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June 16, 2009

Panbo Blog: Lowrance "StructureScan" sonar scanning heats up

An entry from Ben Ellison's Marine Electronics Weblog

I've long been interested in the ability of some Humminbird MFDs to side scan with near photographic precision, at least in fairly shallow and calm waters.  A lot of fishermen, especially of the freshwater kind, are using the technology to find the structures where their quarry like to hang out, and you can see lots of real world results on this Yahoo group.  Humminbird has virtually owned this niche for several years, and claims some patent protection, but now Lowrance is coming right at them with an HDS add-on called StructureScan. It will debut at the MAATS/iCAST show in Orlando this July (and I'll be there), but Lowrance has started showing proof of performance images...

There are StructureScan videos too, where you'll learn that the image at top shows a concrete foundation in what must be a man made lake.  And over at Motorboating, Glenn Law is reporting that the add-on will retail for $695 while also delivering a good overview of sonar scanning.  Glenn quotes a Furuno rep who says that the vast majority of boats that install their high-end 360 degree scanners are after serious game fish.  But I'm particularly fascinated with how Steve and Linda Dashew are using their Furuno for serious gunk holing, now in Norway.  Wouldn't it be cool if Humminbird or Lowrance, or someone, figures out a way to adopt their inexpensive solid state technology to foward looking sonar?