Feeding power to today’s electronics


Courtesy Gary Clouse

You’ve probably noticed the bank of electronics that anglers are putting on their boats.

And not just Bassmaster Elite Series anglers either. Here at Phoenix Boats, we see all skill levels utilizing multiple units.

I’m one of those guys as well. At my bow, I have a Lowrance HDS 12 Live, Humminbird Solix 12 and a Garmin Ultra 126 with Livescope (below).

At the console, I have two Lowrance HDS 12 Live graphs and a 12 Humminbird Solix (above).

As you can tell, I’m not sponsored by any company and utilize the graphs that I believe provide the best performance for specific functions. For example, the Lakemaster mapping exclusive to Humminbird is excellent on many waters while the Navionics on the Lowrance has better detail on other lakes. I like Humminbird’s Side Imaging and Mega 360 features and Lowrance’s Downscan detail. And, of course, Garmin’s Livescope is amazing, although I’ve yet to try the Humminbird Live feature or Lowrance Active Target.

At any rate, all of these electronics on today’s boats create a lot of power demand issues for boat manufacturers and anglers. You’ve got to feed all of those units with the proper voltage or you can suffer a drop that can affect battery run time and screen performance.

At Phoenix, we saw this coming a few years ago and created our own integrated wiring harness that we use on most of our boats. We use marine grade 10-gauge wire that feeds each graph individually and separately from the main boat wiring harness.

If you’re considering newer electronics on an earlier Phoenix, or any other brand for that matter, you might consider replacing the wiring with heavier gauge wire for each graph and run it directly to a fuse connection at the battery. This can possibly give you a clearer picture and improved performance on newer units.

Battery power is another issue. I run five X2 brand 31 AGM batteries – three for my 36-volt Minn Kota Ultrex and two wired parallel for my electronics, accessories and my outboard.

And then there’s the issue of how to position or stack these big graphs where you can see them and secure them safely to the boat.

We created our own stacking system and there are aftermarket brackets out there that provide similar space-saving measures. In the meantime, we’re constantly looking at ways to best utilize the given space in our bass boats and accommodate trends that anglers are pursuing.