Sounder technology has been at the forefront of some of the marine-electronics industry’s boldest innovations in recent years. The advent of CHIRP imagery and improved side- and forward-looking sonar technologies has helped to present a more comprehensive view of the briny depths than older-generation equipment offered. If your fishing program could use a boost, Simrad‘s SonarHub or Garmin‘s ClearVü technology could be an ideal upgrade.
SonarHub packs a CHIRP fish finder and Simrad’s proprietary StructureScan HD technology into a compact black-box module that’s plug-and-play compatible with Simrad’s NSS Sport, NSE Expert and NSO Offshore lines of MFDs. As with all CHIRP fish finders, the SonarHub ($599) simultaneously broadcasts over a wide sweep of frequencies, rather than the two discrete frequencies (one high and one low) that are used by traditional-technology fish finders, to deliver high-definition, under-the-keel imagery.
Simrad’s StructureScan HD technology uses CHIRP to provide side-scanning range and resolution, while its DownScan Imaging feature uses CHIRP to depict everything below your yacht’s transducer.
Garmin, meanwhile, sells its new DownVü and SideVü scanning sonar technologies in a number of -interesting packages, including the stand-alone GCV 10 black box sonar module, and as an incorporated feature on some now–generation fish finders. The black box GCV 10 ($599.99) uses CHIRP technology to provide proprietary DownVü and SideVü sonar imagery to compatible Garmin echoMAP and GPSMAP series plotters/sonars, and DownVü is available as a bundled feature on some Garmin Echo-series fish finders. Additionally, owners who already have certain current-generation GPSMAP plotters can download DownVü as a software update.
Both Simrad’s SonarHub and Garmin’s ClearVü sonar technology yield high–definition underwater panoramic imagery that was primarily created to help anglers demystify fish-finding, but both technologies can also be extremely useful to navigators, depending on the topographical complexity of their local cruising grounds.