Handheld GPS ?? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-27-2011 Thread Starter
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Handheld GPS ??

Looking at Garmin GPSMAP 76 series handhelds..

Getting confused with features on Gpsmap 76C, 76Cx and 76CsX...

Any of the three more desireable..? Any of the three not useable...?

Looking for detail maps of Great lakes are they included, or is that a seperate purchase...?

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post #2 of 10 Old 12-27-2011
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i have a garmin 76 that i've had for years and is a great gps but not a chartplotter,you almost have to have papper charts with it,i just bought a gramin oregon that has preloaded coastal chars but its so new to me i can't comment on it much,i think on most garmin units you still need to buy the chart chips for specific areas i.e. great lakes,hopefully someone who has more knowlege will answer later
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidd View Post
Looking at Garmin GPSMAP 76 series handhelds..

Getting confused with features on Gpsmap 76C, 76Cx and 76CsX...

Any of the three more desireable..? Any of the three not useable...?

Looking for detail maps of Great lakes are they included, or is that a seperate purchase...?
Just FYI- All 3 of these models are "discontinued" by Garmin. West Marine has been selling them at 50% off for months, to get rid of the old stock.

Don't get me wrong, they're good units and I just bought the 76Cx.

Pros:
Small package
Durable
Fairly energy thrifty
Compatible with OpenCPN (and other free chart plotting software)

Cons:
The base maps are cartoonish at best. You'll need to fork over about $100.00 to buy the chart package so that you have detailed charts, OR you can continually link it to a laptop or iPad loaded with detailed raster charts.

The interface is fairly intuitive, but like any unit that only has a few buttons, the menus are layered so there's a lot of "click, click, click, click" to get to the menu option you're looking for.

Bottom line:

If you drive a larger boat, say, 35 feet, and travel long distances frequently, a larger chartplotter would probably be in order. For 30 feet, day sailing or short-hop gunkholing, one of these is just fine.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-27-2011 Thread Starter
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That's what it's looking like, buy the unit then the extra G2 chips for depth/chart plotting cap.

I'm leaning toward the CsX version as it's the newest (of an older series) but I see the Cx has MOB but the CsX does not...? or am I misinterpreting the info...?

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-27-2011
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We have a 72H and the 76Cx the 76CsX has a few NON-BOAT features

IMHP the 2"X2" basechart or the upgrade chart the 76Cx is of limited use due to its tiny size as you need to really ZZZZZOOOM in to see depth

I just put all the inportant waypoints into the 72H and it makes its own local basemap with them and the screen shows them good enough to not NOT hit stuff if you do a good job of studying your chart

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post #6 of 10 Old 12-27-2011 Thread Starter
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I have the paper chart...mostly looking for a way home in the fog...

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post #7 of 10 Old 12-27-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidd View Post
I have the paper chart...mostly looking for a way home in the fog...
As long as you're good at accurately plotting your GPS fix on the paper chart, then you don't absolutely need to buy the extra digital charts. Of course, you also need time to go belowdecks to regularly plot your position, and check the chart. This is difficult if you're singlehanding.

Well, I guess if you take the time to input critical waypoints into the GPS by referencing your chart, you can avoid buying the detailed digital charts, and not have to run below to plot your position every 10 minutes. You can just drive by your waypoints.

I think in the fog, I'd really want to plot my posit, and see in detail where I'm at.

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post #8 of 10 Old 12-27-2011
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We've got probably about 5000 nm on our Garmin Oregon 400C - it does function well as a chartplotter, preloaded with very good US & Bahamas charts. And because its handheld, you can also take it in the car or dinghy. Touch screen, splashproof (not waterproof, tho), and its been quite reliable. Well worth the $250 we paid for it.


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post #9 of 10 Old 12-27-2011
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I have a "sailing" version of the GPSMap 76cs Plus* that I use on the Great Lakes. I like the simplicity and durability (waterproof, floating, rubberized) of the unit. It has just about every function you could want in a handheld. The color screen (cs) models are easier to read, in my opinion. Battery life is fairly good at around 20 hours, but I recommend getting the cord adapter as a backup.

Negatives include poor standard basemaps (you can upgrade with BlueCharts on most units) and a small screen compared to newer handhelds. I now mostly use my 76 as a backup to Navionics on the iPad or with a laptop and OpenCPN so that I have more detailed charts. I initially intended to purchase the BlueCharts map updates, but they actually cost almost as much as the unit itself. However, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the GPSMap 76 models for the price and their proven reliability.

*The CS Plus sailing version was a West Marine special that includes a few special functions, though it doesn't add anything you can't live without. Here's what the Garmin site says about it:

"West Marine worked with Garmin to make one of the world's most popular handheld graphic navigators even better! Specifically, we developed dedicated custom displays to show information tailored to whether you're sailing, power boating, highway driving or navigating off-road.

Easy route editing "on the fly" enables you to move, add or delete waypoints right on the screen's chart display. Its unique Heading Line gives you instant information on distance or time to any point ahead of your vessel. A unique logbook function records your position automatically at intervals of 30 minutes to 8 hours so you can analyze average speed, travel time and more. These unique features, along with the unit's built-in barometric altimeter and electronic compass provide everything you need to plan your trip on land or sea."

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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 12-27-2011 at 09:04 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-27-2011
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I used the 76csx together with Mapsource Bluechart America: Amazon.com: Garmin BlueChart Americas Saltwater Map CD-ROM (Windows): GPS & Navigation

To plan routes at home and then download the routes to the 76csx ( via a garmin cable, extra) I had to purchase unlock codes at the time to get the detailed charts.

At one time Mapsource had live tracking, so I could hook my 76csx up to the laptop at the nav station and watch the track. In their last software update they have stopped the live tracking, feature. I'm sorry I downloaded the update.

I've never tried to plan a route, directly on the handheld using the basemap..It seems like it could be tedious.

I still use it to load routes from my laptop as a backup to my helm plotter.

The battery life is excellent, it does have an Mob button, it's just the Mark button.
One great feature I like a lot is that it has a barometer that graphs changes in pressure.
I really like my 76csx, but if I were buying today, I might look for something that is still supported. Then again, the prices are enticing.

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