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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-07-2011 08:33 PM
WDS123 iPhone or IPad suffices for 95% of coastal cruising - I just use the prosaic google map that comes with the iPhone.

Of course one needs to have a few paper charts on board
06-07-2011 07:05 PM
remetau We use a 740s as our main plotter and we carry a 740c for our spare handheld. We have taken the handheld with us when dinghy exploring in the Bahamas which has helped us locate some blue holes, etc..

We also carry our old handheld which most of the buttons no longer work, but it still displays our current lat long.
06-07-2011 06:16 PM
tdw I'm in agreement with TomMays ... we have used a Garmin 72 (not even the H model) for the past five years as our principle GPS despite having a Navman plotter. The 72 is simply an easy to use utterly reliable inexpensive bit of kit. If it came to the crunch I'd happily survive with one of the Garmin portables running off ships supply and another battery only as a backup.

If you are not happy to use your own skills for coastal navigation (let alone offshore) then you most certainly need a backup gps.
06-07-2011 10:32 AM
TropicCat I had a real nice Garmin chart plotter. Some years ago, on a summer day, while sailing off of Cape Canaveral, FL, we were caught in a storm cell. Pretty common on Florida summer afternoons. 10 minutes into the storm we took a lightning hit to the mast. bye bye chart plotter. The hand held GPS sitting on my salon table running on batteries was unaffected by the lightning strike.

These days, I still use that very same hand held GPS, when I need one. I figure I learned a very expense lesson that day.
06-07-2011 09:33 AM
CapnBilll My experience; even when I read my exact position off of a chart, in a small bay, trianglaleted from three prominent objects on the light list, after describing my position on a well known and clearly marked shoal, and being in easy sight of a prominent landmark, and reading out the cross street I was able to see with binoculars,...They still instisted they could not find me without GPS coordinates they could punch into their goto setting on their chart recorder.

They found me anyway, later I bought a small portable GPS and returnd to same position, Yes I was correct in the lat lon I gave them.

I realize they often get calls from people that have no idea where they where. AND if I knew so well where I was, why did I run aground???

Yes I asked myself the same question.

Long and short of it is; they are used to GPS calls. Not everyone in the coast guard is an experienced mariner with decades of experience. Some are new kids right out of high school. The experienced ones are more likely to at a desk job as in all other military or government institutions. The more info you give them the faster they come. A GPS is cheap insurance, I would carry mine even in a kayak, they are even cheaper than a kayak.
06-07-2011 08:04 AM
Better than nothing in an emergency

Even if it doesn't read out lat/long coordinates, you can still radio the Coasties, "My GPS tells me that Long Point Light is 3.7 statute miles north of me."
06-07-2011 07:52 AM
Originally Posted by Yorksailor View Post
Having sailed 35,000 miles without a GPS I wonder where you are going that you really need one!

Hopefully I'll never have to break out my emergency one, but if I do, I'll be glad I have it!!
06-07-2011 06:54 AM
Yorksailor Having sailed 35,000 miles without a GPS I wonder where you are going that you really need one!

06-07-2011 06:46 AM
XPatriot I have an older style Garmin handheld that is sealed up in a drybag. If all else fails I can fire it up and at least call out GPS coordinates.

I'm not even sure what model it is, it's bright yellow with a mono-color display. No maps, just coordinates, heading, altitude
06-07-2011 05:39 AM
tommays Its a bit limited the Garmin 72H is my favorite basic unit
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