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Need a 7 inch fishfinder/GPS combo but there are so many options!

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Need a 7 inch fishfinder/GPS combo but there are so many options!

Old 12-05-2017, 09:50 AM
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Default Need a 7 inch fishfinder/GPS combo but there are so many options!

It appears my Lowrance LCX27C let out the magic smoke so I'm looking at a replacement. I fish extreme shallow water, seldom in more than 10 feet of water except for a rare day where I run offshore into the gulf a maximum of 6 miles for cobia or tripletail. This means the fishfinding capabilities of the machine are really secondary to navigation to me. I'm navigating rock bottom oyster filled madness so I think satellite maps are going to be a must for me. Are there any budget priced machines, say 600 dollars or so that will do this, and if so which do you prefer and why? If maps are regionally specific, I run in the GOM areas of Yankeetown up to about Keaton beach.
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Old 12-05-2017, 09:58 AM
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Look at a HDS 7 Gen 3..on closeout at many retailers.


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Last edited by semperfifishing; 12-05-2017 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:02 AM
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Check out the Simrad Go7. Just got one, love it.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:21 AM
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GO7 with Totalscan.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim311 View Post
It appears my Lowrance LCX27C let out the magic smoke so I'm looking at a replacement. I fish extreme shallow water, seldom in more than 10 feet of water except for a rare day where I run offshore into the gulf a maximum of 6 miles for cobia or tripletail. This means the fishfinding capabilities of the machine are really secondary to navigation to me. I'm navigating rock bottom oyster filled madness so I think satellite maps are going to be a must for me. Are there any budget priced machines, say 600 dollars or so that will do this, and if so which do you prefer and why? If maps are regionally specific, I run in the GOM areas of Yankeetown up to about Keaton beach.
Most of the feedback we get from Go7 purchasers is they wish they would have got a larger screen, particularly those that use data overlay due to instrument bar issue taking up map space. GO7 is touch screen only. It is also much more challenging to operate underway in chop compared to other units that also have buttons and/or knob. Go series is also prone to response issues in wet conditions which could be an issue for shallow water users in open rigs where response delays can be problematic underway.

Try to get a 12" screen. Get an adjustable mount and any unit will fit on a smaller boat. We just added hundreds of runs to our chart in the big bend area including Keaton, and horseshoe. No way I would be running around through and around those bars with a 7" screen.
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Old 12-05-2017, 12:55 PM
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I have the GO7XSE and I have no problems with the unit. I also, run in shallow water most of the time. I have two regrets. 1). Not upgrading to the 9" model and 2). Upgrading to the Lowrance HDS Gen3, for just a little bit more money you get much more out of the HDS. You can run Chirp and sidescan together, You can link multiple MFD's together, Buttons and touchscreen, Easier Waypoint flags, etc.

I don't hate my GO7, it does the job, but with I had two HDS 7's instead.
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:13 PM
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Find a reman Simrad NSS7 Evo 2

Boe has them or Gil or IM
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Old 12-05-2017, 01:14 PM
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As far as navigating with a 7 inch screen it's worked well for me so far, because that's what I've been using! I have a carbureted Yamaha with no option to add gauges to anyway so I don't really plan to run with an instrument panel open taking up space. I've got a 16 foot Sea Ark, not a ton of room on the console. I am definitely concerned about the lack of response of wet screens or operating in rough conditions. I need it to react when I push the buttons!
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Old 12-05-2017, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim311 View Post
As far as navigating with a 7 inch screen it's worked well for me so far, because that's what I've been using! I have a carbureted Yamaha with no option to add gauges to anyway so I don't really plan to run with an instrument panel open taking up space. I've got a 16 foot Sea Ark, not a ton of room on the console. I am definitely concerned about the lack of response of wet screens or operating in rough conditions. I need it to react when I push the buttons!
For that option either the GO7XSE or the Lowrance Elite Ti will work fine. On the GO7 touchscreen you can pinch zoom or on the bottom of the chart there is a +/- sign you can hold down to zoom in or out. Works relatively well even in rough water. If you are solely using it for Charting, I've heard Garmin actually has the better Nav/Chart system, but I've never used a Garmin.
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:45 PM
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I had the same issues as you when I wanted to upgrade the fishfinder on my skiff in order to be able to use the satellite images of the Navionics Platinum chip. I wanted a cheap unit with a fast enough processor that would allow me to navigate through the backcountry. It had to have a screen that was visible in full sun when running without a top. I went with a Raymarine a78, which is now available well within your price range. The other low-end units I checked out on other boats had very slow processors and screens that were hard to see in full sunlight. I remove the transducer when I'm fishing the creeks so that I don't have to worry about knocking it off when dragging the boat over oyster bars. The CPT-100 transducer is pretty long so I only use it for fishing the bays looking for potholes.

Ted Elder just picked up a refurbished unit from The GPS Store for under $400. https://www.thegpsstore.com/Raymarin...BoC4d4QAvD_BwE

You can find new ones on Amazon for just under $500 with free shipping.

