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  #1  
Old 12-06-2011
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Upgrading Chartplotter; help with selection

I recently purchased a Garmin 546 but returned as I wanted a larger unit.
Info:
Chesapeake Bay sailing
Will be networking the unit to a separate screen at our Nav Table
Possible AIS but not sure
XM Weather forecasting
Screen size - 7" to 9"
Cannot be completely touch screen like the Raym 720
About a $1,200 budget for the unit.

At least on paper, I like the Humminbird units but never seen anyone use them on a sailboat.

I have selected a few choices:
Standard Horizon CPF390i
Humminbird 958C (8" screen)
Humminbird 898C (7" screen)
Garmin 3210C (I found a used unit)
Didn't see anything in Lowrance that I liked.
Furuno was out of the price range.

I like the Garmin 4200 series but out of the $1,200 price range

If you have any other units similar to above, would like to hear about them or if you have any opinion based on usage of the units I selected, would be greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2011
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I can not say Humminbird is bad BUT they really favor the fishing market and there going there own way with there network abilty
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Old 12-06-2011
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Why do you not like the Lowrances? I just installed the HDS 5m. The 7 would be in your price range. Compared to the Garmins, mine has a higher res screen and better feature set for the money.
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Old 12-07-2011
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I did look into Lowrances, specifically the 7m or 8m with a Navionics chip but based most of the reviews, it appears to be more for fishing boats. Similar to the Humminbird model.
I have seen them a on several fishing boats but not much on a sailboat.

Networking the unit in the future is important and adding weather via XM or other features.
I may not add the features now now but will intend so in the next year or two.
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Old 12-07-2011
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Hello,

I know of number of people (me included) who have Lowrance plotters, and are happy with them. Note there are two main lines, the HDS units, that support NMEA 2000 and the Elite series, that is cheaper, smaller and supports only NMEA 0183.

If you are interested in a screen larger than 5" and care about networking, then one of the HDS units would be a good choice. They support XM weather, AIS, RADAR, etc.

Regardless of which brand you get, if you really do care about networking, make sure you buy a unit that supports NMEA 2000. This way, installing new sensors, and device, is as simple as connecting a cable, instead of soldering or crimping a number of teeny tiny wires.

Barry
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Old 12-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hello,

I know of number of people (me included) who have Lowrance plotters, and are happy with them. Note there are two main lines, the HDS units, that support NMEA 2000 and the Elite series, that is cheaper, smaller and supports only NMEA 0183.

If you are interested in a screen larger than 5" and care about networking, then one of the HDS units would be a good choice. They support XM weather, AIS, RADAR, etc.

Regardless of which brand you get, if you really do care about networking, make sure you buy a unit that supports NMEA 2000. This way, installing new sensors, and device, is as simple as connecting a cable, instead of soldering or crimping a number of teeny tiny wires.

Barry
I was attracted to the HDS 5m for two reasons : the high res screen (much better than the equivalent Garmin), and the expandability. I wanted the most future-proof model I could get.

As for fitness for use on a sailboat, it seems excellent so far. I have got addicted to the projected line of course feature (actual course, not heading), very handy in SF bay where currents are pushing you all over the place. I have it set one mile ahead.
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Old 12-07-2011
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I have the Standard Horizon CP and have been very happy with the unit. Visibility on a bright sunny day is excellent, and the functions are more than adequate for coastal/Great Lakes sailing. Charts are very clear. Functions relatively easy to set up.

I have not connected to AIS or XM weather, but both are available.

Can't speak to the other units in your list, but I like the Standard Horizon better than the Garmin unit I had previously, and the Lowrance unit in the boat I race.
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Old 12-07-2011
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I'm happy with Lowrance.
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Old 12-07-2011
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I have the Lowrance HDS-7 and love it. I'll be installing the Lowrance 3G Broadband Radar this spring, which connects directly to the HDS-7 and overlays the charts. I frequently sail at night, and the accuracy and additional features of the Lowrance makes night sailing a lot more comfortable. When the radar is installed I'll be able to see crab pots, pound net stakes and unlit day markers, all of which can be a problem in the dark.

Good luck on your decision,

Gary
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Old 12-07-2011
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Sounds like there is a overwhelming amount of happy Lowrance HDS users. One the that I did not like about Garmin was that the unit I liked #3206, was discontinued and although I could still purchase new, not sure how much support I would have. Also the Garmin's screen on the 546 was a portrait and not a landscape view. It's the little things that you like or don't like that in the end makes the difference.
I like the option of radar.
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