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Old 03-04-2013, 22:09   #1
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Want to Buy a GLOBAL Lowrance GPS Chartplotter from the USA - Impossible?!?

Here's the issue:

I need a chartplotter and would prefer the new Lowrance HDS 12 Touch. They appear to be much cheaper in the USA than in Asia (where I am currently).

Price from USA USD 3,249.00:
HDS Gen2 Touch - LOWRANCE | Marine Electronics

Price from Australia USD~4,700 (after FX-conversion)
HDS Gen2 Touch - LOWRANCE | Marine Electronics

So a saving of about USD 1,500 !!


However, a good friend of mine told me that the Lowrance USA GPS Chartplotters do NOT work outside of the USA (talking about GLOBAL GPS? LOL! ) :
"There used to be a problem with them being stuck on USA base map. So you could not use the USA ones outside US waters unless they were unlocked.
I spoke with Lowrance rep at West Marine in Florida and he told me they are all the same now."

SO I thought, OK, no problem, the issue has been rectified!

But then I emailed the Lowrance USA at their website and got a reply from a dealer in Singapore:

Me:
"Hello, I'm currently located in Asia and I need a need chart plotter and I would like to buy one from a US dealer but I have been told that if I do so it will NOT work in Asia; is this true? I don't know what the exact issue is, something about US plotters only working in USA. Can you elaborate on this please? I would be interested in the new Touch series, preferably the 12 inch model.
Thanks and regards, Erik"

Reply from a dealer in SIngapore:
"Dear Sir,Thanks for your email.
Lowrance has a locking mechanism for different regions. Units from usa will not work in Asia.
We have the HDS12m chart plotter in stock now. What accessories options do you need to go with?"

So now I'm overwhelmed. A Lowrance Rep says the US models DO work outside the USA, but when I ask the Lowrance USA I receive a reply (albeit from Singapore) that they do NOT.

What is the members' experience, who can I trust? Is the dealer in Singapore only after my money and does not tell me the truth? Is the Lowrance rep in Florida correct?

Thanks,
Erik
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Old 03-04-2013, 23:41   #2
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I purchased an HDS 8 from Defender several years ago and went through a similar discussion. The US model had a detailed background chart for US waters and the international one had a world background chart. I opted for the international model. I believe that was the only difference.
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:04   #3
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Re: Want to Buy a GLOBAL Lowrance GPS Chartplotter from the USA - Impossible?!?

I brought a Standard Horizon plotter from West marine with C-Map chip while in California.

It works just fine. The chip is now "out of date" which means I get an annoying message when I turn it on and it can be a bit slow to acquire satellites sometimes.

Cheap navigation though.

Don't forget to add freight and customs though and to make an allowance for the lack of warranty support. May not be such a bargain then.
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Old 05-04-2013, 19:13   #4
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Re: Want to Buy a GLOBAL Lowrance GPS Chartplotter from the USA - Impossible?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikefossl View Post
I purchased an HDS 8 from Defender several years ago and went through a similar discussion. The US model had a detailed background chart for US waters and the international one had a world background chart. I opted for the international model. I believe that was the only difference.
I sent another query to Lowrance US on their website on Thursday morning east coast time asking if they can provide me with a World map version but still no reply until now (Friday evening). Last reply arrived within 24 hours, so let's see if they reply to me anymore.. LOL!

So what happens to US sailors who go offshore with a US base map Lowrance? It just stops working 50 NM off the East Coast of the USA leaving you without navigation?
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Old 06-04-2013, 02:17   #5
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Re: Want to Buy a GLOBAL Lowrance GPS Chartplotter from the USA - Impossible?!?

Some Humminbird users have sourcing their International versions from Canada, this might be an option for a non geofenced unit if your willing to change brands.Google geofenced and lowrance you'll get plenty of info on Lowrances non global positioning system
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:11   #6
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Re: Want to Buy a GLOBAL Lowrance GPS Chartplotter from the USA - Impossible?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles1960 View Post
Some Humminbird users have sourcing their International versions from Canada, this might be an option for a non geofenced unit if your willing to change brands.Google geofenced and lowrance you'll get plenty of info on Lowrances non global positioning system
Thanks Charles,
I googled "geofenced Lowrance" and got several hits, and it appears that:

"in order to protect the markups of local resellers Lowrance have built into its US versions of its HDS GPS/Sounder units a "Geo Fence" that monitors where the unit is. Units built with US base maps (identical to worldwide versions except they have a more detailed map of north America and cost literally half the price) will deactivate metric units, all languages except English and continuously flash up on the screen a warning "this unit is not for use in your area. please contact your local reseller"

Well there is NO WAY that I would be paying USD 4,500 for something that's only worth USD 3,200. NO WAY.
Well done Lowrance, You just lost another customer.
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