My computer burped before I had a chance to finish my prior post. I agree with much of what Val says but I LIKE combination chartplotter/radars as they really help you visualize what is going on around you at sea. I would ALWAYS have a cheap GPS running at the same time to insure a valid position on your paper charts as well and provide backup.
I like the size 8" screen for mounting at the helm where you can make much better use of it than down below and all the charts are pre-loaded so there is extra value there as well. You can either overlay or go side by side with the radar/chart. Because it is a networkable model, you can add on other modules down the road and integrate them into the display OR add an extra display down beow.At the price, I think it is an excellent value but I don't see the Garmin 18" dome on sailnet...you may have to call them to order it.
Check the ICW threads for comments on the trip north as you will find many tips if you have not done it before. Welcome and good luck with your planning.
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