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Navico: Simrad vs. Lowrance?

Old 02-25-2015, 07:59 PM
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Default Navico: Simrad vs. Lowrance?

Is there a genuine reason to go with the Simrad line over Lowrance?

Features, durability, warranty, ???

Some of the products (3G, 4G radars)
just seem to have a decal worth an extra $300 to say "Simrad".

I must be missing something obvious.

Going back aways, when Lowrance's HDS line was first introduced, they had water-intrusion issues that the Simrad (maybe still Northstar at that point?) lacked.

Are there any real differences today, or, is it mostly a snob-appeal advantage?

Is customer-support equal, or do Simrad customers get preferential treatment?

On inland lakes, one sees a LOT more Lowrance than Simrad (plus Humminbird, seldom seen in salt water).

[BTW, Garmin has never been on my list, due to continued lack of chart compatibility with either Navionics or C-Map, either of which can often be vastly superior in certain waters than the proprietary Garmin charts.]

I'll be making a significant financially outlay shortly, and don't need any buyer remorse...
Old 02-25-2015, 08:02 PM
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If you call tech support, Simrad line gets picked up immediately. Lowrance there is a wait. Some minor feature differences.
Old 02-25-2015, 08:31 PM
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In three years, I have called Lowrance 6-8 times, sometimes just needing help working through menus.
I have never waited much over one minute to speak to tech support.
Perhaps Im just lucky, but Lowrance wait time isn't a drawback from my experience.

I had a faulty power cord that wouldn't allow me to view video on my Touch. They sent me a new cord that day, I had it in two days. No charge.
Old 02-25-2015, 10:58 PM
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I have always equated Simrad with more commercial (the company started in 1947, and later was acquired by Kongsberg. Lowrance was combined with Eagle. Simrad and Lowrance were combined as part of Navico in 2006.

I had all Lowrance back in the 2003/2007 era and found tech response to be poor. That has dramatically changed in the last few years.

I still see Simrad as being a bit higher end--but there may be some features in Lowrance, which Simrad does not have, and visa versa-. I would choose what gave you the features you wanted. I happen to be using Garmin, because of the ease of use, and they have great charts for what type of boating I do on both coasts, and some inland lakes. (and I compare this with Navioinics which I have on my I pad--neither is perfect, but errors seem about equal on both--again, where I boat).
Old 02-26-2015, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Karl in NY View Post
Is there a genuine reason to go with the Simrad line over Lowrance?

Features, durability, warranty, ???

Some of the products (3G, 4G radars)
just seem to have a decal worth an extra $300 to say "Simrad".

I must be missing something obvious.

Going back aways, when Lowrance's HDS line was first introduced, they had water-intrusion issues that the Simrad (maybe still Northstar at that point?) lacked.

Are there any real differences today, or, is it mostly a snob-appeal advantage?

Is customer-support equal, or do Simrad customers get preferential treatment?

On inland lakes, one sees a LOT more Lowrance than Simrad (plus Humminbird, seldom seen in salt water).

[BTW, Garmin has never been on my list, due to continued lack of chart compatibility with either Navionics or C-Map, either of which can often be vastly superior in certain waters than the proprietary Garmin charts.]

I'll be making a significant financially outlay shortly, and don't need any buyer remorse...
On the radars, when I was looking a few years ago, there was a difference that was more than the decals between the Simrad and Lowrance. As I recall the Navico system does not connect the Radar directly to the MFD but rather through a Radar Interface Box. The Lowrance Radar did not include the Interface Box (had to be bought separately) and the Simrad Radar included the Interface Box with the Radar. Thus the apparent price difference.

I ended up going with Garmin because I did not want to have another behind the dash component to mount in the limited space I had.

You might want to reconsider the Garmin because I understand they have now added Navionics compatibility.
Old 02-26-2015, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Whaler27 View Post
On the radars, when I was looking a few years ago, there was a difference that was more than the decals between the Simrad and Lowrance. As I recall the Navico system does not connect the Radar directly to the MFD but rather through a Radar Interface Box. The Lowrance Radar did not include the Interface Box (had to be bought separately) and the Simrad Radar included the Interface Box with the Radar. Thus the apparent price difference.

