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  #1  
Old 11-05-2009
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Handheld GPS

Other post on this topic are a bit dated. Looking for feedback on current handheld GPS models and recommendations, including touchscreen if familiar with. Lake sailing for the near term, but don't want to sacrifice future performance for price.

A few on the market include.

1. Garmin GPSMAP 76CSx (or the 76 series)

2. Garmin Oregon 400

3. DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 (poor review by PS in June)

4. GARMIN GPSMAP 60
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Old 11-05-2009
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I just purchased the 76CSx and have been playing with it for a week. I maybe should have done my research before, but it doesn't come with pre-loaded charts, and to buy the areas I need it would take another $300-400 just for the charts. Plus, I didn't like the size and aesthetics of it.

Today I sent the unit back (purchased through Amazon, best prices for it) and will be purchasing the Oregon 400 or Colorado because they come with pre-loaded charts. The Colorado can be purchased for only about $50 more than the 76CSx, comes with the charts, and is a lot more sleek.
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Old 11-05-2009
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For sailing purposes the Garmin 76 series is used as an emergency navigation system should the rest of the navigations systems fail. It is also used as a source of NMEA GPS signals to feed a computer. With the very little screen it was never designed to be a replacement for a "chart plotter" or computer based navigation system.
- - Garmin and everybody else have larger screen units incorporating maps, etc. Or you can use a notebook computer and a Garmin 76 which supplies Lat/Long information to a free navigation program and free maps from NOAA.
- - Even cheaper, you can purchase on-line a China USB 20-channel "hockey puck" GPS for about $20 which will feed your computer based navigation program.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Purchased Colorado 400C two months ago. Very easy to use. We used on Lake Ponchatrain in Louisisana and it helped keep us out of serious trouble. Bought it at West Marine on sale. Price was better than could be found on the internet.

Last edited by Billy654; 11-05-2009 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 11-05-2009
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I used the Colorado to get to NY from Florida. I like it. Get the 12v plug with it
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Old 11-05-2009
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I've learned the value of things that "float" in a marine environment....76CSx for me. Used as a backup to chartplotter at helm and for hooking up to laptop pc (to provide GPS positioning on chart software) for planning purposes at the nav station.
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Old 11-05-2009
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IMHO models with preloaded charts are the best value, in particular the ones that are preloaded with nautical charts (inland or coastal) and street maps such as the Garmin 478 and 640. Does anyone other than Garmin sell units preloaded with nautical charts and street maps? Haven't seen any. They are great for planning and finding POI's (points of interest) on land when you are in a harbor.
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Old 11-05-2009
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I've got the 76Csx. i all ready had the bluewater chart CD so no extra expense for me there. I tether it to the lap top for use either with Garmins software or openCPN while on the big boat, and use it as a handheld on the rowboat or kayak.
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Old 11-05-2009
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I have the older Garmin GPS MAP76CS, I believe the x designation refers to removeable or expandable memory. Mine just has the 115 MB interrnal memory and I only use about 25 mb for the two regions in the PNW. Garmin really rips you off dividing regions like the PNW into two regions, USA & Canada at $150.00 per region for bluecharts. I bought it because I wanted something portable but now I am looking for something with a bigger 7" screen. The tiny color screen on those handhelds is not all that convenient, I find myself always refering to a paper chart to see the big picture, in hindsight I wish I got a bigger screen unit, so now I am shopping again. I will probably get a Standard Horizon combo unit with a 7" screen. I cannot recommend a handheld after using one for 5 years and regretting it. Get a proper unit and forget those stupid little things.
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Old 11-07-2009
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I got the 76Cx first, then later a Garmin 3210 plotter. After using the plotter the 76Cx was demoted to a backup.
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