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  Topic Review (Newest First)
12-04-2013 09:56 PM
Re: What GPS to use

My wife said around $500.bucks.
I would love my other instruments to feed into one unit. I dont know if I need a sonar unit if I already have a dept sounder with temp from ST50 Autohelm can I use that ?
11-20-2013 03:01 PM
Re: What GPS to use

Uh-oh, I see an autopilot head in that mix, and that changes everything. Assuming you can feed an NMEA-standard output into that, then you want a marine gps map (chartplotter) to allow for that. You'll need to check with RayMa-whosis to make sure, because some of their stuff requires RayTalk and other stuff can use an adapter and still more stuff can sometimes just play nicely with NMEA standards. That can be a stopper.

Otherwise I'd say to look for a 7" or better yet 10" inexpensive tablet, download free charts to it, stick it in a waterproof pouch, and cheap out that way. For $200 you've got a decent solution that can always be used for other purposes if you decide to buy something better.

Of course a real marine chartplotter will have a far better "daylight readable" screen on it, but it is also going to be way more expensive. This is a game where you usually won't get any more than you've paid for.
11-20-2013 10:16 AM
Re: What GPS to use

North end of Hilton Head is one of my stop points, so I know the area you're speaking of. All I can say about using a laptop, is I don't steer by an electronic chart, only with my eyes and depthsounder. I use the laptop to verify where I am in relation to observed landmarks and buoys. And have no problem ducking in to check if I'm doubt.

As for leaving a trail, the Fugawi has tracks, waypoints, route planning, etc..
11-20-2013 09:14 AM
Re: What GPS to use

Here is one I have been looking at ( I have no connection to the site).
Seems like a good price for what you get
Garmin GPSMAP 541 Marine Chartplotter The GPS Store
11-20-2013 09:00 AM
Re: What GPS to use

I too like the chartplotter at the helm. It makes it easy to plot your way through shallow and shoal areas!

I find that the sellers on E-Bay are generally honest and responsive to questions. If you see a product you like that is used, ask questions about why it is for sale, any known issues, charts that are included, ability to upgrade charts, etc.

Make sure that your plotter can connect using nmea 183 to other electronics if you want it to communicate but, depending upon what you want to connect, I don't really think that is critical. I have never connected mine and never thought I was missing anything. The plotter shows your vessel's position on the charts in real time anyway. I crewed on a boat delivery where the plotter was connected to the autopilot and found it to be frustrating. If I needed to divert to another course to avoid traffic and then re-engaged the autopilot to the course, we would make a hard turn towards the course and then a hard turn the opposite way once we were back on the route. It was annoying and would only be effective under power. So I ended up never connecting the autopilot to the plotter's course. The only connections that may be important would be connecting the gps / plotter to a vhf with DSC and an AIS unit.

11-20-2013 08:50 AM
Re: What GPS to use

I have a Garmin GPSmap 478, and love it. It is waterproof (IPX7), can run on an internal battery, or 12V. It has a small screen... but shows what you need, and speaks NEMA 0183. It has all the land maps for the US, and the entire US coast charts.

I used it to travel for my job, and broke the screen. Garmin took my old one, and sent me a completely refurbished one (updated charts, new battery, new antenna) for $180.

You can find them on eBay for $400-$700.
11-20-2013 08:37 AM
Re: What GPS to use

I think I need it at the helm. I sail in the Broad river, the May river and Port Royal Sound most of the time. Around the Hilton Head area. These waters are very shallow in places. I want to be able to do them at night. I want to start training for offshore and need I think a plotter that will leave me a trail. I need to be able to see it while sailing. I got the st4000 working "finely" last weekend. This will help some. After looking around on the net this morning I like the Lowrance idea. I just don't want to mount a transducer on the bottom. I like the Garmin that has an above deck mounted antenna. My Garmin 215 I have now uses that type now. That GPS was a good unit. the screen is just going out. Its an older model I guess..
Thanks I will study and Look on e-bay to see what I can find. Should I be worried a bought buying used from e-bay?
11-20-2013 08:08 AM
Re: What GPS to use

Unless you're wedded to having it right at the wheel, you can use a laptop, hockey puck GPS receiver and charting software (I use Fugawi). All within your budget (if you have a laptop to use). Especially if you use SeaClear (free).
11-20-2013 08:06 AM
Re: What GPS to use

I would look into used chartplotter on E-bay. I would not go with a screen smaller than 5' diagonal, particularly with where you want to use it and would lean towards a Garmin unit as they are very user friendly.
11-20-2013 07:44 AM
Re: What GPS to use

Are you saying I can use the st50 instruments I have. They will somehow hook up to a GPS?
I got most of them working now except the wind direction, "the feather is gone off the top of my mast" but the cup's are still spinning and reading.I would have to hire someone to do this. I have ability to do this kinda wiring. I have a set of paddles on a transducer laying in the forward bilge for the speed but, the paddles seam to be sticking some?
I got the compass swung in like the book said. Looks its 4 degrees off the helm compass. It would be nice to think I could somehow integrate them so I could use GPS instead of the gyro compass?

Let me know if you think this can be done.

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