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(34)Fish finders(34) Which one would you buy?

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    #46
    Originally posted by Pacrimrat View Post
    I see this is last years post but to continue the discussion I'm looking at a Simrad GO12 XSE Combo Package w/3G Radar TotalScan Transducer for my 19 foot fishing/tender.
    I've owned a few brands but never Simrad. Anyone have experience with these?
    Simrad, Lowrance, and B&G are all the same company - Navico. As best as I can tell, the units for the three brands run the same software, just with slightly different UIs. Also, B&G is geared towards sailors, Lowrance towards freshwater fishing, Simrad towards offshore fishing (uses metal in the case vs all-plastic for Lowrance). But they'll all work in place of each other (I got a Lowrance for offshore fishing because the new Simrad units weren't out yet at the time, and I was planning to use it at the in-cabin helm so didn't need the superior construction of the Simrad).

    From what I could tell, the difference between the GO XSE series and the top-of-the-line NSS evo (equivalent to Lowrance HDS) was that the latter can network over ethernet. So if you don't plan to network multiple displays together, or hook up a standalone radar which communicates with your plotter via ethernet, then the GO XSE is a good compromise of features vs price from the top-end units.

    From the research I did while shopping, the general sense I got was that:
    • Garmin was easiest to use (but I had to cross them off because their mobile software is iOS-only).
    • Raymarine was most popular for general boating, and had the best support (the reps on their forum are incredible, often answering very technical questions within 1-2 days).
    • Furuno was the first choice among commercial fishermen, but also the most expensive. Eveyone likes their radars too.
    • Navico was the best compromise.
    I've been fairly happy with my Navico (Lowrance) unit. My only real gripe is that the trails do not give you distance traveled. For that you have to either convert the trail into a route (which seems to be limited to 10,000 points so won't work for a full day's boating). Or you have to remember to reset the day trip logger, since that does measure distance traveled for the day, or since last reset. Since the unit can calculate the distance of a route, and you can convert a trail to a route, it should be able to calculate the distance of a trail, but Navico hasn't yet seen fit to program in that capability.

    Lesser gripes are that many of the settings are not intuitively laid out. So for example there's an option to overlay the downscan sonar image over the regular sonar image (basically combining the two), but it's not in the sonar display options where you'd expect it to be. It's in the sonar settings (where you select which sonar the unit should use, if you've got multiple sonars attached). I never would've known about it if someone hadn't mentioned it in a Youtube video.

    Also be aware that Garmin bought Navionics last year. I doubt they'll tinker with it much since it has a pretty well-established user base. But just be aware that the go-to plotter app for most tablets, and probably the most popular source for maps on plotters, is now owned by one of the plotter manufactures.
    1994 2556, 350 MAG MPI Horizon, Bravo 2

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    • builderdude
      builderdude commented
      Editing a comment
      Yea, it'll be interesting to see what happens to Navionics now that Garmin is at the helm. IMO I hope it stays as is.

    #47
    as usual, after posting, I find my reply is right on time and a couple years late.... but I still have an opinion so rather than deleting it im going to leave it alone ;-)

    , I cant get the link for global supply to come up...
    but as for stand alone fish finders, my opinion is that unless one is buying a basic unit, the value isnt there for the more expensive units, because for another couple hundred dollars one can have an even better unit WITH gps included...

    I agree Lowrance has come a long way in the past few years and they have some great units out there now... I have always been a garmin fan, and still am mostly but that may be changing due to my impression of the lowrance products.
    My brother bought the HDS7 for his boat, and what it doesnt have included, a person doesnt really need.... if one wants to, they can start adding on accessories and connecting into the backbone, and get the boat to do whatever has been programmed into the lowrance unit... and raymarine has gotten their electronics and support going good now, after several years of problems and poor customer service....

    I dont feel you can go wrong with any of these 3, but for a stand alone fish finder, I think there are some other decent units out there but I have no experience with them...

    my boat was outfitted with a lowrance (not an HDS7) at the lower helm and a garmin on the upper (both combo units), and the lowrance is capable of more than I will ever be able to learn how to operate, so if I had a choice, I would trade the cost of some of the bells and whistles for a larger screen...


    NU LIBERTE'
    Salem, OR

    1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
    5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
    N2K equipped throughout..
    2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
    2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
    '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
    Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

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      #48
      One of my gripes is the learning curve for so many of the units out on the market, since I have the Lowrance unit it works but still not 100 in tune with the scanner, in addition there seams to be a lack of good basic information available.
      Slightly modified 2859 6.5 Diesel Bravo III X drive
      96 Dodge 5.9 5 speed Gear vender OD.

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        #49
        Originally posted by fritzman View Post
        One of my gripes is the learning curve for so many of the units out on the market,
        this is the largest problem most of us face as we get older... by the time we know how to run the unit we just bought a few months ago, its nearly obsolete....

        one can go to the manufactures website and download the full 240 page manual for the units, but then again, its a learning curve as we work our way thru the text book to find out how to operate the features we bought the unit for..... and there are too many feature that clutter the menus that most of us will never use... there should be a way to archive all this un-needed information within the unit and not show ANY of it or options for it on the menus.. but still have it available if one wants to retrieve it from the archive.
        this would remove a lot of the confusion when trying to find the right menu/setting when the boat is rocking around in rough weather, or trying to understand the meaning of some pop up menu that we dont even know what it does...





        NU LIBERTE'
        Salem, OR

        1989 Bayliner 2556 Convertible
        5.7 OMC Cobra - 15.5x11 prop
        N2K equipped throughout..
        2014 Ram 3500 crew cab, 6.7 Cummins
        2007 M-3705 SLC weekend warrior, 5th wheel
        '04 Polaris Sportsman 700 -- '05 Polaris Sportsman 500 HO
        Heavy Equipment Repair and Specialty Welding

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