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ambianceack 01-29-2012 07:27 AM

choosing between Garmin and Lowrance or combo
We are looking to upgrade into a multifunction display and new radar. Our budget is around $3500.00 US dollars. Having a hard time deciding with all the new electronics on the market. We have a 1979 Sabre 34' sloop rig. For this season it will be mounted away from the helm. The radar dome will be on a tower.

A few of the options we are looking at are the:
1) Lowarnce HDS-8 GEN 2 with the 3G broadband;
2) Lowrance HDS-10 Gen2 w/ 4G broadband or
3) the Garmin 4212 w/ the Lowrance 4G Broadband. Because the Garmin and Lowrance are both NMEA 0183 and 2000 it seems compatible. Any thoughts on the above systems would be helpful.

Thanks in advance-

sck5 01-29-2012 02:49 PM

why wouldnt you get the Garmin radar with the Garmin plotter? I have a 4210 (plenty big enough by the way, it is at my helm in my Caliber 33) and the Garmin radar which is really amazingly good.

bljones 01-29-2012 03:44 PM


BarryL 01-29-2012 04:16 PM


I doubt that the radar from Lowrance / Navico will work with Garmin. The radar information is NOT networked via NMEA 2000. It requires it's own network connection which will be ethernet or custom.


ambianceack 01-30-2012 05:31 AM

That's helpful about not mixing the Garmin and Lowrance. The Garmin 4210 and Radar is an option for us. The Garmin radar is HD vs. the Lowrance Broadband. Does the Garmin Radar provide as much clarity as the Lowrance? Also is the Garmin Radar a plug and play set up or do I need to coordinate with a technician to do the final settings? The Garmin Radar we are interested is the GMR 18 HD. I prefer the Garmin mapping software vs the Lowrance.

ambianceack 01-30-2012 05:36 AM

How close off the bow can you pick up targets?

LinekinBayCD 01-30-2012 05:49 AM

If you like the Garmin maping it world be crazy not to go with a Garmin plug and play radar. The differences between brands are far less significant just setting up the individual units correctly.

xymotic 01-30-2012 06:03 AM

WHY do you like garmin mapping better? Personally I find the lowrance charts much better. you can't mix and match them, and the lowrance radar is better IMO.

sck5 01-30-2012 09:25 AM

I have the Garmin 4210 and 18 HD radar. I can pick up lobster pots on Chesapeake Bay with that - Hard to see how it could be improved on in terms of clarity. And yes, it is plug and play. The hardest part with any radar/plotter is going to be the wire runs. But here is what you should really do (It is what I did)

Go to a boat show or large retailer like West Marine and play with all the models you see. Get a feel for how their menus work, how the charts look, etc. That will help you a lot in making a decision.

As an aside, when cruising in the Carib we didnt see very many boats with Lowrance. Lots of Furuno and Raymarine, and a few Garmins but Lowrance not so much

MarkSF 01-30-2012 01:09 PM

My recent experience with NMEA 0183 and 2000 networking between different brands has not been good. I would avoid mixing brands unless you have to.

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