In Jim Collin’s book, “Good to Great” he talks about the fact that good is the enemy of great. What he is saying is that many times we settle to stay the same because we have equipment or things that are good, so it doesn’t force us to change when we need to make some changes in order to try to make the transition from good to great.
One of the things that I think I struggle with is making the decision about what I can afford, compared to what I need to afford. In order to try to improve myself in an effort to make the transition to be a great fisherman. When it comes to equipment, I have heard Kevin VanDam say a number of times, “get the best you can afford”.
One of the most difficult systems to try to afford (after a boat) is to try to keep up with technology is the electronics of fish finders. Many of us struggle with whether or not to buy new or to buy used electronics. I must admit, that the fact buying used equipment can be taking a chance that it might not work, or that something might not work the way it is supposed to. So maybe you might want to watch for sales on new items. Whichever way you decide you want to go, new or used, either way I strongly suggest you research, read reviews, and do a lot of investigation to learn more about what you are wanting to buy. The more knowledgeable about the products, the better off you will be.
You could find the electronics used on the internet, like craiglist or ebay. You can also find them on forums like bbcboards.net where you could also get advice. There are social media pages out there to buy items. Facebook seems to have everything from groups to garage sales in your area. There are also outlet websites like factoryoutletstore or overtons. Make sure that you know how much the new items cost and that you do not pay new item price for used items. You can buy from friends or people on forums on the internet. You should always beware of buying expensive things from someone you don’t know, there are some people out there that might try to rip you off. There are some people who just don’t know what that are doing. A large majority that you will find are just people who have upgraded or who have sold their boat and just need some money to help them out and you might be finding a great deal just because they are willing to part with it.
You should do some research, look online at different units. Make sure you have a good idea as to what you are looking for, like mapping GPS, or down imaging, or other key options that you want it to come with. When you are looking at used units make sure you have a clear understanding as to what is included in the price. There are a lot of cheap prices that have only the main unit without a transducer or power cable for example.
Before I get started talking about installing, I feel like I should talk about making electrical connections. Both my friend Jon and I have experience with making electrical connections. If you are going to try installing electrical connections yourself, you should already have experience with proper terminal applications or you should seek instruction on doing it yourself, or get a someone to help you. All it takes is to have one connection to be shorted out and you can have all sorts of trouble with your system and having to go back and try to troubleshoot it after the fact can be quite an arduous task.
Make sure you plan everything out and make sure you have room and enough wire. You need to do an inventory to make sure you have everything that is needed to make all the connections, all the fasteners, tape, and caps and terminals. You need to think through and make sure you know what holes they can fit through and plan accordingly. If you pull through in the wrong order you might find yourself making a big hole or starting over.
It can also be helpful to search for some videos on installing and setting up your electronics. Lowrance has an extensive video library to help you. Humminbird has a huge selection of downloadable PDFs available, along with product manuals you can download.
Once you have everything connected and have checked to make sure that everything works, you need to “clean” everything up. You should take the time to use wire ties and maybe even some clips that hold the wires up and out of the way.
Installing your electronics yourself can make it more affordable and the satisfaction of completing the task at hand can be something worth your while.