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I seldom turn on my GPS since I've been running the Glades below Chok for 30 years or so. However, when I take take friends and family to remote areas I want them to have a clear path back toward civilization/help should something should happen to me. My dated system has been malfunctioning so when a buddy (who upgraded to a 12-inch GPS) offered to sell me his 2-year-old Lowrance HDS7 unit for a song I grabbed it. However, I'm very open to selling it locally and spending more on a larger system if the benefits justify the additional expense. Before I buy all related gear (card, bracket, cables, transducer, etc) I'd like to hear from folks who've recently invested in similar setups. My questions:

- Will I be disappointed in the size and/or resolution of the 7-inch system (as opposed to, say, a 9-inch unit)? I don't really want a TV-sized unit on my little 16-foot skiff but am open to being wrong about that bias.
- I plan to use the much acclaimed Marine Tracks card. Will that card work just fine on the 7-inch Lowrance system? Any specific recommendations on the card its features?

Helpful/detailed replies very much appreciated.
 

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I run an HDS 10 on my skiff, and i definitely get some shit for having a TV screen on there. But at the end of the day its really easy to navigate with. I run navionics platinum on mine, but since its the older gen 1, I dont think its optimized for FMT. I believe the newer ones should be though.
 

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It’s always going to be nicer to have a larger screen. If you plan on running the FMT (which you should) then I would definitely get a 9inch screen. The resolution will be better and it will be a lot easier to read. I went with a 9in lowrance and I’m happy I did over a 7in simrad/lowrance I it.
 

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If you're gonna run the FMT chip, I would get a 9". I have a Simrad NSS EVO3 9". If I had it to do over, I'd get the 12". A buddy has a Lowrance 12" and it's sweet--especially as we get older and the eyesight is not as good as it once was!
 

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I’m a gypsy fisherman, no home waters, at least not yet. Since I’m running FMT north and south, and Louisiana Marine Tracks, I opted to go with the 12” Simrad Evo3 even though I was putting it on my East Cape Glide. Used a Balzout mount. Yes it looks like a wide screen TV on my narrow boat, but I absolutely love it and am glad I went with the 12”. FMT is amazing and love it on the big screen.
 

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I’m a gypsy fisherman, no home waters, at least not yet. Since I’m running FMT north and south, and Louisiana Marine Tracks, I opted to go with the 12” Simrad Evo3 even though I was putting it on my East Cape Glide. Used a Balzout mount. Yes it looks like a wide screen TV on my narrow boat, but I absolutely love it and am glad I went with the 12”. FMT is amazing and love it on the big screen.
This is my situation, too. I’m running all 3 FMT chips.
Glenn at FMT mentioned that if I had a 40 foot boat running in deep water all the time I probably could get by with a small unit. With a skiff running shallow water bigger is better.
So I have a lowrance HMS 12” Carbon on a Balzout mount on my 18’ Cayo. It’s terrific and I’m very glad that I got a big unit. But I do get comments about watching IMAX movies, using it for a T Top, etc.
 

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A "rookie" is going to have an easier time with the larger screen, and that's just who's going to have to use it if something goes south. Go with the biggest you can fit.
 

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Do you use the FMT chip with the go 9?
Absolutely; FMT North Florida. I absolutely love it and have had only one issue: The unit froze on me after running for 8 hours and then I got too excited and was doing WAYYY too much at once (similar to when you have too many applications running on your laptop and it slows down or freezes up until memory/cache opens up). I recommend it to everyone, but no unit lower than the Go9.

My desire to upgrade to the 12 is for the screen real estate, no so much the FMT.
 

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Simple-bigger is better. I had a 7 inch unit and went to a 9 inch unit while running the FMT chip.However, especially if you use isn’t very high the 7 inch can work with the chip without any problem
 

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Absolutely; FMT North Florida. I absolutely love it and have had only one issue: The unit froze on me after running for 8 hours and then I got too excited and was doing WAYYY too much at once (similar to when you have too many applications running on your laptop and it slows down or freezes up until memory/cache opens up). I recommend it to everyone, but no unit lower than the Go9.

My desire to upgrade to the 12 is for the screen real estate, no so much the FMT.
The reason I asked is because the guy at fmt said he didn’t recommend running it on a go unit
I’d spend the bucks for a go 9, but not for the nss 9
 

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I just upgraded to a 9" Lowrance from a 5" Garmin (haven't installed the new unit yet) but I'll explain why I did. I share my boat with my dad who is approaching 70. He lives in NE Florida now, but these are not his home waters. For him to feel comfortable taking the boat out alone, he wanted better maps than the 5" Garmin could display. Sounds like since safety is your biggest concern, you may want to upgrade to a larger size. I will say the 5" screen generally worked just fine for me. It was a pain when I would take the boat offshore to fish structure, but other than that, the map size was fine. Wish it had more detail. I'm expecting to be blown away with the larger unit but we'll see.
 

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If you have a store where you can actually see the different size units you should go look.

Price difference between the smaller screens and 9" up is dramatic but the view is too.

I went to a West Marine who had a display and got to see everything from a 5" to 16" screen. The 9" and larger screens with satellite overview are way cool.
 

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If you want to run FMT then you should probably get a 9" display. If you aren't sure about really wanting to upgrade the size of the display, consider just setting up your chart plotter to leave "bread crumb' trail marks or recent path traveled on the screen. Can't get any easier than looking at the path you just came in on and following it out.
I get all the reasons why people like having the big displays, but I also think that we rely on just looking at an image too much and not using the other features built into these units. You could set up a route using waypoints or the above mentioned bread crumb trails. Just something a little different to consider.
 

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The reason I asked is because the guy at fmt said he didn’t recommend running it on a go unit
I’d spend the bucks for a go 9, but not for the nss 9
The reason being is because the processing power is limited to the Go9 while the NSS series has greater processing memory and power, being able to utilize more functionality of the FMT chip. The FMT chip isn't just tracks, it is a POWERHOUSE of a tool that provides details far beyond anything I'll ever need... but man I will never own anything but.

You can use the Go9, there are many of us out there that currently do.
 

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Go with the largest you can afford. My reasong for this is back in the day I had a 3in or 3.5 in screen and it worked fine. I was let's say 37 now I'm 47 and I wear progressive or bifocals as they once were called. My Long distance vision is spot on. My up close vision for reading is dependent on my glasses. If I loose my glasses on the water I'm blind except for reading anything but the largest of screens. I tend to prepare for the unexpected. And if that's your reasoning go as big as your budget will allow. Forget what people might say it's too big if they have no clue what your vision is they're just talking. Try reading one as your running in a chop and you have to hold your head at the precise angle to see the screen through the lower part of your glasses the bifocal area. Bigger is better IMHO.
 
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