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Old 05-15-2011
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Handheld GPS, Old Technology ?

My Magellan handheld GPS has been bounced around the cockpit of my Pearson 30 a few too many times and is in need of replacement. It seems there are far fewer handhelds on the market than there used to be. Is that because of something like I phone apps or tablets or something else I know very little about now can do GPS marine navigation ? If so what are the costs
involved and whats the most economical way to go these days.
Thanks

Technically Challenged on Lake Ontario
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Old 05-15-2011
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We got a Garmin handheld GPS/chartplotter for $299 from West Marine; completely pre-loaded with US and Bahamas charts that has met our needs very well.
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Old 05-15-2011
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I didn't realize that there were fewer handhelds available now. If so, that is a bad development. Iphones and Ipads are not weatherproof, and in my experience, not reliable enough to function as a primary navigation tool.

I was in the same boat as you (to coin a phrase) a few years ago; my ancient handheld Magellen unit gave up the ghost (it was ten years old!), and needed to be replaced. I didn't need all of the features that the new, color screen handhelds came with, and Garmin had just discontinued the simpler, monochrome unit that I had planned on buying. However, I found the monochrome Garmin on ebay second hand. Wound up getting the like new device plus accessories for about half the cost of new.
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Old 05-15-2011
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The Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx is on sale at WM for $179. I've had mine for 2 years and love it but make sure it's preloaded with the Blue Chart for your area or load it yourself. It works OK without BlueChart if you have local paper charts but we sailed out to an island with lots of submerged rock formations and rocky anchorages that we did not have charts for a couple years ago (kid packed the wrong chart packet) and I don't care to ever repeat that scenario again. We also have smartphones and I would NEVER rely on their GPS mapping for marine navigation, or in any critical situation for that matter.
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Old 05-15-2011
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I have both a Garmin 72 and 76 both work well. I use the 12 volt lead and have it mounted by the wheel.
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Old 05-15-2011
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I highly recommend the Garmin 400C - we use it as a backup to our chart plotter. Full nautical coastal and lake charts (no need to download the area you need), color sunlight readable screen, touch screen, lots of marine info and designed for being on boats. We like ours. There's one on ebay for $265 right now. We looked at the 76Cx and the Oregon and the Oregon is definitely much nicer. It also includes street maps so it can double as a walking or auto GPS (which is why we got it for cruising - real nice to get off the boat and have a handheld GPS to use). Lithium batteries are a must with it though...
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Garmin now probably has more handheld GPS options than all GPS vendors 10-15 years back. I'm not sure why you think there are fewer. Magellian may have fewer.
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Old 05-15-2011
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Most of the competition seems to have abandoned the marine handheld market to Garmin. I guess more volume in units for cars and other activities. Never been a fan of trying to use a handheld as a chartplotter. To me a set of paper charts and a handheld GPS with a builtin database of USCG marks to make selection of waypoints a couple of button clicks is the lowcost way to go.
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Old 05-15-2011
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When we first bought Raven we picked up a Navman Plotter at a show. Had a couple of problems installing it so grabbed a Garmin 72 as a temporary fix and ultimately as a backup. Later we inherited a Garmin Foretrex 101 and that became our backup. With the G72 on a mounting bracket at the wheel and with 12v power cable the thing was so satisfactory that it was only late last year that I sorted out the Navman. If I was to do it all again I think I'd go with a couple of Garmin 7x type units unless I was to go to a large format screen. Neither of our Garmins is waterproof yet both have performed faultlessly.
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Old 05-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labatt View Post
I highly recommend the Garmin 400C...There's one on ebay for $265 right now. We looked at the 76Cx and the Oregon and the Oregon is definitely much nicer. It also includes street maps so it can double as a walking or auto GPS (which is why we got it for cruising - real nice to get off the boat and have a handheld GPS to use). Lithium batteries are a must with it though...
FYI, the Oregon 400c has been discontinued, so if you find a good one on ebay for under $300 you should grab it. You can get other Oregon models, but Garmin currently has none with pre-loaded charts, so you'll have to buy the add-on. Sure makes me glad I got one last year when I could.

The street maps near me are very basic - only major highways, which you would not be likely to be walking along when in port. Once again, you can buy more detailed highway maps, but it will cost you as much as many automotive GPS units.

My Oregon works for about 8 hours on rechargeable NiMH batteries. So there are other workable options besides lithium.
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