I ended up going with Garmin because I did not want to have another behind the dash component to mount in the limited space I had.

You might want to reconsider the Garmin because I understand they have now added Navionics compatibility.
This was the 3G radar and I don't even think that is different anymore, I think they both might come with the RI10. Garmin has not added Navionics capability and I doubt they ever will. Navionics added it, and Garmin quickly closed the door on the method Navionics was using. Any new Garmin system will be incompatible with the Navionics map. Garmin wants to buy the map data from Navionics and incorporate it into the Vision card, and Navionics wants to sell customers map chips. They did not come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Old 02-26-2015, 06:10 AM
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In US Lowrance 3G comes without the RI10 radar interface. All other models comes with RI10. RI10 is only needed for MARPA.

Lowrance typically have the most advanced fishfinder (same technology, but more adjustments for Lowrance. Lowrance also have functions targeted shallow water fishing like trolling motor integration and SpotlightScan. Simrad comes with functions more useful on larger boats like bridge configuration, dual range radar and ForwardScan. In the current generation, Simrad has a more appealing design than Lowrance.
Old 02-26-2015, 06:17 AM
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I looked at both and what swung me to Simrad was the control dial. Touch screen is great, and I use it, but when running I find it easier to use the rotary knob.
Old 02-26-2015, 06:37 AM
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I think Navico/Lowrance/Simrad should just skip having the different line ups and come to one best design with full capability. They could call it Norad
Old 02-26-2015, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
I think Navico/Lowrance/Simrad should just skip having the different line ups and come to one best design with full capability. They could call it Norad
And charge more $$ leavening out buyers on a budget .




As far as charts I like Garmin the best . I have both them and Navionics in my plotters and Garmin is better IMO .
Old 02-26-2015, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
I think Navico/Lowrance/Simrad should just skip having the different line ups and come to one best design with full capability. They could call it Norad
Norad is a Norwegian government agency for supporting development in the third world

http://www.norad.no/en/front-page
Old 02-26-2015, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
Norad is a Norwegian government agency for supporting development in the third world

http://www.norad.no/en/front-page
NORAD is also the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which was the joke I was going for

NORAD
Old 02-26-2015, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ifsteve View Post
I looked at both and what swung me to Simrad was the control dial. Touch screen is great, and I use it, but when running I find it easier to use the rotary knob.
Speaking of control dials, I'm surprised there isn't more interest in the OP40 control panel. It's great way to add a full keypad and dedicated auto pilot controls and dedicated screen selection buttons to an NSS or other Simrad MFD.

http://www.thehulltruth.com/parts-fo...eypad-new.html
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by stiletto View Post
NORAD is also the North American Aerospace Defense Command, which was the joke I was going for

NORAD

If the majority of budgets of the two Norad's are combined and invested into development of marine electronics I assume we would see an interesting development.

And they would also have efficient means of dealing with the competitors
Old 02-26-2015, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
Speaking of control dials, I'm surprised there isn't more interest in the OP40 control panel. It's great way to add a full keypad and dedicated auto pilot controls and dedicated screen selection buttons to an NSS or other Simrad MFD.

http://www.thehulltruth.com/parts-fo...eypad-new.html

OP40 is nice for those who have space for it.
Old 02-26-2015, 07:52 AM
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You asked about durabilty

put a check in the simrad nse line which is an aluminized housing rated for milspec
NSE also has a little faster processor

I personally run lowrance on my boat, never had an issue with them as for as support, or warranty repair.
Old 02-26-2015, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
OP40 is nice for those who have space for it.
I put the OP40 near the wheel on my Zodiac Hurrucane 733. For me, it is the only sensible way to operate the NSS chart plotter at 35-40 knots in a small boat.
Old 02-26-2015, 03:34 PM
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At such speeds I don't operate my MFD's, I only watch them.
Old 02-26-2015, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by abbor View Post
At such speeds I don't operate my MFD's, I only watch them.
Only zoom-in and Zoom-out. And the rotary controller is the reason I chose the Simrad instead of a Lowrance. I will add the second Simrad mfd on a bracket for radar this spring. The op40 will be helpful, I hope.

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