Okay, I bet that someone else has figured this out before me, so here goes. I'm trying to decide between a Garmin 276c and regular Bluecharts, or a Garmin 478 with Bluechart G2s.
I've sailed with a Garmin 276c and really liked it. The screen was small, but my young crew could help us keep an eye on the chart while we were at the helm. I liked the Lith-ion battery. I liked the option to take it off the boat for land adventures.
Now, for our next boat, I'm thinking a Garmin 478 might be in order. The main reason is that the 478 can take the Bluechart G2 charts, which have larger coverage areas and supposedly better tide/current data. However, I haven't figured out the following:
1) The original Bluecharts were available on datacards and CDs from which you could create your own data cards. I thought the advantage of the CDs was that you could use the charts on both the PC and a couple of chartplotters/handhelds. I thought another advantage was that they were easier to update chart corrections on than the straight datacards. Am I correct about this?
2) When I look at Bluechart G2, I think the following chart would be my choice:
However, Bluechart G2 appears to only be available on datacards, and not CDs. Does that mean I forfeit using the charts on a PC, and is it going to be harder to update them with chart corrections?
3) Does anyone currently use Bluechart g2, and does it have improved tide/current data worth having? Or, would it be better to stick with the Garmin 276c and the older, standard Bluecharts on CD?
4) The basemap in the Garmin 478 is only for North America. Could I replace it with a UK/Europe basemap in the future, or is that not possible? (The Garmin 276c is available with a Europe basemap.)
Thanks to anyone who's figured this out-- especially for use in Europe.