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Echopilot 3D experiences - anyone?

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Hi all,

I was looking at the Echopilot 3D website again today, and realised that it's been a while since it was introduced in a few blog entries on Panbo. I searched for any reviews of it on the web, or in the cruising forums for anyone who's used it, but I couldn't find any references to it in real life situations.

So, can anyone tell us how well it works in real life?


2 Replies

  • Did you receive any responses on your post re Echopilot 3D - I am also researching this and finding very little. Original interst was in an Interphase unit but not finding particularly positive data and also now understand they have been sold to Garmin and the line will most probably be discontinued - Garmin, as I understand it has no replacement plans as of this date.

    Ron w

  • I've owned an Echopilot 3D since circa 2012. Initially everything worked fine, then after making the jump for Costa Rica to French Polynesia in 2013 the unit began to not operate properly. I sent it back to England 3-4 times and each time upon return it would not work properly. The last time I opted for a new processor and this has worked flawlessly for the last year.

    How well does it work in real life? I'm a single hander and have sailed from California to New Zealand. This past year I used it with reasonable success in the reef prone Fijian islands. If you're looking for something that'll give you exquisite details to the level you've come to expect on chart plotters, you'll be very disappointed. If you're content with details on par with pulse radars, then you'll be happy. The update rate is around 2-3 seconds and it isn't unusual to see different images from one update to the next. What works for me is to watch a few updates, then worse case my mines picture of what was seen on the screen to what's really under the water.

    I can think of two times using the 3D that sticks in my mine, one time I didn't heed the shallow image and the other time I did. The former ended OK since it was only a mud bank. I was following channel makers and inadvertently switch my glaze to an adjacent channel. I noticed the 3D becoming red, but assumed I was still in my channel and didn't react to the 3D. If I had, I wouldn't have become stuck in the mud. The other time I was motoring outside a reef in Fiji where my charts indicated there was deep water ahead. I noticed a shallow "red" spot coming up fast directly ahead. I immediately put it in reverse, stopped the boat, and turned around. The 3D detected an uncharted reef and gave me ample time to avoid it.

    Does it work, yes. Is the image picture perfect, no. Am I glad I bought it, yes after finally getting the new processor.