The software is way too complicated since it is a true multifunction display. It took me a long time to figure out how to pair things down to just 3 screens: chart, fishfinder, and split screen with both functions. But once it's set up it's easy to use. You're welcome to come down and see how mine works if you like.

Last edited by DocStressor; 12-05-2017 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DocStressor View Post
I had the same issues as you when I wanted to upgrade the fishfinder on my skiff in order to be able to use the satellite images of the Navionics Platinum chip. I wanted a cheap unit with a fast enough processor that would allow me to navigate through the backcountry. It had to have a screen that was visible in full sun when running without a top. I went with a Raymarine a78, which is now available well within your price range. The other low-end units I checked out on other boats had very slow processors and screens that were hard to see in full sunlight. I remove the transducer when I'm fishing the creeks so that I don't have to worry about knocking it off when dragging the boat over oyster bars. The CPT-100 transducer is pretty long so I only use it for fishing the bays looking for potholes.

Ted Elder just picked up a refurbished unit from The GPS Store for under $400. https://www.thegpsstore.com/Raymarin...BoC4d4QAvD_BwE

You can find new ones on Amazon for just under $500 with free shipping.

The software is way too complicated since it is a true multifunction display. It took me a long time to figure out how to pair things down to just 3 screens: chart, fishfinder, and split screen with both functions. But once it's set up it's easy to use. You're welcome to come down and see how mine works if you like.

Yeah they all seem to include way more crap than we really need for creek fishing. I just want to know where the bars are when it's rough out. If it's calm I can usually just see the bars and if they're covered in enough water to where I don't see them then I can run there. But when it gets rough on a lower tide it starts to hide stuff and I think the satellite views would be very helpful. Aside from that as long as I have basic depthfinding and fish finding abilities I'll be happy. That Raymarine looks like the least expensive option I've found that has satellite abilities. Do you know if there's any way to pull all my waypoints off my old Lowrance? I don't know how it saves the waypoints, if it's on the SD card in it or internally. I have hundreds of points marked that keep me out of danger or hold fish that will be difficult to find again.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:27 AM
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Mine was able to directly import the GPX files from my Humminbird after I moved them out of the Matrix folder that Humminbird creates. All of my waypoints and tracks were perfect. There are several programs that can convert Lowrance files to .gpx. They used different formats over the years, but I believe that GPS Babble can handle them all. You will need to save you nav info to an SD card. How this is done depends on the type of Lowrance that you have. It usually isn't too hard to figure out. Save your nav info first and then export it to a formatted SD card. You can't export the nav info to a card with a chart on it.

The Raymarine takes a micro SD card, so you will need an adaptor. No big deal.
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Old 12-06-2017, 06:36 AM
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Will I still be able to export everything if my old unit won't even turn on?
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:10 AM
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Of course not. You're screwed. You should export your nav data to an SD card after every trip.

I also am not sure that the satellite images will help you in the areas that you fish. I noticed a dead area up there when I scrolled around on my Navionics overlay. If I feel motivated later today I'll plug my unit in and take a look.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by DocStressor View Post
Of course not. You're screwed. You should export your nav data to an SD card after every trip.

I also am not sure that the satellite images will help you in the areas that you fish. I noticed a dead area up there when I scrolled around on my Navionics overlay. If I feel motivated later today I'll plug my unit in and take a look.
That is correct. Navionics Imagery is pretty useless in the big bend area and in most other areas as well. Side by side comparisons with the superior imagery is shocking in so many places not to mention the complete lack of detail with how to navigate anywhere in the area in less than 5' of water.

Here are some side by side actual screen shots of the latest Navionics Plat+ Chip vs. FMT in the Big Bend Area from near Stienhatchee to down near Homosassa. Pick your poison. The photos and detail speaks for itself.

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Last edited by Egret&Lab; 12-06-2017 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DocStressor View Post
Of course not. You're screwed. You should export your nav data to an SD card after every trip.

I also am not sure that the satellite images will help you in the areas that you fish. I noticed a dead area up there when I scrolled around on my Navionics overlay. If I feel motivated later today I'll plug my unit in and take a look.
Save nav data? You assume I am far more industrious than I am I think it was Nick that told me there was a dead zone around basically where I fish so that's a big concern of mine. If Navionics doesn't have the data in that area I'll have to look into other options. I keep hearing about this FMT stuff, maybe I'll look into it. Or just keep driving by braile. I could also buy a jet drive for the cost of a new GPS/plotter
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:10 PM
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You need a Navico product to use FMT cards. These guys are suggesting that you spend >$3000 for a large screen, fast processor Lowrance or Simrad and a FMT card to use on your $1500 POS skiff!

I say go for it.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:20 PM
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This forum makes it painfully obvious that I need more money.
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:32 PM
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But Jim, the best thing about millennials is your lack of interest in material things. Leave the expensive stuff for us boomers and slackers. That's what friends are for.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:48 PM
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That's pretty much my strategy doc!
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