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Old 08-30-2007
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Chosing a GPS/Chartplotter

I am considering a GPS/Chartplotter device, and getting lost in options.

At this point I somewhat narrowed the field down to:
Raymarine C80 and Garmin 3010 (but this is by no means final).

Raymarine pros:
- I will use Raymarine autopilot, so I can make autopilot and GPS talk using Seatalk (and save one of two NMEA ports), also saves on wiring (I think I can directly connect autopilot control head to GPS, rather than running another NMEA cable).
Also, potentially, less issues in communication.

- Supports Navionics, which I prefer to bluecharts (because of price and coverage)
- Supports Raymarine radar

Cons:
- Smaller screen, and it will be installed somewhat away from steering station, so size definitely matters
- Looks downright ugly (who designs those things).

Garmin pros:
- Bigger screen
- Looks slick
- Supports Garmin radar (over Ethernet-style network)
Cons:
- Bluecharts (expensive, sell in small coverage areas)
- Will have to use NMEA to talk to autopilot (which leaves only one NMEA port free)

Raymarine C120 would solve the size problem but its too expensive and really way too big.

What would you do? Is there any other device I should be looking at?
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