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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
need new plotter for skiff any opinions on these? good or bad ? or maybe something else? any favorites?, happy holidays to MS
 

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Simrad and Lowrance have the most map options I think. Garmin has the least. Don't know much about axiom. I'd go with the Lowrance at first glance of this list, but that's assuming you need detailed maps and such.
 

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Better spot to ask this would be the electronics forum. Lots of threads in there on MFD. To me I favor the Simrad NSS line since I prefer the rotary dial to be able to navigate the system while running. Touch screen only is a bit hard for me to use when running.
 

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I have had Garmin, Lowrance and just ordered a Simrad NSS7 for my new skiff. I am not a fan of touch only screens. I don't like not having some tactile feedback when I press a button. It isn't much of an issue when idling along in calm water but trying to use your plotter and make adjustments/inputs when bouncing across choppy water can be a little tough. Of the units you listed, I'd choose the Lowrance HDS7. I have one on my current skiff and it uses both touch screen and tactile buttons. The Garmin is a good unit but it only has the few hot keys you program favorite screens to otherwise it is all touch screen. The GO7 is all touch. It is a preference thing for sure but just read through some of the threads in the electronics section. The number of people who like having buttons and the rotary knob on the Simrad NSS is surprising. Having used one on a friend's boat, it is easy to see why and consequently why I chose one for my new skiff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have had Garmin, Lowrance and just ordered a Simrad NSS7 for my new skiff. I am not a fan of touch only screens. I don't like not having some tactile feedback when I press a button. It isn't much of an issue when idling along in calm water but trying to use your plotter and make adjustments/inputs when bouncing across choppy water can be a little tough. Of the units you listed, I'd choose the Lowrance HDS7. I have one on my current skiff and it uses both touch screen and tactile buttons. The Garmin is a good unit but it only has the few hot keys you program favorite screens to otherwise it is all touch screen. The GO7 is all touch. It is a preference thing for sure but just read through some of the threads in the electronics section. The number of people who like having buttons and the rotary knob on the Simrad NSS is surprising. Having used one on a friend's boat, it is easy to see why and consequently why I chose one for my new skiff.
Jay thank you for your thorough response, It seems like the Lowrance is popular, What model NSS are you going with? You are putting it on a new boat? Those seam to be the cats ass
 

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Jay thank you for your thorough response, It seems like the Lowrance is popular, What model NSS are you going with? You are putting it on a new boat? Those seam to be the cats ass
I finally chose the NSS7 gen3. I originally wanted the NSS9 for the bigger display but I couldn't justify the extra $1000 for the larger screen. My last two GPS units were 7" and for me it is plenty. I rarely actually need to see that much on the chart and since I almost exclusively fly fish I don't really need a fancy bottom machine. A good friend of mine has a NSS9 on his new East Cape Fury and it is a big unit. Hard to really tell the size until you see it on the boat.

My Lowrance HDS7 has Downscan and Sidescan as well as regular sonar on my Vantage. I've only used the sidescan while idling around the canals where I live for fun and a few times at the Galveston jetties. Yes it is very cool but I don't fish in water deep enough very often to really need it. It also doesn't read depth at speed and that is why I have a regular sonar transducer mounted epoxied in the bilge. I can read down to 1.5' up to 38-40mph. I have depth shown on my chart screen along with engine rpm, speed and water temp. I will have both transducers on my new boat.
 

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Having linked my Suzuki to my Simrad, and therefore having no suzuki gauges is great. Cleaner console. But when I use split screen I wish the chart was bigger! Kind of wish I had gone with the 12"! No way I could go back to a 7" with these eye.......sigh......lol
 

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Having originally had the GO9, and since upgraded to the NSS9 Evo3 on my Mosquito, it’s a huge difference. Having hard buttons and the dial make a world of difference when running through rougher water. The NSS9 is lightning fast, with no delay while scrolling. I had the boat built with the GO9 because I liked the sleek look of the touch screen, however, it didn’t take but a few trips to realize the mistake. Aside from that, the GO9 constantly crashed, wiping everything and restoring it back to factory settings.... very frustrating. I have two other buddies with GO series that crash quite often as well. Much much happier with the NSS9, and not one single crash or issue since the switch this past spring.
 

