Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Charts FAQ:

The various colors represent different depths. Each chart is shaded individually to show you the most detail possible. Charts begin in the red for shallow areas and move through yellow, green, blues, and into the deep blues or purples for the deepest areas.

We always use the highest resolution data available and, because we’re actually a sonar company, we can pull from tens and tens of different public, private, academic, international, and other data sources, including what we generate with our boats and our sonars! In some areas data will be .25m or .5m, meaning one pixel will represent a quarter or half meter of data. In other areas the highest resolution data available may be lower. In many deep areas (canyons for example) the highest resolution data available will be 8m.

Note that file size limitation for mobile devices sometimes force us to down-sample .25m and .5m data to 1m. If you want the absolute highest resolution data possible, use the Raymarine, Lowrance, Simrad, or B&G versions.

Normally more accurate than your GPS. Any error should be less than a couple feet.

What you’re seeing is the lack of high-resolution sonar data for those areas. You’ll notice that some areas are very high resolution while others are lower. We always use the best available data and we pull from tens and tens of sources. Because we can process raw sonar data (we’re actually a sonar company) we can access more sources than other 3D chart makers, so you shouldn’t find better resolution anywhere else. As you can imagine, some areas, like shipping channels or commercially important areas, get more scanning than other, predominantly recreational, areas.

We are often faced with this dilemma: do we include the data in charts to provide customers with as much useful information as possible, or do we exclude it because lower resolution data will result in customer service inquiries. Often, we feel that the lower resolution data is still valuable and is better than no data.

If there are gaps it’s because we can’t find data for that area and haven’t been able to get one of our boats there yet. If you know of data that we don’t have, please point us to it and we’ll update the chart!

As far as we can tell, other companies take publicly available pre-processed data, almost exclusively from NOAA, and convert it into a format that will run on your chartplotter. You can download the same data they use. We’re not aware of any other company that uses commercial sonar, that has done any of their own scanning, or even processes raw sonar data.

Last year with our boats and our sonar tow-fishes we scanned about 4,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico alone. We’ve been scanning and processing raw sonar data for years. Because we can process raw sonar data in house, we can use the same data as other companies but pull more out of it. Unlike other companies, we can then also use tens of other data sources that they can’t because they can’t process raw data. We should have higher resolution, more detail, and better coverage than anyone else out there. If we don’t let us know because there’s no reason we can’t meet or beat theirs!


Think of the chart as a huge grid of tiled images. When a tile isn’t completely filled by an image you get the black boxes. Unfortunately there is not a good way around this with Simrad or Lowrance chartplotters. Raymarine plotters operate differently and do not have this problem.

No, unless there is operator error. However, it is always a good idea to backup all of your data on an extra SD card and then update your unit before loading any chart or waypoints.

No, doing so is a violation of the license agreement that you agree to upon purchase.

You can create a waypoint at the spot you’re interested in. Then, simply disable our chart with a click, check the depth on your navigation chart, and enable our chart again with another click.

If it is a 3D chart, yes. Your 3D chart remains on the SD card and does not download to your machine. If it is a waypoint chart, you will download the waypoints to your machine.

Yes. Your 3D chart is encrypted and remains on the SD card. You can use the chart in any other compatible chartplotter but the chart cannot be copied off the card.

We split 3D charts for mobile devices into multiple files for two reasons. The first reason is file size. File size will increase exponentially with chart coverage. Mobile devices and OsmAnd don’t appreciate humongous files. The second reason is export time. If we don’t split certain 3D charts, when we create the file for mobile it can take two weeks or more even using our multi-processor servers.

Enable the chart section you want to fish as an overlay in OsmAnd. You can swap between chart sections by choosing a different file for the overlay.

Currently updates for mobile devices and computers are free. For Simrad/Lowrance and Raymarine charts you will ship the card back to StrikeLines, we will update the chart for a small fee, and will ship the card back to you. We charge a small update fee to cover our time and shipping of updating each card. Check out the Chart Update page for more information.

Check out our coverage map on our homepage to see all of our offerings. (On the home page, scroll down to view the map.)

