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  #1  
Old 05-30-2012
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best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

sailors,

i need a handheld gps for coastal usa with depths, tides, markers/navaids.

is there a better one than the garmin 78sc?

thanks,

bill in nc
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Old 05-30-2012
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best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

Iphone with navionics app.
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

iPhone with InavX. I prefer it over Navionics, though ymmv.

iPhone with MotionX is pretty good too, and about $45 cheaper.
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Old 05-31-2012
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best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

The iPhone can be used as a reliable gps? I would be worried about cell phone coverage failing. Do they still work when out of data range?
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

They still work as a gps when out of cell range. An iPad will work also but only if it has a cellular antenna, as it uses the 3g/4g antenna.
Either way, keep it dry!
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

No cell phone will be as easy to reaed in bright sunlight.

"Better" is a bit vague. Better, given a price limit? Or screen size? Or availability of charts, or ??? any constraints on that?
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsaronson View Post
They still work as a gps when out of cell range. An iPad will work also but only if it has a cellular antenna, as it uses the 3g/4g antenna.
Either way, keep it dry!
Not true. Both the iPhone and 3G iPad have a fully functional GPS chip in them, and do not require cellular towers to work. The reason you need a 3G iPad is not the towers, or connection, but that the wifi only versions don't have the right chip.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

If this is going to be your primary navigation device, get a waterproof marine GPS. PC, iPad or iPhone is fine as a backup.
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Old 06-08-2012
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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

The iPhone (or andriod) is better and easier to use 95% of the time than a dedicated GPS. It has a much much better screen, far faster processor, and zooming around with your fingers is fantastic. But, when your hands and the device (in a case) get soaked the touch screen fails (presumably the droplets get detected and eventually drown out the detection of your fingers). I speak from experience here. So ideally you should have a device that still works in those conditions.

As others have said, phones (and the ipad 3Gs) have legit GPS receivers that don't require cell towers at all (cell towers and nearby wifi signals are used as a fast method of getting a crude location before the GPS locks in).

EDIT: If you want an ultra detailed explanation of GPS implementations read this:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2009/01/assisted-gps/
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Old 06-14-2012
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Re: best coastal usa hand gps = garmin 78sc

I have a fixed mount Garmin 3006, a "transportable" Garmin 478 (one of the most useful chart plotters made to date) and a Garmin Oregon handheld. Also have a iPhone and iPad with The Navionics app for chart plotting and tides. Love the iPad and I phone for surfing and email but for navigation they are toys. Viewing in sunlight is horrible, not waterproof and not durable enough to be dropped on the cockpit floor. Swiss Army knifes are cool but for certain tasks you need a dedicated specific tool. If you stay in local familiar waters you could get by with the iThings but for coastal or any big water no.
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