With the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show now over, one of the big discoveries stands out: Lowrance is still red-hot, introducing a range of new units for next year. The biggest announcements are fishfinders, including the new SpotlightScan and SonarHub. Here’s the scoop.
SpotlightScan - The SpotlightScan Sonar is a trolling-motor transducer system which works with any bow-mounted, cable-steered, foot-controlled electric trolling motor, so it’ll be useful only for anglers who have trolling motors on their boats (that’s most of us) and a compatible HDS Gen 2 or Gen2 Touch MFD display at the helm (that’s a lot of us). In reality, it’s quite similar to existing StructureScan and shoots out a beam at 455/800 kHz frequencies. That’s not a shocker, but Lowrance has found a new way to harness the technology by putting it into a uni-directional, searchlight-like transducer beam which shoots out from under your trolling motor. Turn the motor, and you turn the beam. Like StructureScan, range is fairly limited for the high-frequency beam and it can only reach out to 150′. MSRP is $499.
SonarHub – The SonarHub Sounder is another new application of existing technology; actually, a combination of technologies. In it, Lowrance combines StructureScan HD and CHIRP. StructureScan HD gives you the ultra-high def short-range views, while CHIRP pumps out a wide-ranging frequency blast to extend range - the stated high-def detail range is 3,500′. In other words, with this new black-box you can set up a new system which takes advantage of two old ones, yet requires a single box. The SonarHub costs $599 for HDS-compatible systems, but transducers are another story. You’ll need at least two of them, and if you go for top-of-the-line (which you should, to get the best performance from each aspect of the system) it can cost up to $1,600.
What else did we learn about new electronics at Lauderdale? Stay tuned – there’s another announcement which is embargoed until next week, and you won’t want to miss that one.