Boat Electronics - SaltwaterCentral.Com

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Posts: 33
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Wed May 27, 2020 8:09 pm
Hi Guys...

Needs some help with boat electronics. My GPS/Fish finder unit died on me after 12 years (it's been a good one, can't complain). I am trying to navigate between Lowrance and Garmin. It is beyond evident that a lot has changed from my unit!!!

I am trying to understand the difference between the units, transducers and one that will fit inside the current hole that is cut out for existing unit (LCX-113HD.) I am not married to Lowrance by any means as I have heard a lot good things about Garmin. With respect to networking, I have my suzuki motors connected NEMA 2000 (so that should plug into both units), Lowrance Radar Unit (12 years old not sure if it will even connect to the new Lowrance units) and a Airmar P-66 transducer (Not sure if this will work with new units and imaging).

Overall, I'm trying to make the best decision. This is a big purchase and the information is beyond overwhelming. Any advice or suggestions is well received. Budget wise...I'd like to stay between 1-2k.

I do like the images of some of the garmin and lowarnce units, but I am unsure if these can only be achieved by a certain transducer that may be out of my price range.

I mostly King, Dolphin and occasionally bottom fish.

Thanks again for any help!!!!
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Posts: 2939
Location: Wilmington NC
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Thu May 28, 2020 8:31 am
Here is my unbiased opinion. I have had Furuno, Garmin and RayMarine.
The Furuno units are great but I found mine to not be as user friendly, although mine was an older unit with the "black box". Garmin by far is the most user friendly. They are now all NEMA 2000 which makes them Plug and Play. My new boat has a older RayMarine C120 again it is an older unit NEMA 0183 not 2000. It is slightly more user friendly than the Furuno. But it draws a lot of power. Actually putting it on it's own circuit. If it gets slightly below 12 volts the DSM does not get recognized and you don't have a bottom reading. I think that is because it is older technology.The one thing that I do like about it is it the ONLY transom mount transducer that will consistently read the bottom at speed. I have just installed a new 7 inch Garmin as a back up. This has a transom mount Chirp and Down View transducer.. I am not sure how it will read at speed as it was just installed. Garmin is the easiest unit to work with. As far as transducers the Garmin ducers are made by Airmar. Depending on your hull look into the tilted element thru hull. They make different models for different "deadrise". On my old Albemarele I had a 22 degree transducer. My deadrise was 24 degrees. It worked flawlessly. Sometime in the future I will be replacing the RayMarine with a Garmin. But due to the fact that the C120 is a Multi Function Display NEMA 0183 the radar will not work with a Garmin. So I am going to have to replace the radar also.
Breaking it down very simple. Go with Garmin user friendly and good customer service when you need them. Hope this helps, reach out if you need more info
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Posts: 190
Location: Jamestown, NC
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Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:44 pm
I've had a Simrad, a couple of Garmins and most recently Lowrance Ti 12.

The Simrad was a backup unit for the Garmin and I never really looked at it. So, no opinion about that unit.

I find the Garmin more intuitive and their chartplotter much easier to read, especially clarity navigating. They provide a surface water temperature graph which I found very useful. We were able to install and interface a Garmin radar ourselves so the network is not too challenging. I like the way they display the waypoints on the chartplotter as well.

The Lowrance is driving me crazy because I've spent a lot of time in their users manual be can't find answers to some pretty simple questions. The numbers on the sonar display get lost in the surface clutter and we can't read the depth, etc. The information on their navigation display is very limited, for example their chartplotter does not differentiate navigation channels like the Garmin, so much harder to navigate and we've found the bottom more in the last few weeks than we ever did with the Garmin. Much of this is probably learning curve as this is my first Lowrance since the Humminbird flasher days, but I find the users manual to be poor. On the plus side, the sonar image clarity is great and their tech folks have answered my emails timely.
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Posts: 33
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Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:51 pm
Thanks guys!!! You help me seal the deal. I went with Garmin (per your recommendation) as it was easier to navigate and more intuitive. Looking forward to all the new functions and bottom readings compared to my old unit. Definitely was not looking for this expense in 2020, but glad the old electronics went out at the dock rather than 50 miles offshore!!!

Thanks again!
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Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:12 pm
I love the Garmin brand. Ive been using their GPS product since I started fishing. Currently Im using the Garmin Striker 4 with Transducer. If youre looking for other recommendations, you should see this website.  
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Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:51 pm
I'm using the A series Raymarine with a Axiom stand alone. The 2 a series units run my ap, radar and sidescan. I bought the Axiom before I knew it would not network to the A series units or my AP. The 3d fishfinder on the Axiom is awesome compared to the A series set up as it doesn't need the cp200 box or 2 ducers to run everything. I have a B175 and the cp200 side scan. Works well in a small boat commercial capacity. Very intuitive single button waypoint or routing. AP is controlled on the screen of the units. Radar is digital hd dome and I can back into a slip with it as well as see birds @ 5 miles. I have the 78 n 98. Use to have the 68 also. The 98 is faster but my boat is not fast enough to have an issue with the smaller processoros of the smaller machines.
Navionics charts so the app matches up and I can see updates on my phone if at a new inlet not updated on my chip. Easy to network and awesome customer service for installs expansion or questions on how to get the most out of the units.
Garmin is on most of the boats I run Furuno and simrad split the others. I prefer the Raymarine over them. I have never had a track limit like the garmin. The base maps on Furuno are rastar and useless for finding spots and the simrads work fine inshore fishing but not offshore with a 1k chirp ducer. I have better detail I assume because of the processing and I tend to tune it in on my own boat vs at work
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Boat Electronics - SaltwaterCentral.Com