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Lowrance or Humminbird?? GPS/Sonar combo


BP Swing

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Im thinking of getting a new combo GPS/Sonar with some gift certificates Ive been keeping. Prices are similar. Does anyone have a preference? Im leaning toward Humminbird. I heard Lowrances customer service dept is next to impossible to get through to and that the units are a little "buggy". I have a Lowrance now (sonar) and it seems ok, never had any major problems yet. Id like something thats user friendly and not have to press a million buttons to get it to do something. Any recommendations? Im looking at the Humminbird 788ci or Lowrance HDS5. Thanks BP

Any Humminbird owners out there?

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I just bought that humminbird 788ci. So far so good. It was super easy to install and user freindly I also look into each unit and deceied that hunninbird unit was the best bang for the buck. Pat

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Transom mounting plates are the way to go.You only need to drill two holes to attach it.This way if you make a mistake you are not putting extra holes in the transom.$10.00 bucks at Gander or your freindly marina...........

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I replaced my Eagle (lowrance) Fishelite 500c with the Humminbird 917C a couple years ago, and couldnt be any happier. Installation was easy, user interface is easy and I really like the large dual frequency split screen. I havent had any service issues with the Humminbird, so I cant comment on that. I did have a problem with the Eagle and had to send it back. They fixed the problem (it would turn on by itself and start making all kinds of loud beeps and squeels). Unfortunately, when they sent it back, the speed sensor on it no longer worked. I wasnt going to waste more time, so I bought the Humminbird. Good luck with whatever you choose.

Dan

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I have owned both Humminbird and Eagle/Lowrance fish finders and now own a Lowrance 527 Igps.

That being said the Humminbird unit was a lot more user friendly. If there are settings you like to change on the fly with the Humminbird you did not need to page through a complete list of settings to get to it. The unit I use is about 15 years old but seemed to recall the last setting you tweaked and gives you instant access to that parameter.

Providing they have not taken steps backwards the Hummibird is probably more user friendly.

You might ask why I purchased he Lowrance? It was on sale for $300 and I could not pass on the 5" combo ff/gps at that price.

That HDS looks like the cats ass though you probably want to make sure you do not experience the VHF interference issues people are having with the Lowrance external broadband setup.

RED

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I bought some Lowrance gear when I purchased my new boat last year. My GPS didn't work worth a darn...long story short, multiple ignored emails and unreturned calls later my Lowrance gear found its way back to Cabelas and was replaced with Humminbird gear.

Happy now.

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The humminbird is 3 screws but 2 would def hold it. I bought a 787c2 humminbird and love it, very easy to get going but you have a million ways to tweak it also. Lowrance seemed to have a more powerfull tranducer, and i think they claimed to track fish while your going 40 miles p/h. that sounds pretty cool 8) . has anyone done that?

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Will the plastic transom plates install with 2 screws? The one pictured in Cabelas shows 4.

Buy the plate that is drilled for the two screw setup.The last one I got at Gander.Anchor Marine on Grand Island has these plates also.

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I have had 10 Lowrance units over the years, and YES, the service department is not available to you on a many times call basis. I was on hold for 1 hour and 45 minutes listening to the "Your call is important" foolishness and then a new message popped up and said it was snowing and everyone is going home. My average time for a call in problem was over 1 hour. Today is "their busy season", their usual first message.

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Do you remember how many screws to install the transducer? Im not crazy about drilling holes in my boat. I have 2 now. Thanks BP

BP If you dont want to drill more holes use 3M marine adhesive fast cure 5200 to help secure/stick the mounting plate.

It is a very good product to seal up old screw holes too. Sold at marine stores and i think Wallmart.

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If I were looking for an inexpensive combo (less than $1500) I would consider the Raymarine A series. These are units made for fishermen by a company that is the leader in commercial electronics. I owned a Hummingbird 1197 and did not like the graphics or resolution of it, other features did not work well and color separation was not even close to what my 5" Raymarine digital finder could do. Add to that the issue of engine noise (both interference and in the water) and transducer options and I could not live with the 'bird.

I decided to stick with my 5" finder (raymarine) and 5" gps (garmin) having 2 units does make a lot of sense that way if your fish finder goes on the fritz you can always use your plotter for location and estimation of water depth. I would stick with Raymarine, Furuno or Garmin for quality fishing electroncis.

CC

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thanks LS

That is a great unit, for that price I may just replace the one I have had for 4 years....I think I have the 400 it has scratches all over it because I have it mounted on the transom and it gets slimed alot.

One of these and a good plotter is all a guy needs.

CC

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it marks great, and u can buy the unit without the transducer since u already hve the same transducer for your 400. OR but it with the transducer nd I will pay the difference for the price of the one with transducer ( i need a new one)

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OK thanks for the replys but heres a install question. I currently have a Lowrance x65 speed and temp transducers. (2). OK so I get rid of the speed wheel and that leaves 2 empty holes. Id like to leave the screws in with caulk but if I do how will I make the mounting board flush with the transom? This is freeking me out about drilling more holes in the boat. I can use one of the other 2 remaining holes from the transducer for the board but looks like I will still have to drill at least 1 more if I get a mounting board that uses only uses 2 screws. ???? I cant believe these boat manufacturers dont have a mounting plate already installed on boats, so all you have to do is remove the board, mount your transducer, and put the board back. That would be too easy I guess.

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so you are saying, dont leave the screws in the holes? just epoxy?

If your boat is fiberglass, the very best way to do this is fill the hole with epoxy. Get the best stuff at the best price here: http://www.jgreer.com/

What I do - under water line - is drill an oversize hole (1/2") then gouge out a little of wood in the core around the outside of the hole put duct tape on the inside (if the hole goes thru the transom), then mix my epoxy with some filler, stuff it in the hole, let it harden, do it again if needed because the hole was not completely filled, then sand and paint with bottom paint. No gel coat needed below bottom paint.

Landshark,

I bought the 500, but I will still use the transducer. I will mount them both one in front on on the rear and run them at 200 and 50 khz respectively. I will get rid of the humminbird I have up there for a tru digital picture!! Sorry!!

CC

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