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Furuno FCV587

The Furuno FCV587 is the second follow-on fully updated version of the venerable Furuno 582L dual-frequency color sounder to be released by Furuno. This new release fishfinder keeps all the best features of its older siblings while adding more to the mix.

Fine-tuning gain as needed for the specific situation remains an important function in a top-quality fish finder. This unit retains the rotary knob control of its predecessors which allows for easy instant gain adjustment. This is in my opinion one of several features that sets this unit apart from so many others. Thanks Furuno for keeping a rotary gain control knob.

furuno fcv587 fish finder sounder

Furuno FCV-587

The Furuno FCV587 display unit measures 9.2 inches wide by 9.2 inches high with a depth of 4.2 inches.

The package shipped to us containing the display unit, power cable, operator’s manual, a 1-page plasticized card operator’s guide in English as well as 14 other languages, a beefy tilt and swivel mounting bracket, hardware to mount the bracket, plus a template and hardware to flush mount the display unit.

The display unit contains all the required electronics needed. The only additional component needed for full functionality is a transducer.

Several transducer options are available for the Furuno FCV587. They run the gamut from a 600-watt plastic transom-mount with built-in water temperature sensing to a 1000-watt bronze thru-hull with water temperature and speed sensors. I used an Airmar TM260 to test the 587. I set things up by selecting the proper transducer from a list provided on the display menu.

I flush mounted the display unit using the provided hardware since it will participate in a long-term review going forward. Twist-lock ports on the case back allow for quick and easy connection of both the power and transducer cables.

This unit can interface with NMEA 0183 devices using wiring that is part of the power cable. Unfortunately there is no NMEA2000 capability built into this fishfinder.

Screen Size and Viewability

The Furuno FCV587 is fitted with a color LCD screen that measures nearly 7-inches high and full 5-inches wide; on the diagonal I measured it at 8.4-inches. It uses a portrait layout and carries a resolution of 640 pixels vertically and 480 pixels on the horizontal plane.

On The Water Performance

furuno fcv587 fish finder sounder

The top line of data in this Furuno FCV587 screen shot shows the unit gain selected to manual with a setting of 5.4 out of 10, low frequency output being displayed, and a 1 to 1 pulse rate selected. In the window below you can see the beam width of the 50 kHz pulse is about 25 at this depth. This information is presented whenever A-scope is displayed.

To properly set the gain manually for a particular depth you should range out to double the actual depth and set the gain high enough to see a second bottom echo, then range back to the original setting.

Overall on the water performance of the FCV587 was excellent, this is one of the best recreational fishfinders on the market today. Especially when coupled to a 1-kw transducer like the Airnar TM260.

My review of the Furuno FCV587 took place on a bright sunny day with the unit flush mounted in the boat’s center console panel. There is no T-Top to provide shade or cover.

When viewed straight-on we found the screen to be bright and sharp with excellent contrast. We noticed very little screen darkening even when viewing a steep side angles. There some screen reflectivity. I rated the screen excellent for daytime viewability.

A quick press of the on/off pushbutton brings up the brightness and contrast menu onscreen. Each can be adjusted to one of 10 levels using the cursor pad arrows.

Controls and Operation

Operational controls are located in the right hand side of the front panel and consist of pushbuttons, knobs, and a cursor pad. The operator reaches the main menu with a press of the Menu/Esc key. Selections are made with the cursor pad arrows and accepted and executed with a press of the Enter key.

A press of the Range button brings up the depth range menu box and allows the user to choose between automatic or manual. When you arrow over to manual using the cursor pad you will see eight user adjustable range selections appear which can be selected as desired with the up/down arrows.

If you Furuno FCV587 installation is interfaced with a GPS unit using the NMEA0183 protocol pressing the mark button will save a waypoint. I did not test this feature. The Function gives you fast and easy access to one of eight user selectable functions.

Our favorite control, the rotary gain control knob is next in line. It allows the user to switch between two automatic gain modes, fishing or cruising, or choose manual gain with successive presses of the knob. Manual gain is adjusted up or down as desired by rotating the gain knob. The gain level is displayed in the header line at the top of the screen.

The bottom knob on the right hand side gives you quick selection of seven different modes of operation. You can choose between two navigation data displays, full-screen high frequency, full-screen low frequency, either of the preceding two with zoom added, or dual frequency mode. When a new mode is selected a mode menu pops up onscreen for several seconds indicating the new mode selected.

Screen refresh is fasted when either high or low frequency full-screen mode is selected. Adding zoom or choosing dual frequency slows the screen speed noticeably.

Furuno FCV587 Specifications

Power (Watts RMS)600 / 1000
Frequency (kHz)50 / 200
Transducer Used for TestAirmar TM260
Auto Depth RangingYes
Manual Depth RangingYes – 8 steps
GainAuto(2) / Manual
Bottom LockYes
Bottom DiscriminationYes
Water TemperatureYes
Warranty Period (Years)(2)Parts / (2)Labor

Functions and Features

Features in the FCV587 that remain from the earlier model 585 incarnation are A-scope, shift, user selectable zoom, adjustable picture advance speed, variable depth display number size, and user selectable data boxes.

Just like in its predecessor A-scope can be selected to off, normal, or peak. Peak leaves a trail in the A-scope column for several seconds after the initial data was written to help the user track faint signals more easily. This is the setting I prefer to use.

Zoom mode selection is accessed through the sounder menu and can be set to bottom lock, bottom zoom, or maker zoom. Bottom lock range can be set to between 10 and 30 feet while bottom zoom can be set to anywhere between 7 and 4000 feet.

Picture advance can be set to one of eight speeds ranging from stopped to 4 times the ping rate. For our testing we used the default setting of 1/1 which writes one column of pixels for each ping of the sounder.

The display screen color palette can be set to white, blue, black, monochrome, or night. We used the default white for our daytime testing due to bright sunny test conditions.

A header line displayed at the top of the screen indicates the gain mode, range mode, operational mode, and if menu selected on, battery voltage. When in the manual gain mode the actual gain setting will be displayed too. The header line can turned off if desired.

Two New Features – Accu-Fish and Bottom Discrimination

Two new feature appear in the Furuno FCV587, Accu-Fish and bottom discrimination. When the unit is coupled to a compatible transducer the Accu-Fish function will display fish symbols with accompanying information. Four symbol styles are available with a couple offering differentiation between fish sizes. You can also choose to display water depth or fish size numerically beside the fish symbols.

The bottom discrimination mode uses the bottom echo return to determine bottom composition to one of four types, mud, sand, gravel, or rock. You can choose to display this data graphic or probability mode. This mode only works with certain transducers in water between 16 and 328 feet deep and speeds under 10 knots.

Buy this Furuno fishfinder here.

Final Thoughts

The Furuno FCV587 has boatloads of features and when coupled to the right transducer is a fishfinder of the finest caliber. It has a big screen, a rotary gain knob, and lots of other performance related features that will appeal to the discriminating angler. It continues the Furuno tradition of creating and selling some of the best recreational and commercial sounders on the market today. Make sure when you order this unit you add a transducer appropriate for your boat and usage.