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Old 04-11-2012, 17:07   #1
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I want a Chart plotter

Hello,
My wife and I are planning to cruise the East Coast of the USA starting early next year. We want to buy a chart plotter. I was thinking Garmin 740S. I went into the local West Marine to window shop and the sales person suggested I take a hard look at the new Lowrance HDS-7 Gen2 touch screen model. I already have an IPad with Navionics charts. He said that the Lowrance runs Navionics charts, will talk / link to my IPad using a blue tooth connection. The Lowrance comes with a fancy sonar transducer that will image the sea floor. (Good for checking the bottom before anchoring). Accessories like broad band radar and upgraded charting software are less expensive than Garmin. Also the Garmin technology is several years old. And on and on. What do you folks think? Like anyone, I want the most bang for my buck. What other chart plotters should I be considering in this price range $1,500 or less.
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Old 04-11-2012, 17:21   #2
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Re: I want a Chart plotter

The Simrad NSS 7 is much better than the Garmin IMO, however the new touch HDS's are the newest best thing out there.

But

they will not talk to the ipad via bluetooth with an OEM unit. Lowrance does have a new $200 unit that does it via WiFi but I don't think it's quite available yet. all else the sales guy told you is right-on.

In addition the navico (simrad/lowrance/B & G) radar units use WAY less power than all others.
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Old 04-11-2012, 18:49   #3
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Re: I want a Chart plotter

I have a NSS 7. Wouldn't sail without it and the Broadband radar. (Now anyway ) I got around with a little Garmin when I didn't have a radar- good units, but if you are looking down the road for a radar and AIS- get the VHF with AIS and the chartplotter that you can add the radar to.
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Old 04-11-2012, 23:38   #4
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Does anyone has any input on the new Raymarine e7D? It seems to me Raymarine has an abundance of accessories that will work with the unit and the prices are pretty reasonable compared to Simrad, B&G, etc. I'm sure they're all great chartplotters and GPS. I am too, debating on which one to buy and my range would be around 1500 excluding radar.
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Old 05-11-2012, 00:43   #5
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Re: I want a Chart plotter

I find the Ray stuff very hard to use, counter-intuitive and they like to modify standards just a tiny bit so they can sell you a $90 adapter cable which gets old real quick.
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:35   #6
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Does the NSS7 have the capability to scan the sea floor like the lowrance or would i have to upgrade to a better sounder? I'm really lwaning towards NSS-7 but is the NSS-8 really worth the extra thousand just to gain an inch larger screen?
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Old 09-11-2012, 22:13   #7
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Re: I want a Chart plotter

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainUni View Post
Does the NSS7 have the capability to scan the sea floor like the lowrance or would i have to upgrade to a better sounder? I'm really lwaning towards NSS-7 but is the NSS-8 really worth the extra thousand just to gain an inch larger screen?
The NSS can do it but it's included with the new Lowrance touch screens and it's a $600 option on the NSS

Only you cn answer the second question
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Old 15-11-2012, 22:35   #8
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Wow, what a great deal west marine is running a special on the NSS7 for $1199! I think i just made up my mind! :-) For the price i can buy two and still come under the price of the NSS-8!
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Old 15-11-2012, 23:37   #9
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Re: I want a Chart plotter

Check out the line of chartplotters offered by Humminbird. While Humminbird specializes in fishfinders and most of their products are geared toward fisherman, their chartplotters are very well designed, have a great user interface, and give you way more bang for your buck compared to Garmin and Lowrance. They are able to read Navionics SD cards as well. The nice part about their chartplotters is the integrated depth finder.

I have used their products for years and have found them to be extremely reliable. Their customer support is great as well. The phone is always answered quickly, the staff is knowledgeable and not afraid to think outside the box, they have excellent turnaround times for repairs, and have well written operation manuals. I am planning on purchasing their digital radar next year, which interfaces with my chartplotter.

I would recommend them without hesitation. You will be paying less for a product of equal quality and performance as its Garmin or Lowrance counterpart.
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Old 17-11-2012, 21:59   #10
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I got the Simrad NSS7 MFD today and I'm so happy with my purchase! I was debating whether to go with Raymarine e7D or the NSS. After much thought into the functionality, the annoyance of constant beeping of the e7D, and the question of possibility of future compatibility between components. I went with the Simrad! The guy at west marine said they basically shot themselves on their foot that they constantly changing the compatibility of their products. Plugs, systems, etc..
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Old 18-11-2012, 08:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainUni
I got the Simrad NSS7 MFD today and I'm so happy with my purchase! I was debating whether to go with Raymarine e7D or the NSS. After much thought into the functionality, the annoyance of constant beeping of the e7D, and the question of possibility of future compatibility between components. I went with the Simrad! The guy at west marine said they basically shot themselves on their foot that they constantly changing the compatibility of their products. Plugs, systems, etc..
That is exactly why I refuse to own anything manufactured by Simrad. Humminbird on the other hand, has always had interchangeable components. If I ever decide to upgrade my chartplotter, it is as simple as buying a new one and connecting to the existing transducer, gps antenna (optional), and power supply.
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