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New GPS advice - considering Simrad

5367 Views 27 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  jonterr
Hey all - I currently have a Garmin 546 on my skiff and have used Homeport to make waypoints, tracks, etc, but Garmin dropped support for Homeport on the Mac. I am not sure any replacement I find will also have Mac support, but I can always run a virtual machine for PC if needed.

But, my Garmin only supports basic maps. Ideally, I would like to have Google earth quality maps with more options, like contour reveal.

I don't need a fish finder or weather module on it, it is simply for mapping, navigation and scouting locations.

The Simrad Go7 looks pretty slick. But I am not sure about their mapping software, or if I should buy mapping from another company - so recommendations here are appreciated.

And one concern I had seems to be resolved - looks like you can import a Garmin file directly into the Simrad, which is awesome since I have years of data in Garmin:

Any tips are appreciated!
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Ive been down the same road. My opinion below is specifically regarding chart plotters for skiffs.

I recommend a Lowrance HDS with an aerial map chip (Navionics Platinum, Louisiana One etc). Lowrance and Simrad are the same company so you are basically getting the same functionality in comparable units. FOR ME the only reason to get a Simrad is for SONAR. That said, if sonar is not a concern the only material difference is the zoom dial versus the toggle in/out buttons in addition to touch screen pinch, depending on your personal preference. I prefer the toggle/touchscreen over the dial. I ended up with a Lowrance HDS2 at the time. However the newer HDS screens are way better as far as reducing glare from sun angles and polarized glasses.

Ill add that Ive had Hummingbird and Garmin in the past as well, Lowrance/Simrad is lightyears ahead over the others if you like to have more control over user functionality.

Regarding the file format conversion between different manufacturers, I do this regularly for my job and personally for my skiff and buddies. I can walk you through it offline and have you up and running in an hour or so with no lost data. Lowrance/Simrad come with a very basic mapping software, it sucks for detailed background/Aerial imagery. As you are aware you can export all of your data back and forth in Google Earth, and use google earth for your mapping at home/backup, Alternatively you can get more advanced mapping software depending on how much you want to manipulate data and spend on software (for most users Google Earth more than suffices)
Let me know if you have any specific questions...
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