Customer Reviews: Humminbird 788ci 5-Inch Waterproof Marine GPS and Chartplotter with Sounder
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on September 3, 2009
I have been using the 788ci for a few months now and have nothing but good things to say about it. It is simple to use and the preset buttons allow you to quickly see the screens you use the most. The quick release mounting system makes it easy to remove the head of the unit when you have to leave the boat unattended.

I would not recommend buying this unit with the pre-loaded Navionics maps. They are the 2006 version and do not include a lot of the newer lakes. I use the Navionics '09 Premium maps card and could not be happier.

If you buy it, take the time to learn how to use as many of the features as you can. Go out in the boat with the owner's manual and just play with it and you will be amazed at what a great tool this is.

One more very important feature is that the unit has two SD card slots. I use one slot for my Navionics chip and save all of the rest of my information on the other chip.
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on October 7, 2009
I just installed the 788ci on my pontoon boat and am very happy with the unit. This is my first fishfinder and I was afraid that it may be overly complicated. The screen is easy to read in bright light and I love the Fish ID feature. I am not that familiar with Lake Lanier and the GPS feature we let me explore. The unit powered up and worked without problems after installation.
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on July 30, 2010
I fish Lake Michigan for salmon. I was trying to decide between the Lowrance HDS5 and the Humminbird. After reading the reviews I decided to go with the 788ci. Amazon had the best price, it was delivered within a couple days.
It is easy to use, works great at marking fish and even marks the thermocline when set to Switchfire mode.
I broke the transducer bracket during installation and Humminbird sent me a new one, no charge.
The chartplotter works great, the base map is pretty detailed and I do not think any additional mapping software is needed.
My only pet peeve is you cannot zoom into a certain depth of water, say between 20 and 50 feet if you are in 100 foot of water. It always reads off the bottom up. At least if you can do it I have not figured out how.
The transducer cord could be a couple feet longer too. I have a 21 foot boat and it was just long enough, a few more inches would have been nice.
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on April 19, 2010
Overall decent unit, but some poor choices made in the software. Navigating through menus is harder than it needs to be. There is no way to customize readouts on anything but the full screen sonar view, and this baffles me completely. The view I'd logically use most is the combo chart/sonar view, and it would make far more sense for me to keep my voltage and a clock on display than the useless lat/long & compass heading readouts. It would only be a small modification to software, but Humminbird didn't think like a customer here. Poor design choices drag down what could otherwise be a very nice unit for the money.
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on July 11, 2010
I love my new Humminbird 788ci fishfinder. I have used it three or four times now trolling for Kokanee. I wasn't sure that I really needed GPS for fishing in a lake. I knew I didn't need it to find my way back to the boat ramp, but it is so easy to mark a spot where you catch fish or see a lot of fish and then come back to that spot that I wouldn't want to fish without the GPS now. The fish ID works great also. You can see how many fish are there, what their depth is and realitive size. It is so much fun to use that my fishing buddies want to drive the boat so they can watch the screen which has great color and is easy to see all the details even in bright sunlight. I use the split screen with GPS and fish ID screen most the time. It is easy to switch back and forth between screen views with a push of a button.
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on October 23, 2011
I have had nothing but problems with this fishfinder. When I first installed it, it wouldn't give accurate depth or show fish, and the readout was messed up. I spent 2 hours on the phone with a customer service rep while I was trying to spend vacation with my family (while I was home on leave from Iraq), and she finally decided it was an issue with the tranducer. I had to un-install the tranducer and send it back, and Humminbird send me a new one (which had to be re-installed). So far, a giant pain in the neck. Next problem - the unit turns off everytime I hit choppy water or a boat wake. Nothing huge...just any kind of small waves. I called customer service back, and was told it was a loose connection. Checked everything out, and found no loose connections. Finally decided to live with it as is - just have to turn it back on every couple of minutes. Pain in the neck. Next problem - it won't give an accurate depth reading at any speed above idle. I have to stop and let the boat quit moving to find out the water depth. GIANT pain in the neck. The straw that broke the camel's back - I purchased Navionics (I think that's how its spelled) mapping software, and it worked great for a couple of weeks, and then suddenly the unit quit reading it. I tried everything to get it to work, but never could. At this point, I sent an e-mail to Humminbird expressing my extreme displeasure with the product, and they sent me a new one (just the fishfinder, not the transducer). On the up side, there customer service has been easy to work with and very responsive. Jury's still out on the new unit. My next purchase will be a Lowrance.
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on June 26, 2010
I purchased this unit for my small boat. Convience of not having an external antenna & some place to put it. So far I've taken the unit out on 2 trips. The GPS features are great ! (No more hand held for me) But I have yet to get the unit to find the bottom or any fish (I'm sure it's user error) Humminbird support it the way to go if you don't understand the book fully. Unit & buttons are user friendly. This unit will do a lot when I get familuar with it. The one drawback that I have with it is: it sucks the juice out of my little battery. (I fish out of a skiff and therefore try to stay as light as possible) And the 25 hp 4-stroke Yamaha I use doesn't have charging capabilities. So I'm going to a larger battery.
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on February 18, 2015
I like this a lot. I've used it for 3 full summer seasons. I'm not crazy about the GPS though. At speeds of less than 3mph the speed will vary by up to .8mph from second to second, and if anchored and not moving it will generally read .5 mph. There are also times the gps locator will have me on shore when I'm in the boat 50' from shore. Works well otherwise.
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on October 12, 2012
I really like the GPS portion of this unit and the graphics are pretty good but the sonar portion has way too many options and settings on it for my taste. It's very difficult to program even after you read the almost 200 page manual. Look, I understand that there are a few fishing geeks out there that feel the need to adjust the sonar beams to an 87% degree angle but I just want a simple and effective fish finder/GPS unit with under 10,000 settings on it and this thing is just way too over-engineered for my tastes.
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on August 25, 2014
Great unit, I have used it many times and it always finds the fish. The internal GPS is also a great feature that has assisted me on many occasions. I highly recommend the unit.
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