Garmin GPS 72 or 76? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-21-2008
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Garmin GPS 72 or 76?

Can anyone tell me the difference between the Garmin GPS 72 handheld and the Garmin GPS 76 handheld? I realize neither is capable of displaying basemaps nor do they come preloaded with any maps. But what's the difference and why does the 76 retail for $50 more?
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If you go to Garmin's website (under "on the water" products) there's a feature where you can compare the two GPS's side by side. According to that the differences are that the 76 has better resolution - 180 x 240 pixels vice 120 x 160 for the 72. Also the 76 allows you add "points of interest data".

I've used a 72 for 4 years now (including two tours to Iraq) and haven't had any problems. Not as fancy as a moving map display or chartplotter but I've always been uneasy without the paper backup.

SF
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Old 01-21-2008
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The 76 is capable of displaying maps. I have a GPSMap 76CS, and have BlueChart charts loaded on it.

The 76 also has better battery life than the 72, as well as more internal RAM for maps IIRC.
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The 76 that costs $50 more than a 72 can't do all that.
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My bad... I thought they had discontinued the GPS 76, which is the low-end unit, and does not accept maps. The GPSMap 76-series does accept maps.

Basically, the $50 gets you higher resolution (over 2x) and the ability to load POI files.
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Old 01-22-2008
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Thanks guys! I guess now my choices for a basic handheld are down to the 72 or the GPSMAP 76 for $70 more. I don't think any price premium is worth it for a slight bump in resolution, therefore I'm crossing the basic 76 off my list.

Now I need to decide if I want maps or not. Hmmm.
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Old 01-22-2008
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Even on a small handheld, I found maps to be very useful. I have an old Lowrance and I marked the deepest locations of cuts and sloughs I travel to go from bay to bay. I also mark the actual location of markers incase of fog.
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Actually, the difference is more than just maps...

The GPSMap 76 allows you 1000 waypoints, and 10000 tracking points versus 500 waypoints and 2048 tracking points, and has a pre-loaded basemap and POI database.
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Thumbs up 72 V. 76Map

I actually sell these things. The 76map is a big improvement over the 72. I actually doubt if the 72 is as waterproof as they claim, + the buttons tend to fall off on the display models. Having spent $600 on a handheld GPS many years ago I consider the current prices very acceptable. This is a device that may save you some serious grief in an emergency therefore I would recommend spending the extra $70.
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At this point I'm leaning heavily towards the Garmin GPS 72. I know it's a very basic unit, but I think that's all I need. I'll only occassionally be using it for coastal navigation on Lake Michigan and the rare (maybe once per season) crossing of the lake.

My hopes are that the 72 will provide: reliable latt/long data to cross-reference with my paper charts, speed data, estimated time of arrival data, location data for nav aids, and the ability to program waypoints (of which 500 is plenty) for coastal cruising. That's about it. Mapping would be a nice techno-perk, but I don't think I need it. I figure I can pick up a 72 off of eBay for about $50. The GPSMAP 76 would cost at least $100 and then I'd still need to purchase MapSource (~$50) and/or BlueCharts (~$100) to make the maps truly useful.
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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 01-22-2008 at 12:26 PM.
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