We are always looking for ideas on where to scan next, so if you have an idea, send us an email ( and let us know! Why do you think that area would be successful? You also have the option of chartering a custom scan. See here for more information.

Compatibility FAQ:

Compatible units include: Simrad Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Simrad. 3D Charts:
  • All NSS units
  • NSE
  • All NSO units
  • GO XSE units
  • GO XSR units
  • Note that 3D charts are not compatible with the Cruise series
Lowrance Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Lowrance. 3D Charts:
  • All HDS units
  • Elite HDI, Chirp, and Ti models
Mercury VesselView Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Mercury VesselView. 3D Charts:
  • All vessel view units except the 403
B&G Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with B&G. 3D Charts:
  • All Zeus units
  • All Vulcan units
Raymarine Waypoint Charts: StrikeLines waypoint charts are compatible with Raymarine. Please update your software before loading our waypoint chart. 3D Charts: In order to support StrikeLines 3D charts, units must run Lighthouse II or Lighthouse III and have at least v17 software installed. We strongly recommend updating your Raymarine to the latest software before loading our chart. Let us know if you don’t see a Raymarine option for the chart you are interested in. Compatible units include:
  • Axiom Series
  • Axiom Pro
  • Hybrid Touch
  • aSeries
  • cSeries
  • eSeries
  • eS Series
  • gS Series
  • Dragonfly Series – note that we do not recommend running a 3D chart on a Dragonfly due to limited processing power.
Please make sure your Raymarine Unit has a microSD or SD card reader.

Waypoint Charts: Yes, all the waypoint charts are compatible.

3D Charts: Humminbird does not have the capabilities yet for our 3D charts. Please contact Humminbird here to let them know you’d like to run StrikeLines’ 3D charts on your unit and email:

Jeffrey Kolodzinski, Humminbird Brand Manager,

Rhonda Green, Senior Consumer Services Manager,

Bill Carson, Marketing Product Manager,

Joe Brown, Senior Business Director,

Josh Algood, Humminbird Production Manager, at

Joel Flatt, Humminbird Quality Manager, at

Dedrick Alexander, Advance Team Member,

Julie Arrington, Customer Resource Center,

Braeden Harris, Fishing Marketing Specialist,

Fugawi Charts,

Fugawi Charts,

Waypoint Charts: The Simrad/Lowrance versions of our waypoint charts will work on Furuno, but be cautious. Before import you MUST backup all your data and you MUST update to the latest software. Some Furuno machines behave unpredictably during import.

3D Charts: We spent several months talking with Furuno about getting our 3D charts on their hardware. Furuno eventually reached the conclusion that it would be a year or so before they could run our 3D charts. Please email the following contacts to let them know you’d like to run StrikeLines’ charts on your Furuno:

Dean Kurutz, VP of Sales, Marketing & Product Planning for Furuno, at

Matt Wood, National Sales Manager for Furuno, at

Masahi Ohhora, Business Development Manger for Furuno, at

Fred Endres, Light Marine Product/Manager for Furuno,

Dean Silver, Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast, at

Braden Shoemaker, Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast, at

Drew Linzey, regional sales manager for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, at

Fugawi Charts,

Fugawi Charts,

Waypoint Charts: Yes, our waypoint charts will run just fine on your Garmin. All the waypoints will load and function just like your other waypoints. The only thing that won’t load are the lines we use to trace out ledges and circle hard bottom areas. We can add the Google Earth version to your account if you want to view those lines on your phone, tablet or computer, but most of our Garmin customers find they don’t want or need them.

3D Charts: In 2018 Garmin removed functionality from your chartplotter through an update without telling you so you can no longer run third party charts. This means that you can’t run our 3D charts on your Garmin but you can run them on your phone or tablet, even offshore without cell reception. As long as your phone or tablet has a built in GPS – most do – the device will overlay your real time position on our chart. You can create waypoints, pull coordinates for use in your Garmin, and more all from the tablet from the boat or from your couch.

