small chirp fishfinders a78 vs HDS 7?


1st Mate
Jan 30, 2012
Full time cruising
Boat Make
Nordhavn 46
I'm looking to add a small fishfinder which will function as the main fishfinder & backup chartplotter to my Garmin MFD (Garmin is interfaced to radar but I have a separate old Furono fishfinder that I will be taking out). I see the Raymarine A78 and the Lowrance HDS 7 out there in the $1,200 range. Any prefrences on these?

I have a transducer block on the hull That I'd like to get rid of & was contemplating a thru-hull transducer like the Raymarine CPT110. My fishing is in shore, depths 120' or less (usually 40-60'). Would this be a mistake?

Wharf Rat

Marine Electronics 'Professional'
Forum Sponsor
Apr 24, 2012
New Rochelle, NY
Boat Make
Both are good units, but the HD7 falls a bit short with its sonar and plotting capabilities. It's not a CHIRP style sonar either, and its sonar along with operating system were focused more to the fresh water market, and quite honestly is a subpar plotter especially when it comes to marking points, etc. It's also not a true 7'' display. I like the unit, don't get me wrong, but it's based on some pretty old technology and it has run it's course.
The newest Raymarine Lighthouse platform really is a game changer, between the OS and chart options, I'm personally excited about it. Couple that with their new CHIRP based sonar along with the Downvision is really incredible for sub-500' fishing..
We did a C450P with B265LH transducer on a e125 platform, with an e7 as a backup with a simple B60 thru hull, and in the shallow waters of the sound, the clarity of the less expensive sonar was superior, especially with the amount of clutter and narrow band the higher powered CHIRP machines put out. CHIRP is really all about the software and how it can digitally process the returns, but as we've seen with a lot of the manufacturers, going with the less powerful CHIRP GPS combo units has become the trend. I would also consider the Simrad NSS8. A very clean system, easy to operate; doesn't use a CHIRP sonar, but there is a current closeout to make way for their newer EVO2 platforms and the price is RIGHT in your price range. Drop me a line in the office tomorrow, 914-235-4023, I have a few more questions about the boat and what you're targeting to give you my best recommendation.

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