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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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  #1  
Old 10-07-2010
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Should we buy this unit?

My husband is thinking about upgrading his Garmin 76 for the Garmin 441.
He has always liked his Garmin, but either the screen is shrinking or his eyes are getting older. He is having trouble reading it and therefore wants the larger unit.

Several questions....does it have to be hard wired to the boat or can he adapt it to 12v so we can take it with us to the Caribbean etc?

It comes pre-loaded with the US coastal waters. Is that chart good enough for navigation or does he have to buy another chart for the Chesapeake? Those Blue Ray charts cost about $300 on the Garmin site so it is not insignificant.

I've heard people talk about downloading charts from the internet.....not quite sure how that works and if that will work for this unit.

We will talk to the Garmin rep at the Boat Show in Annapolis this weekend, but I thought it might be good to get input from someone who is NOT selling something.

Thanks!
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Old 10-07-2010
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I bought one last year for sailing around the Chesapeake. I like it quite a bit. I would classify it as semi-portable. The wiring harness is wired directly to the boat, but it can be disconnected from the unit very easily.

The only complaint I have is I use it 90% of the time to see my SOG. Occasionally I use the chart plotter capabilities. The NMEA 2000 compatibility is nice if you are into that stuff.

The charts are complete for the Chesapeake. There are even some nice pics of landmarks on the main database. You can add the Blue Charts for synthetic vision, but I can just as easily look up from the unit and see where I am.

Check out the screen size at the boat show. It is not huge, but it works for me. If you want a larger screen with the same functionality check out the 541. It all of the same functions plus a few small extras. The price tag reflects the larger screen.
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Old 10-07-2010
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The 441S is a good unit. The preloaded charts are fine for the Chesapeake - you don't need the G2 Vision card. If you're taking it out of the area of the preloaded charts you'll need to buy additional proprietary charts from Garmin.

You may also want to look at the Standard Horizon CP180i. It doesn't come with preloaded charts but the unit and the C-MAP chart chip work out to be about the same price as the 441S.
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Old 10-07-2010
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I put a 441 in a boat I bought in San Francisco this August and used it to get 400 nm downcoast (surprisingly a lot more east than south). Worked very well in all conditions except the first night I couldn't remember how to turn down illumination and it was really bright (operator error). I got a card for So. Calif. and got them both from somewhere on Amazon for pretty good prices. The information section is great, tides, currents, celestial, nearest fuel etc. at your fingertips. No reason that he couldn't put a cigarette lighter plug on the power cord that I'm aware of, Garmin may even have one available.
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Old 10-08-2010
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I went from using the Garmin 76 to the 440 a couple years ago for the sme vision need. I use Radio Shack part #23-444 quick disconnects for portability with my 12V connections. This part is produced for use with remote control car battery packs, but it's inexpensive and very functional. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 10-11-2010
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Thanks everyone for the input. He ordered it at the show. The GPS Store matched a good price we found on the internet. Hopefully it will get here for the weekend.
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