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Garmin Vs Lowrance

Old 07-13-2012, 02:34 PM
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Cool Garmin Vs Lowrance

I am trying to decide between a Garmin 541s and a Lowrance HDS-5 Nautic insight. I am sure there are some differences but I can't make up my mind yet. If anyone can weigh in with experience with these units or any information that would help me to make a decision I would be very thankful.

It's also hard to find any type of competitive pricing on these units, everyone seems to have the exact same pricing, no great deals anywhere.. [

Thanks for any help..
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:42 PM
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We have the HDS8 and HDS5 2nd gen on our boat and love it.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:04 PM
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I Have Garmin and Lowrance both on my boat and love both but Sonar is far better w/ Lowrance.. IMO more work to fine tune but much nicer.. Garmin has awesome costumer service tho. IDK about Lowrance haven't had to call them yet.. I think you'd be fine with either.. My 2 cents.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:54 PM
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Garmin is much easier to use. Lowrance is definitely a better fish finder. I have owned both.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:00 PM
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Do yourself a huge favor... get the Garmin. I agree with the about post about the sonar but the pros outweigh IMO.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:05 PM
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People who own GARMIN units often make claims they are easier to use, but I have never seen any sort of basis for these claims. I have a Lowrance HDS and find it very easy to use. Maybe the GARMIN folks can't say much else about their units except they're easy to use. Any unit is easy to use once you use it for a few days.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jhebert View Post
People who own GARMIN units often make claims they are easier to use, but I have never seen any sort of basis for these claims. I have a Lowrance HDS and find it very easy to use. Maybe the GARMIN folks can't say much else about their units except they're easy to use. Any unit is easy to use once you use it for a few days.
I was speaking from experience from both. You're right hell anything is easy to use once you get used to it.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:21 AM
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Dillard88, is you Lowrance experience with a HDS? HDS has a much better user interface than the earler models.

I have seen one independent thorough test when it comes to cahrtplotter user interfaces, it was published at the Mad Mariner site November 2010.

15 boaters where timed operating different plotters

The following plotters were tested:


Garmin GPSMAP 640
Interphase Chart Master Pro
Lowrance HDS 7
Raymarine A50D
Standard Horizon CPF300i


According to this test HDS-7, for the average user, is faster to learn and easier to use than even the Garmin touch-screen models.

I tried to access the Mad Mariner site but was not able to access it.

In case it's only temporarily down here is the link to the test.

http://madmariner.com/equipment/elec...OATS_111609_EE
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:05 AM
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Cool

Thanks for all the input, still have not made a decision yet.... What about the maps system that comes installed in each, will they do the job or will I have to upgrade? I just want to use it for navigation and don't need the extra bells and whistles.. Just upgrading to something with mapping capability..
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:21 AM
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I've had the HDS and LMS. They do have better sonar.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:35 AM
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upgraded all my garmin to the hds. the ff is drastically superior as for the maps I don't see any difference in using the different platforms
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:23 PM
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Bought my first boat on Friday, came with HDS units and I found them very easy to figure out. Seemed like a very easy learning curve, although I do consider myself a tech savy person.
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Old 07-16-2012, 01:30 PM
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I have the HDS8 gen1 and I have used many garmin from the 545s up to the 5212. The bigger units are near even for ease of use when someone shows you how to once. First time user, the lowrance is retard proof to use. Gramin can be tricky due to the many many menus they have. Both are great units. Ive been considering switching to the garmin 740 but dont have the money to do it atm. Also Ive used the 600w 50/200hz tm transducer with my hds and have hit depths solid to 1200ft....after that its scattered
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:52 PM
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I went through this same trade a month ago. It's difficult because they both are very good and without actually using them hands on for some trips you really don't get a lot out of playing with them at the store or even worse online. That said, I went with the lawrance HDS. I gound the gen 2 with insight charts to be great for my recent trips out. My particular budget was somewhat restricted and lowrance was on sale ($100 less) than Garmin plus had the $50 mail in rebate. No complaints with but I would have probably said that with the Garmin. Haven't had much time to play with the sonar though.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:20 AM
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IF you go Garmin, watch the screen resolution. getfeetwet.com has the 545s with transducer for $627 which is a refurb. I'd go with a 545 over a 541. Contact them by email and they're great!
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:38 PM
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I had a Garmin 546 and now have a Lowrance HDS 7 Gen I

I prefer the garmin key functions and redraw speed on the plotter

on the Garmin, when I selected a waypoint and "Go To"
it would show distance, heading, time to arrival

the Lowrance doesn't show any of this information



I don't really like split screen

for me the perfect setup would be a Garmin GPS and a stand alsone Furuno sounder
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