We haven’t heard much news from Si Tex lately, so it was nice to discover that they’re introducing a new line of chartplotter fishfinder units, the EC series. I haven’t laid my hands on one yet so I can’t give you a full-blown test report, but here are the basics:
There are three models in the line up, the EC 5, EC 7, and EC 11. As you might surmise, the number following the model designation describes screen size (though the 11 has a screen that’s 10.4″. Go figure.) All of these are rated IP67 for water resistance, which is pretty darn good and beats many competitors; IP67 units will continue running when submersed in up to one meter of water. The EC5 and 7 can have an optional sounder built-in, the 7 can also have an external sounder added, and the 11 needs a black box added on to detect finned critters. Same goes for integrated versus external GPS antennas, which can be added to the 5 as well. You can also add radar and/or video input to the 7 and 11. You want AIS? Not a problem; all three of these units are compatible with Si Tex’s black box AIS.
What about chartography? The EC series runs with C Map Max, and can utilize all of C Map’s newest functions like flashing nav aids, and Guardian grounding prevention. Here’s what the units look like:
Now, are you ready for the big surprise of the day? Pricing on the EC5 and EC7 are about as expected, at $599 and $1,069 – right in line with much of the competition. But going for the big screen EC11 only jumps pricing to $2,099. That’s pretty darn inexpensive for a full function multi-tasker like this. And remember, those numbers are MSRPs so you’ll surely see these units for substantially less, on the open market. But, how will they hold up over time? Stay tuned – I’ll see if I can get a hold of a test unit, and report back!