I would recommend you get the Garmin 3210 instead of the 3010, since the price diffference is only $100 MSRP...and the 3210 has the entire coastal US detailed charts pre-loaded, which the 3010 does not have. Getting those same charts as chips or unlocked charts from the BlueChart G2 software would cost considerably more than the $100 price difference.
This would probably save you quite a bit of money if you sail in US waters.
If you can afford it, it would probably be wise to get the Garmin 4208 rather than the 3210, even though it has a smaller screen. The 42xx series is the lowest level of Garmin equipment that has both NMEA 0183 and NMEA 2000 support as well as built-in charts for the coastal US, Alaska, Hawaii and the Bahamas.
BTW, the user interface and software on the Garmin is far better IMHO than the Raymarine equipment. I've used both... but have installed Garmin equipment on my boat for that reason.
Given that most of the new equipment that will be coming out over the next few years will be phasing out the NMEA 0183 standard, since it has been superceded by the NMEA 2000 standard, it would probably be better to get equipment that support the new standard. Finally, wiring the equipment, especially with the NMEA 2000 standard is generally much simpler.
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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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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 08-30-2007 at 10:37 PM.