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post #1 of 18 Old 01-13-2003 Thread Starter
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Good Portable GPS

I am looking for a good portable GPS that could be used not only for coastal cruising and lake cruising like I do now, but be able to grow into going longer term cruising. I have been looking at the Garmin 176C for $599, but haven''t jumped yet. Any input as to what has worked out there? Thanks,
Brad
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-13-2003
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Good Portable GPS

The Garmin 76 for less than half the cost is a very good hand-held unit. I have the 76S which can hold 25M of data. I have all of the Chesapeake BlueChart data loaded into it, as well as the three county roads that I routinely travel through, as well as the topo maps of Shenandoah National Park. Moreover, it has a built in compass, can access tide data, and even has a barometer to help predict weather. Best of all, I bought it on ebay for less than what a Garmin 76 retails.

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-13-2003
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Good Portable GPS

I have a Garmin 48 and a 12(backup)that have worked perfect. The 48 interfaces with my laptop for chartplotting and realtime navigation. Garmin does not offer either two but, I have seen them on EBay for as little as 75.00. Any hand unit will do everything you will need, the new ones with map data are good for on land.

If you are looking for a portable chartplotter, Practical Sailor did not think to highly of the new ones, as they felt they were overpriced for little chartplotting capabilities. Just my opinion?
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-14-2003
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Good Portable GPS

Winddancer Is what you are saying then is buy a simple machine that tells you where you are and then plot yourself on a paper chart? I was using GPS regularly for terrestrial stuff and that was my experiance too, the software charts available just aren''t accurate enough to be real useful.
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-14-2003
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Good Portable GPS

billmac26, no one should rely totally on digital charts for navigation. updated paper should allways be close at hand.

The new gps units with waas are close down to about 25 meters or so. If you need more accuracy then that, anyone should use their eyes.
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-14-2003
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Good Portable GPS

WAAS GPS is accurate to 10 meters and it has proved to be so for me all of last season. This is vastly improved over GPS from the mid nineties. Digital charts are made from paper charts and are every bit as accurate. The thing that causes the problem is that most paper charts have inaccuracies and most have not been updated in many years. Some in over 50 years. These charts were made when the technology used to make charts today was not in existence. The bottom line is that Lat and Lon from a WAAS GPS is more accurate in many cases than the chart on which it is plotted.
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-14-2003
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Good Portable GPS

I have been using a Magellan 315 handheld over the past three seasons. Works very well, is easy to use and very affordable. Has more screens than strictly necessary but you can choose the ones you want for your regular display.

Cannot praise this unit highly enough!

Mike Hoyt
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-15-2003
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Good Portable GPS

It is only a matter of time before the software is better than paper, it just hadn''t happened yet (in the Rocky Mtn area) when I retired and quit using it regularly.

One suggestion for those new to GPS who sail ponds rather than the deep blue. Consider using UTM grids rather than Lat and Long. Many maps can be had either way now, and UTM is much more logical. One unit on the UTM scale is one meter, but no one can tell you how long a second of longitude is.

UTM is the system used by the military so if youv''e served, you may have already been exposed to it. You don''t have to try to learn this archaic system just because you have a sailors cap now.
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-15-2003
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Good Portable GPS

I will second Mike Hoyt''s opinion of the Magellan 315.
Very reliable and flexible. The menu setup is very intuitive and easy to learn to use. The screen resoulution is better than the comparable Garmin plus the screen is larger.
These units have excellent battery life as well. Technical support from Magellan is top notch.
Price is dropping now that the WAAS units are the "ones to have". I''m considering purchasing a second one just so I have a spare.
Oh yeah, it floats.

Andy Shand
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-15-2003 Thread Starter
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Good Portable GPS

Thanks for all of the input. Would a color screen be a recommended feature, or is it mainly a way to jack the price up? I have heard that it can be useful with channel marker coloring on charts? Not sure, I have never done it before, I have been a lake sailor up until this coming summer. What would be some ''can''t live without'' features on a GPS in your opinions? Thanks again for the input. This is a great resource for knowledge.

Brad
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