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post #1 of 14 Old 12-08-2006 Thread Starter
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gps recommendation

Hi all. I am sailing the SF Bay area and looking for some basic technology. Most of my sailing will be inland and a little coastal. I have a tri-data. What I would like is some technology to keep me out of trouble in the Bay in case I get trapped in fog. I don't need a huge chartplotter with lots of bells and whistles. Maybe just a handheld basic gps/sounder? I would like to see maps that include shelf depth, not just land outline. Thanks!
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-08-2006
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The Garmin Map series will do what you want, you need to buy the unit and then the Bluechart CD with charts, and you get the unlock code for one region.

Other brands probably offer similar units.

Of course GPS won't tell you where the traffic and other floating hazards are in fog, so be mindful of that.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-08-2006
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Yeah, the bay is fun because of the mix of fog and 30-knot ferries. An AIS receiver is on my Christmas list. Check out a nice demo:

http://www.boatingsf.com/ais_map.php
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-08-2006
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I went with the Garmin GPSmap 76 for $180. The color handhelds are much nicer, but they run about $400+. For that price, you're almost to a GPSmap 172C which is the direction you may eventually want.

So far, I'm very happy that I went with my $180 handheld. Just remember that both are almost worthless until you buy the Garmin BlueChart map for them so add $100 to the price. Do NOT buy a GPS 72 or 76 without map capabilities, you want a GPSMAP model.

They do sell units that already have the good maps, but they start closer to $1000.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-08-2006 Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, just the info I needed. I am not ready to spend thousands on electronics yet, and I figure I can always use a back-up hand held.
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-08-2006
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gpsmap76 is about the least expensive that will do the trick for you but there is a $100 buck rebate on some of the fixed mount products that make them pretty attractive right now. GPS276/78 376/78 have it.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-08-2006 Thread Starter
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thanks cam, i'll check those out, and congrats on the moderator status!
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-09-2006
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I may be in the minority, but we compared the Garmin 76 map and the Loranz (sp?), and found the Loranz colour screen a bit larger and easier to read (even the handheld one), and got a better price on it than the Garmin.

As well, the salesperson said they used to carry Garmin, but switched to Loranz because of better customer service with them. We have been very pleased with it so far after one season use.

I was initially a bit intimidated by the idea of GPS (technologically challenged ), but the Loranz can be operated in a very basic way, and then the manual shows how you can do more advanced stuff on a different setting, so it allows you to "grow" with it as your comfort increases.

Frank.
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-11-2006
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This looked like a good deal: The Garmin GPAMSP 76Cx for $315

It's $150 more than the GPSMAP 76 though.
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post #10 of 14 Old 12-11-2006
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I have a Garmin 182c. It is now discontinued but I found it to be very user friendly and easy to read. The one bit of advice I would give is the color screens are much easier to see and read than the black and whites.
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