Entering waypoints on the Garmin is relatively easy if you have the garmin software loaded onto a PC...
I don't think that getting a depthsounder/GPS Chartplotter really has that much advantage... I prefer to keep them separate... since I don't always have the GPS on... having them in one unit means that I'd have to keep the GPS on just for depth info.
I like the vertical chart orientation, but it is really a personal preference thing. It also depends on how you use the chartplotter...whether you keep north up or track up on the screen. If you keep track up on the screen, then a vertical orientation makes more sense, as you can see more of the area ahead of your track that way.
Radar is nice to have in NE but not really a necessity. Garmin has a small radar unit that is supposed to be quite good.
The Garmin is easy to install so that it is easily removable... I prefer to have mine installed on a swing arm, so I can use it both in the cockpit and at the nav station... and then when I'm away from the boat, it is locked up inside quite safely, without having to dismount it.
External antenna is nice in really bad weather, but really not necessary. I have a Garmin with an integrated antenna and never have lost satellite lock on it yet... even when it is in the cabin or beneath the bimini.
As for the wiring... it depends on the individual boat setup... and you may or may not want a pro to do it...based on your personal skill set.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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