I''m in the market for a very good GPS. Went shopping and became overwhelmed. Planning on cruising pacific coast and possible south pacific islands. It will be my primary GPS. Any thoughts and recommendations Plse. Thanks.
practical sailor just did an article on gps/chartplotters. they seemed to like the standard horizon color chartplotter (160 c?) the best, but the garmin (184 c?) color chartplotter is probably more popular. not a big difference between the two. shopping around on the internet you can easily pick up either one for under $800. the chips are about $100-$200 a piece for certain areas? you do not need a chip to still use them as a simple GPS. as buying a chip for everywhere you are going to be sailing would be rather expensive. The price difference between buying a simple GPS and a chartplotter/GPS is only about $300 and add''s nice feature''s.
I think you should look at the cartridges. Garmin uses their own Blue chart cartridges. Navman, Raymarine and maybe even Standard Horizon uses c-MAP cartridges. With a Garmin if it goes bad your stuck. the other 3 if one goes bad you can switch models and still use your current cartridges.
look at the price and the coverage of the charts. I was using a C map and it was $200 for just the columbia river. I went to blue chart and it was $100 for the columbia river and all the orgon cost clear down to Sanfran, and all the way up to canida. Huge diference. with the c chart it would have cost over 1,000. for those charts.