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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc
"I just don't want to run aground."
I would suggest paper charts and piloting. Forget the GPS and electronic charts, unless you are also willing to keep updating them as the bottom changes. Take a paper chart, draw a line at your comfort depth (you have the 3.5' keel?) then draw another line for every foot of tide and pick the areas to stay in, or out of, based on the time and tide.
Squinting at the tiny GPS and trying to be more exact, is likely to just get you stranded better as it distracts you with what appears to be more precise information, which really isn't.