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Simrad GO9 XSE HDI

Simrad GO9 XSE 000-13211-001

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1000' CHIRP,
300' DownScan,
10 Hz,

The Simrad GO9 XSE is sold in different combination with charts and transducers. It’s also available without a transducer. In our previous post, we’ve reviewed the GO9 XSE with the TotalScan transducer; therefore, in this review we’re going to address the one that comes with the HDI Skimmer transducer, the Simrad part number 000-13211-001.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Display: 9″ diagonal, 800H x 480V pixel matrix, WVGA color TFT, with adjustable LED backlight
  • Sonar: 2D CHIRP, DownScan (SideScan and ForwardScan capable)
  • Depth Capability:
    • 1,000′ (305 m) for the CHIRP sonar
    • 300′ (91 m) for DownScan
  • Frequency and Coverage:
    • Broadband CHIRP:
      • 200 kHz (22°)
      • 83 kHz (52°)
    • DownScan:
      • 455 kHz – fore to aft 2.8°, port to starboard 56°
      • 800 kHz – fore to aft 1.6°, port to starboard 32°
  • Transducer: HDI Skimmer
  • Power Input: 12 V DC
  • Power Consumption: 12W @ 13.8 V
  • GPS: 10 Hz, internal
  • Charts: Worldwide Basemaps
  • Waypoints: 10,000

Sonar and transducer

As we’ve mentioned above, this unit comes with the HDI Skimmer transducer, which is capable of Mid Range CHIRP, High Range CHIRP, and DownScan sonar. However, the unit itself is also SideScan capable and ForwardScan capable, but in order to use these types of sonar, you will need either a TotalScan transducer (for SideScan) or a ForwardScan transducer.

The included HDI Skimmer integrates a temperature sensor so the unit can read the temperature of the top water layer. It’s a plastic transducer, comes with a transom mount and has 20′ (6 m) of cable. It uses conical beams for the 2D broadband CHIRP sonar, 22° @ 200 kHz and 52° @ 83 kHz. The CHIRP modulation isn’t specified, but the interval for Medium Frequency CHIRP is somewhere around 83 kHz, while for High-Frequency CHIRP around 200 kHz.

For DownScan, this Simrad fish finder system doesn’t use CHIRP technology. The transducer uses fan-shaped beams not conical, with a coverage of ~56° @ 455 kHz and ~32° @ 83 kHz.

Evidently, it’s best to use the DownScan sonar for a better understanding of structure and vegetation and the CHIRP sonar for identifying fish targets. However, just as the Lowrance Elite-9 Ti, this Simrad fish finder has the Overlay DownScan feature which gives you the possibility to blend the 2D CHIRP sonar with the DownScan sonar, in order to benefit from a better view of the relation between fish targets, structure, vegetation, and the bottom.

The unit offers several other standard sonar functions, including Fish ID, A-Scope, Bottom Lock, Depth Line, Sonar Recording, Fish and Depth Alarms and a few others.

Finally, with the included HDI transducer, this fish finder system can scan depths up to 1,000 ft (305 m) in 2D, and up to 300 ft (91 m) in DownScan. The system should be able to maintain a decent bottom reading at a vessel speed up to 55 MPH, but for an optimal reading with a maximum of targets and minimum clutter and fuzziness, trolling speed (up to 10 MPH) is recommended.

Navigation features

The Simrad GO9 XSE is a multi-function display and offers quite a palette of navigation functions. To begin with, it is equipped with a fast and accurate 10 Hz internal GPS, which updates the speed of your boat 10 times per second. Due to the unit’s fast processor, the movement of the boat will appear smooth, in real-time, without jumps from a point to another. Evidently, the unit’s GPS shows coordinates and can also calculate the speed of your boat.

With regards to the GPS system of all Simrad units, there’s an important aspect to mention. The GPS system should work fine when the unit is mounted on a bracket mount, or on a flush mount, in most fiberglass hulls. But when flush-mounted in metal hull boat, an external GPS receiver may be required.

The Simrad GO9 XSE 000-13211-001 comes with the basic Worldwide Basemaps. These charts are not the best but they do offer optimal support for navigation. Along with the boundaries between land and water, they also show certain points of interest, main roads, and interstates. However, the good news is, the unit’s charts base is upgradable. You can always opt for a premium charts chip from Navionics, C-MAP, NV Digital, Nautic Insight. It’s also compatible with custom charts created with the Insight Genesis application.

The Simrad GO9 XSE unit can stock up to 10,000 waypoints offering a decent palette of icons for them. For routes, the system includes support for Navionics Autorouting and C-MAP Easy Routing. As for tracks, the unit is set to automatically track and draw the vessel’s movement on the chart panel. The recorded tracks can be saved and converted to routes, to re-use.

