By Ben Ellison
Maptech i3 3-D Fishfinder
The croakers and rockfish weren’t biting, but I sure could see them lazing around the perhaps too-warm shallows of Chesapeake Bay. Heck, when I jigged my bait near the transducer, I could actually see it in action on the i3’s conventional but super-sharp 2-D fishfinder screen. And back at the dock I could drag that screen with a fingertip to any moment during the day, even split-screen it with the related contour view (shown), chart, or photo map, and finger tap waypoints on spots worth another try. What’s unique about this fishfinder is that time and depth stamped fish icons collect in the 3-D view, thus making a graphic connection between specific bottom structure and piscatorial behavior. As whizbang and useful as that is—for instance, we found fish using certain ridges to lurk out of the tidal current, then found similarly aligned, and fishy, ridges elsewhere on the contour map—it’s also noteworthy how much detail this fishfinder can squeeze out of a relatively modest 350-Watt RMS single-frequency transducer (which is 170kHz so that another finder can be run simultaneously). Also impressive were all the advanced controls, like bottom grabbing STC, neatly integrated into the i3’s instinctive interface. And, while the $1,200 3-D fishfinder module will work fine with existing i3s (and sister Sea Ray Navigators), I got to try it on a new “Type 3” model, which is pleasingly faster, brighter, and more stylish and will soon come in a 15-inch version as well as the 12-inch original.
Maptech ( (888) 839-5551. www.maptech.com.
This article originally appeared in the November 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.