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-   -   Garmin GPSMAP 640 (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/52550-garmin-gpsmap-640-a.html)

Yamsailor 03-17-2009 08:22 PM

Garmin GPSMAP 640
 
Anyone have any experience with this new unit? I looking for reviews.

Yamsailor 03-19-2009 02:08 PM

More specifically,

1) Can one use international charts on the Garmin GPSMAP 640 or can you use only US coastal charts?

2) Are all the preloaded charts unlocked?

sailingdog 03-19-2009 04:13 PM

YamSailor—

You can use any of the BlueChart or BlueChart G2 charts on the unit. The preloaded charts aren't locked per se, but they're built into the ROM on the unit, so not transferable either. The 640 is basically a brand new unit, and I doubt anyone has gotten their hands on it for a review yet.

One thing I'm not crazy about with the 640 is that it relies on a touch screen. If you're sailing in colder weather and wearing gloves, I doubt it will respond to you properly. I generally don't recommend getting equipment that relies on a touch screeen for a boat.

bubb2 03-19-2009 05:49 PM

Dog, garmin says the blue charts are pre-loaded in the 640! Screen size would be a issue with me. Basically 4.5"W x 2.7"H , note card size. For $1200 these old eyes want a bigger screen. I would think you could buy a 545 Garmin (3 x 5 screen) and have plenty left over to get a nice street pilot.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=14898

sailingdog 03-19-2009 07:18 PM

Yes, but if you want to use charts for any areas that aren't PRE-LOADED, like say, Europe or the South Pacific, it will allow you to use them. It is only pre-loaded with certain charts, usually either the Inland US or Coastal US waters. He, the OP, was asking about international charts.

Quote:

Originally Posted by bubb2 (Post 464109)
Dog, garmin says the blue charts are pre-loaded in the 640! Screen size would be a issue with me. Basically 4.5"W x 2.7"H , note card size. For $1200 these old eyes want a bigger screen. I would think you could buy a 545 Garmin (3 x 5 screen) and have plenty left over to get a nice street pilot.

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=14898


bubb2 03-19-2009 08:24 PM

They have card slots. You buy the chip you want.

Garmin: Cartography - BlueChart g2 Vision - Atlantic

Yamsailor 03-20-2009 01:50 PM

OK--based on what you have all said I believe you are more informed than I about the technology so I am going to explain to you what I need and maybe you can suggest appropriate unit:

I need a portable chart plotter for three reasons:

1) I do not own a cruising sailboat;
2) I charter sailboats both in the US, Caribbean, Mediterranean and soon-to-be other places so I would like to bring this unit with me (in addition to my paper charts);
3) I am a sailing instructor and sometime use the device to teach the basic pros and cons for GPS Chart Plotters versus traditional piloting.

Which unit do you guys recommend?

sailingdog 03-20-2009 02:11 PM

I'd recommend something more like the Garmin 478 unit. The problem with the 640 is that it is really designed to be permanently mounted. The Garmin 478, which looks like this:

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/store/as...0/en/cf-md.jpg
is designed to be portable, and can actually operate without being plugged in for about 12 hours due to having an integrated rechargable battery. You can buy a bean bag mount for it as well. I have the older 276 Plus unit. The 478 comes with the US Coastal charts preloaded and can use the Bluechart charts for areas outside of the US coastal waters.

The screen is a bit smaller, but for what you're doing, this is the only unit that really makes sense. It also can be used in a car for automotive navigation as well...so it really is a decent dual purpose unit.

Yamsailor 03-20-2009 02:44 PM

Cool--I'll check it out.

One question: What type of charts is this unit capable of handling? Bluecharts? G2?

Thanks SailingDog!

sailingdog 03-20-2009 03:43 PM

Bluechart, don't believe it can handle the G2 variants...but check the manual... downloadable at Garmin's website to be sure.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Yamsailor (Post 464473)
Cool--I'll check it out.

One question: What type of charts is this unit capable of handling? Bluecharts? G2?

Thanks SailingDog!



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