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post #1 of 4 Old 02-03-2008 Thread Starter
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Seeking Clarity on Garmin Chartplotters and Bluechart G2

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:

http://www.capitalstores.co.uk/produ...oducts_id=1198

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.

Jim H
London, UK

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post #2 of 4 Old 02-03-2008
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The 478 comes with the basic Bluecharts built in IIRC, but not for the UK. I'd contact Garmin, and check to see if they don't make a version of the 478 for the UK market that has the UK/europe basemap built in. It may not be available ATM, but may be in the works for release soon. Generally, since they're a US-based company, the EU versions probably come along a bit later.

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post #3 of 4 Old 02-03-2008
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I'm presently using the 478 in the Carib and did purchase the chip for expansion for the area. Not really sure how many chips are available or what areas they cover.

I have found the Virgin Island chip to be very accurate and depend on it for many most real time navigation but do paper chart back ups. I love the 478 in both the marine mode and the Highway mode... I use it in both applications but for the past several months it has been with me in da islands mon...

Not really sure what the type number is and I do not have it fully integrated with the other systems of my sail boat at this time. I'll probably get a larger unit to permanently fix to the boat and keep the 478 as a back up and mobile unit. With every limited tide movement in the West Indies, most people just don't bother with it unless you have a problem with a draft of more than about 6 feet.

I'm looking as several models I'll attach in the April/ May time frame when I return on my next cruise... gotta fly home to Florida in a few days and now getting the boat ready to secure on a mooring while I'm away for a couple of months.

I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.... Jack London
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post #4 of 4 Old 02-03-2008
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The 478 does let you download to your laptop.
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