If you don’t already have a tablet with a built in GPS we’re happy to sell you one and pre-load your charts on it. There’s a lot to be said for a 10” screen with most of the functions of a chartplotter!

Please let Garmin know you’d like to run StrikeLines’ 3D charts on your Garmin by emailing the following:

Garmin Cartography,

Jennifer Herve du Penhoat, Global Strategic Programs,

Dave Dunn, Director of Sales and Marketing – Marine,

Amanda Masters, Garmin Marine,

Lisa Maskovich, Marine Cartography,

Jarrod Seymour, VP Marine Segment Lead,

Pontus Fernstrom, Director Marine Sales,

Michael Range, Marine Regional Sales Manager Ft Lauderdale/Miami,

Richard Kubik, Marine Software Engineering,

Marino Andreoli, Regional (FL) Training Specialist,

If your plotter isn’t compatible with StrikeLines charts, we offer a 10” Android tablet with built-in GPS that we will pre-load with any charts you purchase. Customers love this option because you can trip plan on the couch at night and then have a big 10” screen displaying your chart on the boat the next morning.

The free open source app we recommend and provide detailed instructions with screenshots for, will overlay your position on our chart in real time. You don’t need Wi-Fi or a cell connection. As long as the tablet has a built-in GPS, you can use the chart offshore. We can’t tell a difference in accuracy between the GPS in a phone or tablet and any of our in-house chartplotters. You can also create waypoints, track the boat, pull coordinates, and more within the app.

Simrad, Lowrance, or Raymarine all day every day. We prefer the user interface and hardware of Simrad but Raymarine does a better job displaying 3D charts (no black boxes/tiles around the edge of the chart). You can’t go wrong with Simrad, Lowrance, or Raymarine. Go to your local Westmarine and play with them, see which you like better.

Any Android or iOS device with a built-in GPS and enough free space can run our charts, even offshore without cell reception, and will overlay your position in real-time.

It depends on the chart. We recommend at least 10GB for 3D charts.

If it is capable of cell service, yes. If it is not capable of cell service, no, check out our 10” Android tablet with built-in GPS here.

Maybe. If it is capable of cell service, yes. If the tablet is not capable of cell service it may still have a built-in GPS. Find the tablet model number (often on the back of the tablet) and Google its specifications. If you find that the tablet has a GPS you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, check out our 10” Android tablet with built-in GPS here.

Download and install Google Maps if you haven’t already. Turn off Wi-Fi. AFTER turning off Wi-Fi, take the tablet a few blocks away and outside. Open Google Maps and click the bulls-eye like icon to update your position. Give it a minute or two. If Google Maps pinpoints your correct location, your device almost certainly has a built-in GPS and you can use it with our charts.

Ordering FAQ:

If you ordered a downloadable product you will receive links on the checkout confirmation page. If you ordered a chart on a chip and placed your order before noon central time, your order will go out the same day. We ship USPS Priority Mail and orders usually arrive in 1-3 business days. You always have the option of upgrading your shipping to USPS Priority Express Mail at checkout and it should arrive in 1-2 business days.

3D mobile, PC, and ALL waypoint charts are provided as a digital download unless you select “ship me a card.” You will be provided a link to download the chart files after checkout and in your order confirmation email (check your spam folder). Download the file, double click it, and read the instructions inside. NOTE: Make sure to create an account at checkout so you can log back in and access your StrikeLines files at any time.

3D charts for Simrad, Lowrance, Raymarine, B&G, VesselView are mailed to you on a SD/MicroSD card due to our license agreements with Navico and Raymarine. Please enter a USPS approved shipping address at checkout.

Got a Garmin? Our waypoint based charts, like the Offshore St Pete chart, work well on Garmin. You’ll get all the waypoints just not the red lines. We also provide you the Google Earth version so you can view the lines on your phone, tablet, or computer.

3D for Garmin? See the Garmin section above and please email the Garmin contacts!

