Yeh, as long as term "recent" is applied rather loosely. A 2 year old chart in many areas of ICW is pretty much worthless (other than for general reference). But it's "the most recent" available from Garmin.
It would be nice to have a chartplotter that takes NOAA charts. May be I should source that hardware platform after all.
Brak and JL -
Thanks for digging into this.
When I bought my GPSmap 478 in August of '06 I believe all the charts were up to date. Now, almost two years later, they're getting a little old. It seems that if I want to update a specific region, I can go to garmin and purchase an up to date chart card, or memory card and then purchase the latest version of Bluechart, and a regional unlock code.
As JL pointed out, selling the pre-loaded units seems to be a way of increasing sales by giving away the current charts, then requiring that you purchase the charts that you continue to use. It's like when Gilette sent free razor handles, and 3 blades in the mail (Trac II), and then charged you big bucks for blades.
When the time comes to update charts (in about a year), I will probably buy a Furano Nav-net 3D unit, and sell my GPSmap 478 on eBay (cheap