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Just went through the same analysis you are doing now. If you want to run Florida Marine tracks from the list you gave you are limited to Lowrance and Simrad. The Simrad dual core processor was slow when I was working with maps so I dropped it from my list. Lowrance HDS was my second choice, its a solid unit. I tried the Raymarine Axiom (it has a quad core processor) and thought the 3D representation that they had was very interesting. While testing it out it crashed several times so that took it off my list. The sales person at the location I was doing my test at confirmed he had several that had been returned because of crashes. I did not like the "Diagrams" that Raymarine used for selection of what sonar screens you could view in split mode. They were not very intuitive if you were away from using the unit for a few days. I did not even consider Garmin because the last two units I had of theirs on my flats skiff and bay boat died. In contrast I have Lowrance and Hummingbird units that are over 10 years old and still working great. Also Garmin uses a two element transducer and does their down imaging with software, the result is a less detailed picture than what you get with a 3 element transducer in a Lowrance and Humminbird. This time around I choose a Hummingbird Helix 12 that I got on a Black Friday sale at Cabelas. I am a big fan of side and down imaging and in my opinion Humminbird had the best picture but Lowrance was very close. The other things I liked about Humminbird is that it has a two year warranty, Alabama tech support (they answered my call on the second ring), has a good base map of US coastal waters and major lakes, resolution of 1280 x800. I travel with my boats all over the US and really appreciate a good base map. My litmus test for a good base map is if it shows the "Wilderness Waterway" in the Everglades and Humminbird's does. My older 898C Humminbird's base map was good enough for me to navigate the marshes in Louisianna on a trip earlier this year. I also browse Google Satellite maps on my home PC. By purchasing extra premium maps you can view Google Maps right on your unit. The best advice I can give you is get the biggest screen you can afford. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Just went through the same analysis you are doing now. If you want to run Florida Marine tracks from the list you gave you are limited to Lowrance and Simrad. The Simrad dual core processor was slow when I was working with maps so I dropped it from my list. Lowrance HDS was my second choice, its a solid unit. I tried the Raymarine Axiom (it has a quad core processor) and thought the 3D representation that they had was very interesting. While testing it out it crashed several times so that took it off my list. The sales person at the location I was doing my test at confirmed he had several that had been returned because of crashes. I did not like the "Diagrams" that Raymarine used for selection of what sonar screens you could view in split mode. They were not very intuitive if you were away from using the unit for a few days. I did not even consider Garmin because the last two units I had of theirs on my flats skiff and bay boat died. In contrast I have Lowrance and Hummingbird units that are over 10 years old and still working great. Also Garmin uses a two element transducer and does their down imaging with software, the result is a less detailed picture than what you get with a 3 element transducer in a Lowrance and Humminbird. This time around I choose a Hummingbird Helix 12 that I got on a Black Friday sale at Cabelas. I am a big fan of side and down imaging and in my opinion Humminbird had the best picture but Lowrance was very close. The other things I liked about Humminbird is that it has a two year warranty, Alabama tech support (they answered my call on the second ring), has a good base map of US coastal waters and major lakes, resolution of 1280 x800. I travel with my boats all over the US and really appreciate a good base map. My litmus test for a good base map is if it shows the "Wilderness Waterway" in the Everglades and Humminbird's does. My older 898C Humminbird's base map was good enough for me to navigate the marshes in Louisianna on a trip earlier this year. I also browse Google Satellite maps on my home PC. By purchasing extra premium maps you can view Google Maps right on your unit. The best advice I can give you is get the biggest screen you can afford. Good luck with your decision.
do you have a pic of the 12" on your skiff? i have a side console was only considering a 7 but after all the responses might jump to 9 if i can find a deal, finding a deal on electronics seems to be challenging , seems like simrad nss, lowrance hds, and hummingbird seem to be favorites, had a raymarine a78 on my last skiff, wasnt a fan
 

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do you have a pic of the 12" on your skiff? i have a side console was only considering a 7 but after all the responses might jump to 9 if i can find a deal, finding a deal on electronics seems to be challenging , seems like simrad nss, lowrance hds, and hummingbird seem to be favorites, had a raymarine a78 on my last skiff, wasnt a fan

Simrad should be releasing the new NSS Evo3s soon. Hoping there may be some deals to be found on the current NSS Evo3.
 

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do you have a pic of the 12" on your skiff? i have a side console was only considering a 7 but after all the responses might jump to 9 if i can find a deal, finding a deal on electronics seems to be challenging , seems like simrad nss, lowrance hds, and hummingbird seem to be favorites, had a raymarine a78 on my last skiff, wasnt a fan
I have not taken a picture yet of it on my boats. I bought an extra transducer and power cord so I use the same 12" Helix on my 16' skiff and my 22' Pathfinder TE. On my skiff I have it mounted on the grab bar with a U-bolt set up attached to a D size (think it is a 2" ball) Ram short arm mount. Ram sells a specific mount for the Helix, the general mount will not work with Helix. On my Pathfinder I just bought a second D-size Ram ball and just used the same short arm mount. To keep the wires neat going into the center console on the Pathfinder I used the 0.83 size Blue Sea Systems CableClam, you can get them on Amazon. Here is a link to a video on my Youtube channel that shows the exact same set up on my skiff with my previous Humminbird 898C (8 inch screen). In case you are wondering if there is much of a difference between an 8 inch and a 12 inch screen for me it was huge and I wish I would have gotten the bigger screen sooner.
 

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do you have a pic of the 12" on your skiff? i have a side console was only considering a 7 but after all the responses might jump to 9 if i can find a deal, finding a deal on electronics seems to be challenging , seems like simrad nss, lowrance hds, and hummingbird seem to be favorites, had a raymarine a78 on my last skiff, wasnt a fan
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Simrad should be releasing the new NSS Evo3s soon. Hoping there may be some deals to be found on the current NSS Evo3.
Here’s a 12” Lowrance HDS Carbon on an 18’. Note FMT. Pretty big but it works great.
 

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Simrad should be releasing the new NSS Evo3s soon. Hoping there may be some deals to be found on the current NSS Evo3.
Simrad is offering factory rebates on the NSS evo3 right now but they end 12/31. I am getting $200 back on my NSS7 that I'll just put towards the transducers
 

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Simrad is offering factory rebates on the NSS evo3 right now but they end 12/31. I am getting $200 back on my NSS7 that I'll just put towards the transducers
I did get a $300 rebate on my NSS9, but it took about 5-6 months and numerous calls. Be sure to stay on top of them.... I think they count on people forgetting about it.
 

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I did get a $300 rebate on my NSS9, but it took about 5-6 months and numerous calls. Be sure to stay on top of them.... I think they count on people forgetting about it.
Thanks for the heads up Jumbo. Hopefully my rebate doesn't take quite that long but it will just go into the boat/fly fishing fund either way.
 
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