisely, and make sure the measurements on the template are accurate before you pick up a power tool. If there isn't room underneath the dash panel, maybe you could fab a box to lay over it so you wouldn't have to mount both on gimbals?
  9. Garintheair

    Garintheair Member

    May 4, 2019
    1995 Sea Ray 290
    4.3L w/Alpha 1 Gen 2 Drives
    This is helpful; thank you! I was concerned about the processor speed from some of the historical posts. Beggars vs choosers, though...

    I actually have the templates included with the package. Yes, there is a lot of real estate on the 290 dash but it's "awkward." My thoughts are to place one of the 5212's to the left of the helm seat on the pad where the 541s is now. That doesn't look like it will block much of anything. I'm thinking of flush mounting the other 5212 in front of the wheel where the chart cover is now; make that one the chart plotter and the vertical one the radar display. I don't know if splitting the outputs, vs overlay, will help with the refresh speed though.

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