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  1. #1
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    Feb 2016
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    Roanoke, Virginia
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    Feels like a new boat!!!

    I bought a 2008 Ranger Z520 four years ago, and this is my first real bass boat I've owned. I absolutely love it! I think it is one of the best boats on the water, but that is just my opinion, but for my purposes, it is awesome. I did not get out much last year due to the crazy amount of rain we had here locally, and I think it rained every Friday night for 6 months straight, no joke.

    Recently I have been considering new fishfinders, and have had two major installs done since I got this boat. It had 7" Lowrance units on it when I got it which I assume were the original units, and I went to whatever the best Lowrance units (12" on the console and two 9's on the bow) were three years ago for an upgrade. I felt like I did not do well with those units, mostly because I did not know how to use them and had no one to help train me. So the next year, after looking on line and reading a good bit, I decided to put all Hummingbirds on the boat, so I went with 15" Solix units, one on the bow with a 360 and one on the console with mega transducers etc. After having them on for a year and half, I decided I would try Garmins. That's when the magic happened....

    I talked with a bunch of installers locally, and could not find anyone who seemed knowledgeable about the units I wanted to put on the boat. I ended up driving 4 hours one way to an installer in Louisville TN just outside of Knoxville. Bass Boat Electronics is the company, and Jason Cassell is the owner and he also did the install as well. He took the time to listen to my wants and needs, and put together a package that really was perfect for me. Jason really understands boat electronics, and I can't recommend him highly enough.

    I ended up putting two Garmin 8612xsv units on the boat, one on the bow with Livescope (which would require a whole new thread on this jewel), and one on the console with a shoot-thru-the-hull GT15 transducer for depth at speed, and a GT54-UHD transducer on the step to get mega side and down imaging as needed. I also have always felt like the best setup for batteries would be a good group 24 Northstar starting battery, a group 31 Odyssey Extreme for a house battery, and a 36 volt Lithium battery like Lithium Pro offers for a trolling motor battery. So that is what I did. That decision alone saved me 146 pounds, but there's more!

    Jason took the time to go through my boat very thoroughly which I appreciated more than you know. There was a pile of wire and components from all the past installs that was just laying in the boat doing nothing. He pulled everything not needed out of the boat, and made a few things right that were not done the way they should have been. He found a split hose to my livewells, replaced a bad bilge pump, and fixed a few other things that were not electronics related. When I went to pick up my boat, he showed me a huge box of all the wiring, black boxes, and other stuff he pulled out of my boat. I picked it up, and conservatively the box was 75 pounds. So with the junk wiring removed, new battery setup, and the deletion of a few other things, I lost at least 250 pounds out of my boat, and that is being very conservative.

    So last Friday night was the first time back on the water with the new setup. I have only been in the boat one time this year before all this was done, and that was for a week on Okeechobee in late April. The lake was really low when we went, and when I was running in the rim canal, I hit a rock or something and gouged a huge chunk out of the bottom of my boat. I got that repaired and also got a new Raker HO prop to replace my damaged Raker II. So I get on the water here on my home lake, fire up the Garmin's and head to one of my favorite spots. The boat jumped up on pad quickly, even in this 85 degree water! It planed out and ran like a completely different boat! It even seemed to handle differently than ever before. There was a ton of boat traffic due to the holiday weekend, so I could not hammer down like I wanted, but the boat just seemed like a new boat to me altogether. I loved the charts/maps on the Garmin too. I had depth shading set up so I would be able to run at night safely, and these units were perfect after dark because you could dial the brightness way down on them so your night vision stayed good.

