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post #1 of 8 Old 03-13-2010 Thread Starter
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GPS/Chartplotter

I need suggestions for a GPS/Chartplotter for a Pearson 303. We won't be making any long trips (at least for now). Probably just for day trips.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-13-2010
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Chartplotter and boat size are almost independant. It is largley up to personal preference and the amount of flexability and $$ that you prefer. I have a Raymarine 630 10" Cmap color in the nav station for sailing during our low tide season TVA lake, and a handheld NAV6000 also Cmap compatible for in the cockpit and when bareboat charting. The nav6000 is obsolete by today's standards. handhelds are available to act both as auto and marine GPS's. Color mounted GPS's have advanced displays that work quite well in full sunlight. This allows for mounting in the bulkhead of the cockpit or at helm. Navionics and C-Map are popular, internet downloads are also available for coastal charts. There are a few laptops that are rugged enough to consider for navigation, but reguardless of what GPS you may choose, always back up with paper charts.
Do research on your choice, post it on the forum. Raymarine RC400 is a nice unit but it has been reported as a power monger, low life on batteries.
the old 630 was inexpensive, and is slow during refresh. B&W displays are less intuitive.

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post #3 of 8 Old 03-13-2010
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It'd help if you said what your budget is. It would also help if you said where you were saiilng. If you're sailing inland waters, some of the small Garmin chartplotters are a very good deal, since their x3x series of chartplotters come with the inland waters charts preloaded, and may cover where you sail. The 430 is pretty affordable.

Most other chartplotters would require that you buy a chart chip in addition to the chartplotter itself.

BTW, even if you are only daysailing, I would highly recommend that you not rely on a chartplotter. You need to have coastal pilotage skills and paper charts aboard, even with a chartplotter.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-14-2010 at 09:06 AM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-14-2010
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If you are day sailing in familiar waters do you really need a chartplotter?

A good handheld would seem sufficient if you wanted more than a paper chart. I've used the garmin 76 cs for several years.

If you decide you need a helm mounted chartplotter..I have a garmin 545 at the helm which works quite nicely. It's under $1,000 comes fully loaded with charts of the US, has a built in antenna, and you can remove it from the helm when not in use.

I'm waiting for/ considering an upgade to the 700 series since it can incorporate radar...and maybe AIS....and might be selling my 545 soon..

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-14-2010
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I'll add to the OP's question - still relevant though.
I have also been looking for a small chartplotter for the last 6 months. Have done lots of reading (including here).
I'm pretty stuck on Garmin.
Everyone seems to like the 76cs. This unit has a good base price but then you have to spend another $100 to get the more detailed charts for the unit. It comes with the world base chart. Is the base unit good enough?

I was about set on the 478 but that is discontinued now. I like the 441 but it is hardwired and I like the portability. They have a new on for auto or boat but it's around $1K (too much).

99% of my cruising is in the Chesapeake.

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post #6 of 8 Old 03-14-2010
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I have the Garmin 441 and am very happy with it. All you really need to make it portable is a 12VDC power supply. At the recent prices I have seen for the 441 you can buy a dedicated auto GPS and still come out for well under $1K.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-14-2010
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Unless you can get the Garmin 76Cx or 76C very cheap, it isn't really worth getting it and the charts. The world base chart is not good enough for anything other than a gross overview. It has no depth detail, very vague shoreline detail and no ATONs IIRC.

If you want a portable that has detailed charts, the Oregon or Colorado units are really the best choice. They come with either Topo maps, Inland charts or Coastal charts pre-loaded depending on the model.

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Originally Posted by harbin2 View Post
I'll add to the OP's question - still relevant though.
I have also been looking for a small chartplotter for the last 6 months. Have done lots of reading (including here).
I'm pretty stuck on Garmin.
Everyone seems to like the 76cs. This unit has a good base price but then you have to spend another $100 to get the more detailed charts for the unit. It comes with the world base chart. Is the base unit good enough?

I was about set on the 478 but that is discontinued now. I like the 441 but it is hardwired and I like the portability. They have a new on for auto or boat but it's around $1K (too much).

99% of my cruising is in the Chesapeake.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #8 of 8 Old 03-14-2010
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Thanks both Nick and Dog
I may go with the 441. I had thought about running a 12v line out to the wheel or even installing a jack in the cockpit. I have played with the unit and it is fast, smooth, and very intuitive. I'm sure I can rig up the connectors to make it work anywhere.
The Colorodo and Oregon units are both nice but both get mediocre reviews and (I believe, as a result) are now pretty heavily discounted. I don't really understand it. I have read that neither is truly a "chart plotter". I do like the size and screen size of the 441. I have no interest in a unit for the car.
Dog - your thoughts on the 76 are right in line with mine. Just don't quite understand why the reviews are so much better for them than the Oregon and Colorado units.

Hmmm - also just realized Garmin is giving a $100 rebate on the 441 till 4/4/2010. Brings price down to 350 to 400.

Last edited by harbin2; 03-14-2010 at 09:13 PM.
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