TripIntel technology and Cruise Charting View are two functions specific to Simrad units. TripIntel is designed for power boaters and offers the possibility to plan and create safe journeys, as it provides you with a lot of information for this purpose. For example, it allows you to make smart decisions with fuel range overlaid on charts, it offers easy access to current and future tide levels, and a detailed history of your previous trips. On the other hand, the Cruise Charting View feature brings together crucial navigation data and charts in one easily readable display. It allows you to choose the most relevant information to your cruising style and activities carried out on the water with the ability to quickly edit the on-screen data items.

As opposed to the smaller units, GO7 XSE and GO5 XSE, this unit can support Broadband 3G, 4G or Halo™ Pulse Compression Radar systems. It’s also AIS and VHF Radio capable. For example, you can interlink it with a RS35 VHS/AIS Radio unit, and even with Simrad WM-3 SiriusXM satellite weather modules.

Control unit features

Just like the Axiom 9 from Raymarine, the Simrad GO9 XSE is a 9-inch multi-function display, featuring a pixel resolution of 800H x 480W, an LCD WVGA display with LED backlight, offering an excellent readability even from sharp angles. It’s also IPX7 waterproof, so it should withstand water splashes, rain, or other incidental water exposure, and even immersions in fresh water.

The box includes two mounts. The classic bracket “U” type mount and a flush mounting kit. A sun cover is also included.

The unit has a highly customizable and user-friendly interface. It gives you the possibility to pin to the start page the applications that you use the most, create various split-screen views combining several applications simultaneously. It’s also a full touchscreen unit, usable in a similar way to a tablet. For example, you can tap to mark a waypoint, pinch to zoom-in, or drag to move the charts.

An NMEA 2000 port and Radar port for direct connection to Simrad 3G, 4G or Halo scanners are included. The microSD card reader features two slots, giving you the possibility to use up to two charts chips simultaneously, or a chart chip and a blank chip for data backup so you won’t have to swap chips.

SonicHub®2 & Bluetooth® Audio Integration are also available with the Simrad GO9 XSE. Therefore, you can stream music from Bluetooth devices, play MP3 files from a USB flash drive, or listen to the SonicHub 2’s built-in AM/FM radio. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi module and provides direct access to GoFree cloud services, including map downloads, software updates etc.

This Simrad multi-function display is GoFree™ cloud-enabled, also integrating a Wi-Fi module. The Wi-Fi module allows you to connect to the local marina’s Wi-Fi, or you can can connect to your own home Wi-Fi if your boat is there, for quick software updates, data downloads or to use the GoFree available services. The Wi-Fi connection also makes it possible to directly stream the unit’s imaging on a tablet or smartphone. And finally, the unit is compatible with OP40/OP50 remote controls.

The Pros

  • CHIRP 2D sonar and DownScan;
  • SideScan capable;
  • ForwardScan capable;
  • HDI Skimmer transducer included;
  • 1,000 ft. depth capability (3,000 with a 50/200 kHz transducer);
  • Various sonar functions, such as DownScan Overlay, Bottom Lock, A-Scope, Fish ID, Sonar Recording, etc;
  • High precision, 10 Hz GPS;
  • Worldwide Basemaps included;
  • Compatible with various premium charts including C-MAP® MAX-N, Navionics®, Insight®, Insight Genesis®, and NV Digital® Charts.
  • GPS and sonar overlay data possibilities, via Insight Genesis;
  • TripIntel™ and Cruise Charting view;
  • Fast chart updates, fast navigation through menus;
  • AIS capable;
  • 3G, 4G and Halo Radar compatible;
  • Simrad WM-3 SiriusXM satellite weather module capable;
  • Super-bright 9-inch display, offering excellent readability;
  • Easy to use, intuitive interface, with touchscreen technology;
  • Dual microSD card reader for charts and software upgrades;
  • NMEA 2000 connectivity;
  • Wi-Fi connectivity;
  • Simrad SonicHub®2 & Bluetooth Audio Integration;
  • Operable with OP40/OP50 remotes;
  • U-bracket and flush mounting kit included;
  • Sun cover included;
  • Fairly easy to install.

The Cons

  • Touchscreen technology may also be a downside for a fish finder, as you’ll have to constantly wash your hands if you’re fishing, or constantly clean the display;
  • Transom mount only for the transducer.

Bottom Line

The Simrad GO9 XSE (000-13211-001) fish finder and chartplotter and includes the HDI Skimmer transducer. It has 2D CHIRP sonar, DownScan sonar, GPS and the Worldwide base charts. It’s also SideScan and ForwardScan capable, Radar, AIS, VHF Radio capable, and compatible with Sirius weather modules. It’s a multi-touch unit featuring an intuitive, highly customizable, and easy-to-use interface. In all, it’s a versatile unit, perfect for both in-land and off-shore fishing, available at a decent price.

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