    So I know the story is long, but I'm excited about my "new" boat! Great battery setup, and got rid of a pile of junk, everything works like it is supposed to, boat rides so much better than ever before, it's just awesome!! So I gave her a much needed bath, and waxed her a little. I also added my own version of a compartment ventilation system. I put a waterproof 120 volt fan inside the rod locker and installed a vent cover over the 3" hole I drilled through the compartment which is under the step up to the front deck. Then I drilled 3" holes between the rod locker and the center tackle storage compartment, and then the same to the starboard side compartment and covered the holes with nice little white vent covers. Now when I have my boat hooked to shore power, it is on a mechanical timer and runs for a period of time when I plug my boat in which pulls fresh air through the compartments, helping dry out any moisture that got in the boxes while I was on the water. It took a little time to get it set up and run the wires etc, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I got some mildew in one compartment last year and when I opened it up it made me about ill with all the mold everywhere. I hate that! So now I'm good to go and can't wait to hit the water again!

  2.  
  3. Member
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    Apr 2014
    Location
    Maple Plain, MN
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    #2
    Awesome - post up some pics when you can

    Ranger z520 // Mercury 250 Pro XS
    12ft BT Talons/112 Ultrex/Hbird 360



  4. Member turfy49431's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Location
    Virginia Beach
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    3,480
    #3
    Holy smokes, we need to change your username to MoneyBags. Lol

    Sounds awesome, cant wait to hear more feedback as u use them more
    Ranger 185 VS
    Mercury 150 xr6, 23p Tempest Plus

  5. Member
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    Feb 2016
    Location
    Roanoke, Virginia
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    1,004
    #4
    Right now I'm suffering from that rare Hawaiian disease...... lack-a-moolah......LOL

  6. Member CigarBasser's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fayetteville
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    8,942
    #5
    Man you got me feeling stoked... now get some pics loaded up...

    Also, love a full report on the Garmin and its setup..

    Thanks
    Dave
    Last edited by CigarBasser; 07-12-2019 at 03:19 PM.
    CigarBasser

    2001 Ranger 518DVX Comanche / Mercury 200 Opti (OT306368)


  7. Member dean c's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Location
    Humble Tx.
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    12,832
    #6
    We need pics! Nice work on the vents!
    2016 Ranger Z521c
    250 Mercury Pro XS/Serial #2B124174



  8. Member
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    Feb 2016
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    Roanoke, Virginia
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    #7
    I'll try to remember to take some pics when I get home today.

  9. Member
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    Feb 2016
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    #8

  10. Member
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    Feb 2016
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    #9
    How do you post pics that are not sideways?

  11. Member
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    Feb 2016
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    Roanoke, Virginia
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    #10
    Okay, the thumbnail is sideways, but when you click on the pic it is upright....grrrr....confusing

  12. Member
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    Feb 2016
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    Roanoke, Virginia
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    #11
    <img src="http://www.bbcboards.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=369882&amp;stc=1" attachmentid="369882" alt="" id="vbattach_369882" class="previewthumb"><br><br><img src="http://www.bbcboards.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=369883&amp;stc=1" attachmentid="369883" alt="" id="vbattach_369883" class="previewthumb"><br><br><img src="http://www.bbcboards.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=369884&amp;stc=1" attachmentid="369884" alt="" id="vbattach_369884" class="previewthumb"><br><br><img src="http://www.bbcboards.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=369885&amp;stc=1" attachmentid="369885" alt="" id="vbattach_369885" class="previewthumb"><br><br>The last pic is where I took the foot pad off in front of the passenger's seat, and I took out the foam and will make this into a trash bin/ storage locker for that needed extra space.&nbsp; Having the door fabbed now, using the old kickplate.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. Member
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    #12
    Well, none of that worked either.

  14. Member
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    Jan 2010
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    Fargo, ND
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    #13
    Very awesome! I put Garmins on 3 years ago (7610's) and have been running panoptix/livescope for 2 years, it's awesome! i do also run Lowrance Live units too (other reasons) but the Garmins have always (to me) be n the easiest to use, best 2D and great mapping. If I ever had questions or anything, Garmin had great customer support!
    David Geske
    2012 Ranger Z521
    Mercury 250 ProXS