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  #1  
Old 03-21-2008
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Suggestions: Handheld GPS/Plotter

I am in the market for a really good handheld GPS / Plotter.

I have been reading about the Garmin GPSmap 76Cx and it would appear to do all I want at a good price.

But.... then I read that it comes with charts for only a single tiny little area and all additional regions must be unlocked at $116 each. Now, if the regions were very large that would seem ok but from what I understand it would costs many thousands of dollars just to get full charts for the Eastern US and Caribbean.

My plans are this stage will be to have a full size chart plotter, a notebook PC with charting software and 2 handheld GPS's one of which I would like to be as full featured as is possible.

Ideas... suggestions ?


Terry
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Old 03-21-2008
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Terry-

You'd be better off finding an older, discontinued Garmin like the 192C. This model has a much larger screen and has all the US Coastal charts built-into the unit. I'd imagine it wouldn't be that much more than the Garmin GPSMap 76Cx, which is a more expensive handheld. The GPSMap 76Cx is about $300... and you can probably get the 192C for $400 or so.

If you want a newer model, get a GPSMap 440, which is about $500. If you got the 76Cx and two sets of charts, you'd have spent the same amount of money but have fewer charts and a much smaller screen.
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Old 03-21-2008
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GPSmap 478 for about $800 has ALL the coastal us charts included... it also has all the US roads, so you can use it in the car.

Ed
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Old 03-28-2008
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I like the GPSmap 478 alot..... BUT:

We are looking to bring our boat back from the USVI to Savannah GA in late May. The GPSmap 478 comes with US coastal charts only. In order to have coverage for the USVI, Southern Bahamas and Northern Bahamas I would have to purchase 3 additional chart cards at over $200 each. So now the $750 GPSmap 478 solution actually costs over $1500.

Garmin: Cartography - BlueChart g2 - Caribbean & Central America Regular



Terry
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Old 03-28-2008
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You might look at the new Garmin Colorado. The 400C has all of the coastal maps preloaded, and the 400i is inland waterways. You can then add additional BlueChart maps, or land maps, via an SD slot. It has a nice big screen and is waterproof. I'm picking one up this weekend.
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Old 03-28-2008
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What are the new Colorado units going for?
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Old 03-28-2008
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I've got an older GPSMAP 76S -with BlueChart. Black and white screen -works pretty well with the charts - except for the re-fresh time when zooming in or out - very slow. For the most part, not a problem. But during the "are we in the channel or not?" or "how far to the next mark?" conversations, it isn't the unit to have.

So...think about what you want the unit for and consider whether re-fresh times might matter to you or not.
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Are there ANY of the portable units that give good coverage of the US east coast and caribbean without having to spend $1000+ just on additional chart cards?

From what I can tell, ALL of the Garmin units would require this.



Terry
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Terry - I'm fairly sure you could get the Colorado with all the trimmings for under $1k. Call Garmin tech support and they can give you the exact coverage. The 400C is about $520 at Defender with the Warehouse Sale going on right now. I think it's supposed to have the WHOLE coastal US in it, but I don't know at what detail...
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Not bad if it's good to go. Garmin auto units are sure getting more affordable. Hopefully it spills over into their other product lines. These will probably be a good deal too....next year. For the money I get blown away with the technology of my 60c with Blue Chart and Topo Canada every time I use it. The cards sure improve on the PITA of using the cds.
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