This is a 12” Lowrance HDS Carbon on a Balzout mount. It has FMT. Not inexpensive but it works.I have a Simrad NSS Evo3 9” and use the Florida Marine Tracks software. Not a low cost set up, but very pleased.
The Cruise is nothing more than a Lowrance HOOK in a simrad Box. Probably the least capable units in the market with very limited software. And they are incapable of running any charts that have imagery. It runs cartoon maps only. It is an entry level unit best suitable for beginners who are not serious boaters.If you don’t need NMEA2000 capability, look at Simrad Cruise9. Very good unit and on sale at West Marine
So you are saying you don’t like it?The Cruise is nothing more than a Lowrance HOOK in a simrad Box. Probably the least capable units in the market with very limited software. And they are incapable of running any charts that have imagery. It runs cartoon maps only. It is an entry level unit best suitable for beginners who are not serious boaters.
People who are truly serious about anything where equipment is commonplace rarely would choose the cheapest equipment option because you always get what you pay for. But as you note, having more capable equipment doesn't necessarily mean you are serious let alone knowledgeable.So you are saying you don’t like it?
It has a micro SD card slot and can run Navionics+ charts. 9” color screen with CHIRP transducer for $500-600. OP asked a very broad question. I gave an option on the less expensive side. Having a zillion dollar charting unit with satellite imagery overlay to run your boat does not qualify you as a “serious boater.” I hope it never has an issue and goes out.
Garmin Topo maps you can use to navigate anywhere with in the 10,000 islands with no other user provided data added to it to follow? Now that is funny. And using something like that, particularly created by Garmin, in lieu of quality hi res images of what is actually there and trying to make a case that a topo map alone is a superior aid to actual imagery? Respectfully, I have to say that is laughable. These Garmin chart creators are responsible for motivating hundreds of threads on numerous blogs by hundreds of boaters over about 10 years with a title something like "my garmin shows me running on land". If you use it to make navigation decisions in the 10,000 islands when you can't see well, you will really will be on the topo for sure.Would I use Garmin base map? Absolutely not but the Vision maps seem to have worked fine. I'm still convinced guys that need aerial photos are not comfortable reading topo maps at speed in a moment's notice.
Now, if Isla mapping is more accurate than Navonics Platinum + charts and Garmin G3 Vision charts and you can turn off the photos to better see the contour lines... then that would make me very happy. (Yes, I already know the purported answer)