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hoppy 07-20-2004 05:42 PM

Hand held GPS
My Garmin GPS 48 is again suicidal. Have had the unit repaired or replaced 3-4 times.
Any suggestions on a dependable replacement.
I sail Lake Michigan and use the GPS for harbor entrances etc. No need for anything with bells/whistles.

Jeff_H 07-20-2004 06:35 PM

Hand held GPS
I am still a big fan of Garmin in terms of versatility and reliability. I am not sure why you have had so much trouble with yours. I am still using a 10 year old Garmin XL12 and have sailed with 5 and 6 year old seriously abused 48''s. I just bought a Garmin 76 map and like its intuitive layout better than the Raymarine RC400 that I just returned.


AJS 07-21-2004 04:16 AM

Hand held GPS
I too have recently puchased a Garmin 76 map and am very pleased. Battery life is also very good.
Previously I was a ''Magellan Man''. I had a Magellan 315 for 4 years and was pleased with it. It lost its waterproof seal this summer and died during a race. I hurriedly bought a Magellan Meridian Gold to use for the next race and was pleased with its function. However, the next morning it was fogged up! I returned it immediately and then did a little research since I now had some time to decide. It turns out that although the Meridian Gold had charting ability, charts for my area (eastern Canada) were not available and likely never would be as Magellan had no plans to make them available since the law changed re. electronic charts. I can''t believe that some marine stores in my area are even offering this unit for sale under these circumstances. I hope they are advising customers of the lack of chart availability.
I think Magellan has gone downhill since they were taken over by Thales.
Anyway, I now have a Garmin 76S that DOES have charts available for my area and that I''m so far pleased with. The mounting bracket is well designed as is the ext. power cord and Data cord.It also interfaced with my laptop without pain.
One thing that irks me: Both the new Magellan and the Garmin recquire you to agree to a disclaimer on the opening screen when you turn the unit on. Something about ''for reference only, you asume responsibility for use... blah,blah'' Geez, what has the world come to? Of course I assume responsibility for using the thing. Anyone who would place all of their trust in an electronic device with no plan for alternative means of navigating is ....well...come to think of it, I guess they''re the type of person that would sue a GPS manufacturer because their unit ran out of batteries or something. Sad.


bob_walden 07-21-2004 07:33 AM

Hand held GPS
I too have a garmin 76map and am very happy with it. One suggestion: in the system settings, set it to battary-saver mode (slow-refresh mode or something like that) hand turn on WAAS support. This will increase your battary life by 300%.

My only complaints: the illumination is inferior for night operation--I use a headlight now instead, much easier to deal with. It would be better if the lanyard attachment was set up so that the display was rightsite-up while hanging. And it takes longer to get a lock and looses its lock easier than any other unit I''ve worked with. But all told those deficiencies hardly offset the excellent features, waterproofness and floating ability are cool.


williamjchampion 07-21-2004 11:22 AM

Hand held GPS
I have the plain old Garmin 76 (w/o charts) for sailing in the Great Lakes. It''s a great unit. I have used the 76Map and for the extra $100 or so bucks, it''s worth it. SailNet has them on sale fairly frequently.

MikeMoss 07-21-2004 04:29 PM

Hand held GPS

Redundancy is good in boating so get another GPS as a backup or primary.

Like Jeff H I have a nine year old GPS 12 that satisfies me but my old Loran still works so that''s my back up.

I like the handheld units over fixed ones as I can get under the dodger in the sun or rain or move back and forth on tacks and still check the GPS.

I would call Garmin on the phone and start out sweet asking for some help on your 76. If they brush you off then post it up here.


eric97217 07-22-2004 03:43 PM

Hand held GPS
I have a hand held Magellan GPS, Sporttrak I think it is called. It has not given me any troubles, has long battery life and is very accurate with speed, location and heading. I am sure it is not as feature filled as the Garmins but for me and my 23 foot sail boat it does fine since I use mostly to measure my over the ground speed, anchor alarm and distance to an anchorage or mark for a turn.

hamiam 07-22-2004 04:38 PM

Hand held GPS
Ive had several Garmins; the 12, the 48 and, currently, the GPSMAP 76. All Garmins share great desgins and a intuative software. I cannot recommend a product more highly. Sounds like my unit, the GPSMAP 76, may be over-kill for you but Garmin makes a wide variety of GPS units to suit everone''s needs.

hoppy 07-22-2004 06:13 PM

Hand held GPS
Thanks to all for the feedback. My GPS48 had memory battery failure 3 times and just plain won''t work now. Think replacements come out of the reject bin as most replacement parts seem to. Will take a look at the GPS76 and map76 as well. Hope to get something that works for 2-3 years anyway.

coondogger 07-23-2004 01:58 AM

Hand held GPS
I use a Garmen Etrex that was actually designed for hiking. I have it mounted on a bracket next to my companionway. I use it basically for a speed indicator (particularly handy when docking) and in tandem with my magnetic compass. I have found this unit to be quite dependable, basic, and inexpensive.

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