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The Cruise series were introduced by Simrad in 2019. It includes fish finder and chartplotter combos that come in 5, 7, and 9-inch versions. The largest version is one of the cheapest 9-inch fish finders on the market. However, the lower price is mainly due to the more basic sonar capability and minimal navigation features. So it’s a good choice for those that are looking for a simple system. We’ll cover the main features and good alternatives to this fish finder GPS combo in our Simrad Cruise 9 review below.
Simrad Cruise 9 Features
The Display Unit
As we’ve mentioned abova, Simrad Cruise 9 comes in three different display size options: 5, 7, and 9 inches. In this particular article, we’ll be reviewing the 9-inch version.
It also has great screen visibility, even in direct sunlight. It features LED backlighting with 1,000 nit. You can adjust depending on the light conditions of the day, increasing it if it’s really bright or dark.
Unfortunately, there’s no touchscreen operation. Instead, it features keypad controls. There’s also a rotary knob for zooming in and out of the picture. You can also use the rotary knob to switch between applications in the menu. Alternatively, you can use the directional cursor control for that. In addition, there are also control button for quick access to the homepage, waypoint creation, and power.
The unit has a simple, user-friendly interface. There are different shortcuts that allow you to quickly access different settings and applications. It also offers split screen capability that makes it possible to view two applications side by side. So you can simultaneously keep track of navigation and sonar data.
It does have, though, a microSD card slot. This means that you can upgrade the charts with a more premium option.
The product comes ready for setup right out of the box. It comes with everything that you’ll need to install and start using it. Except for the display unit, it includes a gimbal bracket for the display, a transducer, a power cable, and the mounting hardware. However, if you would like to mount the display in dash, you can separately purchase the dash gasket kit.
Simrad Cruise 9 also comes with a transducer. It’s a 83/200 transducer that is capable of basic sonar. You can mount it on the transom of the boat or through the hull. Though, for best performace, it’s better to mount it on the transom. For the installation, the product comes with 20 feet of cable, a transom mount, and an 8-pin push fit connector.
The transducer supports two main frequencies that are 200 kHz and 83 kHz, so it’s a High and Medium CHIRP transducer. Unfortunately, it does not offer any structure scanning sonar, so there’s no side scan or down scan.
The sounder provides a sharp picture. There’s a setting for gain adjustability, which can also be set to auto. You can increase the gain if you want to see more detail on the picture and decrease it if you want to reduce the clutter.
When using the sonar, you can add A-Scope to the screen. This allows you to view live sonar returns. You can choose how to display sonar returns. It can be either with fish arches or with Fish ID. Moreover, you can add an alarm that the unit would sound if it detects a fish in the sonar column. On top of that, there are multiple other alarms, such as alarms for shallow water, temperature, and low boat speed.
You can choose the color palette of the sonar picture. There are lots of options to fit preferences of different users.
The unit also comes with a built-in GPS and C-MAP US coastal maps. These are basic charts with minimal detail. It’s enough for basic navigation and accurate directions. However, if you would like more detail, you can upgrade the system with compatible charts from C-MAP or Navionics.
The system allows to easy drop waypoints. You can also save track lines and routes. For each waypoint, you can view coordinates, the distance between your location and the waypoint, and how long it will take you to reach it.
Moreover, there’s the TripIntel page that provides you with information about your trip. It shows your route on the chart, distance covered, time of the trip, and average speed. Having all this historical data can be useful for its review and comparison.
With the transducer installed, you can also keep track of your boat’s speed and depth. On top of that, it shows you water temperature.
The Simrad Cruise 9 fish finder doesn’t offer any networking capabilities. It does not support NMEA 2000, WiFi, or Bluetooth. It also doesn’t have any Ethernet port and does not havy AIS, autopilot, or radar compatibility.
Simrad Cruise 9 Pros and Cons
If you’re looking for the most affordable 9-inch fish finder, then Simrad Cruise 9 is definitely one of the top options. It offers good performance when it comes to its basic sonar and chartplotting capabilities. It also comes with everything you’ll need for the installation and use, including a transducer. On top of that, it’s very simple and easy to operate. However, keep in mind that you’ll be missing out on some more advanced features. For example, for about the same price, you can get Garmin Striker Vivid 9sv, which offers a lot more features. Moreover, if you can pay a bit more, you can get Garmin Echomap UHD 93sv, Lowrance Hook2 9, or Simrad GO9 XSE.