How To/Troubleshooting:

Carefully follow the instructions included with the chart. The instructions will tell you to download the free, open-source app we recommend. You set up the app, then you download the chart file and the app automatically loads it. Check out your version’s instructions manual: Android; iPhone/iPad; Google Earth

Video Instructions for 3D Charts Installation – iOS Devices 

Video Instructions for Waypoints Charts Installation – iOS Devices

Video Instructions for 3D Charts Installation – Android Devices

Video Instructions for Waypoints Charts Installation – Android Devices

What size memory card are you using? It MUST be 32gb or less.

Did you unzip the file before copying it over to the SD card? Find the file you downloaded, right click, extract all. Go to the extracted location and copy the file(s) inside over to a memory card.

Chart source must be set to insight. Shaded relief must be enabled. Zoom in a little on an area covered by the chart.

Still won’t load? Software versions 18.2 and 18.3 have been buggy. Restart the unit. Try a different card slot. Insert the card after the unit has booted. Insert the card before you turn on the unit.

If your machine takes larger SD cards, then you will need to put the microSD card into the adapter before you put it into your machine.

Private Spots FAQ:

We don’t fish the spots ourselves and it’s tough to tell how a spot will perform from long range side scan sonar. We recommend buying several spots so if one doesn’t pan out, you have a couple to fall back on until you get back to shore. Then we can replace the one that didn’t work for you. Keep in mind that we guarantee our spots so if you can’t find it or get skunked on it, we’ll replace it.

For a spot we dove or sent the drone down on and can guarantee holds good fish, call us. These spots normally start at $600.

Yes, if you buy six we’ll give you a seventh of your choice free! Buy the six and then email us ( which spot you’d like as your free seventh spot.

We’re not that good! Choose a spot based on depth and location. Your best bet is to go deeper and further from the pass. The less fishing pressure the better the fish!

Whichever ones you want that fit your fishing area! Material and size of the spot have very little to do with the quality of fish it is holding. Instead, factors such as depth, distance from the pass, if the spot has been found before, if the spot is over-fished, the number of lionfish holding on the spot, and other factors have far more influence on the quality of fish found.

Spots get picked over quickly! What we’ve got is on the website. We don’t keep any in reserve.

On the private reefs page, there is a measuring tool in the upper right corner. Also, if you zoom all the way in on the beach and then pan south the first grey line you see that follows the contours of the shore is 3 nautical miles (a nm = 1.15 miles) offshore. The second grey line you see as you pan south is marked Natural Resources Boundary and that is the state/federal line at 9nm. Panning further south, the third grey line is at 12nm.

Yes. If you can’t find the spot or get skunked on it we will replace it. If you wanted to spear 20 lionfish and only saw grouper and snapper, we’re not going to have much sympathy.

If you bought a spot it is yours. We never sell that spot again.

Long, long hours towing a side-scan sonar fish across the Gulf in a grid pattern for days on end! We have several different sonar systems; the one we use to find artificials in the Gulf of Mexico has a range of about 500m to either side of the boat. Our captain and mate oversee the boat and sonar as the autopilot drives a grid pattern, much like mowing the lawn, until the weather deteriorates, or the boat is forced in for fuel. A normal scan might be three to five days offshore.

When the boat returns, we offload the hundreds of gigabytes of raw data and process it in-house. After processing we review every bit of the data by hand and mark up the spots we would want to fish. The spots are then uploaded to our website. After a customer buys a spot it is automatically removed.

Custom Scans FAQ:

StrikeLines will use a commercial side-scan sonar towfish to scan a defined area of a body of water for you. This can be the Gulf of Mexico, a bay, a lake, or just about anything else.

No. We regard that as a conflict and ask the potential customer to choose a different area.

Yes, you will get all the spots. No, we will not sell them to anyone else.

Hire us for a custom sonar survey in the area you fish. The cost is normally significantly lower per spot found than that of buying spots individually. Team up with some buddies and chip in. We have a 25 square mile minimum. Prices start at $200 a square mile for low resolution long range scans for artificials. Prices go up from there depending on how far offshore and what you’re looking for. A 25 square mile scan will cost a minimum $5000 we’d expect to find approximately 30 artificial reefs in an area that size.