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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 12-12-2002
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GPS

I am thinking of getting a GPS handheld for Christmas from my wife. She has asked me what features one needs. I really don''t know anything about them. I would imagine that being able to upload software and graphics would be nice. Marking waypoints would be nice. Plotting speed would be fun. But generally knowing the exact coordinates is all I need for safety and friends locations purposes. I''m only sailing in the intracoastal areas and never out of sight of land for a few years. What else would I like? I would like to stay under $200.00 and the Garmin Venture seems nice. I''m going to the web site tonight, but generally speaking if they are like most sales corporation they will be pushing the $400.00 model.
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Old 12-12-2002
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GPS

I would purchase the Garmin GPS 72. I purchased the GPS 76 last year and the 72 seems to be about the same product but costs less (although I have not compared every feature). It is made for marine navigation, as is the 76. It already has tons of waypoints programmed in and it is suppose to float. But you can buy one and let me know if passes the float test. I have not used the 76 all that much, but it seems to work very well.
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Old 12-13-2002
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GPS

Having used GPS''s by a number of different manufacturer''s, I am a big fan of the Garmins in terms of ease of use and quality of construction. I still use my original 5 year old Garmin in the cockpit, and it has worked without fail through some moderately tough useage.

Today you can get one of Garmin''s more basic marine models and get almost all of the government markers already loaded. I would spend a little more to get a marine model probably in the 70 series, (For $220 I would probably get a Garmin 76 without a mapping function). For use on the Intercoastal, I would probably spend the extra money and get one with a built in WAAS reciever because the 300 foot error circle of standard GPS could and would easily get you aground. The 76 includes a generous 500 programable waypoints and 50 programable routes. Today, almost any GPS have a MOB function and all of the standard navigational output that one could ever need (except that cross-track error seems to be missing in many less expensive units.)The Garmin 76 usually comes complete with a PC cable which allows downloading of updated waypoints.

Jeff
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Old 12-13-2002
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GPS

I also have a Garmin (a Map76 model) that I like very much.

I''ll take this opportunity to share a summary of a major issue as relates to GPS navigation. A lot of the world''s charts still in current use were not prepared with the same level of positional accuracy that today''s GPS offers. The result is that you might very well know your position via GPS to within 30 feet (as an example), but the features on the chart are not represented nearly as accurately.

This uncertainty, I''m told, is made far worse with chart plotters which let you zoom in too far. Your boat''s postion may appear to be clear of any charted danger areas when in fact it is not.

Good luck with your purchase.

Duane
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Old 12-13-2002
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GPS

I just bought the Garmin GPSmap 76 for my new boat and am impressed with the quality of its construction and ease of use.

In retrospect I dont think Ill use the ability to upload charts very much. I interfaced the unit to a laptop and get the graphics that way.

I had a garmin unit on my old boat. I bought it in 1994 and would not have replaced it if I still owned that boat. You are right in assuming that the latitude and longitude are the things you really need it for. The rest of the features are fun to play with but not really that essential.

One thing about the 76 is that it comes with limited street maps built in and you can download street maps if you want to use it in your car. You can change the units to statute miles. Mine seems to have no problem finding enough sattelites through the closed sun roof of my car. It is not as sophisticated as the car navigational GPS units but itmight be handy on a long trip.

John
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Old 12-13-2002
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GPS

I also bought a Garmin 76S and find it a pleasure to use. The 25meg memory capacity comes in handy for multiple use functions. Besides sailing and driving, I also go hiking. The ability to store so much data for both land and sea is impressive. Even if only used for navigaton, it has a built-in barometer that can be used for weather prediction. Also, it has a built-in tide chart. Best of all, I got it on ebay (new) for far less than the retail price.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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Old 12-15-2002
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GPS

I have a Magellan 315. Works very well for all I need it for. Would recommend it to anyone!

Merry Christmas

Mike Hoyt
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Old 12-15-2002
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GPS

Thanks for the great information. I noticed noone has the Garmin Venture (I don''t know the number). It is sold out here locally and it might be a good thing because someone told me it wasn''t quite as good for marine use. Apparently the 72/76 is the more popular models. If anyone has used the Venture or any of the more economic etrex, please let me know.
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